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Steve Bannon’s China Syndrome reveals America’s jealousy of a China that is ‘great again’

Steve Bannon made the controversial remarks shortly before he plans to speak in China.

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During Donald Trump’s successful campaign to become President of the United States, both Trump and his then adviser Steve Bannon spoke a great deal about the following:

–Increasing exports 

–Increasing the sales of US made products domestically 

–Increasing employment 

–Increasing the wages of the domestic workforce 

–Seeing trade in economic rather than ideological terms 

Now, Steve Bannon has criticised China for effectively implementing each of the items listed above. 

In a recent interview with the New York Times, the once and future king of the US media outlet Breitbart has delivered a morose, provocative and at times absurd assessment of modern China, all the while ignoring the elephant in the room. The elephant of course is the fact that ‘making America great again’, in many ways meant ‘making America more like China’.

Since the 1978 reforms of Deng Xiaoping, China has become an economic powerhouse. While much of China’s initial post-78 growth was based on exports, China is increasingly cultivating its affluent domestic consumer base, just as the United States did in the 1920s and even more so in the economic boom which hit the American domestic markets after 1945.

China’s immense industrial capacity has seen Chinese exports dominate world markets both because of their generally competitive prices as well as because of their increased quality. Whereas in 1990, ‘Made in China’ was often derided as a moniker which meant ‘not as good as German or Japanese made goods’. Increasingly, ‘Made in China’ is the world’s latest mark of excellence.

In terms of quality alone, many American electronics and car manufacturers had lost the race to Europe and East Asia dating back to the 1970s, when Toyotas and Volkswagens started becoming known as affordable cars that were durable while Mercedes-Benz and high quality German electronic brands such as Revox, outpaced their US rivals in terms of both quality and reliability.

As China was still a mostly agrarian economic for much of the 1970s and into the 1980s, one can hardly blame China for having outpaced not only the America of the 1950s and 1960s, but also the West Germany and Japan of the 1970s and 1980s.

One might even recall a time when the pro-US entity of Chinese Taipei (commonly referred to as Taiwan) was selling more to the US than China. Those days are gone. China may have started the race last, but it is finishing first.

These simple realities of global trade however, seem to imply something different to Steve Bannon. Bannon said the following about modern China,

“A hundred years from now, this is what they’ll remember — what we [it is not clear who ‘we’ is, in this context] did to confront China on its rise to world domination.

China right now is Germany in 1930. It’s on the cusp. It could go one way or the other. The younger generation is so patriotic, almost ultranationalistic”.

Bannon’s rant continued,

“China’s model for the past 25 years, it’s based on investment and exports. Who financed that? The American working class and middle class. You can’t understand Brexit or the 2016 events unless you understand that China exported their deflation, they exported their excess capacity.

“It’s not sustainable. Bannon declared. The reordering of the economic relationship is the central issue that has to be addressed, and only the U.S. can address it”.

There are several points of speculation on Bannon’s part which defy commonly understood fact. First of all, far from not being sustainable, China is developing cheap and highly effective green energy products, including solar technology, which is set to make China increasingly energy self-sufficient. China is also looking to set a date for the elimination of all cars which run on fossil fuels from its expanding roadways.

Even before one realises that China’s green technology is among the most export friendly sustainable energy product line in modern history, by cutting energy costs, China is already ahead of the US which has generally shunned sustainable energy, something which is increasingly apparent under Donald Trump.

The old argument that green technology is a money loser has been challenged by China and in this respect, China has defied the odds and made green energy both efficient and cost effective.

Secondly, China’s One Belt–One Road seeks to build on China’s export strengths by modernising and harmonising the mechanisms of world trade across both growing and flourishing economies. China has poured investment into parts of South Asia and Africa while the Middle East and South East Asia look to similarly benefit from injections of Chinese cash.

One Belt–One Road is a project that seeks to pool the strengths of all participating economies in order for each member state to attain unique benefits based on the specific needs of individual economies.

Crucially, unlike western backed trade initiatives, One Belt–One Road does not require participating states to change their internal socio-economic traditions, nor are there any demands to alter the nature of domestic governance. One Belt–One Road therefore derives its strength from its flexibility and anti-ideological nature.

While China does depend on the US as a major export market, the expanding nature of new trading markets means that in many ways, the US relies on China more than China relies on the US. In respect of the US, entire industries in both the manufacturing and service sectors depend on a reliable influx of Chinese goods. China likewise has purchased substantial amounts of US sovereign debt. It was the US which sold this to China, no one’s hand was forced in respect of such an arrangement.

Far from being un-sustainable, the prospect of China’s further growth seems to frighten individuals like Bannon who seek the markets of South East Asia, South Asia and Africa for themselves even though at this point the US has increasingly little to offer such markets.

Thirdly, the fact that China’s workforce is becoming increasingly wealthy and patriotic frightens Bannon which is ironic as Bannon has been accused of being an ‘ultranationalist’ himself. That being said, calling Bannon and the youth of China ‘ultra-nationalist’ is equally inaccurate. Bannon is something of a patriotic American and many Chinese are patriotic about their own country. There’s nothing extraordinary nor dangerous about this fact.

In respect of the South China Sea, it is clearly not an America issue to settle. It is between the states of South East Asia and their Chinese neighbour to the north. Already Philippines has made great strides on reaching an amicable settlement with China under the leadership of Rodrigo Duterte. This has led China to hail a ‘golden period’ of good relations between Beijing and Manila.

The major obstacle towards settling lingering territorial issues in the South China Sea is Vietnam, but even Vietnam’s number one trading partner is China. Ultimately, it ought to be up to a country that has good relations with both China and Vietnam to settle lingering issues and the natural choice for such a mediator is Russia, certainly not the United States.

The truth is that Deng Xiaoping along with his successors did in fact make one of the world’s oldest civilisations ‘great again’. The task of turning a  20th century China ravaged by multiple political changes, Japanese aggression and a difficult post-war period, into the economic powerhouse it is today, was a monumental endeavour.

By contrast, ‘making American great again’, while challenging, cannot be compared to Deng’s economic revolution which has catapulted China to the forefront of 21st century economic growth.

When all is said and done, perhaps the real reason that Steve Bannon seeks to undermine China is due to jealousy and little more.

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seby
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seby

The Chinese (and Russia) now know that tRump is a ponzi scheme the American people have bought and on foreign policy he is repubelican bush the III.

Nothing bambam bannon can say that will change their minds about the “fred flintstone” with greying orange hair.

GeorgeG
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GeorgeG

We have Bannon and we have China. Bannon is so stupid… one would be tempted to say that it defies belief, but nothing out of the US of A defies belief. “Bannon is something of a patriotic American…”? “Something” is nothing: Bannon is a bitterly nostalgic hegemon whose strategic brain is missing so many marbles that he doesn’t even know that it was the very same American companies whose stocks are momentarily on the rise which robbed the US middle class (which is now supposed to be happy at the exuberant “confidence” the stock prices show) looking for cheap labor… Read more »

Rastislav Veľká Morava
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Rastislav Veľká Morava

Fact: China is a communist country a dictatorship. It is severely polluted and is dependent on exports, and thereby also tied to the Western Global Banking Elite. Fact: The are record outflows from China to 5 eyes countries like Canada, Australia, West coast USA where they are buying up residential real estate and Apartments in a frenzy, desperate get their money out of China. That alone is not a sign of a healthy country, and you do not see this magnitude per capita) of outflows from anywhere else. That being said , this is no guarantee that the USA will… Read more »

tiger
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tiger

Your China book is out of date, Rasti. China is no longer a “communist…dictatorship”; it’s a mixed economy, admittedly with strong govt controls. The outflows are proof of strong capitalist activity, buying relatively cheap assets abroad (though the govt is now restricting this speculation). This is mimicked in the West by various corporations and individuals. US manufacturing, except for a few industries – weapons, farm & construction equipment, etc is hopelessly outdated. The US economy has financialised, making ephemeral profits for the few, destroying the middle class and increasing poverty. Most consumer goods are imported from China, which now has… Read more »

Rastislav Veľká Morava
Member
Rastislav Veľká Morava

Where I currently am in one of the so called five eyes Anglo Countries, I am practically in China, living among a 85+% Mandarin speaking majority. The establishment locals here have sold out their neighbourhoods to them, as well….Anything for a buck.

China is a one party system dictatorship with majority industries state owned, (directly or indirectly) and rampant pollution, hence the massive exodus of capital and searching for safe havens in the west.

Gonzogal
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Gonzogal

I think you will appreciate this analysis of Bannon’s interview on 60 Minutes

GeorgeG
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GeorgeG

Many thanks for the analysis. For me, its main usefulness is the video-audio repetition of what Bannon said, which makes it incumbent on the reader/viewer to pay close attention and start asking questions. I like slow food, and I like slow reading. The body-language analysis is then mostly icing on the cake: When Bannon says McConnel insisted he didn’t want to hear the “drain the swamp” stuff, Bannon dropped his eyes. The analyst says Bannon is not entirely lying here, but he is not telling the whole truth, or he is dodging. Maybe the quote on “drain the swamp” is… Read more »

Suzanne Giraud
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Suzanne Giraud

In regards to Bannon’s knowledge of ‘money’: he once worked for Goldman Sachs. “From his Wall Street roots and apocalyptic film career to his cultivation of alt-right bigots at Breitbart News” per this TeleSUR video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HelSaMSy8HY:

worldblee
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worldblee

Preach, Adam!

K Pomeroy
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K Pomeroy

Mr. Garrie, I generally like your articles, because you leap to conclusions that are often correct. But the premise of this one is a little too cute. Believe me, making America great again cannot possibly mean to any American making our country more like China. If Washington were nuked, for example, I’d much rather be taken over by Russia than China. China is totalitarian. They have forced entire villages to move out of mountainous regions into soulless government-built cities covered with white porcelain tile. They invaded and savaged Tibet, a formerly independent country, murdering hundreds of thousands and destroying the… Read more »

GeorgeG
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GeorgeG

Might be a reading problem.

K Pomeroy
Guest
K Pomeroy

Hi GeorgeG. In case you meant a reading problem on my part, that would be fair. I’m like Eric Zuesse, who says once he reads a false sentence, he can’t read any further. Since Eric Zuesse said this in response to one of my own articles, I wrote him back saying I tend to do the same, but that it’s a bad habit, and I would try to change. I guess I haven’t changed. I stopped reading Garrie’s article after the first paragraph. Looking back over it now, I see Garrie was referring to China’s economic statistics, and not to… Read more »

Franz Kafka
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Franz Kafka

Sophistry.

K Pomeroy
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K Pomeroy

Hi Kafka. Or should I say hello … ?? My 1929 edition of Websters says sophistry means captious or fallacious reasoning. Since my comment was anecdotal (a confession, in fact) and didn’t involve any reasoning, I don’t know how to interpret your sophistry charge. Unless of course you were accusing Garrie of sophistry, in which case, well … ?!

Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

fkoff

K Pomeroy
Guest
K Pomeroy

What on earth have I said to offend you? Thought I was being friendly.

Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

I take that back then. Sorry if I have you wrong. I have just been through a full frontal kvetching by Zionists. It set me on edge.

K Pomeroy
Guest
K Pomeroy

Understand how they can get to you. Please excuse the photo I edited in. I guess things got to me too.

stevek9
Guest
stevek9

‘Not sustainable’ has nothing to do with Green. It means exchanging dollars for real goods … forever. That is presumably not sustainable.

Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

Another brilliant economic and strategic analysis by the uniquely talented and prescient Adam Garrie. I hope to see him on Cross Talk more frequently now that they are back from much-earned holidays and co-hosting the BRICS media conference. Comments like the one below by @KPomeroy show a typical, American cognitive dissonance and an ahistorical frame of reference which is as suspect as it is highly self-serving. Bannon and his fellow historically vacuous Americans have something they are hiding: Their enormous guilt before the Third World which Kissinger consigned to annihilation with the words: “The chief task of the USA is… Read more »

pogohere
Guest

Do you have a source for: “Kissinger consigned [the Third World] to annihilation with the words: “The chief task of the USA is now the depopulation of the Third World.” Thanks.

Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

National Security Memo 200, dated April 24, 1974, and titled
“Implications of world wide population growth for U.S. security &
overseas interests,” says:

“Dr. Henry Kissinger proposed in his memorandum to the NSC that
“depopulation should be the highest priority of U.S. foreign policy
towards the Third World.” He quoted reasons of national security, and
because `(t)he U.S. economy will require large and increasing amounts of
minerals from abroad, especially from less-developed countries …
Wherever a lessening of population can increase the prospects for such
stability, population policy becomes relevant to resources, supplies and
to the economic interests of U.S.

pogohere
Guest

So far I have tracked the quote you cited, and have instituted a search for, to:

National Commission on. Materials Policy, “Towards a National Materials Policy: Basic Data and Issues, An Interim Report” (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, April 1972)

I have not found the quote (yet) in “National Security Memo 200, dated April 24, 1974, and titled “Implications of world wide population growth for U.S. security & overseas interests,”

If you have a page number or other identifier in the latter document, I would appreciate it if you’d share that.

Thanks for the source(s).

DianeKNewman
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DianeKNewman

Google pays now $99 to each worker for working on computer.You can also avail this.
on sunday I got a great new Ford Mustang from having made $9388 this – 5 weeks past . it’s certainly my favourite-job Ive ever done . I actually started 6 months ago and almost immediately started bringin in more than $99 per-hour . look at here
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Punisher 1
Guest
Punisher 1

“By contrast, ‘making American great again’, while challenging, cannot be compared to Deng’s economic revolution which has catapulted China to the forefront of 21st century economic growth.”

While in amount of work to be done you are correct. But in the ability to make the changes needed to get the job done. In that China was/is much better off. They are able to force those changes ,even if the “establishment” opposes them. In the US it appears its not possible to get “anything” positive done.And the “state” isn’t united to even try to make the changes needed.

Matt Hol
Guest
Matt Hol

Hes totally wrong on who financed it. It was internal mostly. Nothing from the US middle class. The EU is Chinas biggest trade partner, not US

Kenny Lee
Guest
Kenny Lee

Making China the bogeyman as an impediment for MAGA is a preparation for shifting blame for the oncoming failing domestic social engineering programs. Deep State, MIC and certain Globalist want concessions from China. Mutual reciprocity in trade and commerce is imbalanced favoring China, but whose fault is that? No one made any foreign manufacturer by threat of violence, to build factories and transfer technology to China. If anything it’s America’s financial elites along with the pertinent governing bodies of the American government who made all those imbalanced trade deals thereby enriching themselves at the expense of domestic American factory workers.… Read more »

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Fake news media FREAK OUT over Trump and NATO (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 172.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the media meltdown over remarks that U.S. President Trump may have made with regard to NATO, and how neo-liberal war hawks championing the alliance as some sort of foreign policy projection of peace and democracy, are really just supporting aggression, war, and the eventual weakening of the United States.

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Top 10 Reasons Not to Love NATO, Authored by David Swanson:


The New York Times loves NATO, but should you?

Judging by comments in social media and the real world, millions of people in the United States have gone from having little or no opinion on NATO, or from opposing NATO as the world’s biggest military force responsible for disastrous wars in places like Afghanistan (for Democrats) or Libya (for Republicans), to believing NATO to be a tremendous force for good in the world.

I believe this notion to be propped up by a series of misconceptions that stand in dire need of correction.

1. NATO is not a war-legalizing body, quite the opposite. NATO, like the United Nations, is an international institution that has something or other to do with war, but transferring the UN’s claimed authority to legalize a war to NATO has no support whatsoever in reality. The crime of attacking another nation maintains an absolutely unaltered legal status whether or not NATO is involved. Yet NATO is used within the U.S. and by other NATO members as cover to wage wars under the pretense that they are somehow more legal or acceptable. This misconception is not the only way in which NATO works against the rule of law. Placing a primarily-U.S. war under the banner of NATO also helps to prevent Congressional oversight of that war. Placing nuclear weapons in “non-nuclear” nations, in violation of the Nonproliferation Treaty, is also excused with the claim that the nations are NATO members (so what?). And NATO, of course, assigns nations the responsibility to go to war if other nations go to war — a responsibility that requires them to be prepared for war, with all the damage such preparation does.

2. NATO is not a defensive institution. According to the New York Times, NATO has “deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.” This is an article of faith, based on the unsubstantiated belief that Soviet and Russian aggression toward NATO members has existed for 70 years and that NATO has deterred it rather than provoked it. In violation of a promise made, NATO has expanded eastward, right up to the border of Russia, and installed missiles there. Russia has not done the reverse. The Soviet Union has, of course, ended. NATO has waged aggressive wars far from the North Atlantic, bombing Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Libya. NATO has added a partnership with Colombia, abandoning all pretense of its purpose being in the North Atlantic. No NATO member has been attacked or credibly threatened with attack, apart from small-scale non-state blowback from NATO’s wars of aggression.

3. Trump is not trying to destroy NATO. Donald Trump, as a candidate and as U.S. President, has wondered aloud and even promised all kinds of things and, in many cases, the exact opposite as well. When it comes to actions, Trump has not taken any actions to limit or end or withdraw from NATO. He has demanded that NATO members buy more weapons, which is of course a horrible idea. Even in the realm of rhetoric, when European officials have discussed creating a European military, independent of the United States, Trump has replied by demanding that they instead support NATO.

4. If Trump were trying to destroy NATO, that would tell us nothing about NATO. Trump has claimed to want to destroy lots of things, good and bad. Should I support NAFTA or corporate media or the Cold War or the F35 or anything at all, simply because some negative comment about it escapes Trump’s mouth? Should I cheer for every abuse ever committed by the CIA or the FBI because they investigate Trump? Should I long for hostility between nuclear-armed governments because Democrats claim Trump is a Russian agent? When Trump defies Russia to expand NATO, or to withdraw from a disarmament treaty or from an agreement with Iran, or to ship weapons to Ukraine, or to try to block Russian energy deals in Europe, or to oppose Russian initiatives on banning cyber-war or weapons in space, should I cheer for such consistent defiance of Trump’s Russian master, and do so simply because Russia is, so implausibly, his so-inept master? Or should I form my own opinion of things, including of NATO?

5. Trump is not working for, and was not elected by, Russia.According to the New York Times, “Russia’s meddling in American elections and its efforts to prevent former satellite states from joining the alliance have aimed to weaken what it views as an enemy next door, the American officials said.” But are anonymous “American officials” really needed to acquire Russia’s openly expressed opinion that NATO is a threatening military alliance that has moved weapons and troops to states on Russia’s border? And has anyone produced the slightest documentation of the Russian government’s aims in an activity it has never admitted to, namely “meddling in American elections,” — an activity the United States has of course openly admitted to in regard to Russian elections? We have yet to see any evidence that Russia stole or otherwise acquired any of the Democratic Party emails that documented that party’s rigging of its primary elections in favor of Clinton over Sanders, or even any claim that the tiny amount of weird Facebook ads purchased by Russians could possibly have influenced the outcome of anything. Supposedly Trump is even serving Russia by demanding that Turkey not attack Kurds. But is using non-military means to discourage Turkish war-making necessarily the worst thing? Would it be if your favorite party or politician did it? If Trump encouraged a Turkish war, would that also be a bad thing because Trump did it, or would it be a bad thing for substantive reasons?

6. If Trump were elected by and working for Russia, that would tell us nothing about NATO. Imagine if Boris Yeltsin were indebted to the United States and ended the Soviet Union. Would that tell us whether ending the Soviet Union was a good thing, or whether the Soviet Union was obsolete for serious reasons? If Trump were a Russian pawn and began reversing all of his policies on Russia to match that status, including restoring his support for the INF Treaty and engaging in major disarmament negotiations, and we ended up with a world of dramatically reduced military spending and nuclear armaments, with the possibility of all dying in a nuclear apocalypse significantly lowered, would that too simply be a bad thing because Trump?

7. Russia is not a military threat to the world. That Russia would cheer NATO’s demise tells us nothing about whether we should cheer too. Numerous individuals and entities who indisputably helped to put Trump in the White House would dramatically oppose and others support NATO’s demise. We can’t go by their opinions either, since they don’t all agree. We really are obliged to think for ourselves. Russia is a heavily armed militarized nation that commits the crime of war not infrequently. Russia is a top weapons supplier to the world. All of that should be denounced for what it is, not because of who Russia is or who Trump is. But Russia spends a tiny fraction of what the United States does on militarism. Russia has been reducing its military spending each year, while the United States has been increasing its military spending. U.S. annual increases have sometimes exceeded Russia’s entire military budget. The United States has bombed nine nations in the past year, Russia one. The United States has troops in 175 nations, Russia in 3. Gallup and Pew find populations around the world viewing the United States, not Russia, as the top threat to peace in the world. Russia has asked to join NATO and the EU and been rejected, NATO members placing more value on Russia as an enemy. Anonymous U.S. military officials describe the current cold war as driven by weapons profits. Those profits are massive, and NATO now accounts for about three-quarters of military spending and weapons dealing on the globe.

8. Crimea has not been seized. According to the New York Times, “American national security officials believe that Russia has largely focused on undermining solidarity between the United States and Europe after it annexed Crimea in 2014. Its goal was to upend NATO, which Moscow views as a threat.” Again we have an anonymous claim as to a goal of a government in committing an action that never occurred. We can be fairly certain such things are simply made up. The vote by the people of Crimea to re-join Russia is commonly called the Seizure of Crimea. This infamous seizure is hard to grasp. It involved a grand total of zero casualties. The vote itself has never been re-done. In fact, to my knowledge, not a single believer in the Seizure of Crimea has ever advocated for re-doing the vote. Coincidentally, polling has repeatedly found the people of Crimea to be happy with their vote. I’ve not seen any written or oral statement from Russia threatening war or violence in Crimea. If the threat was implicit, there remains the problem of being unable to find Crimeans who say they felt threatened. (Although I have seen reports of discrimination against Tartars during the past 4 years.) If the vote was influenced by the implicit threat, there remains the problem that polls consistently get the same result. Of course, a U.S.-backed coup had just occurred in Kiev, meaning that Crimea — just like a Honduran immigrant — was voting to secede from a coup government, by no means an action consistently frowned upon by the United States.

9. NATO is not an engaged alternative to isolationism. The notion that supporting NATO is a way to cooperate with the world ignores superior non-deadly ways to cooperate with the world. A nonviolent, cooperative, treaty-joining, law-enforcing alternative to the imperialism-or-isolationism trap is no more difficult to think of or to act on than treating drug addiction or crime or poverty as reason to help people rather than to punish them. The opposite of bombing people is not ignoring them. The opposite of bombing people is embracing them. By the standards of the U.S. communications corporations Switzerland must be the most isolationist land because it doesn’t join in bombing anyone. The fact that it supports the rule of law and global cooperation, and hosts gatherings of nations seeking to work together is simply not relevant.

10. April 4 belongs to Martin Luther King, Jr., not militarism. War is a leading contributor to the growing global refugee and climate crises, the basis for the militarization of the police, a top cause of the erosion of civil liberties, and a catalyst for racism and bigotry. A growing coalition is calling for the abolition of NATO, the promotion of peace, the redirection of resources to human and environmental needs, and the demilitarization of our cultures. Instead of celebrating NATO’s 70thanniversary, we’re celebrating peace on April 4, in commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech against war on April 4, 1967, as well as his assassination on April 4, 1968.

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Turkey prepared to take Syria’s Manbij, won’t let it turn into ‘swamp’ like N. Iraq

Turkey sees the US-backed Kurdish YPG militias as an extension of the PKK and considers them terrorists as well.

RT

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Ankara has “almost completed” preparations for another military operation in Syria and will launch it if “promises” made by other parties about the protection of its borders are not kept, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.

Turkey still hopes that talks with the US, Russia and “other parties” will allow it to ensure its security without resorting to force but it is still ready to proceed with a military option and will not “wait forever,” Erdogan said. He was referring to Ankara’s plans for the northern Syrian territories east of the Euphrates River, which it seeks to turn into a “security zone”free of any Kurdish militias.

“We are on our border with our forces and following developments closely. If promises made to us are kept and the process goes on, that’s fine. Otherwise, we inform that we have almost completed our preparations and will take steps in line with our own strategy,” the president said, addressing a group of businessmen in Ankara on Monday.

He did not elaborate on the promises made. However, they are apparently linked to the withdrawal of the Kurdish YPG militia from the Manbij area and the regions along the border with Turkey. “We will never allow a safe zone to turn into a new swamp,” Erdogan said, referring to the northern Syrian territories and comparing them to the northern Iraq, where the militants from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) – an organization that Ankara considers a terrorist group – have been entrenched for decades.

Turkey sees the US-backed Kurdish YPG militias, which form the backbone of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as an extension of the PKK and considers them terrorists as well. “Our proposal for a security zone under Turkey’s control aims to keep terror organizations away from our borders,” the Turkish president said.

He went on to explain that Ankara does not seek any territorial gains in its military campaigns in Syria but merely seeks to restore order in the war-ravaged country. “We will provide security for Manbij and then we will hand over the city to its real owners,” Erdogan said. “Syria belongs to Syrians.”

Turkey also seeks to establish a “security zone 20 miles [32 kilometers] deep” into Syria, Erdogan said, adding that he already discussed this issue with the US President Donald Trump. “Those who insistently want to keep us away from these regions are seeking to strengthen terror organizations,” he added.

Ankara has been long planning to push YPG units out of the area east of the Euphrates River. Its operation was delayed by the US withdrawal from Syria. However, Erdogan repeatedly hinted that his patience is wearing thin and he is not ready to wait much longer. He warned Trump against backtracking on his pledge to withdraw some 2,000 US forces out of Syria following a suicide attack in Manbij that killed four Americans. If the US president halted the withdrawal, it would mean that Islamic State (formerly ISIS/ISIL) had won, Erdogan argued.

He has also reiterated that Turkey is ready to take over Manbij “without delay.” The US military is currently working on security arrangements with the Turkish forces to create a buffer zone between Turkey and the Kurdish fighters. The Kurds, meanwhile, invited the Syrian government to take over the city and have reportedly begun to leave the area. Turkey has dismissed the reports saying its a “psyop”.

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Political Knives Dull Themselves on the Rock of Brexit Article 50

The invocation of Article 50 was undertaken by an act of Parliament. And it will take another act of Parliament to undo it.

Strategic Culture Foundation

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Authored Tom Luongo via Strategic Culture Foundation:


Theresa “The Gypsum Lady” May went through an extraordinary twenty-four hours. First, seeing her truly horrific Brexit deal go down in historic defeat and then, somehow, surviving a ‘No-Confidence’ vote which left her in a stronger position than before it.

It looks like May rightly calculated that the twenty or so Tory Remainers would put party before the European Union as their personal political positions would be terminally weakened if they voted her out of office.

While there is little stomach in the British Parliament for a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, there is less for allowing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to become Prime Minister. And that is the crux of why the incessant calls to delay Brexit, call for a ‘people’s vote’ or, in Corbyn’s case, “take a no-deal Brexit off the table,’ ultimately lead to a whole lot of political knife-fighting and very little substantive action.

The day-to-day headline spam is designed to wear down people’s resistance and make it feel like Brexit getting betrayed is inevitable. That has been the British Deep State’s and EU’s game plan all along and they hoped they could arm-twist enough people in parliament to succeed.

But the problem for them now, since the clock has nearly run out, is the invocation of Article 50 was undertaken by an act of Parliament. And it will take another act of Parliament to undo it.

And I don’t see anyone on the Remainer side working towards that end. That should be your clue as to what happens next.

Why? Because they know they don’t have the time to get that act past Parliament. So, the rest of this is simply a PR campaign to push public opinion far enough to allow for an illegal canceling or postponing of Brexit.

But it’s not working.

According to the latest polls, Brits overwhelmingly want the original Brexit vote respectedLeave even has a 5-6 point lead over Remain.

And, I think Theresa May now realizes this. It is why she invited the no-confidence vote against her. She knew she had the votes and it would give her the ammunition to ignore Corbyn’s hysterical ranting about taking a no-deal Brexit off the table.

Whether she realizes that the only negotiating tool she has with the EU is the threat of a No-Deal Brexit, exactly like Nigel Farage and those committed to Brexit have been telling her for two years is still, however, up in the air.

It looks like she’s finally starting to get it.

The net result is we are seeing a similar outing of the nefarious, behind-the-scenes, power brokers in the public eye similar to what’s been happening in the US with Donald Trump and Russiagate.

May has been singularly unimpressive in her handling of Brexit. I’ve been convinced from the beginning that betraying Brexit was always her goal. Negotiating a deal unacceptable to anyone was meant to exhaust everyone into the position to just throwing up their hands and canceling the whole thing.

The EU has been in the driver’s seat the entire time because most of the British establishment has been on their side and it was only the people who needed to be disrespected.

So, after all of these shananigans we are back to where we were last week. May has cut off all avenues of discussion. She won’t commit to taking ‘no-deal’ off the table to tweak Corbyn. She won’t substantively move on any other issue. This is likely to push her deal through as a last-minute panic move.

Corbyn is still hoping to get new elections to take power, and the majority of MP’s who don’t want to leave the EU keep fighting among themselves to cock up the entire works.

All they are doing is expending pound after pound of political capital beating themselves against their own act of Parliament which goes into effect on March 29th.

By the time that date comes around the frustration, shame and humiliation of how Parliament has mishandled Brexit will make it difficult for a lot of Remainers to hold together their majority as public opinion has decidedly turned against them.

In the past the EU has had that façade of democratic support undermining any change at the political level. With Brexit (and with budget talks in Italy) that is not the case. The people are angry.

The peak moment for Remainers to stage a bipartisan political coup against May should have been the most recent no-confidence vote.

With May surviving that it implies that Remainers are not willing to die politically for their cause.

This should begin to see defectors over the next couple of weeks as they realize they don’t have a hand to play either.

And by May refusing to rule out a ‘no-deal’ Brexit it has finally brought the EU around to throw a bone towards the British. Their admitting they would extend Article 50 is just that. But they know that’s a non-starter as that is the one thing May has been steadfast in holding to.

On March 29th with or without a deal the U.K. is out of the EU. Because despite the European Court of Justice’s decision, Britain’s parliament can only cancel Article 50 at this point by acting illegally.

Not that I would put that past these people, but then that opens up a can of worms that most British MP’s will not go along with. The personal stakes are simply too high.

When dealing with politicians, never bet against their vanity or their pocketbook. In May’s case she may finally have realized she could have the legacy of getting Britain out of the EU just before it collapses.

And all she has to do between now and the end of March is, precisely, nothing.

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