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US decline ongoing but it remains the undisputed military master

Despite widely held views, American regression has long been taking place.

Shane Quinn

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The United States’ decline can be traced as far back as 1949, when the world’s dominant power unexpectedly suffered the “loss” of China. It was a monumental early blow to US strategic planners, who were carefully executing dreams of unchallenged global dominance.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt had been “aiming at United States hegemony in the post-war world”, as the prominent British historian Geoffrey Warner outlined. Roosevelt was to die less than three weeks before Adolf Hitler shot himself in April 1945, yet such visions were carried forward with zeal.

In 1948 the well regarded US diplomat George Kennan said, “We have 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population. In this situation our real job in the coming period… is to maintain this position of disparity. To do so, we have to dispense with all sentimentality… we should cease thinking about human rights, the raising of the living standards and democratisation” – and we must “deal in straight power concepts”, while not being “hampered by idealistic slogans” about “altruism and work-benefaction”.

Kennan was considered one of the moderate “doves” in US planning circles. This unheralded sphere of conquest was called the Grand Area. Unfortunately for Kennan and colleagues, by the following year [1949], China removed itself from US control in an outcome sorely felt to present.

It occurred when the resurgent Communist Party of China, led by Mao Zedong, overran American-backed Nationalists (Kuomintang) in mainland China. It was an irreversible rout which saw many US sympathisers flee to Taiwan, an island about 700km east of Hong Kong.

The outcome prompted critics of the Harry Truman administration to describe it as “an avoidable catastrophe”. It was preventable in that they felt the US military should have been called upon.

For if a country has unscrupulous aspirations of global dominance, “losing China to Communism” is undoubtedly a catastrophe. It is a revealing term to “lose” a nation with a population at the time of 550 million people – and whose capital Beijing (then Peking) is more than 11,000 km from Washington. It stands as a revealing insight into imperialist planning, with similar dogmas prevailing to the current day.

As a young man Truman himself had written about his disregard for the “Chinaman”. Consequently, China’s exit from the US sphere of control grated severely. The American leader later wrote, “As long as I am president, if I can prevent it, that cut-throat organisation will never be recognised by us as the government of China”.

By the end of World War II, the US had long been the world’s richest country. The second global conflict finished off lingering effects of the Great Depression, with American industry increasing almost four-fold.

Critically, rivals like Germany, the USSR, Britain, China and Japan were all devastated from invasion, bombing or loss of life.

Christopher Tassava, Associate Director at Carleton College in Minnesota writes, “American leaders determined to make the United States the centre of the post-war world economy. American aid or “Marshall Plan” furthered this goal by tying the economic reconstruction of West Germany, France, Great Britain and Japan to American import and export needs, among other factors”.

With their key rivals further tied down to American financial power, the proceeding Cold War was directed against the USSR. In the Western mainstream this was framed as two equals going toe-to-toe – with the US defending earth from Communism’s ravages.

In truth the US was always the much stronger state, enjoying unprecedented wealth, security and scope. It was a level of power that even Hitler, with his wild ambitions for the world, may not have envisaged.

The Cold War comprised principally of efforts by both superpowers to implement and spread order in their realms of power. The US would control most of the world while the Soviets had to be content with eastern Europe. Things were to change before long, however.

In addition to “losing” China, by the 1950s south-east Asia was sliding from America’s grasp too. It eventually propagated the deadly conflicts in Vietnam and the rest of Indochina (1962-75).

Furthermore, there was the enormous bloodletting in the mid-1960s upon gaining control of “the greatest prize” that was Indonesia – as described by Richard Nixon. These Asian regions are still to recover fully from the effects of American-led aggression and influence.

By about 1975, the US share of global wealth had dropped to 25% – still huge – yet it stood at 50% a generation before. With Europe and Japanese-centric Asia gradually recovering and becoming less reliant on American influence, the industrial world was becoming “tripolar”.

In 1979, the US was dealt another hammer blow when Iranian nationalists overthrew the Western-backed dictatorship of the Shah. It is another “loss” that is continually felt, with Iran enduring almost unremitting American pressure ever sense.

Later, the Soviet Union’s demise in the early 1990s witnessed much nonsensical triumphalism from Western elites. There was talk of “a noble phase” and a final victory for “Western values” over the scourge of Communism.

In the post-USSR era, the old American pretexts of global defence from “Soviet aggression” could no longer be used to dupe the public. Now, the ruse put forward when illegally attacking other nations was “promoting democracy” and to defend “human rights and civilised values”, as Tony Blair put it.

The true reasons such as controlling resources and destroying independent nationalism remained unmentioned. Little attention was paid to the words of those like Harvard professor Samuel P. Huntington, who said in 1999 of the US, “In the eyes of many countries it is becoming the rogue superpower”, and “the single greatest threat to their societies”.

These views were confirmed by various international opinion polls this century, on the subject of “the greatest threat to world peace”.

With Western politicians publicly appraising themselves for the USSR’s downfall, it was not long after that the US was losing control of Latin America too. Subjected to brutal US-initiated conflicts and dictatorships for decades, the Latin American people were making serious efforts to rid themselves of outside control.

Some of this American decline has plainly been self-inflicted. Estimates suggest the disastrous George W. Bush-Barack Obama wars in the Middle East cost between $4 trillion to $6 trillion. Even to the planet’s richest nation, no laughing matter.

One of Osama bin Laden’s chief aims was to lure America into drawn-out conflicts, thereby inflicting financial ruin. Bin Laden continues to score victories from his watery grave. Now, current president Donald Trump is upping the ante in Afghanistan at a continued price. American troops are forecast to remain on Afghan soil for another decade.

It is worth remembering that the US still remains the unchallenged military master; no other country comes close to matching the might of its armed forces. The US military outlay is set to increase by over 10%, to $700 billion (its 2016 expenditure was $611 billion). Last year, China was second on the global arms list at $215 billion.

The incoming price is unlikely to affect the super wealthy, but tens of millions of Americans will again bear the brunt of a long-held plutocracy.

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New Satellite Images Reveal Aftermath Of Israeli Strikes On Syria; Putin Accepts Offer to Probe Downed Jet

The images reveal the extent of destruction in the port city of Latakia, as well as the aftermath of a prior strike on Damascus International Airport.

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Via Zerohedge


An Israeli satellite imaging company has released satellite photographs that reveal the extent of Monday night’s attack on multiple locations inside Syria.

ImageSat International released them as part of an intelligence report on a series of Israeli air strikes which lasted for over an hour and resulted in Syrian missile defense accidentally downing a Russian surveillance plane that had 15 personnel on board.

The images reveal the extent of destruction on one location struck early in attack in the port city of Latakia, as well as the aftermath of a prior strike on Damascus International Airport. On Tuesday Israel owned up to carrying out the attack in a rare admission.

Syrian official SANA news agency reported ten people injured in the attacks carried out of military targets near three major cities in Syria’s north.

The Times of Israel, which first reported the release of the new satellite images, underscores the rarity of Israeli strikes happening that far north and along the coast, dangerously near Russian positions:

The attack near Latakia was especially unusual because the port city is located near a Russian military base, the Khmeimim Air Force base. The base is home to Russian jet planes and an S-400 aerial defense system. According to Arab media reports, Israel has rarely struck that area since the Russians arrived there.

The Russian S-400 system was reportedly active during the attack, but it’s difficult to confirm or assess the extent to which Russian missiles responded during the strikes.

Three of the released satellite images show what’s described as an “ammunition warehouse” that appears to have been completely destroyed.

The IDF has stated their airstrikes targeted a Syrian army facility “from which weapons-manufacturing systems were supposed to be transferred to Iran and Hezbollah.” This statement came after the IDF expressed “sorrow” for the deaths of Russian airmen, but also said responsibility lies with the “Assad regime.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also phoned Russian President Vladimir Putin to express regret over the incident while offering to send his air force chief to Russia with a detailed report — something which Putin agreed to.

According to Russia’s RT News, “Major-General Amikam Norkin will arrive in Moscow on Thursday, and will present the situation report on the incident, including the findings of the IDF inquiry regarding the event and the pre-mission information the Israeli military was so reluctant to share in advance.”

Russia’s Defense Ministry condemned the “provocative actions by Israel as hostile” and said Russia reserves “the right to an adequate response” while Putin has described the downing of the Il-20 recon plane as likely the result of a “chain of tragic accidental circumstances” and downplayed the idea of a deliberate provocation, in contradiction of the initial statement issued by his own defense ministry.

Pro-government Syrians have reportedly expressed frustration this week that Russia hasn’t done more to respond militarily to Israeli aggression; however, it appears Putin may be sidestepping yet another trap as it’s looking increasingly likely that Israel’s aims are precisely geared toward provoking a response in order to allow its western allies to join a broader attack on Damascus that could result in regime change.

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“Transphobic” Swedish Professor May Lose Job After Noting Biological Differences Between Sexes

A university professor in Sweden is under investigation after he said that there are fundamental differences between men and women which are “biologically founded”

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Via Zerohedge


A university professor in Sweden is under investigation for “anti-feminism” and “transphobia” after he said that there are fundamental differences between men and women which are “biologically founded” and that genders cannot be regarded as “social constructs alone,” reports Academic Rights Watch.

For his transgression, Germund Hesslow – a professor of neuroscience at Lund University – who holds dual PhDs in philosophy and neurophysiology, may lose his job – telling RT that a “full investigation” has been ordered, and that there “have been discussions about trying to stop the lecture or get rid of me, or have someone else give the lecture or not give the lecture at all.”

“If you answer such a question you are under severe time pressure, you have to be extremely brief — and I used wording which I think was completely innocuous, and that apparently the student didn’t,” Hesslow said.

Hesslow was ordered to attend a meeting by Christer Larsson, chairman of the program board for medical education, after a female student complained that Hesslow had a “personal anti-feminist agenda.” He was asked to distance himself from two specific comments; that gay women have a “male sexual orientation” and that the sexual orientation of transsexuals is “a matter of definition.”

The student’s complaint reads in part (translated):

I have also heard from senior lecturers that Germund Hesslow at the last lecture expressed himself transfobically. In response to a question of transexuallism, he said something like “sex change is a fly”. Secondly, it is outrageous because there may be students during the lecture who are themselves exposed to transfobin, but also because it may affect how later students in their professional lives meet transgender people. Transpersonals already have a high level of overrepresentation in suicide statistics and there are already major shortcomings in the treatment of transgender in care, should not it be countered? How does this kind of statement coincide with the university’s equal treatment plan? What has this statement given for consequences? What has been done for this to not be repeated? –Academic Rights Watch

After being admonished, Hesslow refused to distance himself from his comments, saying that he had “done enough” already and didn’t have to explain and defend his choice of words.

At some point, one must ask for a sense of proportion among those involved. If it were to become acceptable for students to record lectures in order to find compromising formulations and then involve faculty staff with meetings and long letters, we should let go of the medical education altogether,” Hesslow said in a written reply to Larsson.

He also rejected the accusation that he had a political agenda – stating that his only agenda was to let scientific factnot new social conventions, dictate how he teaches his courses.

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Despite Pledge Not to, Germany Approves Sale of Arms to Saudi Arabia

Germany is the latest to renege on promises to ban weapons sales for use in the Yemen War.

The Duran

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Authored by Jason Ditz via AntiWar.com:


With Saudi Arabia forever escalating their war in Yemen, the growing calls by human rights groups to stop selling them arms with which to commit war crimes are struggling to compete with the vast sums of money the Saudis are offering for those arms.

Germany is the latest to renege on promises to ban weapons sales for use in the Yemen War, announcing Wednesday that the Economy Minister has greenlit a new round of artillery systems for sale to the Saudis.

The systems are designed for precise counterattack, and are clearly being bought explicitly to use in Yemen. Yet the Merkel government, as part of its coalition deal, announced a full export ban to “any sides fighting in Yemen,” including the Saudis.

While this was at the time supposed to be a condition of the Social Democrats joining the government. So far, Merkel has not explained why the sale was approved over the putative ban, and the Social Democrats have not complained either.

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