Sunday, April 29, 2018

A Snake in a Net

If the Russians wanted to sow chaos in the US via the 2016 election, they succeeded beyond their wildest hopes: the president, who is theoretically the most powerful man in the world, is like a snake caught in a net, able to move about, but unable to escape the net, writhing desperately, via Twitter, as his handlers look for any way to eliminate him, whether for fornication, money-laundering, or more importantly, cozying up to Russia. As the Mueller investigation of the Trump campaign for ‘collusion’ with an ‘adversary’ appears to be wrapping up, American newscasters no longer bother to preface their accusations against Russia with any qualifying language, such as ‘So-and so claims’ or ‘Evidence appears to point to’. They simply declare as fact that ‘Russia poisoned a former KGB agent and his daughter in Great Britain’. They ‘wonder’ in feigned puzzlement what the Russian president might have thought he would gain by ordering an attack on foreign soil, but fail to report Russian assurances that had Novichok really been used, anyone touched by it would be dead.
So determined are the US and its allies to build a case for war with Russia that they appear indifferent to the possibility that this might lead to the end of human life on earth. As part of this charade, Britain’s Foreign Secretary announced that his country has no quarrel with the Russian people, claiming that ‘They are not surrounded’. But that claim, suggesting that this is a false Russian belief, was strictly for domestic consumption. Russians know that their western borders, from the Baltic to the Black Sea, are lined with NATO troops, tanks and missiles, while many Brits — like many Americans — do not.
The fact that Prime Minister Theresa May mounted a vigorous campaign among NATO countries to ensure that they would join her in expelling Russian officials in retaliation for the Skripal poisoning, does not mean that the British public is aware of NATO’s actions on the ground. Europeans, however, are aware that their troops have moved (or rather been moved) steadily eastward, since the dissolution of the Communist military alliance, the Warsaw Pact, in the early nineties. That awareness is attested by the small number of Russians each of them expelled, for a total of about a hundred. (There are 28 countries in the European Union, eight of which — Portugal, Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Malta, Slovakia, Slovenia and Luxembourg — failed to expel any.)
For France, Germany and the others to expel a handful of diplomats each, is, after all, a small price to pay for the continuing ‘protection’ of NATO against a neighbor with whom all do business. During Angela Merkel’s three hour trip to Washington to talk business she artfully assured a journalist that when she declared several months ago that Europe had to start taking matters into their own hands as Europeans she meant that it had to beef up its contributions to NATO and not expect the US to foot the costs of their protection. This, on the heels of Macron’s insistence that Trump not trash the crucial treaty with Iran, and pundits warned that doing so would demonstrate to Kim the futility of entering into agreements with the US.
 Suddenly, these nuances seemed irrelevant, as the presidents of the two Koreas embraced on the demarcation line and proceeded to enjoy a formal dinner with their spouses, as if there had not been 70 years of strife between them, aided and abetted by the US. Newscasters emphasized the uncertainty of the ultimate outcome of the rapprochement, attributing what was obviously a heartfelt North-South reunion to President Trump’s sanctions, and almost betting that Kim would renege on his promise to denuclearize. However, it apparently did not occur to them that it was Little Rocket Man who had pursued the superior strategy, forcing the US to ‘come to the table’ by demonstrating that he could hit any American city.  
Giving credit where it is due, even a snake in a net recognizes that.  

Friday, April 27, 2018

Conflicting Media Attitudes Toward News

Today's news reminded me of the nineteen-seventies call for a New World Information Order by Third World leaders.  Their case for responsible reporting was rudely rebuffed by the West, which still clings to the fallacy that the media is a watchdog over government, while resisting any notion of 'governmental control over it.  Since the birth of internet news sites, this stance, while appearing to correspond to the highest ideals, has been exposed as a sham.

The battle between Western notions of news, which was gradually imposed on corporate news entities around the world, and a burgeoning internet free-for-all has failed thus far to modify the underlying assumptions that color news reports in the US as opposed to other 'western' nations, such as France, for example.

Today's reports on the historic encounter between the leaders of North and South Korea provide a stunning example of these fundamental differences.  In the US, the emphasis has consistently been 'let's not let our hopes run away with us: we've seen all this before'.  Francd 24, meanwhile, revealed the details of the statement published by the two sides, which enumerates the many ways in which they plan to cooperate.

The differences are so stark as to force the question: Is the US emphasis on low expectations and 'bad news' part of the overall charade consistently played out by American leaders to the effect that things are rarely as good as they seem, implying constant readiness on the US's part to demonstrate that it is the 'indispensable nation', by stepping in at the slightest hint of discord anywhere?

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Will Trump Resign?

This morning on the most-watched ‘talk show’ the brilliant California lawyer for the sex worker Stormy Daniels, Michael Avenatti, who has been impressing television audiences since the start of that spotlight case, mentioned that he had often predicted that ‘Trump will not finish his term’.  That prompted me to look up the articles in which I had predicted that the president would resign. Here are the links:, my-take-on-trump.html,,  (All of these links work, even though not all turned blue…).
Avenatti’s prediction followed a recording of the President saying things on an earlier morning show that basically guaranteed he could be accused of perjury by the Special Counsel.  It appeared to show the President contradicting himself in such a flagrant manner about the Stormy Daniels affair that he could no longer escape serious legal implications.  After claiming for weeks that he knew nothing about a payment to the young women accompanied by an agreement that she would not talk about her affair with Trump a few days before the election, this morning he blurted out that Michael Cohen, a sometime lawyer, but mainly ‘fixer’ for the president, “represented me on that cray Stormy Daniels affair”.
The French President’s stunning address to a joint session of Congress yesterday doesn’t stand a chance of being held over today for further analysis (which it richly deserves), preparations for the upcoming meeting between Trump and Kim Jong Un are relegated to an inside page, as newscasters discuss the extent of the President’s blunder.  (Yesterday, in an unprecedented move, Cohen announced he was ‘taking the fifth’ meaning the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution which reads “No person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself,” which allows persons accused of a crime to refuse to answer questions in court. This appears to be the first time that a lawyer to the President of the United States has ‘taken the Fifth’, and the media is falling all over itself with glee.
As the official White House doctor, a youngish Admiral in the US Navy who has served under three presidents, withdraws his nomination to head the largest federal agency, ‘Veterans Affairs’, after being accused of various kinds of bad behavior, the President, who offered him the job because he likes him, is looking increasingly like a cartoon character. Simultaneously, the stunning congressional address yesterday by France’s youngest president, Emanuel Macron, filled with references to America’s great leaders, was the sharpest counterpoint anyone could imagine to the cartoonish White House occupant.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Macron Stars on Capitol Hill

Since returning to the US in 2000, I've seen a few presentations to a joint session of the US Congress, but none have elicited anything near the enthusiasm that was seen this morning as the youn est president of France put US lawmakers in his pocket even though there must have been a few times when he wished he had practiced his English delivery more.

I'm sure most of those present had not the slightest idea that what they were witnessing was a pure product of the French educational system, combined with a no less pure example of what training in governance can do.  Macron studied philosophy at  completed a Master’s of Public Affairs at Sciences Po, and graduated from the École nationale d'administration (ÉNA) in 2004. He worked at the Inspectorate General of Finances, before becoming an investment banker at Rothschild & Cie Banque.
It's hard to imagine a more perfect training program for the President of a major country in the 21st century: from Voltaire's worldview to the latest electronic tools for financial analysis, his 'skill-set' would be difficult to match anywhere in the world.  Nor did these prevent Macron from putting to superb use the basics of transactional psychology, taming a man who was freaking out the entire world.  

Most significantly in today's world, thisi pure product of French culture is an ardent internationalilst, something that decisively breaks with France's most hallowed tradition known as 'la grandeur francaise' (think Louis XIV updated by Charles de Gaulle).  At the end of the First World War, France lost key Eastern provinces to Germany.  After the Second World War France lost her colonies that had vied with the Comonwealth geographically.  General de Gaulle brought back a moment of 'gloire' by taking France out of the joint NATO command to highlight France's nuclear capability, but his tour de force, putting an end to Algeria's colonial status by ending a protracted war, was soon overshadowed by the student revolt of May 1968, and France has not been the same ever since.

Coinciding with the Communist Party's loss of relevant and the rise of the far-right National Front, for decades, France has been dissatisfied, which terrorist attacks partly attributable to its large Muslim population (10%) have done nothing to assuage.

Emanuel Macron's Party La France en Marche did not win last year's presidential election by a wide margin: had his major opponents not been the National Front and a far-left party, and had the ore experienced centre right candidate not been effectively disqualified by relevations that he had used government funds to pay his wife as an assistant, Macron might still be waiting in the wings to play Jupiter.  Since being elected, his 65% popularity rating has fallen to about 40%, comparable to Trump's.
It is safe to say that his official performace as Trump Whisperer will see that percentage rise: it has been a very long time since the French public has known the sweet taste of international success.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

If You Had Been Watching France 24 Recently... would have discovered Pashtun women leading demonstrations.

Maybe you never heard of the Pashtuns: they're one of the major tribal groups in Pakistan.  We used to hear about them during the war in Afghanistan, one of its neighboring countries, but Pakistan has not been in the news lately, so who remembers the names of its tribes? Aside from being the country where Osama bin Laden was discovered hiding and killed, Pakistan is the only state created in the name of Islam.  This was done in order to separate the Muslim population from the majority Hindu population of India, back in 1947, when India won independence from Great Britain. Pakistan is  the fifth-most populous country with more than 209,970,000 people, including ten ethnic groups, the largest being the Pashtuns, Punjabis and Kashmiris.

Why do you need to know this?  In order to reinforce the theoretical knowledge that resides in your head, but is generally relegated to tenth place, to the advantage of events much closer to home and more familiar. When in 1972, Donnella and Dennis Meadows put futurism on the map by publishing a book called Limits to Growth, they pointed out in a graph in the preface that people mostly pay attention to familial and local events, their attention diminishing as events moved farther from their home turf. That phenomenon is particularly true of the population of the United States. Most countries jostle with several neighbors, often on an equal footing, so their citizens are familiar with those 'others' and aware of their impact on their own lives. The US is unique in that, from east to west, it must contend only with two vast oceans, its only immediate neighbors being Canadians and Mexicans.   
So why should Americans care about the Pashtuns? It's that, thanks in part to cell-phones, women who still cover their heads with the traditional Muslim headscarf, or hijab, have adopted Western political ideas and organizing techniques.  They can be seen on France 24 in rallies demanding that government keep its electoral promises. The fact that Benazir Bhutto was the first women to be (twice) Prime Minister of a Muslim country has undoubedly inspired Pakistani women, even as a succession of more or less inept male leaders have paraded by. 

But then again, why should Westerners care, in particular Americans, who are separated from Pakistanis by one or the other of our two oceans, whichever way they look? 

For the same reason that Americans need to care about every other corner of the world in order to evaluate the work of their government.  Right now, Congress is debating whether to approve Mike {Popeo a known hawk and former head of he CIA as Secretary of State.  The word has been put out that he agrees with the President that America shoud not get embroiled in more wars overseas, but his experience is precisely in the pursuit of enemies, from his training at West Point to heading the world's biggest international spy organization.  Knowing that the increasingly highly educated women of a country whose place in history has heretofore been defined mainly in terms of strife are on the same wave-length as American women should surely be of interest to these latter as they weigh their votes as well as their backing of the 'Me too' movement.

Sunday, April 15, 2018


Dear Readers,

Today I'm disseminating Parts One and Two of a new article by Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, titled Turning on Russia.  These two researchers appear to be the first people to attribute decisive importance to the Wolfowitz Doctrine, which is quoted in extenso in my book Russia's Americans. 

Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould are the authors of Invisible History: Afghanistan’s Untold StoryCrossing Zero The AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire and The Voice. Visit their websites at invisiblehistory and

Part 1: It’s been done to Russia before but this time will be the last
With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the creation of the so called Wolfowitz Doctrine in 1992 during the administration of George Herbert Walker Bush, the United States claimed the mantle of the world’s first and only Unipower as well as its intention to crush any nation or system that would oppose it in the future. The New World Order foreseen just a few short years ago becomes more disorderly by the day, made worse by varying degrees of incompetence and greed emanating from Berlin, London, Paris and Washington. As a further sign of the ongoing seismic shocks rocking America’s claim to leadership, by the time Stanley Fischer’s interview appeared in the online version of the conservative German magazine Der Spiegel, he had already announced his resignation as vice chair of the Federal Reserve; eight months ahead of schedule. If anyone knows about the decline and fall of empires it is the “globalist” and former Bank of Israel president, Stanley Fischer. Not only did he experience the unravelling of the British Empire as a young student in London, he actually assisted in the wholesale dismantling of the Soviet Empire during the 1990s.

As an admitted product of the British Empire and point man for its long term imperial aims, that makes Stanley Fischer not just empire’s Angel of Death, but its rag and bone man.
Alongside a handful of Harvard economists led by Jonathan Hay, Larry Summers, Andrei Shleifer, Anatoly Chubais and Jeffry Sachs, (the Harvard Project) Fischer helped to throw 100 million Russians into poverty overnight – privatizing, or as some would say piratizing – the Russian economy. Yet, Americans never got the real story because a slanted anti-Russia narrative covered the true nature of the robbery from beginning to end. As described by public policy scholar and anthropologist Janine R. Wedel in her 2009 book Shadow Elite

“Presented in the West as a fight between enlightenment Reformers trying to move the economy forward through privatization, and retrograde Luddites who opposed them, this story misrepresented the facts. The idea or goal of privatization was not controversial, even among communists… the Russian Supreme Soviet, a communist body, passed two laws laying the groundwork for privatization. Opposition to privatization was rooted not in the idea itself but in the particular privatization program that was implemented, the opaque way in which it was put into place, and the use of executive authority to bypass the parliament.”
Intentionally set up to fail for Russia and the Russian people under the cover of a false narrative, she continues “The outcome rendered privatization ‘a de facto fraud,’ as one economist put it, and the parliamentary committee that had judged the Chubais scheme to ‘offer fertile ground for criminal activity’ was proven right.”

If Stanley Fischer, a man who helped bring about a de facto criminal-privatization-fraud to post-empire Russia says the U.S. is on a dangerous course, the time has arrived for post-empire Americans to ask what role Stanley Fischer played in putting the U.S. on that dangerous course. Unknown to Americans is the blunt force trauma Stanley Fischer and the “prestigious” Harvard Project delivered to Russia under the leadership of Boris Yeltsin during the 1990s. According to The American Conservative’s James Carden “As the Center for Economic and Policy Research notedback in 2011… ‘the IMF’s intervention in Russia during Fischer’s tenure led to one of the worst losses in output in history, in the absence of war or natural disaster.’ Indeed, one Russian observer compared the economic and social consequences of the IMF’s intervention to what one would see in the aftermath of a medium-level nuclear attack.”

Neither do most Americans know that it was President Carter’s national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski’s 1970s grand plan for the conquest of the Eurasian heartland that boomeranged back to terrorize Europe and America in the 21st century. Zbigniew Brzezinski spent much of his life undermining the Communist Soviet Union and then spent the rest of it worrying about its resurgence as a Czarist empire under Vladimir Putin. It might be unfair to say that hating Russia was his only obsession. But a common inside joke during his tenure as the President’s top intelligence officer was that he couldn’t find Nicaragua on a map. If anyone provided the blueprint for the United States to rule in a unipolar world following the Soviet Union’s collapse it was Zbigniew Brzezinski and if anyone could be said to represent the debt driven financial system that fueled America’s post-Vietnam Imperialism, it’s Stanley Fischer.  His departure should have sent a chill down every neoconservative’s spine. Their dream of a New World Order has once again ground to a halt at the gates of Moscow.
Whenever the epitaph for the abbreviated American century is written it will be sure to feature the iconic role the neoconservatives played in hastening its demise. After emerging from their Marxist/Leninist cocoon after World War II their movement helped to establish the Cold War. And from the chaos created by Vietnam they set to work restructuring American politics, finance and foreign policy to their own purposes. Dominated at the beginning by Zionists and Trotskyists but directed by the Anglo/American establishment and their intelligence elites, the neoconservatives’ goal was to deconstruct the nation-state through cultural cooptation and financial subversion and in that they have been overwhelmingly successful. From the end of World War II through the 1980s the focus of this pursuit was on the Soviet Union, but since the Soviet collapse in 1991, their focus has been on dismantling any and all opposition to their global dominion.

Shady finance, imperial misadventures and neoconservatism go hand in hand. The CIA’s founders saw themselves as partners in this enterprise and the defense industry welcomed them with open arms. McGill University economist R.T. Naylor, author of 1987’s Hot Money and the Politics of Debt, described how “Pentagon Capitalism” had made the Vietnam War possible by selling the Pentagon’s debt to the rest of the world. “In effect, the US Marines had replaced Meyer Lansky’s couriers, and the European central banks arranged the ‘loan-back’” Naylor writes. “When the mechanism was explained to the late [neoconservative] Herman Kahn – lifeguard of the era’s chief ‘think tank’ and a man who popularized the notion it was possible to emerge smiling from a global conflagration – he reacted with visible delight. Kahn exclaimed excitedly, ‘We’ve pulled off the biggest ripoff in history! We’ve run rings around the British Empire.’” In addition to their core of ex-Trotskyist intellectuals early neoconservatives could count among their ranks such establishment figures as James Burnham, father of the Cold War Paul Nitze, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, Jeane Kirkpatrick and Zbigniew Brzezinski himself.

From the beginning of their entry into the American political mainstream in the 1970s it was known that their emergence could spell the end of democracy in America and yet Washington’s more moderate gatekeepers allowed them in without much of a fight. Peter Steinfels’ 1979 classic The Neoconservatives: The men who are changing America’s politics begins with these fateful words. “THE PREMISES OF THIS BOOK are simple. First,  that a distinct and powerful political outlook has recently emerged in the United States. Second, that this outlook, preoccupied with certain aspects of American life and blind or complacent towards others, justifies a politics which, should it prevail, threatens to attenuate and diminish the promise of American democracy.”

But long before Steinfels’ 1979 account, the neoconservative’s agenda of inserting their own interests ahead of America’s was well underway attenuating American democracy, undermining détente and angering America’s NATO partners that supported it. According to the distinguished State Department Soviet specialist Raymond Garthoff, détente had been under attack by right-wing and military-industrial forces (led by Senator “Scoop” Jackson) from its inception. But America’s ownership of that policy underwent a shift following America’s intervention on behalf of Israel during the 1973 October war. Garthoff writes in his detailed volume on American-Soviet relations Détente and Confrontation“To the allies the threat [to Israel] did not come from the Soviet Union, but from unwise actions by the United States, taken unilaterally and without consultation. The airlift [of arms] had been bad enough. The U.S. military alert of its forces in Europe was too much.”

In addition to the crippling Arab oil embargo that followed, the crisis of confidence in U.S. decision-making nearly produced a mutiny within NATO. Garthoff continues, “The United States had used the alert to convert an Arab-Israeli conflict, into which the United States had plunged, into a matter of East-West confrontation. Then it had used that tension as an excuse to demand that Europe subordinate its own policies to a manipulative American diplomatic gamble over which they had no control and to which they had not even been privy, all in the name of alliance unity.”

In the end the U.S. found common cause with its Cold War Soviet enemy by imposing a cease-fire accepted by both Egypt and Israel thereby confirming the usefulness of détente. But as related by Garthoff this success triggered an even greater effort by Israel’s “politically significant supporters” in the U.S. to begin opposing any cooperation with the Soviet Union, at all. Garthoff  writes, “The United States had pressed Israel into doing precisely what the Soviet Union (as well as the United States) had wanted: to halt its advance short of complete encirclement of the Egyptian Third Army east of Suez… Thus they [Israel’s politically significant supporters] saw the convergence of American-Soviet interests and effective cooperation in imposing a cease-fire as a harbinger of greater future cooperation by the two superpowers in working toward a resolution of the Israeli-Arab-Palestinian problem.”
Copyright © 2018 Fitzgerald & Gould All rights reserved


In the months and years following the Arab-Israeli war of October 1973, the issue of Israel and its security would become so enmeshed in American policy as to become one and the same.  The lesson of October 1973 that détente had succeeded in securing American and Soviet interests, was anathema to the entire neoconservative agenda and revealed its true hand.  At the time a majority of American Jews were not necessarily against better U.S.-Soviet relations. But with the forceful hammering of influential right-wing neoconservative pundits like Ben Wattenberg and Irving Kristol and the explosive manifestation of the Evangelical Christian Zionist movement, many of Israel’s liberal American supporters were persuaded to turn against détente for the first time. According to the distinguished State Department Soviet specialist Raymond Garthoff’s Détente and Confrontation; “Analytically and objectively the American-Soviet cooperation in defusing both the Israeli-Arab conflict, and their own involvement in a crisis confrontation, may be judged a successful application of crisis management under détente.”  But as Garthoff acknowledges, this success threatened “Israel’s jealously guarded freedom of action to determine unilaterally its own security requirements,” and set off alarm bells in Tel Aviv and Washington.

With Richard Nixon on the ropes with Watergate and Vietnam dragging to a conclusion, American foreign policy was open to external pressure and within a year would fall permanently into the hands of a coalition of pro-Israel neoconservative and right-wing defense industry lobbying groups. These groups such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), the American Security Council and Committee on the Present Danger would set about to make American interests and their own personal crusade to control the greater Middle East, interchangeable.

The issue of U.S. support for Israel, its neoconservative backers and its dedicated anti-Russian  bias has a long and complicated history dating back long before Theodor Herzl’s19th century Zionist Project. Zionism was not instilled in American thinking by Jews but by 16th and 17th century British Puritans whose sacred mission was to reestablish an ancient Kingdom of Israel and fulfill what they believed to be biblical prophecy based on the King James Version of the bible.

Britain’s Anglo/Israel movement found common cause with the British Empire’s 19th and early 20thcentury political goals of controlling the Middle East through Jewish resettlement of Palestine which culminated in the Balfour declaration of 1917. This long term plan of the British Empire continues on today through American policy and what has been dubbed the Zionist Project or the Yinon plan. Add the 700 million strong worldwide Evangelical movement and its 70 million Christian Zionists in the United States and American foreign policy towards the Middle East becomes an apocalyptic confluence of covert agendas, ethnic grudges and religious feuds locked in permanent crisis.

It has been argued that the neoconservative’s slavish adherence to Israel makes neoconservatism an exclusively Jewish creation. Numerous neoconservative writers like the New York Times’ David Brooks tar critics of Israel as anti-Semites by accusing them of substituting the term “neoconservative” for “Jew.” Others argue that “neoconservatism is indeed a Jewish intellectual and political movement” with “close ties to the most extreme nationalistic, aggressive, racialist and religiously fanatic elements within Israel.”

Although clearly acting as a political front for Israel’s interests and an engine for permanent war, neoconservatism would never have succeeded as a political movement without the support and cooperation of powerful non-Jewish elites. New America Foundation co-founder Michael Lind writes in The Nation in 2004, “Along with other traditions that have emerged from the anti-Stalinist left, neoconservatism has appealed to many Jewish intellectuals and activists but it is not, for that reason, a Jewish movement. Like other schools on the left, neoconservatism recruited from diverse “farm teams” including liberal Catholics… populists, socialists and New Deal liberals in the South and Southwest… With the exception of Middle East strategy… there is nothing particularly “Jewish” about neoconservative views on foreign policy. While the example of Israel has inspired American neocons… the global strategy of today’s neocons is shaped chiefly by the heritage of cold war anti-Communism.”
Add to that the  abiding influence of Britain’s Imperial policy-makers following World War II – the British creation of Pakistan in 1947 and Israel in 1948 – and the hidden hand of a global imperial strategy is revealed. Pakistan exists to keep the Russians out of Central Asia and Israel exists to keep the Russians out of the Middle East.

Whether American democracy could have survived the stresses put upon it by the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War and the ongoing frauds posed by neoconservatism now poses an answerable question. It couldn’t. Fletcher School international law professor Michael Glennon maintains the creation of the national security state in 1947 as a second, double government effectively renders the question mute. He writes “The public believes that the constitutionally-established institutions control national security policy, but that view is mistaken. Judicial review is negligible; congressional oversight is dysfunctional; and presidential control is nominal. Absent a more informed and engaged electorate, little possibility exists for restoring accountability in the formulation and execution of national security policy.”

The motion to kill détente and hobble Henry Kissinger’s balance of power or “realist” foreign policy quickly followed the 1973 war in the form of the anti-Soviet amendment to the Trade Act known as Jackson-Vanik. Sponsored by Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson of Washington and Representative Charles A. Vanik of Ohio but engineered by Albert Wohlstetter acolyte Richard Perle, trade concessions and virtually anything regarding Moscow would be forever linked to the Zionist Project through Jewish emigration to Israel from the Soviet Union.
Supported by organized labor, traditional conservatives, liberals and neoconservatives, Jackson-Vanik hobbled efforts by the Nixon/Ford administration to slow the arms race and move towards a permanent easing of tensions with the Soviet Union. It removed control of 
American foreign policy from the President and Secretary of State while delivering it permanently into the hands of the old anti-Stalinist/Trotskyist neoconservatives.

Jackson-Vanik overcame liberal support for détente because of an intellectual dishonesty within the non-communist left that had been roiling America’s intelligentsia since the 1930s. That dishonesty had transformed left wing Trotskyists into the CIA’s very own anti-Soviet cultural Cold Warriors and aligned them with the goals of the West’s right-wing. By the1950s their cause was not about left or right, or even liberal anti-Communism versus Stalinism. It was about exchanging a value system of laws and checks and balances for a system alien to America. As Frances Stoner Saunder’s describes in her book The Cultural Cold War, it was simply about grabbing power and keeping it. “‘It’s so corrupt, it doesn’t even know it,’ said [legendary Random House editor] Jason Epstein, in an uncompromising mood. ‘When these people talk about a “counter-intelligentsia”, what they do is to set up a false and corrupt value system to support whatever ideology they’re committed to at the time. The only thing they’re really committed to is power, and the introduction of Tzarist-Stalinist strategies in American politics. They’re so corrupt they probably don’t even know it. They’re little, lying apparatchiks. People who don’t believe in anything, who are only against something, shouldn’t go on crusades or start revolutions.”

But neoconservatives did go on crusades and start revolutions and continued to corrupt the American political process until it was unrecognizable.  In 1973 neoconservatives did not want the United States having better relations with Moscow and created Jackson-Vanik to obstruct it. But their ultimate goal as explained by Janine Wedel in her 2009 study the Shadow Elite, was a Trotskyist dream; the complete transfer of power from an elected government representing the American people to what she referred to as a “new nomenklatura,” or “guardians of the national interest,” free from the restraints imposed by the laws of the nation. Wedel writes, “Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the late senator from New York and onetime neoconservative, suggested that this kind of suspension of the rules and processes was what motivated him to part ways with the movement in the 1980s: ‘They wished for a military posture approaching mobilization; they would create or invent whatever crises were required to bring this about.’”

The synthesis of James Burnham’s Cold War ethos (established formally by Paul Nitze in his 1950 NSC-68) together with Trotskyism (espoused by the core neoconservatives) combined with this aggressive new support for Israel empowered America’s neoconservatives with a cult-like political influence over American decision-making that would only grow stronger with time.

As envisaged by James Burnham, the Cold War was a struggle for the world and would be fought with the kind of political subversion he’d learned to master as a leading member of Trotsky’s Fourth International. But joined to Israel by Burnham’s fellow Trotskyists and the underlying influence of British Israelism – it would enter an apocalyptic mythos and resist any and all efforts to bring it to an end. John B. Judis, former editor of the New Republic relates in a 1995 Foreign Affairs book review of the Rise of Neoconservatism by John Ehrman: “In the framework of international communism, the Trotskyists were rabid internationalists rather than realists or nationalists… The neoconservatives who went through Trotskyist and socialist movements came to see foreign policy as a crusade, the goal of which was first global socialism, then social democracy, and finally democratic capitalism. They never saw foreign policy in terms of national interest or balance of power. Neoconservatism was a kind of inverted Trotskyism, which sought to ‘export democracy’ in [Joshua] Muravchik’swords, in the same way that Trotsky originally envisaged exporting socialism.”

Through the eyes of the State Department’s Raymond Garthoff, the moves against détente in 1973 are viewed from the narrow perspective of a professional American diplomat. But according to Judis in his article titled “Trotskyism to Anachronism: The Neoconservative Revolution” the legacy of NSC-68 and Trotskyism contributed to a form of apocalyptic thinking that would slowly exclude the professional policy-making process from the realm of empirical observation and replace it with a politicized mechanism for creating endless conflict. “The constant reiteration and exaggeration of the Soviet threat was meant to dramatize and win converts, but it also reflected the doomsday revolutionary mentality that characterized the old left.”

In the end, Judis argues that the neoconservative success at using self-fulfilling prophecies to kill détente actually made the Cold War far more dangerous by encouraging the Soviet Union to undertake a military buildup and expand its influence which the neoconservatives then used as proof that their theories were correct. In effect, “Neoconservatism was a self-fulfilling prophecy. It helped precipitate the crisis in U.S.-Soviet relations that it then claimed to uncover and respond to.”

Writing in the summer of 1995 with the Cold War finally ended and the storm passed, Judis considered neoconservatism as the subject of ridicule, describing key neoconservatives as merely political anachronisms and not the thriving political dynamo described by John Ehrman in his book. But in the end Ehrman turned out to be right, the neoconservative crusade had not come to a close with the end of the Cold War but had only entered a new and more dangerous phase.

Copyright © 2018 Fitzgerald & Gould All rights reserved

Friday, April 13, 2018

Bibi Versus Bashar, Who is Worse?

While the the US and Russia circle each other warily in Syria, each trying to protect their interests while not getting into a direct shooting war, the same criteria are not applied to accusations that Bashar al-Assad used banned chemical weapons on his people, and  Bibi Netanyahu's refusal to allow Palestinians to be transported to a hospital that can save their shot-up legs from being amputated.
The Middle East Monitor reports that the Israeli  government denied permission for several Palestinian youths to leave Gaza for the West Bank Palestinian ‘capital’ to save them from amputations. Doctors in the occupied Gaza Strip were forced to amputate the legs of two Palestinians shot in recent protests, after Israeli authorities denied them transfer to a hospital in the West Bank.
Israeli authorities explicitly referenced the two youths’ participation in recent mass protests as the reason why the request was rejected. According to a legal rights organization, Adalah, 20-year-old Yousef Karnaz and 17-year-old Mohammad Al-‘Ajouri were shot and wounded by Israeli snipers on 30 March during Great Return March protests.
"Gaza’s Shifa Hospital, which had no means to rescue the wounded men’s legs”, referred them to Al Istishari Hospital in Ramallah on 1 April, and a request to exit Gaza and transfer to Ramallah was submit-ted to the Israeli military on the same day.
"Only after an intervention on 4 April by Adalah and Gaza-based rights group Al-Mezan, did Israeli authorities respond, rejecting the requests. According to Adalah, “the state detailed a punitive policy designed to prevent wounded from leaving Gaza for medical care due to their alleged participation in a protest. While the state admitted that the medical condition of the two wounded men justified their exit from Gaza for urgent care,” he added, “it also declared that ‘authorized bodies’ decided to deny their evacuation to the Ramallah hospital.”
Al-Monitor reported that the Israeli Supreme Court is today considering the case, since one of the two youths may need another amputation if he does not receive treatment in Ramallah. But according to Adalah, “despite the urgent nature of the situation, the court allowed state attorneys three days to respond to the…petition” adding that “the willful act of denying urgent medical care in these circumstances, may constitute cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and/or torture under the UN Convention Against Torture, ratified by Israel.”
Adalah’s attorney Sawsan Zaher said that “the amputation of the two young men’s legs could have been prevented if the state had complied with its obligations under international humanitarian law and human rights law. Israel's response indicates that its policy is to prevent those in danger from leaving Gaza for medical treat-ment, in order to punish them for participating in a non-violent protest.
Now, in a thousand word article, the New York Times details the Israeli attack on the demonstrators on the Israeli-Gaza border, but says nothing about youths being shot and denied exit permits to save their legs. While a cherry-picking media makes it impossible for voters to distinguish between Bibi and Bashar when it comes to human rights, this incident shows once again thatpart of the rationale for US policy in the Middle East is its unquestionable loyalty to Israel.
       As for the news channels, alternating with praise for the just released book by former FBI director James Comey detailing his encounters with President Trump and the fact that he doesn’t know whether or not the president ‘consorted with prostitutes’ in Moscow, they note casually that the US could end up bombing Syrian locations where Russian troops are located in order to defeat Assad. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Skripals

Imagine that you travel to a small town in a foreign country to visit your father, who is living there.  One day, the two of you are found on a park bench near death.  The locals whisk you off to the local hospital, where, after heroic efforts, your own health is restored.
Upon discharge from the hospital, however, you are not offered hospitality in a comfortable hotel while awaiting your relative’s release.  You are taken to a place that is kept secret from all inquirers, including family members back home.  A cousin has been denied a visa to visit you, no one other than agents of the host country has been permitted to see you in hospital  — and apparently this regime will continue until your hosts decide otherwise.
Interestingly, while all this has been going on, your hosts have accused your own countrymen of having sought to eliminate you and your relative - or perhaps you, specifically were unexpected ‘collateral damage’…..Or perhaps the attack on your relative was timed precisely to coincide with your visit, in order to ensure maximum indignation on the part of your country’s government.
Although the incident that nearly cost you and your relative your lives immediately became front page news, your release from hospital to an undisclosed address was buried among the obituaries.  The Russian embassy in London, also denied access to you, has asked in vain to be informed by you that it is your wish that your whereabouts remain undisclosed.
The United States has apparently offered to relocate father and daughter in the US under new identities, but that “offer” probably troubles the Russian authorities as much as it must unsettle the victims of the so-far unidentified poison they endured. Will the Skripals be free, having recovered from near-death, to live where and how they choose, or will affairs of state determine how and where they continue to live in order to prevent them from saying anything to expert investigators posing as tradesmen that could enable the world to discover where guilt lies.
Were Yulia Skripal anything but a Russian citizen, we can be sure that Great Britain would not even think of keeping her hostage.

Will Trump Resign?

I knew I had speculated about this weeks ago, but yesterday had forgotten the key words 'out on a limb'.  This morning I remembered it:


I'm going out on a limb here, but as of two days ago, I'm beginning to think that Donald Trump will resign rather than be impeached or removed for incapacity under the 25th amendment.

It's hard to imagine him sitting down with Mueller.  With his volatile temper, I believe he will throw in the towel alleging that Washington cannot be reformed and that he is not going to allow the hard work of a lifetime in business to be thrown away for a 'basket of ungratefules'.

The 'inability' of both Democrats and Republicans -- each for their own reasons -- to get him out of the White House is just one more nail in the coffin of American Democracy. Imbued with 'litigationitis', by far and away the most often used method for settling disputes in this 'nation of laws', the American political class, obsessed with mathematical 'if...then' reasoning, has tied itself in Gordian knots.

Gordian Knot: a problem solved easily by finding a loophole or thinking creatively.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Media First Mentions Trump Might Resign

I suggested this in  an article on the propagandist Bernays drafted on March 22, but which due to technical problems at NEO will only been published this week.  Soon after that writing, during a campaign speech, Trump hinted that perhaps he was a better builder than president, quickly adding, 'I'm a good president' or words to that effect.  This afternoon during MSNBC's four o'clock talk show I saw a crawler saying something like 'Trump hints he might resign', a propos his freakout over the FBI search of his personal lawyer's office, and his illusion that he has the authority to fire Robert Mueller.

I started thinking months ago that Trump would resign, simply because it would be the easiest way out of the growing number of scandals and investigations.  Having discovered that he cannot 'beat the presidential system' as successfully as he beat the business system, I can well imagine him putting on a show of humoungous indignation at the ingratitude of the political class.  He will say something like:  "Why should I put up with this?  I hate to disappoint the little people who support me, they know I tried to help them, but Washington keeps putting up roadblocks."

Trump's resignation will not happen in order to avoid impeachment for 'colluding with the enemy', but in the hopes of being able, from outside the White House, to better manage the legal challenges to his and his families' businesses.