Once I begin to look up from the latest distraction, the ongoing Border/Shut Down Drama, my peripheral vision picks up on a very interesting development, re: Trump’s decision to pull back troops in Syria and the mideast. Turns out not just politicos and leftist MSM hate the idea. So does the supposed “national security advisor” Mr. Mustache himself, ultra neo-con John Bolton! But of course, he would; and of course the dispute is eagerly fueled by the about-to-be-divorced Bezos-owned Washington Post:
Yeah! Not so fast, Trump!
The “Blob.” That’s a good one, much better than Deep State, me thinks.
Meanwhile, oops! LOVE this zerohedge headline:
But then, in the forever hegemonic, “American Dream” scheme of things, this withdrawal — full or partial, fast or slow — might prove to be just a skirmish, leaving the deeply-in-debt, bloated, bureaucratic Blob intact. At least the immensely cynical Dmitri Orlov would probably say so. But consider: In the below article he disses the U.S. military for not having won any of its many wars since World War II. Does Orlov not yet realize that winning wars is not the point? That in fact the longer they drag on the better, since both sides of any war are fueled by central banksters in alignment with weapons manufacturers whose lobbyists bribe Washington D.C. politicos? In other words, in this arena, I’m even more cynical than Orlov! P.S. Orlov says that Erdogan wouldn’t even talk to Bolton when he went to Ankara a few days ago. Instead, Erdogan “appeared before his own palace parliament and said Bolton is trying some sort of palace coup against Trump.”
Hmmm. What’s the timing here. Was that info what inspired the long phone call between Erdogan and Trump, which resulted in Trump scaling back the timing of the withdrawal?
Just checked. No. The Erodogan/Trump phone call was way back in late December.
Even so, this latest broouhaha makes me wonder: was Trump, in picking Bolton for the job he’s in, playing what many, including myself, see as his usual 4D chess? Drawing this intransigent war-monger out to let everybody know who he really is? Is Trump using this kind of strategy to draw a clear distinction between his own peace-making goals and those of the constant-war-making Blob? Let’s see if Trump now fires Bolton. Or if not, why not? In that case, either he’s still useful in a 4D sense, or I and many others are dead wrong.
Thanks to reader Sue M, sent to Orlov’s Patreon supporters.
Dmitri Orlov: Is The US Still A Superpower?
Some believe that the USA is a superpower. They cite GPD figures, military spending, the ability to coerce various US vassals to accede to US/Israeli demands at the United Nations. They also point to its ability to force other nations to abide by its unilateral sanctions even though they are ineffective at best, generally counterproductive and tend to hurt US allies. Are these not the hallmarks or true superpowerdom?
Let us see… If the US were a superhero endowed with various superpowers, what would they be?
The superpower to cook books with impunity would definitely be on the list. If you subtract the increase in debt from the increase in GDP, so far this century the US economy has been shrinking, not growing. A whole host of other statistics—unemployment, inflation, shale oil reserves—have been faked too. This superpower is super-broke but has the super-ability to hide this fact from most of its own citizens for the time being by blasting a powerful stream of mass media disinformation at them 365/24/7 so that only the cleverest of them have any clue.
This superhero also has the superpower to squander staggeringly huge sums of money on its military and yet remain incapable in prevailing (in terms of winning a long-term peace on its own terms and to its own advantage) in any conflict since World War II—except for its invasion of the tiny island of Grenada and a few other similarly minor skirmishes. Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq are all failures of one sort or another. The ability to steal trillions of dollars without going to jail for it definitely requires a superpower of some sort.
Captain America’s final superpower is his uncannily effective political stooge-management. In the aftermath of World War II it managed to strip a long list of nations of their sovereignty and is yet to give it back. Germany, France, Britain and Italy are on that list, along with Japan and South Korea. Captain America jealously guards its power to abuse and humiliate these vassals. The only people who are allowed to lead these nations are the ones on whom Captain America has collected enough compromising evidence to force them to resign because of a sex scandal or a financial scandal the moment they try to oppose his will.
Now, the thing is, each of these superpowers carries within it is own load of kryptonite.
- The ability to go endlessly into debt by forcing productive nations around the world to export products to you in exchange for money you print, then borrowing that money back from them at low interest rates is quite a trick, but the end game is still the same—national bankruptcy.
- Squandering trillions on “defense” (from whom?) and stealing most of that money without anyone going to jail is an amazing bit of sleight of hand, but in the end you end up with a load of useless military hardware while upstarts like Russia and China run circles around it and humiliate you at their leisure.
- The ability to stage-manage your international stooges into doing your bidding against their will or the best interests of their constituents is most impressive, but once those constituents have had enough (as the Jillettes Jaunes in France apparently have)… then what?
Sometimes current events provide a most instructive tableau vivant. Witness John Bolton’s, Trump’s national security advisor’s, recent trip to Ankara. Trump recently announced that US troops are pulling out of Syria. Putting a good face on a bad game, Trump said that this is because “mission accomplished”—the usual ruse—because ISIS has been destroyed. Yes, ISIS has been destroyed, by Syrian and Russian forces, using up over 50 container ship loads of weapons and supplies in a three-year of effort. And who, pray tell, armed, equipped and resupplied ISIS to such an extent that it took all that work to destroy it? Do you for a moment believe that ISIS purchased anything like 50 container ship loads of military stuff at a bazaar in Baghdad or Aleppo? In Vietnam, it was “We had to destroy the village in order to save it.” In Syria, it was “We had to create a terrorist threat in order to destroy it”—or not and say we did.
Back to Bolton: he flew to Turkey to tell Erdoğan that he had to guarantee the safety of US allies in Syria (some terrorists, some not). This was a truly preposterous thing for Bolton to attempt: a military retreat is by definition unconditional. Bolton is no Kissenger. He was a nasty piece of work but he had near perfect situational awareness while Bolton is the Mr. Magoo of geopolitics. He could have just as well acted out some bit of nonsense—“I am a little teapot short and stout…” or “Milk-milk-lemonade…”
Erdoğan wouldn’t even talk to Bolton; instead, he appeared before his own parliament and said that Bolton is trying some sort of palace coup against Trump. And then Turkey’s foreign minister said that the US troop withdrawal from Syria will need to be coordinated with Russia and Iran. (Turkey, Russia and Iran are due to meet in Moscow, to decide on the future of Syria.) Is this what “US victory over ISIS” smells like? Don’t sniff too hard, Bolton, or you’ll singe your mustache!
Anyway, decide for yourself, but to my mind the US is not just a superpower but always was and always will be. In fact, it is not just a superpower, but a super-duper-pooper-power! Is that the smell of napalm, or just John Bolton’s mustache on fire?
AK again: Just in case you haven’t seen it lately, remember General Smedley Butler’s famous video which needs to go viral over and over again until U.S. citizens don our own yellow vests in revolt. WAR IS A RACKET! NO MORE WAR!