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5 reasons American foreign policy is insanely dangerous and dangerously insane

US foreign policy is so detached from reality that it has become literally insane to a worrying degree.

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The United States is starting to live up to the ancient Greek stereotypes about the Achaemenid Persian Empire, namely that in spite of its strength, its rulers are brash, unrefined, thirsty for blood and tactically unsophisticated.

This stereotype, largely taken from the words of the historian Herodotus was never fully true, but from a philosophical standpoint, the idea that the Greeks and the Athenians in particular were a more refined society than their Persian enemy can readily be applied to the dichotomy between  Russia and China on one hand and America on the other. This is in no way meant to be an insult to modern Iran which is clearly on the side of civilisation against the forces of western barbarism.

In foreign relations the United States has largely invented its own gods and shibboleths, it adheres to its own mythical conception of reality as though it was divine truth and operates on the principle that can increasingly be defined as “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength”.

In this sense, modern America is one part Herodotus’s conception of the ancient Achaemenid Persians and one part George Orwell’s bleak view of a distopian future.

Under the Donald Trump administration, America’s foreign policy has retained the smug exceptionalism of the Obama years while it has adopted a patronising and condescending tone towards other powerful nations, including the other super-powers of the world. While the tone is grating, the over-all conclusion as well as the means of America’s foreign policy making are looking not only barbaric but also insane in a literal sense. They are detached from reality so much so that one could summarise US foreign policy by imagining a doctor proscribing full leg amputation to a patient diagnosed with a broken finger when in reality the patient’s only ailment is that the doctor himself has hit the patient’s hand with a sledgehammer.

Before moving on, it is necessary to say that I am a Trump supporter. In domestic affairs and in terms of his personality, I admire the man and his accomplishments. But in terms of the foreign policy which has transpired under his administration, I am deeply sickened. My wish is not for Trump to be discarded but for him to understand why in terms of foreign policy his country has lost the plot entirely. Whether he can actually do anything about it is another matter.

Here are five examples of just how dangerously insane and insanely dangerous US policy has become:

1.  Sanctions are an act of war and an act of brutality 

Just as chemical weapons, including mustard gas were banned after the First World War, something even Adolf Hitler acknowledged and adhered to, it is high time to internationally ban the use of  sanctions, the uncontrollable killer of the current age.

One need only to look at the US led sanctions against Iraq in the 1990s to realise that sanctions are not a means of preserving a difficult peace, but instead a means of conducting atrocities without having to waste bullets.

The sanctions on Iraq during the 1990s led to the death of more Iraqi children than any war in the 20th century history of Iraq. Only the 2003 illegal US-UK war on Iraq killed more. The sanctions crippled a wealthy state leading to hunger where there was never hunger, a lack of medicine in a nation that could easily afford the world’s best medicines and suffering where even at the height of the dreadfully ill-advised (western advised) Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, Iraqis continued to live normally by comparison to the 1990s.

Today in Syria, the real humanitarian crisis is caused less by al-Qaeda, FSA and ISIS, bad though these jihadist groups are, than that which is being caused by US imposed sanctions. Syria can, even now, afford medicines and food, but much of this is out of reach only because of US sanctions.

No geo-political goal can justify these crimes against humanity and as it is, the US goal of replacing a secular, tolerant, pluralist government in Syria with one led by Salafist barbarians is far from a noble goal to say the least. The fact that such a regime change is against international law is simply extra-credit on the exam of morality that the US has clearly flunked.

But not content with having sanctioned Iraq and sanctioning Syria, now the United States wants to sanction and starve North Korea.

Ironically, according to the US, North Korea is already starving, a factually untrue statement, but by sanctioning North Korea further, the US could in fact begin to starve North Korea. This is one of the reasons that Russia and China oppose sanctions, it is about morality as much as it is about respectful diplomacy for a country which hasn’t engaged in a single active armed conflict during an era when the United States has engaged aggressively in over 10.

2. Using the UN to enshrine global Apartheid

The Charter of the United Nations remains one of the noblest documents written in the modern age. The aims and goals of the document are to prevent war and ensure the best possible peace for all men, women and children and for all nations.

The fact of the matter is that the United States and its increasingly small number of allies have turned the UN into a body that can either rubber stamp America’s singular vision of world dominance or else be permanently paralysed.

When America is able to force one-sided resolutions through the UN, the US hides behind these resolutions even when they justify American violence rather than any objective understanding of peace. When the US does not get its way, the US says the UN has no credibility. Shame clearly isn’t a word that American ‘diplomats’ are familiar with.

In her recent remarks on North Korea, America’s Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley spoke of the UN’s credibility being in jeopardy if it does not act on North Korea. When Haley says ‘act on North Korea’ she means rubber stamp American imposed sanctions with the additional threat of war against a country that does not objectively threaten anyone. Of the two competing states on the Korean peninsula, only one allows a country with enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world several hundred times over to place weapons of mass destruction on its soil (the THAAD missile system) and that country is not North Korea.

That being said, South Korea is not stupid enough to reignite the Korean War and nor is North Korea. America by the admission of Nikki Haley is stupid enough to take military action on the Korean peninsula, something which would de-facto mean the end of the ceasefire in Korea which has held since 1953.

What kind of world is one living in when one country and its few lackeys can turn a body designed to preserve the peace into one designed to rubber stamp war and savage sanctions? This is not world government as some on the American anti-war right say but nor is it peaceful diplomacy. It is American led global Apartheid where there is one rule for the US and its allies and another for everyone else. For those on the American anti-war right complaining about how much the US pays to the UN, if paying to get what you want is how one measures a good deal, America ought to be happier than a pig swimming in excreta.

3. Speaking down to fellow-superpowers 

While most US foreign policies have remained the same under Trump as they were under Obama, one thing has changed and it is not an improvement. America now patronises and condescends to the other two world superpowers more so than under the Obama regime and that is really saying something.

Donald Trump’s Tweets demanding China fix the ‘North Korea problem’ and on America’s terms no less, fail to acknowledge that both China and North Korea are sovereign states, neither of whom share each other’s vision for the world let alone America’s vision for the world.

China is rightly incensed by this attitude as any nation would be.

To add insult to injury, now US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has stated that Russia has a “special responsibility” to insure peace in Syria.

This is not only an insult to Syria’s sovereignty and to Syria and Russia’s partner Iran, but it is an insult to Russia. Russia’s responsibility is only to Russia and her voluntary partnership with Syria is a matter of bilateral security, not America’s perverse metaphysical vision for the universes.

What is this, kindergarten? “Johnny, because Billy is mentally retarded you have a special responsibility to make sure he doesn’t make a mess in the school lavatory”.

This is not a way to speak to a sovereign nation, let alone a nuclear superpower.

Making things more awkward, Tillerson actually believes that the US and Russia could create a joint no-fly zone. Of course, America’s conception of a no fly zone is one in which only American an allied planes would be allowed to fly. If America and Russia were to create this mythical no-fly zone, whose planes would be grounded? Would Syrian planes by grounded in Syria at the insistence of a Syrian partner? Would Russia also work with the US to ground the planes of its Iranian partner in the war against terrorism in Syria? What about the only planes currently flying in Syrian airspace illegally, those of the US, its allies and the unilateral air movements of Turkish and Israeli jets, who would ground them?

This idea of a joint Russian-US no fly zone is not only patronising and insulting to Russia and her allies, it is downright absurd.

When Donald Trump said he wanted to work with Russia, if he meant Russia submitting to America’s increasingly preposterous terms, he was simply deluded, perhaps a victim of bad advice or a victim of lack of experience in foreign affairs.

4. God complex meets Orwell complex 

The increasingly unhinged Nikki Haley has repeated that threatening North Korea with sanctions and war will help the North Korea people.

In what world has war ever helped anyone? War is a necessary evil to be used only in self-defence. The UN itself was created and its charter written after the biggest war in human history in order to prevent such suffering.

Russia could constantly take a position of moral superiority because it did the lion’s share of fighting against the fascist aggressor during the Great Patriotic War, but Russian diplomats do not do this. They honour their history but when it comes to foreign policy making and diplomatic engagement they live in the present.

What makes the United States feel that war is somehow a way to help people? This is literally insane. If a common criminal went before a judge and said, “I killed half of someone’s family in order to help the family”, the judge would transfer the man from a regular prison to a prison for the criminally insane.

The lesson of the Second World War/Great Patriotic War is that international mechanisms must be in place to foster cooperation and respect between nations in order to avoid mass murder on a global scale. Instead, the lessons that the United States takes is that preemptive war is somehow a magical solution to solving disasters which have not yet happened. Only Israel and some of America’s western European allies share such a delusional view of the lessons of history.

War is not peace, war is hell and this seems to be where America wants to send any country that doesn’t march to the rhythm of its war drum.

5. The power of positive thinking 

The American Protestant Minister Norman Vincent Peale once wrote a self-help book called ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’, which argued that a positive attitude can overcome depression and material despair.

The reality is that in modern America, there exists an attitude which suggests that realism is somehow negative thinking and that positive thinking is carte blanche allowing the positive thinker to do whatever the hell he or she wants.

This is not only deeply dangerous but it is un-Christian. Christianity teaches compassion for the weak, not violence towards the defenceless. Christianity is about fearing God, not having the confidence to play God. Christianity is about loving one’s neighbour, not bombing one’s neighbour. The idea that anything which gets in the way of one’s positive view of one’s self should be cast aside is more akin to the fascist conception of a master race than to Christ’s teachings of humility before God and Christ’s teachings of charity for one’s fellow man. Yet America thinks it has a monopoly on its own very perverse version of violent, intolerant Christianity too….how dreadfully pessimistic indeed.

America seeks to humble the world, but it is the US which ought to learn humility. Positive thinking has its limits. When one is behaving violently, irrationally and insanely, one cannot justify this using the power of optimism. One needs a thorough self-examination, something America looks increasingly incapable of.

Through all of this, America has become everything it was supposed to hate, a global imperial power whose own people are taxed to death in order to fund a violent war machine.

This piece is not an anti-American argument, it is the opposite. America is in a fortunate position in that by changing its barbaric foreign policy, it could help bring peace to the world and prosperity back to its own people. Far from being an unusual concept, it is one of the things Donald Trump campaigned on.

I still believe Donald Trump is a good man, but he is surrounded by idiots, bandits, lunatics and criminals. He ought to remember his famous catch phrase and say ‘You’re fired’ to such people. America needs to step back from its position of barbarism, it needs to act more like the Greeks as portrayed by Herodotus, rather than in the manner of their enemies.

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New York Times hit piece on Trump and NATO exposes alliance as outdated and obsolete (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 61.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a quick look at the New York Times hit piece citing anonymous sources, with information that the U.S. President dared to question NATO’s viability.

Propaganda rag, the NYT, launched its latest presidential smear aimed at discrediting Trump and provoking the establishment, warmonger left into more impeachment – Twenty-fifth Amendment talking points.

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Via The American Conservative


The New York Times scored a serious scoop when it revealed on Monday that President Trump had questioned in governmental conversations—on more than one occasion, apparently—America’s membership in NATO. Unfortunately the paper then slipped into its typical mode of nostrum journalism. My Webster’s New World Dictionary defines “nostrum” as “quack medicine” entailing “exaggerated claims.” Here we had quack journalism executed in behalf of quack diplomacy.

The central exaggerated claim is contained in the first sentence, in which it is averred that NATO had “deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.” This is wrong, as can be seen through just a spare amount of history.

True, NATO saved Europe from the menace of Russian Bolshevism. But it did so not over 70 years but over 40 years—from 1949 to 1989. That’s when the Soviet Union had 1.3 million Soviet and client-state troops poised on Western Europe’s doorstep, positioned for an invasion of Europe through the lowlands of Germany’s Fulda Gap.

How was this possible? It was possible because Joseph Stalin had pushed his armies farther and farther into the West as the German Wehrmacht collapsed at the end of World War II. In doing so, and in the process capturing nearly all of Eastern Europe, he ensured that the Soviets had no Western enemies within a thousand miles of Leningrad or within 1,200 miles of Moscow. This vast territory represented not only security for the Russian motherland (which enjoys no natural geographical barriers to deter invasion from the West) but also a potent staging area for an invasion of Western Europe.

The first deterrent against such an invasion, which Stalin would have promulgated had he thought he could get away with it, was America’s nuclear monopoly. By the time that was lost, NATO had emerged as a powerful and very necessary deterrent. The Soviets, concluding that the cost of an invasion was too high, defaulted to a strategy of undermining Western interests anywhere around the world where that was possible. The result was global tensions stirred up at various global trouble spots, most notably Korea and Vietnam.

But Europe was saved, and NATO was the key. It deserves our respect and even reverence for its profound success as a military alliance during a time of serious threat to the West.

But then the threat went away. Gone were the 1.3 million Soviet and client-state troops. Gone was Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. Indeed, gone, by 1991, was the Soviet Union itself, an artificial regime of brutal ideology superimposed upon the cultural entity of Mother Russia. It was a time for celebration.

But it was also a time to contemplate the precise nature of the change that had washed over the world and to ponder what that might mean for old institutions—including NATO, a defensive military alliance created to deter aggression from a menacing enemy to the east. Here’s where Western thinking went awry. Rather than accepting as a great benefit the favorable developments enhancing Western security—the Soviet military retreat, the territorial reversal, the Soviet demise—the West turned NATO into a territorial aggressor of its own, absorbing nations that had been part of the Soviet sphere of control and pushing right up to the Russian border. Now Leningrad (renamed St. Petersburg after the obliteration of the menace of Soviet communism) resides within a hundred miles of NATO military forces, while Moscow is merely 200 miles from Western troops.

Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has absorbed 13 nations, some on the Russian border, others bordering lands that had been part of Russia’s sphere of interest for centuries. This constitutes a policy of encirclement, which no nation can accept without protest or pushback. And if NATO were to absorb those lands of traditional Russian influence—particularly Ukraine and Georgia—that would constitute a major threat to Russian security, as Russian President Vladimir Putin has sought to emphasize to Western leaders for years.

So, no, NATO has not deterred Russian aggression for 70 years. It did so for 40 and has maintained a destabilizing posture toward Russia ever since. The problem here is the West’s inability to perceive how changed geopolitical circumstances might require a changed geopolitical strategy. The encirclement strategy has had plenty of critics—George Kennan before he died; academics John Mearsheimer, Stephen Walt, and Robert David English; former diplomat Jack Matlock; the editors of The Nation. But their voices have tended to get drowned out by the nostrum diplomacy and the nostrum journalism that supports it at every turn.

You can’t drown out Donald Trump because he’s president of the United States. And so he has to be traduced, ridiculed, dismissed, and marginalized. That’s what the Times story, by Julian Barnes and Helene Cooper, sought to do. Consider the lead, designed to emphasize just how outlandish Trump’s musings are before the reader even has a chance to absorb what he may have been thinking: “There are few things that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia desires more than the weakening of NATO, the military alliance among the United States, Europe and Canada that has deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.” Translation: “Take that, Mr. President! You’re an idiot.”

Henry Kissinger had something interesting to say about Trump in a recent interview with the Financial Times. “I think Trump may be one of those figures in history,” said the former secretary of state, “who appears from time to time to mark the end of an era and to force it to give up its old pretenses.” One Western pretense about Russia, so ardently enforced by the likes of Julian Barnes and Helene Cooper (who, it may be safe to say, know less about world affairs and their history than Henry Kissinger), is that nothing really changed with the Soviet collapse and NATO had to turn aggressive in order to keep that menacing nation in its place.

Trump clearly doesn’t buy that pretense. He said during the campaign that NATO was obsolete. Then he backtracked, saying he only wanted other NATO members to pay their fair share of the cost of deterrence. He even confessed, after Hillary Clinton identified NATO as “the strongest military alliance in the history of the world,” that he only said NATO was obsolete because he didn’t know much about it. But he was learning—enough, it appears, to support as president Montenegro’s entry into NATO in 2017. Is Montenegro, with 5,332 square miles and some 620,000 citizens, really a crucial element in Europe’s desperate project to protect itself against Putin’s Russia?

We all know that Trump is a crude figure—not just in his disgusting discourse but in his fumbling efforts to execute political decisions. As a politician, he often seems like a doctor attempting to perform open-heart surgery while wearing mittens. His idle musings about leaving NATO are a case in point—an example of a politician who lacks the skill and finesse to nudge the country in necessary new directions.

But Kissinger has a point about the man. America and the world have changed, while the old ways of thinking have not kept pace. The pretenses of the old have blinded the status quo defenders into thinking nothing has changed. Trump, almost alone among contemporary American politicians, is asking questions to which the world needs new answers. NATO, in its current configuration and outlook, is a danger to peace, not a guarantor of it.


Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington journalist and publishing executive, is the author most recently of President McKinley: Architect of the American Century

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Nigel Farage To Back Another “Vote Leave” Campaign If UK Holds Second Brexit Referendum

Nigel Farage said Friday that he would be willing to wage another “Vote Leave” campaign, even if he needed to use another party as the “vehicle” for his opposition.

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Via Zerohedge


Pro-European MPs from various political parties are pushing back against claims made by Prime Minister Theresa May’s government that a second Brexit referendum – which supporters have branded as a “People’s Vote” on May’s deal – would take roughly 14 months to organize, according to RT.

But while support for a second vote grows, one of the most notorious proponents of the original “Vote Leave” campaign is hinting at a possible return to politics to try and fight the effort.

After abandoning UKIP, the party he helped create, late last year, Nigel Farage said Friday that he would be willing to wage another “Vote Leave” campaign, even if he needed to use another party as the “vehicle” for his opposition. Farage also pointed out that a delay of Brexit Day would likely put it after the European Parliament elections in May.

“I think, I fear that the House of Commons is going to effectively overturn that Brexit. To me, the most likely outcome of all of this is an extension of Article 50. There could be another referendum,” he told Sky News.

According to official government guidance shown to lawmakers on Wednesday, which was subsequently leaked to the Telegraph, as May tries to head off a push by ministers who see a second referendum as the best viable alternative to May’s deal – a position that’s becoming increasingly popular with Labour Party MPs.

“In order to inform the discussions, a very short paper set out in factual detail the number of months that would be required, this was illustrative only and our position of course is that there will be no second referendum,,” May said. The statement comes as May has been meeting with ministers and leaders from all parties to try to find a consensus deal that could potentially pass in the House of Commons.

The 14 month estimate is how long May and her government expect it would take to pass the primary legislation calling for the referendum (seven months), conduct the question testing with the election committee (12 weeks), pass secondary legislation (six weeks) and conduct the campaigns (16 weeks).

May has repeatedly insisted that a second referendum wouldn’t be feasible because it would require a lengthy delay of Brexit Day, and because it would set a dangerous precedent that wouldn’t offer any more clarity (if some MPs are unhappy with the outcome, couldn’t they just push for a third referendum?). A spokesperson for No. 10 Downing Street said the guidance was produced purely for the purpose of “illustrative discussion” and that the government continued to oppose another vote.

Meanwhile, a vote on May’s “Plan B”, expected to include a few minor alterations from the deal’s previous iteration, has been called for Jan. 29, prompting some MPs to accuse May of trying to run out the clock. May is expected to present the new deal on Monday.

Former Tory Attorney General and pro-remainer MP Dominic Grieve blasted May’s timetable as wrong and said that the government “must be aware of it themselves,” while former Justice Minister Dr Phillip Lee, who resigned his cabinet seat in June over May’s Brexit policy, denounced her warning as “nonsense.”

As May pieces together her revised deal, more MPs are urging her to drop her infamous “red lines” (Labour in particular would like to see the UK remain part of the Customs Union), but with no clear alternative to May’s plan emerging, a delay of Brexit Day is looking like a virtual certainty.

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The National Security Agency Is A Criminal Organization

The National Security Agency values being able to blackmail citizens and members of government at home and abroad more than preventing terrorist attacks.

Paul Craig Roberts

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Via Paul Craig Roberts…


Years before Edward Snowden provided documented proof that the National Security Agency was really a national insecurity agency as it was violating law and the US Constitution and spying indiscriminately on American citizens, William Binney, who designed and developed the NSA spy program revealed the illegal and unconstitutional spying. Binney turned whistleblower, because NSA was using the program to spy on Americans. As Binney was well known to the US Congress, he did not think he needed any NSA document to make his case. But what he found out was “Congress would never hear me because then they’d lose plausible deniability. That was really their key. They needed to have plausible deniability so they can continue this massive spying program because it gave them power over everybody in the world. Even the members of Congress had power against others [in Congress]; they had power on judges on the Supreme Court, the federal judges, all of them. That’s why they’re so afraid. Everybody’s afraid because all this data that’s about them, the central agencies — the intelligence agencies — they have it. And that’s why Senator Schumer warned President Trump earlier, a few months ago, that he shouldn’t attack the intelligence community because they’ve got six ways to Sunday to come at you. That’s because it’s like J. Edgar Hoover on super steroids. . . . it’s leverage against every member of parliament and every government in the world.”

To prevent whistle-blowing, NSA has “a program now called ‘see something, say something’ about your fellow workers. That’s what the Stasi did. That’s why I call [NSA] the new New Stasi Agency. They’re picking up all the techniques from the Stasi and the KGB and the Gestapo and the SS. They just aren’t getting violent yet that we know of — internally in the US, outside is another story.”

As Binney had no documents to give to the media, blowing the whistle had no consequence for NSA. This is the reason that Snowden released the documents that proved NSA to be violating both law and the Constitution, but the corrupt US media focused blame on Snowden as a “traitor” and not on NSA for its violations.

Whistleblowers are protected by federal law. Regardless, the corrupt US government tried to prosecute Binney for speaking out, but as he had taken no classified document, a case could not be fabricated against him.

Binney blames the NSA’s law-breaking on Dick “Darth” Cheney. He says NSA’s violations of law and Constitution are so extreme that they would have to have been cleared at the top of the government.

Binney describes the spy network, explains that it was supposed to operate only against foreign enemies, and that using it for universal spying so overloads the system with data that the system fails to discover many terrorist activities. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50932.htm

Apparently, the National Security Agency values being able to blackmail citizens and members of government at home and abroad more than preventing terrorist attacks.

Unfortunately for Americans, there are many Americans who blindly trust the government and provide the means, the misuse of which is used to enslave us. A large percentage of the work in science and technology serves not to free people but to enslave them. By now there is no excuse for scientists and engineers not to know this. Yet they persist in their construction of the means to destroy liberty.

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