Just Asking, Again

An taz6_1.jpg essay

with respectful h/t to David Foster Wallace and wendy davis

Typical was a piece in the Times by Susan Rice, Obama’s former national security advisor, who writes: “Mr. Trump has already delivered to Mr. Putin much of the benefit he might have sought by supporting Mr. Trump’s election. The balance due is the agenda for Helsinki.” Her greatest concern is that Trump may “prematurely withdraw United States forces, thus ceding total victory to Russia, Mr. Assad and Iran.

Ceding total victory to Russia over what? Are we at war with Russia? Have we gotten to the point where undeclared wars with the client states of major powers, achieved by executive fiat through unconstitutional means, are the same thing as a declared hot war between major powers?

More to the point, what victory is Russia winning over us? The ability to have a client state, or, rather, two client states, in the Middle East? So--let me get this straight--the idea here is that if Russia succeeds in having a couple of footholds in the Middle East, one of which feeds them additional petroleum for their economy and military, they have won a "total victory" over us? Is it a "total victory" because we didn't manage to wrest their two client states from them?

Doesn't the United States already have several client states in the Middle East, such as Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Iraq, and perhaps even Egypt? Between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, don't America's client states control rather a large amount of petroleum? Given that America has at least five Middle Eastern client states, how is it possible that Russia having two Middle Eastern client states constitutes "ceding [a] total victory" to Russia?

At what point was this war, or competition, or rivalry--it's hard to know what to call it in this era of mushy, poorly-defined foreign policy--for total control of global petroleum resources officially declared? At what point was it publicly debated? At what point were the American people told why we are fighting Russia, what would constitute losing, and what would constitute winning? Do people in Washington even refer to the Powell Doctrine anymore, or do they content themselves with consulting the Powell memo?

What is the defeat Rice really fears? Put in plain English, doesn't Susan Rice fear that the United States will fail to eradicate all other powers in the world except itself? Doesn't she fear that the United States will fail to take the total control of petroleum and methane necessary to becoming the world's only imperial power? Are we expected to accept the terms of the Project for the New American Century as a given these days? Do most of the American people even know what the Project for the New American Century actually is? If what Rice fears losing is the prospect of complete control over Middle Eastern oil resources, shouldn't we ask ourselves if achieving complete control over those resources is desirable or even possible?

What is the reason these two substances remain so important? Even within the context of global capitalism, isn't the petroleum economy essentially a fossil? Is there any real reason our economies and lives should be shrink-wrapped in petroleum products, limited by the availability of oil and methane? Isn't the value of these increasingly scarce products propped up by those who wish to control the globe and can think of no better way to do it than to have one or two essential substances concentrated in a few regions which can then be dominated by whoever has the biggest war machine? In fact, doesn't the petroleum-based economy (and its adherents in politics and the media) actually suppress the entrepreneurship, invention, and progress that capitalism supposedly values, in favor of protecting an entrenched de facto aristocracy of oil merchants and war profiteers?

Doesn't the fact that that the American war machine still runs largely on petroleum and methane create an odd conflict of interest, perhaps even an ugly symbiosis, between those who make their money off of weapons and those who make their money off of oil? Is there any foreseeable future in which this symbiosis will not drive foreign policy globally, almost to the exclusion of all else? Is there any foreseeable future in which this symbiosis will not overwhelm both the purported virtues of capitalism and the possibility of representative or democratic government, basically everywhere? Doesn't that symbiosis even threaten and undermine the American empire it resides within and purports to serve? Leaving aside the question of whether it is desirable to perpetuate an American empire, doesn't the constant protection of oil barons and weaponsmakers above all else actually undermine the American empire? In fact, isn't that unquestioning, unquestionable loyalty to those interests above all else currently shaking the foundations of that empire and threatening to bring it down?

Are we going to talk publicly about these issues, or is it now enough to accept via political fiat the idea that of course we must defeat Russia in some poorly-defined battle which happens mostly in Syria? Is it now proof of treason to advocate for drawing down troops in Syria? Does wishing to pull our military out of Syria constitute becoming a political fifth column devoted to advancing Russian interests over the United States' own? Are we going to discuss what those Russian interests even are, or are we going to simply assume that Russia is looking to beat us in some ill-defined way and then to do some ill-defined evil thing to the United States? Does Russia maintaining a foothold in the Middle East really threaten our lives and culture? How?

Didn't there used to be left-wing people and liberals who objected to this sort of unilateralism? Didn't the left used to disagree with George W. Bush's foreign policy? When did vague, unproved assertions of the use of chemical weapons and other atrocities become enough to justify war? When did simply asserting that the chosen enemy was a bad man who did cruel things and must be stopped become an acceptable basis for foreign policy? When did the left decide it was acceptable to suggest that people who disagree with these assumptions are traitors, moles, or at best dupes of a vast Russian plot?

Can we justify this transformation in ourselves by saying that Russia rigged the 2016 presidential election? Does it matter at all that that charge remains unproved and largely evidence-free, or that there is actual technical evidence that the DNC hack was done from within, and thus was not a hack at all? Is is a coincidence that the rise of concern about this putative election-rigging coincides with a widespread cultural amnesia about actual racist election-rigging that was allowed to happen twice at the beginning of this century? Is it a coincidence that those rigged elections provided PNAC signatories the political power that now allows Susan Rice to assert that if we draw down troops in Syria, we will have "ceded total victory" to Russia?

Is it a coincidence that George W. Bush and prominent members of his administration are now embraced by the Democratic party as allies against Trump? Is it a coincidence that liberals at the grassroots now believe that Bush, Cheney, and others from those administrations are so preferable to Trump as to make them desirable leaders? Isn't it interesting that so many liberals now say they "never thought Cheney would look good" or that "Bush now looks like a paragon?" Can the evil of Donald Trump really excuse the evil of inventing a war for gain that resulted in hundreds of thousands of dead? Can the evil of Donald Trump really excuse the evil of defrauding Black America out of its voting rights and climbing on a staircase of Black faces into the Oval Office?

When did the left decide to become the sons and daughters of Joe McCarthy, Lee Atwater, and the Dulles brothers? If you accept that legacy, and further it, can you be called "left" in any meaningful sense? If the left embraces McCarthyism, while the right remains in its traditional position, who will ask these questions?

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detroitmechworks's picture

Seriously, every single time there's a change in dogma it's treated as holy writ from infallible lords of creation.

Honestly, I find that most who shift rapidly define their political affiliation with a politician who they see as their avatar in the halls of power. As that person shifts so do they see their own struggle, and therefore they MUST support that person because it would be crazy to abandon a person who's JUST doing the right thing and getting blamed for it!

Which of course, is why CNU is digging back into my head and wanting to be finished, but for right now, I'm on a roll, and it'll simmer just a bit longer.

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14 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@detroitmechworks I am slowly defining for myself the principles of thought and argument that I live by, and one of them is:

I do not determine what I think of a message by what I think of the messenger.

The only exception to that rule is when the messenger is a proven liar or habitual fraud. It's fair not to value the ideas of a person who has lied habitually, though it's possible for even a liar to tell the truth. Still, you can hardly blame the villagers for not helping the boy who cried wolf. It's fair to assume that someone who has repeatedly lied is lying.

Aside from that, ideas should be evaluated on their own merits, with reference to internal logic and external evidence from reliable sources. Ideas should not be evaluated based on who is spreading them.

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22 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

detroitmechworks's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal Which is why I've been having a lot of fun with reading an examining ideas from older sources, as well as rereading a hell of a lot of history. In some places, you can see parallels that are absolutely frightening, and the delusion of our time that we somehow know "Better" now with many folks unable to so much as eat without somebody cooking it for them.

But hey, you know, that's why I appreciate you having these threads to explore ideas. Always a joy.

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15 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Pluto's Republic's picture

@detroitmechworks

...from the past have been obscured deliberately?

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7 users have voted.

If it is a monopoly, then it IS your government.

detroitmechworks's picture

@Pluto's Republic and more and more even the "History" programs concentrate on insane counterfactual claims instead of exploring the very basic concept of human interactions taken to a larger gameboard.

This constant drumbeat of "Progress" as the idea that we're somehow always getting better ignores numerous dark ages and backslides. Human beings aren't perfect, and we screw up CONSTANTLY. By removing the errors as "Losers" we effectively whitewash history, making it into a chain of lucky events and breakthroughs, when it was really just long steady pressure by thousands of workers, not the "Great Man" that we think of.

Of course, that also gets into theological theory, and the problem of Monotheism, IMHO. When you claim that all work is the work of ONE entity, you set up the society to be a hierarchy by nature.

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10 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Pluto's Republic's picture

@detroitmechworks

The implications, then, is that democracy is dangerous because humans can never learn the laws of nature without the patterns. They cannot understand the consequences of certain actions when the leaders rewrite history. They feed only on propaganda. That must be the reason the leaders hate communism and love democracy so very much. It gives them both cover and authority.

Thus, the killing of the planet.

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9 users have voted.

If it is a monopoly, then it IS your government.

detroitmechworks's picture

@Pluto's Republic Involving Dwarf Bards...

One of the most popular songs/legends was "The Tale of Fjol the Beardless, and the Apprentice who did nae remember to fill the cistern."

There's no real point to this, other than to point out the huge difference in mentality I was trying to convey with the idea. An American trying to tell that same story would make it about how the apprentice shirked his duty, or focus on how the smith shouldn't have set his beard on fire in the first place. Instead the focus of the narrative would be on how everybody screwed up, and oh well, let's laugh at it because we all should have known better, but screwed up anyway.

Sorry, PUI, so I don't really have any place I was going with this other than to explore the concept how the exact same story, with only slight changes in the telling, convey a completely different meaning.

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4 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@detroitmechworks Always glad to "see" you, dmw. Smile

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4 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

detroitmechworks's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal since while we don't always agree, you have always treated me with kindness, courtesy, and good humor.

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5 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

ggersh's picture

the status quo has been challenged by his
election and it certainly appears to be that
those in the quo want his presidency ended
pronto.

But the real question is actually who is in
charge of this country? Is it the CIA...DOD
NSA...DHS...FBI

Certainly the myth that we are a republic/democracy
a country of laws should be long gone.

And the answer to your questions is NO, but it wont
stop them from trying to make it so

Can the evil of Donald Trump really excuse the evil of inventing a war for gain that resulted in hundreds of thousands of dead? Can the evil of Donald Trump really excuse the evil of defrauding Black America out of its voting rights and climbing on a staircase of Black faces into the Oval Office?

To add one more thought, I imagine we'd be in some sort
of war w/Russia had her heinous been elected, but while
tinyhands might not be as much of a warmonger, his other
policies are killing us just as easily.

This is sadly now the left

https://www.siliconinvestor.com/readmsg.aspx?msgid=31703468

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19 users have voted.

“Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it.”

Hannah Arendt

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@ggersh That is the single reason that, when I woke up the day after Election Day, my first reaction was relief.

Everyone does what the actual bosses want, more or less, but some do it enthusiastically and immediately. Hillary, as Dore said, just couldn't wait to get into a hot war with Russia. The idea of her in the Oval Office terrified me.

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21 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

ggersh's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Hillary, as Dore said, just couldn't wait to get into a hot war with Russia. The idea of her in the Oval Office terrified me.
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15 users have voted.

“Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it.”

Hannah Arendt

Big Al's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal are much more complex, although the same playbook is used over and over. What would have happened under Clinton could very well be the same thing happening now.

"Kissinger then observed that “in 20 years your successor, if he’s as wise as you, will wind up leaning towards the Russians against the Chinese.” He argued that the United States, as it sought to profit from the enmity between Moscow and Beijing, needed “to play this balance-of-power game totally unemotionally. Right now, we need the Chinese to correct the Russians and to discipline the Russians.” But in the future, it would be the other way around."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2016/12/14/45-yea...

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@Big Al

What would have happened under Clinton could very well be the same thing happening now.

That was never the case. Those two monkey wrenches are not interchangeable. The President still has some powers, and Clinton and Trump were moving in different directions with vastly different goals. (This is why the CFR has taken great pains over the past century to select the candidates from among their Membership.) Clinton was moving with the Deep State that employed her. Trump still has no idea who the Deep State is.

That article that you are quoting was a swing and miss when it was first published in December 2016 prior to Trump's inauguration, and it is still describing a world that doesn't exist. The author is deeply immersed in his own subjective belief system.

I did find the article fascinating, however. How could something so short be so wrong on so many points? This paragraph was a poignant one:

On the Russian front, Trump had kind words for Russian President Vladimir Putin on the campaign trail. On Monday, he announced that Rex Tillerson, who has had a long relationship with Putin, will be his nominee for secretary of state. Trump’s pick for national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, is also believed to have ties to Russia and has argued for closer coordination between Moscow and Washington in the fight against the Islamic State. And on Sunday, Trump labeled as “ridiculous” accusations from the Central Intelligence Agency that the Russian government, by hacking into computers used by officials from the campaign of Hillary Clinton, endeavored to help him win last month’s election.

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9 users have voted.

If it is a monopoly, then it IS your government.

Big Al's picture

@Pluto's Republic it wasn't about that article or the author, it was about the Kissinger tactics and how the imperialists play the game. Tactics change and regardless of how well you personally know what Trump knows or thinks, there is continuity of agenda at the top.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@Big Al

...disruptive to the agenda, which is fueled entirely by the blind hatred and fear of uninformed Americans toward Russia (and their participation in their fake democracy) to proceed.

The Deep State will have to over-correct, perhaps with another 9/11, to get it back on track.

But, I do agree. It will get back on track, whatever the cost. This war was lost long ago when the Fairness Doctrine was revoked.

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6 users have voted.

If it is a monopoly, then it IS your government.

Big Al's picture

@Pluto's Republic that's just what they want us to think, as well as Trump who is as shallow as a puddle in a desert. It's all theater, each side has their part to play to make it work. Trump is just an idiot playing to his base. He speaks with forked tongue. Hell, if war criminal Kissinger supported the effort, who is also a idol of Hillary, then you know it's not about peace.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/07/17/chomsky-on-the-trump-nato-ruse/

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5 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Big Al There is continuity of agenda. But there may not be continuity of schedule. Presidents are still allowed different management styles.

Anything that delays World War III is good by me. Also, it turns my stomach to see someone so eager to start World War III. Trump, no matter what he says of himself or others say of him, isn't really all that interested in starting WWIII. He wants to 1)get richer, 2)bully and boss people, and 3)party. World War III would interfere with most of that, especially since, as so many have pointed out, he has business interests in Russia. That's why he tried so hard to get the Deep State to accept a war with North Korea instead.

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4 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

thanatokephaloides's picture

@ggersh

But the real question is actually who is in
charge of this country? Is it the CIA...DOD
NSA...DHS...FBI

I vote for LSD, myself..... Wink

Certainly the myth that we are a republic/democracy
a country of laws should be long gone.

With apologies to on the cusp and those like hir who shoulder the Sisyphean task of countering this fact, we've gone from rule of law to rule by the most corrupt lawyers and their paymasters.

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13 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

ggersh's picture

@thanatokephaloides

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4 users have voted.

“Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it.”

Hannah Arendt

dkmich's picture

@thanatokephaloides

But the real question is actually who is in charge of this country? Is it the CIA...DOD
NSA...DHS...FBI

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8 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@thanatokephaloides

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4 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Moral: If you bring it at all, you must bring enough for the whole class!

Wink

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4 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@thanatokephaloides Smile

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1 user has voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

The Aspie Corner's picture

Come on now. The pigs made the left-wing illegal decades ago and you know it. Both mainstream parties, along with the libertarian fucksticks, are all god damned right-wing. They both support unrestrained capitalism, endless empire and the like. So, what's the use in pretending there's any left-wing in the United States at all?

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9 users have voted.

Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@The Aspie Corner It's worthwhile to skewer the current political assumptions and the people who are basing some sort of moral or political principles on them. At least, I obviously think so.

As for the "real left," of course it began with the Marxists getting thrown out of the AFL-CIO, but even in the 80s, the people currently clamoring for war with Russia were marching with me against Reagan's Cold War warmongering and big defense budgets, marching with me against the danger of nuclear war. It's just as well to record their transformation, and call them on it.

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19 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

The Aspie Corner's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal The Supreme Court just shoved national Right-to-Slave up this country's fat, stupid ass without even a whimper.

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5 users have voted.

Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

Pluto's Republic's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

...you mention. But, is that the right word?

...even in the 80s, the people currently clamoring for war with Russia were marching with me against Reagan's Cold War warmongering and big defense budgets, marching with me against the danger of nuclear war. It's just as well to record their transformation, and call them on it....

They may have belonged to the Democratic Party in the 1980s, but did the Democratic Party belong to them? Or, did they "adapt" to what the Democratic Party actually is? And only then could they gain standing and ownership in the Party.

That leaves you outside that Party and outside any party in the US.

This nation's continuous night-terrors over Communism should be all the clues we need. There is no Left in the US political system. There have been leftist activists that were used up to swing elections with policies that were soon to be discarded. There was never a Left Party for an activist like Bernie. He was meant to be used up and discarded. That's the role of the true Left in establishment America.

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7 users have voted.

If it is a monopoly, then it IS your government.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Pluto's Republic Well, in the 80s the people I'm thinking of weren't talking or thinking much about the Democratic party. They were left-wingers who spent a lot more time doing direct action and issue-based stuff than anything to do with the parties. Of course they hated Reagan, but what person on the left wouldn't. I was a bit of an anomaly among them as I had volunteered for the Mondale campaign.

That's what's so horrible. These people used to be actual grassroots liberal or lefty activists, not party hacks of any kind. They, like me, got drawn into the Democratic party between 2000 and 2008 because they desperately wanted to stop George W. Bush--again, like hating Reagan, who wouldn't want to stop George W. Bush? Bush/Cheney et al were quite enough to make many of us grasp at whatever straw we could. Unfortunately, we found out there was no distinction between the straw we were grasping and the guy we were fighting.

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8 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

thanatokephaloides's picture

Have we gotten to the point where undeclared wars with the client states of major powers, achieved by executive fiat through unconstitutional means, are the same thing as a declared hot war between major powers?

Yes.

Evidentiary Major Clue: From a strictly Constitutional standpoint, when was the last time the USA was at war?

1945.

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14 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@thanatokephaloides When we were fighting in El Salvador and Guatemala, people said it was because we needed to fight Communism, but nobody said or implied (that I remember) that we were at war with Russia. There was quite a crowbar separation between the Cold War and actually being *at* war. The reason the Cuban missile crisis freaked people out was that it seemed we were going to move from being in a Cold War to being in a hot one. People like Susan Rice seem no longer to make any intellectual distinction between those two things, which means that we could just slide easily into World War III without even noticing.

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7 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

snoopydawg's picture

Do people actually believe that a president of a foreign country could really have total control over the US president and his party? Wow! And people say 9/11 truthers are conspiracy nuts.

Doesn't the fact that that the American war machine still runs largely on petroleum and methane create an odd conflict of interest, perhaps even an ugly symbiosis, between those who make their money off of weapons and those who make their money off of oil?

It certainly is beyond stupid. The military uses so much of the resources that they are invading countries to get. One hour flying jet uses s much fuel as a family of 4 uses all year. Multiply that by the number of jets that have been flying just since the start of the Iraq war. That's a hell of a lot of jet fuel.

Bottom line: The answer to this is yes.

Put in plain English, doesn't Susan Rice fear that the United States will fail to eradicate all other powers in the world except itself? Doesn't she fear that the United States will fail to take the total control of petroleum and methane necessary to becoming the world's only imperial power?

Don't forget though that Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East. So there will be two.

Is it now proof of treason to advocate for drawing down troops in Syria? Or Germany or the other countries that are hosting our over a hundred foreign bases and bringing the troops back home and putting the money used to support them back into this country. But people actually think that if Trump does bring the troops home from Germany then Russia will immediately invade them. Like Germany can't defend itself and has to rely on us to defend them. Sigh.

Oh well. The same people think that Trump was dumb for pulling out of the TPP. The trade deal that Hillary said that she wouldn't sign. I'm hoping that Trump offers single payer just to see what people would say about that.

Rachel had Bolton the guy who wants to invade every country and was one of the creators of PNAC on her show. Not only did she have him on she also had Vicky Nuland, the wife of Kagan another PNAC-er, and the person who oversaw the coup in Ukraine. She is Hillary's BFF and probably would have been Secretary of State if Her won. This is the type of people that the once anti war anti everything PNAC stands for Rhodes scholar Rachel is using to further Russia Gate! Oh Rachel. How far you have fallen since you days on Air America when you were against everything that Bolton and PNAC stood for.

Good essay CTMS. Maybe we should change our names to Winston Smith?
h/t to someone ....

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18 users have voted.
ggersh's picture

@snoopydawg https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-16/putin-claims-us-intelligence-a...

For instance, we can bring up Mr. Browder, in this particular case. Business associates of Mr. Browder have earned over $1.5 billion in Russia and never paid any taxes neither in Russia or the United States and yet the money escaped the country. They were transferred to the United States. They sent [a] huge amount of money, $400,000,000, as a contribution to the campaign of Hillary Clinton. Well that’s their personal case.

It might have been legal, the contribution itself but the way the money was earned was illegal. So we have solid reason to believe that some [US] intelligence officers accompanied and guided these transactions. So we have an interest in questioning them.

Thw whole government has been bought regardless of who is doing
the buying, there isn't but maybe a handful of the 546 that
aren't in on the take.

We live in a very rotten banana republic.

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9 users have voted.

“Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it.”

Hannah Arendt

Pluto's Republic's picture

@ggersh

...the Russian lawyer to the US to call on Donald Trump Jr with promises of dirt on Hillary? And the Clinton admin let that lawyer into the country with a special visa, even though she was banned. Trump didn't have the connections to rig the election. He still doesn't. Only Putin knows what is really going on in both countries. I hope he tells the President. No one else will.

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8 users have voted.

If it is a monopoly, then it IS your government.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@snoopydawg Holy shit, Rachel Maddow brought Victoria Nuland and John Bolton on her show? John Bolton who used to be mercilessly mocked on DKos a few years ago? And this is now what it means to be a liberal Democrat?

Good night, Gracie.

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6 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@snoopydawg You're thinking of George Orwell.

A few tidbits from him:

In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.

Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.

And here's the sentiment that impelled me to write this essay:

We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

gulfgal98's picture

Thank you for this outstanding essay, CSTMS!

Here is my first thought and I may post more later. We must start thinking outside the box if we are to survive as a species. This means we cannot see the world through solely a binary perspective.

My red pill moment was when I began to realize that patriotism is non existent for the globalists. It is all about globalism and some countries only exist to help the globalists further their quest for a single world order run by them.

IMHO, the United States has sadly been plundered so much that its main reason for existing is to serve as the military for the globalists' conquests. This is the only plausible explanation for our perpetual wars on everywhere. Look to the areas that are resource rich and the US has a major presence.

This should have proceeded seamlessly if Hillary Clinton had been elected, but the election of Donald Trump threw a monkey wrench into their plans. This does not mean Trump is good, but it only means that Trump was not a part of this cabal.

Once I started seeing things through the prism of globalism, it all made sense.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

The Aspie Corner's picture

@gulfgal98

Once I started seeing things through the prism of globalism, it all made sense.

That's Ken Ham's "Biblical Glasses" level shit right there. You don't need religion or conspiracies to explain that capitalism and the US Empire have once again reached their end stage and the pigs are looking for any straw they can grasp onto at this point. The only thing that's different this time is the general population is too splintered, stupid and gutless to resist.

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Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@The Aspie Corner Capitalism is using the U.S. Empire, and using it up. It is not furthering the U.S. Empire or helping it in any way. The United States is less dominant and less powerful than it was forty years ago before this most recent version of capitalism (late-stage) took over here.

Capitalism eats cultures and breaks nation-states; only in its earlier stages does it pretend to do otherwise. It pretends to an affiliation with imperialists to get what it wants. In late-stage capitalism, it becomes obvious (as it has now), that the forces of global capital are not trying to build an empire. They are trying to take total control of all essential resources and information, and to dominate all human beings on the planet, and so do imperialists, but their ultimate aims are very different.

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@gulfgal98 Yes. Our home is their arsenal.

What a disgusting state of affairs.

I agree with you completely, btw.

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5 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

enhydra lutris's picture

around here. Where to start.

Yes, the US goal is global hegemony, and though a major focus is control of petro resources, we also covet control over all other resources, minerals, water, food production, medicine, labor and minds. Propaganda, in many forms, across all media has been enlisted since at least the fifties to try to make our citizenry buy into the latest consumer fad and the latest war equally. We are special, we are necessary, we and our ways are best and we are the one true moral arbiter and should thus rule all, at least indirectly.

As Aspie notes, this is clearly a manifestation of Capitalism, but one cannot help but ask if it is the disease, or simply a cluster of symptoms - the ideological and propaganda support for control and governance by psychopath and sociopath elites driven, as ever, by their egoism and egotism that, as ever, creates the same big club that you ain't in. From theocracies and monarchies to feudalism and up through history, systems have been set up by the same types which allows them to become visible to each other and to rise within the ranks. Today, in predatory capitalism,s propaganda this "proves" that it is an open system: "look, there's a dude who made it to the top from meagre beginnings, surely you can see that there is equal opportunity for all". But, were that true, still - opportunity for what? For excesses. For consumption of far, far more that is needed or even reasonable or rational. For ownership and control of others and the fruits of their labors. It is the cult of perpetuating the pre-civilization unsocialized alpha predator types and behaviors. That is the goal stipulated for all; how often has it been said of somebody "gee, they had the chance to really become somebody but threw it all away"?. The US is the great rabid alpha baboon, claiming all of the territory and assets and demanding subservience of all. It is primal and lizard brain.

To get past that will be a difficult challenge for the whole world, and for us perhaps more than for the rest of the world's people. Have you ever had a momentary epiphany, in your daily affairs, that "hey, this is good - I am comfortable - I have enough and more"? That is one of the most subversive and revolutionary things you can think. Now, how to ensure that everybody is comfortable, that is another thought crime. Intentional communities start with the comfortable and work to perpetuate it, but the trick is to start wherever and whomever, from suburbs to slums and create it there, to build outward from within self-supporting and sustaining systems underneath the greater economy that can then subvert and absorb it.

One thing stands out, energy, labor, resources and emotions are committed in vast amounts to the warfare culture and imperialism. If all of that was turned toward ensuring that all were comfortable, it would be done. Jobs lost in war factories would need to be replaced with meaningful jobs providing the necessities of life in adequate amount for those with insufficient access to same. How?

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@enhydra lutris Now, how to ensure that everybody is comfortable, that is another thought crime. Intentional communities start with the comfortable and work to perpetuate it, but the trick is to start wherever and whomever, from suburbs to slums and create it there, to build outward from within self-supporting and sustaining systems underneath the greater economy that can then subvert and absorb it.

This is, indeed, the trick, and it dovetails with the stuff I've been thinking about autonomous zones.

We disagree on diagnosis, but agree on prognosis and treatment, funnily enough ! Smile
In other words, I don't think of our current state of affairs as arising from human beings' innate desire to be the big boss. That existed, as you point out, for many thousands of years. What we've got going here is different, and I think it does have something more to do with capitalism than just the flavor of the month (This month's Tyrant is Pickle Juice flavor! Tune in next century for the Gobsmacking Grape Tyrant!)

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

QMS's picture

@enhydra lutris One thought at a time, one shared improvement, one direct connection, supported by mutual care, when small steps amount to massive awareness, the greedy manipulators lose their power. Tough row to hoe, what with the media brainwash so attractive. Kick 'em between the eyes.

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Intelligence is being redefined as the ability to repeat ever more complex instructions.

@#Have you ever had a momentary epiphany, in your daily affairs, that "hey, this is good - I am comfortable - I have enough and more"?

This is what not enough people are asking themselves each moment of each day!
Thank you for that one observation-the rest is meat I'll enjoy at leisure.

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Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .