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Returning to the Commonplace

Returning to the Commonplace

There are times when the twilight of the American century takes on a quality of surreal absurdity I can only compare to French existentialist theater or the better productions of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, and this is one of them. Over the weekend, in response to a chemical-weapons incident in Syria that may or may not have happened—governments on all sides are making strident claims, but nobody’s offering evidence either way—US, British, and French military units launched more than a hundred state-of-the-art cruise missiles at three Syrian targets that may or may not have had anything to do with chemical weapons, damaging a few buildings and inflicting injuries on three people.

James Howard Kunstler, in a recent and appropriately blistering essay, termed this “kabuki warfare.”  It’s an apt term, though I confess the situation makes me think rather more of John Cleese and the Ministry of Silly (Bombing) Runs, or perhaps a play by Camus in which Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin sit around talking while they wait for the endlessly delayed arrival of an American cruise missile named Godot. What, exactly, was accomplished by Donald Trump’s red-faced bluster, the heavily rehearsed outrage and cringing subservience of our European lapdogs-cum-allies, and all those colorful photo ops of missiles blasting off?

To be sure, there’s nothing even remotely new about the latest skit from this transatlantic flying circus. For most of a decade now the US military has been carrying out a similar sort of warfare against jihadi militias in Syria and Iraq, pretending to fight Islamic State in much the same way a mime pretends to be trapped in a phone booth—a habit pointed up by the way that the Russian military, which has a less ineffectual notion of warfare, pushed Islamic State into prompt collapse by having their cruise missiles and bombs actually hit something.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

West v Russia

When government attempt to persuade the people to their side, the rhetoric becomes so blatant it is stunning that so many people just believe what they are told. The typical tactic is always to paint your enemy as some “monster” as Trump just called Assad. You must always demean an opponent and the simple fact that they engage in that tactic exposes the sad fact that this is a deliberate manipulation. When it comes to the Russian President Vladimir Putin, the West portrays him as a dictator, strongman, bad person, and some sort of crazed Russian patriot who wants to dominate the world somehow. All this rhetoric is what we call phase ONE, laying the seeds to justify engaging in war.
Here is a Japanese War poster demonizing Roosevelt. You will find that every side issues the same propaganda. This is indeed Phase ONE. You must get the people on your side to support the war effort. To do so, you must absolutely demonize your opponent.
Ther point is not to defend Putin and try to show what is exaggerated propaganda. This is simply a standard method of raising support among your people.  neither going to dispute nor support that characterization. Despite the West’s portrayal that Putin is some sort of “strongman”  seeking to dominate the world, Putin’s popularity at home has only been increased. The sanctions the West imposed on Russia are his badge of honor just as the excessive reparation payments from people into the open arms of Hitler.
The trade sanctions against China are doing the same thing. They create the reverse image that America is the evil power.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Neocons’ Real Plan for Syria Emerges from the Lack of Rubble

The Neocons’ Real Plan for Syria Emerges from the Lack of Rubble

I told you over the weekend that Trump’s presidency was over.  As a practical matter it is.  His yielding to his ‘advisors’ on every foreign policy issue makes it clear that he can’t or won’t stand up to the relentless pressure to do what his instincts tell him.

This morning’s article at the Deep State Washington Post paints a very clear picture of what the situation is.  The advisors whose loyalties are dubious run the show.  Their thinking has not evolved one whit from previous administrations.

Remember what Russian President Vladimir Putin always says, “Presidents change. Policies do not.”

Case in point they manipulated Trump into over-reacting to the Skripal poisoning by ousting 60 Russian diplomats, even though Trump clearly wanted to match Germany and France.

The United States, they explained, would be ousting roughly the same number of Russians as its European allies — part of a coordinated move to punish Moscow for the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter on British soil.

“We’ll match their numbers,” Trump instructed, according to a senior administration official. “We’re not taking the lead. We’re matching.”

The next day, when the expulsions were announced publicly, Trump erupted, officials said. To his shock and dismay, France and Germany were each expelling only four Russian officials — far fewer than the 60 his administration had decided on.

You can almost see the evil glee on the part of the WaPo writer and Trump’s staffers who misled him into signing an order they knew he disagreed with.

And this is why Trump is not president currently.  This is not the first time he’s been backed into a bad decision by the nest of vipers in his administration.

And he won’t be until he removes the worst people from his cabinet.  Unfortunately, the trend on that front is definitely not our friend.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Chemical Weapons Hypocrisy

Chemical Weapons Hypocrisy

Oh, the hypocrisy of it. The ignoble aims. The distraction. The outrageous lies and excuses.

I’m not talking about America’s tweet-from-the-hip president and his desire to escape from the cops’ raid on his lawyer’s office – there’s a Russian connection, all right.

And I’m not talking about his latest sleaze. Life with Melania might not be great at the moment. More distracting to sit with the generals and ex-generals and talk tough about Russia and Syria.

I’m not talking about Theresa May, who wants to step out of the Brexit ditch with any distractions of her own: Salisbury attacks, Douma – even Trump. So Trump telephoned Macron, when the poor lady thought she’d won his hand. What is this nonsense?

Macron has now hitched his own wagon to the Saudis against Iranian “expansionism” – and no doubt arms sales to the Kingdom have something to do with it. But how sad that the desire of young French presidents to act like Napoleon (I can think of a few others) means that they devote themselves to joining in a war, rather than pleading against it.

Now we have our spokespersons and ministers raging about the need to prevent the “normalisation” of chemical warfare, to prevent it becoming a part of ordinary warfare, a return to the terrible days of the First World War.

This does not mean any excuses for the Syrian government – though I suspect, having seen Russia’s Syrian involvement with my own eyes, that Putin might have been getting impatient about ending the war and wanted to eradicate those in the last tunnels of Douma rather than wait through more weeks of fighting. Remember the cruelty of Grozny.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Big Noise: Apocalyptic Tweets, Limited Strikes

Big Noise: Apocalyptic Tweets, Limited Strikes

“Big noise on the stairs, but nobody comes into the room,” runs an old Chinese saying. This is an apt description of the very limited airstrikes on Syria launched by the US, Britain and France overnight, which came after apocalyptic tweets from President Trump and threats of military retaliation by Russian diplomats.

In the event, the fears of a “Russian-American clash” and runaway confrontation leading to a “third world war” have turned out to be overblown. They did not look quite so exaggerated earlier in the week when Trump tweeted about US missiles: “Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart’.”

The Russians hinted that their retaliation might include American targets.

Of all the options available, the US-led coalition chose the one involving minimal action and geared not to provoke Russia or Iran. This was a one-off attack on three suspected Syrian chemical weapons facilities, one in Damascus and two west of Homs. It was more of a gesture of disapproval than an attempt to damage President Bashar al-Assad’s military machine. Hours after the missiles had struck, his supporters were understandably demonstrating their defiance in the centre of Damascus.

Trump, reportedly under pressure from his military chiefs, may have chosen the most cautious option, but in fact there were no good options. Assad has all but won the civil war. Even if it was possible to weaken him, this might present opportunities to Isis and al-Qaeda, which are battered but not entirely out of business.

The attacks may or may not deter Assad from using poison gas in the future, but they will not change the balance of power against him. Chemical weapons are only a small part of his arsenal and have played only a minor military role in the war.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Russia’s Real Endgame

Russia’s Putin has never taken his eye off the ball. His ambition is not global hegemony or European conquest. Putin seeks what Russia has always sought: regional hegemony and a set of buffer states in eastern Europe and central Asia that can add to Russia’s strategic depth.

In Syria, Russia has the warm water port of Tartus — which is important when you consider that most Russian ports are ice-bound for months of the year.

It is strategic depth — the capacity to suffer massive invasions and still survive due to an ability to retreat to a core position and stretch enemy supply lines — that enabled Russia to defeat both Napoleon and Hitler. Putin also wants the modicum of respect that would normally accompany that geostrategic goal.

Understanding Putin is not much more complicated than that.

In the twenty-first century, a Russian sphere of influence is not achieved by conquest or subordination in the old Imperial or Communist style. It is achieved by close financial ties, direct foreign investment, free trade zones, treaties, security alliances, and a network of associations that resemble earlier versions of the EU

Russian military intervention in Crimea and eastern Ukraine is best understood not as a Russian initiative, but as a Russian reaction. It was a response to U.S. and U.K. efforts to attack Russia by pushing aggressively and prematurely for Ukraine membership in NATO. This was done by deposing a Putin ally in Kiev in early 2014.

This is not to justify Russia’s actions, merely to put them in a proper context. The time to peel off Ukraine for NATO was 1999, not 2014.

The Russian-Ukraine situation is a subset of the broader U.S.-Russian relationship. Here, the opposition comes not just from domestic opponents but from the globalist elite.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Edge of the Abyss in Syria

The Edge of the Abyss in Syria

SYRIAN-WAR

For the first time since he is in office, the US President Donald Trump has launched a clear threat in the direction of his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin saying “he will pay a price”. This menace is related to the claim that the Syrian army had launched a chemical attack against the city of Duma, in eastern Ghouta, the last stronghold of Saudi Arabia’s proxies close to Damascus.

Trump is maybe thinking of bombing the Syrian Army positions spread throughout the Syrian geography, or perhaps even the Al-Muhajereen President’s palace in Damascus- of course, without necessarily saying when and where his army will strike.

On the other side, Russia is saying it won’t stand still and will respond to any threat against its soldiers. Indeed, Russian officers are deployed in every single Syrian unit on the ground and in command and control headquarters in the Levant, coordinating and participating in attacks against jihadists since September 2015. Therefore, it is almost certain that any direct hit against the Syrian Army will cause Russian casualties.

Such an act of war may trigger a Russian response by President Putin who will certainly not want to look weak in front of Russian politicians, the Russian military and in front of his own people. Russia has just returned to the international arena, not only as a country in possession of nuclear weapons, but also as a country trying to create a world balance and put an end to the US unilateral dominance that Washington enjoyed since the Perestroika in 1991.

But how could the US benefit from military action in Syria?

The mainstream media, the think tank generously financed and nourished by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrein, Trump’s team and the intelligence community- are all asking the US President to go to war in Syria to change the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and replace it with “freedom fighters” that the same Donald Trump is very familiar with and has specifically criticised.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Harder the Winds of War Blow, the More they Suck.

The Harder the Winds of War Blow, the More they Suck.

In Vietnam, the wind doesn’t blow… it sucks.

— Tag Line for Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket”

When I wrote a few weeks ago that I thought the Neocons were making the full-court press for war I thought President Trump was a reluctant player in the game.

Part of me still believes that.

Part of me also believes that Trump, like everyone else, is a slave to his passions and is easily manipulated into terrible decisions.  Case in point was last year’s bombing of the Al Shairat airbase in Syria after a similar false flag chemical weapons attack at Khan Sheikoun.

Will he fall victim to them again this year?  According to him, we’ll know soon.  Meanwhile a carrier group has been dispatched to the Eastern Mediterranean.  Chinese missile frigates are there supporting Russian vessels and the destroyer U.S.S. Donald Cook is now just off the coats of the Russian base at Tartus.

The circumstances are exactly the same as last year.  The pro-Assad coalition is winning, having made short work of the ‘rebels’ in Eastern Ghouta.  And now we are to believe they are so stupid as to gas women and children after Trump’s big light show last year?

New Russian sanctions were unveiled on Friday.  A new alleged chlorine attack on Saturday.  The Israelis lobbing missiles on Sunday.  Russian markets melt down on Monday before Special Counsel Robert Mueller orders an FBI raid of Trump’s lawyer, Steven Cohen.

This isn’t just a full-court press for war.  It is the push for a Faustian bargain with the most evil people on the planet.

The political establishment across the West is reminding us all the price of opposition to perpetual war for perpetual serfdom.  The people of Russia spoke loudly three weeks ago.

Defy the West however you have to Mr. Putin.  It’s obvious Mr. Trump isn’t up to the job.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Coup is Complete – Trump is Done

I’m going to keep this simple.  Follow the dots and try to keep up.

  1. The Deep State’s lies are being unraveled in real time thanks to the collective intelligence of the ‘internet’ and our ability to synthesize data in real time.
  2. The Skripal poisoning and the latest Syrian “chemical weapons” attack share the same thing — both set government officials off rushing to judgment and action before any official investigation could debunk them.
  3. Trump has pissed off everyone in power on both sides of the Atlantic since coming into power.
  4. He has been a material threat to powerful members of the Deep State/Shadow Government who have unmasked themselves as criminals to avoid losing power.
  5. Trump needs to be neutralized.  And up to this point he hasn’t been, c.f. his tax cuts, deregulation, Executive Orders against Obamacare, TPP, TTIP.
    1. He’s attacking the current managed trade schema of Wall St. and the City of London via trade war rhetoric with China and the EU.
    2. Russia collusion narrative has failed completely.  Mueller’s investigation has now ‘jumped the shark.’
  6. Things were falling into place for Trump, Jinping and Putin for a wider peace framework from North Korea to the Middle East.  This does not serve the entrenched powers in D.C., New York, City of London, Riyadh and Beirut.
  7. The operation to destroy Syria is at least a 20 year old idea.  It will not be derailed.   It goes back to overthrowing Assad’s father.
    1. John Bolton is one of the architects of this mess.
  8. Trump’s tweets right after the latest announced attack rang false.  The word choice was all wrong.  Tone right.  Words wrong.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

6 simple reasons why Trump is going to war in Syria

6 simple reasons why Trump is going to war in Syria

Attacking Syria has nothing to do with values and democracy.

POTUS Trump knows that the chemical attack in Syria is a hoax and false flag.

The mainstream media knows that the chemical attack in Syria is a hoax and false flag.

All of Congress knows that the chemical attack in Syria is a hoax and false flag.

The entire world knows that Assad is not that stupid (he is a doctor and ophthalmologist) so as to gas women and children at the very moment he is winning the war in Syria…launching a chemical weapons strike for shits and giggle, moments after Trump announced a US pullout from Syria.

Here are six very simple reasons why Trump will go to war in Syria, all of which have nothing to do with a trumped up “heinous” chemical attack from an “animal” dictator, or spreading democracy to the Middle East…


1. The Petrodollar (via comment on The Gateway Pundit):

“The Chinese have recently issued the gold backed Yuan, which they, and others, have vowed to use to sell/purchase oil (amongst other things).

The last two nations that tried to introduce a currency to compete against the petrodollar were Libya and Iraq. The US needs that pipeline through Syria even more than ever now, especially if they are to compete for European gas/oil markets (presently controlled by Russia and their pipeline) and the Chinese Yuan.

But i’m sure none of that has anything to do with it…”

2. John McCain and the MIC:

McCain is the Deep State president, and the number one war salesman for the military industrial complex.

Where ever John McCain goes, war follows.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Jerome Is The New Janet: Tie, Trousers And Same Old Keynesian Jabberwocky

Jerome Is The New Janet: Tie, Trousers And Same Old Keynesian Jabberwocky

The election of 2016 was supposed to be the most disruptive break with the status quo in modern history, if ever. On the single most important decision of his tenure, however, the Donald has lined-up check-by-jowl with Barry and Dubya, too.

That is to say, Trump’s new Fed chairman, Jerome Powell, amounts to Janet Yellen in trousers and tie. In fact, you can make it a three-part composite by adding Bernanke with a full head of hair and Greenspan sans the mumble.

The overarching point here is that the great problems plaguing American society—scarcity of good jobs, punk GDP growth, faltering productivity, raging wealth mal-distribution, massive indebtedness, egregious speculative bubbles, fiscally incontinent government—-are overwhelmingly caused by our rogue central bank. They are the fetid fruits of massive and sustained financial repression and falsification of the most import prices in all of capitalism—–the prices of money, debt, equities and other financial assets.

Moreover, the worst of it is that the Fed is overwhelmingly the province of an unelected politburo that rules by the lights of its own Keynesian groupthink and by the hypnotic power of its Big Lie. So powerful is the latter that American democracy has meekly seconded vast, open-ended power to dominate the financial markets, and therefore the warp and woof of the nation’s $19 trillioneconomy, to a tiny priesthood possessing neither of the usual instruments of rule.

That is to say, never before in history has a people so completely and abjectly surrendered to an occupying power—even though its ostensibly democratic government already possessed all the votes and all the guns.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

A shooting war between the US and Russia appears imminent.

Following overnight speculation that the US may launch a missile strike on Syria at any moment, this morning Trump tweeted that “Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia,  because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”


Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!


Trump’s comments came in response to a statement by the Russian ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin who said overnight that any U.S. missiles fired at Syria will be shot down and their launch sites targeted in response to Trump promise of a forceful response to an alleged chemical attack on a rebel enclave near Damascus.

“If there is a strike by the Americans, then we refer to the statements of President [Vladimir] Putin and the chief of staff that the missiles will be downed and even the sources from which the missiles were fired,” Zasypkin told Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“We Understand The Chinese Government Has Halted Purchases Of US Treasuries”: SGH

On Friday, we reported that among the five “nuclear” options available to Beijing to retaliate against Trump’s latest $100BN in import tariffs, was the choice whether or not to sell US Treasuries. But what if Beijing did not want to unleash a full-blown market nuke, and instead was hoping for a targeted, EMP hit?

Then it would simply stop buying US paper, instead of dumping it outright; in the process it wouldn’t hurt the US too much – avoiding an angry response –  but it would send a clear signal to the White House, whose fiscal spending plan will more than double net Treasury issuance this year from under $500BN to over $1 trillion, and which needs every possible marginal buyer of US paper, both domestic and foreign.

Which is precisely what a new report by SGH Macro Advisors claims.

According to the consultancy, a long-time favorite of macro hedge funds, Beijing has twice threatened deliberately targeted tit-for-tat punitive measures against the US to date: “first, in response to the Trump Administration’s threat of steel and aluminum tariffs, and second, in response to broader measures aimed at $50 billion of products that lie directly at the heart of Chinese technology transfers, intellectual property violations, and strategic, “Made in China 2025” plan.

But even as US cabinet officials lined up yesterday to calm jittery equity markets, SGH says in a note released over the weekend that “China had already signaled an aggressive and potentially more ominous escalation in the developing trade wars to the White House”:

From what we understand, the Chinese government has halted its purchases of US Treasuries. Despite the direct encouragement, according to Chinese sources, by US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin for China to “stay put,” Beijing has apparently discontinued purchases of US Treasuries “for the past few weeks.”

Some more details from the note:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Trump To Make “Major” Decision On Syria “By End Of Day”; Says “Assad Going To Pay A Price”

With Israel already having conducted a trial balloon, or rather trial F-15 airstrike on a Syrian airfield overnight, now comes the US response. And according to Donald Trump, who moments ago was speaking to reporters, he will make a “major decision” on Syria in the next 24-48 hours, subsequently clarifying that the decision will come “very quickly” probably “by the end of today”, adding that nothing is off the table.

“Very concerned, when a thing like that can happen, this is about humanity,” the president told reporters during a Cabinet meeting. “We’re talking about humanity. And it can’t be allowed to happen. So we’ll be looking at that barbaric act and studying what’s going on.”

Taking a page from he Skripal affair, where the UK was recently humiliated for accusing Russia of being behind the attack only for UK chemical weapons experts to say there is zero evidence of this, Trump then also said that Assad is going to pay a price, even though here too there has been no evidence whatsoever that Assad, was actually behind the attack.

  • TRUMP SAYS ASSAD IS GOING TO PAY A PRICE

This entire episode of course is a rerun of what happened in February, when Rex Tillerson was the latest to blame Russia for the latest alleged “chemical attack” by the Assad regime, even though he later admitted he doesn’t actually know who did it. It appears that the same thing is taking place now, although Trump’s incentive to deflect from domestic affairs is great enough that the US now appears hell-bent on launching another round of Tomahawk cruise missiles on Syria in the next several days.

And yes, just like in the Scrpal affair, it was once again Putin’s fault:

  • TRUMP SAYS PUTIN MAY BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ATTACK IN SYRIA
  • TRUMP SAYS EVERYBODY IS GOING TO PAY A PRICE

… just as it apparently is Putin’s fault Trump is now in the White House.

War Proponents, Democrats Included, Want Trump to Hit Syria

With not an ounce of evidence the world once again points a finger at Syria.

In response to a clear false flag event in which Assad is alleged to have gassed his own people, unthinking fools on the left and right want Trump to do something.

Guradig writer Matthew d’Ancona moans Don’t Expect the West to Act on Syria’s Latest Horror.

Conscience has become the mayfly of our era: here today, gone tomorrow. For the moment, the world is transfixed by the horrific images from Douma, near the Syrian capital, Damascus. Dozens have died, and hundreds lie injured after what was quite clearly a chemical weapon attack.

Dead children, their mouths flecked with foam, chide us through our screens. Condemnation, calls for action, a global spasm of what Martin Amis calls “species shame”: the pattern of response to the long Syrian catastrophe has become almost ritualised.

Another Rush to Judgement

Fools like d’Ancona demand action, with no evidence as to who did what.

And curiously, this attack happened right as Trump announced he was pulling out of Syria.

Evidence?

Who needs evidence? Warmongers don’t need no stinkin evidence. On the rare occasions they decide evidence is necessary, they make it up or plant a false flag.

War Cries

Media Misses the Point

Before jumping the gun, please consider Another Chemical Attack In Syria: But Why Is The Corporate Media Missing Crucial Points?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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