‘Mad Dog’ Mattis Issues First in a Decade National Defense Strategy

(Note: the map above is dated, and certainly doesn’t show the secret bases all over Africa.)
Here’s the report by the DoD media spokesman on Mad Dog’s Jan. 19 speech at Johns Hopkins University in Washington.  He says it’s a good fit with Herr Trump’s NSS (most said Mattis helped write that one, a well), but that this is rather an ‘American Strategy’ (a variant on #MAGA, or #MASA, Make Amerika Safe Again™, and even more of bombastic, especially: the warnings.  I’d call it a Declaration of War on any other nation on the planet that dares to defy Total US Imperial Command and Control coupled with paranoid projections onto his/their ‘enemies’.  No multipolar world is allowable, and it  sure has nothing to do with ‘Defense’. The hyperlinked document is a pdf, 14 pages.  I’ve bolded a few passages, and have reproduced portions of his Cliffs Notes.  Yep, it’s long, and you may not want to read it; neither did I, but it’s all stuff we need to know to move forward in any meaningful way.  If ending war happens to be your most important issue, I’d urge you to check into Ballotpedia to see how folks you’re considering voted for…voted on military and FP issues.  There are prizes for those who finish.  Wink

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New Strategy Reclaims ‘An Era of Strategic Purpose’

“Today, America’s military reclaims an era of strategic purpose and we’re alert to the realities of a changing world and attentive to the need to protect our values and the countries that stand with us,” the secretary said. “America’s military protects our way of life and I want to point out it also protects a realm of ideas. It’s not just about protecting geography. This is a defense strategy that will guide our efforts in all realms.”

Threats have changed since the last strategy. There is increasing global volatility and uncertainty with challenges from Russia and China coming to the fore. “Though we will continue to prosecute the campaign against terrorists that we are engaged in today, but great power competition, not terrorism, is now the primary focus of U.S. national security,” the secretary said.

The strategy will provide the American people the military required “to protect our way of life, stand with our allies and live up to our responsibility to pass intact to the next generation those freedoms that all of us enjoy here today,” Mattis said.

The strategy expands the U.S. military’s competitive space, prioritizes preparedness for war, provides clear direction for significant change at the speed of relevance and builds a more lethal force to compete strategically.

Tough Choices

In forming the strategy, officials had to make tough choices, “and we made them based upon a fundamental precept, namely that America can afford survival,” Mattis said.

“We face growing threats from revisionist powers as different as China and Russia are from each other, nations that do seek to create a world consistent with their authoritarian models, pursuing veto authority over other nations’ economic, diplomatic and security decisions,” he said.

The threat from rogue regimes like North Korea and Iran persist. And even though ISIS’s physical caliphate is no more, the group — and other extremist organizations — continues to sow hatred.

“In this time of change, our military is still strong, yet our competitive edge has eroded in every domain of warfare: air, land, sea, space and cyberspace, and it is continuing to erode,” the secretary said.

‘Our Military Will Win Should Diplomacy Fail’

Sixteen years of war, rapid technological change, defense spending caps, and seemingly continuous continuing resolutions “have created an overstretched and under-resourced military,” he said. “Our military’s role is to keep the peace; to keep the peace for one more year, one more month, one more week, one more day; to ensure our diplomats who are working to solve problems do so from a position of strength and giving allies confidence in us. This confidence is underpinned by the assurance that our military will win should diplomacy fail.”

Mattis said the supremacy of American military is not preordained. “It is incumbent upon us to field a more lethal force if our nation is to retain the ability to defend ourselves and what we stand for,” Mattis said. “The defense strategy’s three primary lines of effort will restore our comparative military advantage.”

The strategy commits the department to build a more lethal joint force. It calls for strengthening old alliances and building new ones. “At the same time, we’ll reform our department’s business practices for performance and affordability,” the secretary said.

An enemy will attack any perceived weakness, Mattis said. The American military, therefore, must be able to fight across the spectrum of conflict. “This means that the size and the composition of our force matters,” he said. “The nation must field sufficient capable forces to deter conflict. And if deterrence fails, we must win.”

Mattis added, “To those who would threaten America’s experiment in democracy, they must know: If you challenge us it will be your longest and your worst day. Work with our diplomats: You don’t want to fight the Department of Defense.”

This strategy means nothing if the resources are not in place, Mattis said. “No strategy can long survive without necessary funding and the stable, predictable budgets required to defend America in the modern age,” he said. “Failure to modernize our military risks leaving us with a force that could dominate the last war, but be irrelevant to tomorrow’s security.”

Continuing Resolutions Harm Military Readiness

Mattis added, “Let me be clear. As hard as the last 16 years have been on our military, no enemy in the field has done more to harm the readiness of the U.S. military than the combined impact of the Budget Control Act’s defense spending cuts, worsened … by us operating, nine of the last 10 years, under continuing resolutions, wasting copious amounts of precious taxpayer dollars.”

The military continues to work tirelessly to accomplish the mission with now inadequate and misaligned resources, simply because the Congress cannot maintain regular order, Mattis said.

Under the Constitution, it is Congress that has the authority to raise armies and navies, Mattis said.

“Yet as I stand here this morning, watching the news, as we all are, from Capitol Hill, we’re on the verge of a government shutdown or, at best, yet another debilitating continuing resolution,” he said. “We need Congress back in the driver’s seat of budget decisions, not in the spectator seat of Budget Control Acts’ indiscriminate and automatic cuts. We need a budget and we need budget predictability if we’re to sustain our military’s primacy.”

(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)

From the document pdf:

We are facing increased global disorder, characterized by decline in the long-standing rules-based international order—creating a security environment more complex and volatile than any we have experienced in recent memory. Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in U.S. national security.

China is a strategic competitor using predatory economics to intimidate its neighbors while militarizing features in the South China Sea. Russia has violated the borders of nearby nations and pursues veto power over the economic, diplomatic, and security decisions of its neighbors. As well, North Korea’s outlaw actions and reckless rhetoric continue despite United Nation’s censure and sanctions. Iran continues to sow violence and remains the most significant challenge to Middle East stability. Despite the defeat of ISIS’s physical caliphate, threats to stability remain as terrorist groups with long reach continue to murder the innocent and threaten peace more broadly.

In support of the National Security Strategy, the Department of Defense will be prepared to defend the homeland, remain the preeminent military power in the world, ensure the balances of power remain in our favor, and advance an international order that is most conducive to our security and prosperity.

The surest way to prevent war is to be prepared to win one.

Prioritize preparedness for war. Achieving peace through strength requires the Joint Force to deter conflict through preparedness for war. During normal day-to-day operations, the Joint Force will sustainably compete to: deter aggression in three key regions—the Indo-Pacific, Europe, and Middle East; degrade terrorist and WMD threats; and defend U.S. interests from challenges below the level of armed conflict. In wartime, the fully mobilized Joint Force will be capable of: defeating aggression by a major power; deterring opportunistic aggression elsewhere; and disrupting imminent terrorist and WMD threats.’

[wd here: Be strategically predictable, but operationally unpredictable on page 7 is almost funny, but among the many passages of Amerikan Exceptional hysteria is this under Expanding Our Alliances:]

Fortify the Trans-Atlantic NATO Alliance. A strong and free Europe, bound by shared principles of democracy, national sovereignty, and commitment to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty is vital to our security. The alliance will deter Russian adventurism, defeat terrorists who seek to murder innocents, and address the arc of instability building on NATO’s periphery. At the same time, NATO must adapt to remain relevant and fit for our time—in purpose, capability, and responsive, and decision-making. We expect European allies to fulfill their commitments to increase defense and modernization spending to bolster the alliance in the face of our shared security concerns.’

 

at wws.AMPorg has synopsized some of the document, including some of the most eye-blinking themes in his Jan. 20 ‘Pentagon unveils strategy for military confrontation with Russia and China’

“What emerges clearly from the Pentagon document is a vision of US imperialism besieged on all sides and in mortal danger of losing global dominance. It reflects the thinking among the cabal of retired and active-duty generals that dominate the Trump administration’s foreign policy that the past 16 years of unending wars in the Middle East and Central Asia have failed to further US strategic interests, creating a series of debacles, while grinding down the US military.

The thrust of the document is a demand for a vast buildup of the American war machine, which already spends more than the next eight countries combined, including nearly triple the military spending of China and roughly eight times the amount spent by Russia.

The overriding objective in terms of modernization is the buildup of the US “nuclear triad”—Washington’s array of intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and strategic bombers, capable of destroying life on the planet many times over.

It added that “Modernization of the nuclear force includes developing options to counter competitors’ coercive strategies, predicated on the threatened use of nuclear or strategic non-nuclear attacks.” In other words, the US military is prepared to launch a nuclear war in response to a conventional or cyberattack.”

Now this I’d missed in the document:

“Mattis warned that the war plans outlined in the document will require “sustained investment by the American people,” noting that “past generations” had been compelled to make “harsher sacrifices.

These new “sacrifices” will take the form of savage cuts to essential social services, including the gutting of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, with the transfer of resources to the military, the arms industry and the financial oligarchy.”

Van Auken indicated that neither Moscow nor Beijing were amused by the ‘strategy’.  Additionally, formerly ‘out of NATO Tweeter-in-Chief ah…kinda changed his mind, and got peeved that member nations weren’t ponying up their 3.5% of GDP.  So how will the citizens in member and aspiring member nations react to moar war fees and their further immersisation?

Now as far as Herr T’s ‘Defense Strategy’, even at the end of Dec. 2017, Pepe Escobar in his ‘The Petro-Yuan Bombshell noted that the administration was keenly aware of the discussions at the BRICS summit in Xiamen last September, Putin having been quoted about concerns over global financial architectures that don’t due regard to the weight to emerging economies, as he stressed the need to ‘“overcome the excessive domination of a limited number of reserve currencies”.

“That was a clear reference to the US dollar, which accounts for nearly two-thirds of total reserve currency around the world and remains the benchmark determining the price of energy and strategic raw materials.

And that brings us to the unnamed secret at the heart of the NSS; the Russia-China “threat” to the US dollar.

The CIPS/SWIFT face-off

The website of the China Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS) recently announced the establishment of a yuan-ruble payment system, hinting that similar systems regarding other currencies participating in the New Silk Roads, a.k.a. Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will also be in place in the near future.

The decision follows the establishment by Beijing, in October 2015, of the China International Payments System (CIPS). CIPS has a cooperation agreement with the private, Belgium-based SWIFT international bank clearing system, through which virtually every global transaction must transit.

What matters, in this case, is that Beijing – as well as Moscow – clearly read the writing on the wall when, in 2012, Washington applied pressure on SWIFT; blocked international clearing for every Iranian bank; and froze $100 billion in Iranian assets overseas as well as Tehran’s potential to export oil. In the event Washington might decide to slap sanctions on China, bank clearing though CIPS works as a de facto sanctions-evading mechanism.”

“It ain’t over till the fat (golden) lady sings. When the beginning of the end of the petrodollar system – established by Kissinger in tandem with the House of Saud way back in 1974 – becomes a fact on the ground, all eyes will be focused on the NSS counterpunch.”  (the lengthy rest is here, including many fascinating developments and initiatives of new economic and cooperative alliances.)

In conclusion, several new games are afoot, and Trump’s generals are doing tantrums over it.  Given that he’d already given military control to them, it’s likely that they’re running his FP.  Will there come a day when those who love War (including and especially the D political class are sent packing by a global anti-war, Rabble class economic equality non-violent revolution?  First people must wake up and realize there actually are alternatives.  And as the wsws authors note: some sort of vision for a just anti-capitalistic economic system must come before that day; I’d add anti-Imperialism to the mix.

Now if you’ve managed to finish this long piece, here’s your prize; hope ya love it:  ‘From the Book of Amos, the words went into the dream, Let justice run down like water, righteousness like a mighty stream..’


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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

Belligerence masking deep insecurity.

The Russians have caught up technologically (probably surpassed us in a lot of areas) and the Chinese have all the money and men.

By contrast, our weapons development programs are crippled by corruption and profiteering. Our overseas adventurism is bleeding us dry of troops and cash. Material shortages and maintenance backlogs are severe and getting worse. Our allies are becoming less and less reliable.

Faced with such an overstretched and deteriorating strategic situation, a commander would be wise to, calmly and quietly, recommend a pull back to consolidate forces and shorten lines of communications.

Mad Dog Mattis is not a wise commander.

"The enemy is at the gates!" he bellows. "Commit the reserves!'

And such is the way empires collapse.

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The current working assumption appears to be that our Shroedinger's Cat system is still alive. But what if we all suspect it's not, and the real problem is we just can't bring ourselves to open the box?

wendy davis's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

re this: "By contrast, our weapons development programs are crippled by corruption and profiteering:, oh yes, mattis honked on about some of that, and promises to be a watchdog, and make sure that the taxpayers get more bang for their bucks! ack x 3.

and the generals are full aware of the one belt, one road (OBOR) initiatives across eurasia on the move, the high speed rail and more, that have already increased china's trade and GDP almost phenomenally. i'm not saying all that 'trickle down' to ordinary chinese, or that beijing wears a white hat, most emphatically not with their damming of rivers that have immiserated farmers)... but when china established one, count em, ONE, base near djibouti, it caused the US and Africom apoplexy. and of course, Africom is dedicated to the proposition that i) there are always african ruler compradors to assist the US in recolonizing africa, and ii) Africom is all about 'stabilizing Africa', and iii) more to the point, if no chaos exists, why...they can create it thru economic 'war by other means', CIA-driven 'terr'ism', and by those corrupt NGO's like gates and friends bringing factory ag and GMO seeds and poisons to...help feed Africa.

it will be most interesting to watch what congress-critters do next, won't it? but meanwhile most of the D party critters vote for war budgets, reauthorize the NDA, etc. and are loving russia-gate, the #MeToo movement that marched again on Saturday, etc. sorry to go on so long, not henry kissinger... bitter? furious? yes, i am.

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wendy davis, for doing the work of preparing us for this experience. I will try to read it, but I will stay close to a place where I can throw up when needed.

Right off the bat, though, and without having slept much last night after reading Mattis's response that Turkey had "legitimate concerns" in its effort to slaughter our Kurdish allies who have defeated ISIS in northern Syria, I find these quotes astonishing:

... we’re alert to the realities of a changing world and attentive to the need to protect our values and the countries that stand with us ...

“Our military’s role is to keep the peace; to keep the peace for one more year, one more month, one more week, one more day; to ensure our diplomats who are working to solve problems do so from a position of strength and giving allies confidence in us.

How is standing aside and allowing Turkey to kill our Kurdish allies, who did the fighting and dying to eradicate ISIS, going to give our allies confidence in us? And what the fuck are our values?

And what do they mean by this?

In forming the strategy, officials had to make tough choices, “and we made them based upon a fundamental precept, namely that America can afford survival,” Mattis said.

I guess it's supposed to mean that without this open-ended defense spending explosion, we will not survive. Therefore we must be able to afford it. Eighteen trillion dollars in debt, or no debt, even if greater than GDP, it's our survival.

Is this a holdup? Are we being threatened with annihilation if we don't give them unlimited funds?

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Roy Blakeley's picture

@Linda Wood One is that the MICC needs credible, technologically advanced enemies to justify our absurd spending levels. The Obama administration spent some time cultivating Russia as our enemy of choice. One surprise in Mattis' new policy is that China is included. Large corporations, especially financial institutions, make so much money through our trade with China that is is highly problematic for our capitalist lords and masters and may be walked back. The second is that we have locked ourselves into militarism. At one point we were an industrially strong country, but that has been squandered for short term gain. Our economic system is now largely one in which we buy things from abroad and the currency is recycled by foreign governments buying dollar denominated financial instruments from the US. This inherently unstable situation is maintained by US military hegemony. If we forsake military hegemony our economy will eventually collapse. At the same time, out ridiculous military expenditures suck away the investments we need to restore economic vitality to the US. Our choices are forsake military hegemony and let the dollar collapse (perhaps with an eventual stabilization of our economy, but a huge loss of profits in the interim) or continue our antidemocratic military interventions around the world.

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TheOtherMaven's picture

@Roy Blakeley

What we have here is a no-win scenario. The Parasites That Be don't like no-win scenarios. Too bad, because that's what they've got and what we're going to get.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Big Al's picture

@Roy Blakeley which is the genuine attempt to rule the world. Of course that would be to maintain the economic system based on war and militarism which makes them far more money than normal manufacturing. That goes back to lessons learned during WWII.

Here's a good article, originally from 2003, that gives a generalized outline of why the U.S. government and those that control it need war and militarism, how the Cold war was a manufactured enemy situation in order to maintain the huge profits made during WWII on militarism, how after the Cold war, Saddam Hussein and Milosevic were deemed new existential threats to continue the required menace scenario, then of course under Bush the ultimate military industrial complex creation, the war OF terror.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/why-america-needs-war/5328631

Everything is a scam.

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SnappleBC's picture

@Big Al

Consider that the single largest threat to the plutocracy is something akin to socialism. I was struck when watching a TV series (Peaky Blinders) which was set in Victorian England. At that time, being a "communist" was the single biggest crime anyone could commit. It was bigger than murder, racketeering, and anything else in the show.

I'd say the plutocracy has been tracking their #1 enemy for some time. That enemy is us.

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A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

wendy davis's picture

@Roy Blakeley
but...trump’s defense strategy called russia and china ‘rivals’, which is what had caused pepe escobar’s take on ‘seeing the writing on the wall’ as far a petro dollars v. baskets of currencies, etc. but finian cunningham weighed in at RT today on mattis’s NDS and agrees about the hegemon’s addiction to militarism, quoting US analyst randy martin (?): “US-based political analyst Randy Martin says America’s war-driven economy is not only a threat to world security from the inevitable antagonisms it fosters, but also this economy is threatening the collapse of American society from exorbitant waste of resources.

It is reliably calculated that the US has racked up its national debt by some $6 trillion from wars and military spending over the past 17 years alone. That “war debt” represents nearly one-third of the total US national debt of $19 trillion – making the United States the biggest debtor nation in the world.

In comments for this column, Martin says: “The US needs to undergo its own version of Perestroika, when the Soviet Union realized during the late 1980s that its economic system was unsustainable.”
Martin adds: “The US has been addicted to economic militarism for decades. It is destroying our economy and endangering global security by continually seeking out wars and enemies. The bitter irony is that Pentagon chief James Mattis claims to be keeping the homeland safe when in fact it is the Pentagon which poses the greatest threat to American society, not fictitious enemies like Russia and China.”

additionally, the penatgon knows trump’s defense strategy called russia and china ‘rivals’, which is what had caused pepe escobar’s take on ‘seeing the writing on the wall’ as far a petro dollars v. baskets of currencies, etc. but finian cunningham weighed in at RT today on mattis’s NDS and agrees about the hegemon’s addiction to militarism, quoting US analyst randy martin (?): “US-based political analyst Randy Martin says America’s war-driven economy is not only a threat to world security from the inevitable antagonisms it fosters, but also this economy is threatening the collapse of American society from exorbitant waste of resources.

It is reliably calculated that the US has racked up its national debt by some $6 trillion from wars and military spending over the past 17 years alone. [i think it's far more than that.]That “war debt” represents nearly one-third of the total US national debt of $19 trillion – making the United States the biggest debtor nation in the world.
In comments for this column, Martin says: “The US needs to undergo its own version of Perestroika, when the Soviet Union realized during the late 1980s that its economic system was unsustainable.”

Martin adds: “The US has been addicted to economic militarism for decades. It is destroying our economy and endangering global security by continually seeking out wars and enemies. The bitter irony is that Pentagon chief James Mattis claims to be keeping the homeland safe when in fact it is the Pentagon which poses the greatest threat to American society, not fictitious enemies like Russia and China.”

additionally the pentagon knows that the US is said by polling to be the greatest threat to world peace, and that its FP and military wars and proxy wars, occupations, create enemies galore, esp. of the muslim extremist sort.

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QMS's picture

@Linda Wood while we empty your pockets. Hiding behind a gun. War Pigs.

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wendy davis's picture

@Linda Wood
mattis said 'our values', but he may just as well have said 'our freedoms', eh? i admit i'm not well-versed on the kurds in syria, there are some foreign debacles i'm almost forced to not know much about, as there are so many, and so little time. b at MOA always covers more fake news and deconstructs lies as bet he can, and his commentariat appreciate it. for instance, here. i can't say i always agree with him, as with his opinion that Trump's defense strategy wasn't all that bad, for various reason, OMG.

so yes, US security is being ransomed, and while mattis is pissed a hell that the civilian control holds the pure strings, they keep giving and giving and giving. i remember a few years ago nick turse having dig thru the budget and finding that the shadow military expenditures were almost equal to the pubic ones. but the US must always have some Axis of Evil to justify such expenses by way the MIC/congressional/news-o-tainment complex. fear sells, if it bleeds, it lead, even when it's lying fake news.

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@Linda Wood

...Are we being threatened with annihilation if we don't give them unlimited funds?

I think we're all getting the annihilation either way; The US Psychopaths/Parasites That Be already have far more than enough to annihilate life on the planet, especially since a couple of hundred modern nuclear missiles in a small, regional nuclear war would do it and they've damn near already completed the murder of the collapsing life support system anyway, even without triggering nuclear Mutual Assured Destruction.

They probably want all of the country's non-billionaire money and conscripted unpaid labour of all non-billionaire-Americans who want to eat daily, for The War On The World effort, or whatever makes them more money. Well, of course they do want the money and slave labour - as long as they think they can panic enough people who can't recognize total insanity in con-men to pull it off, even if incrementally, although that speech sounded more like a 'shock and awe' attack.

People who don't believe that fellow-citizens not of their 'elite' group should have health-care, homes, money, safe food, air, water, workplaces, rights or protections of any kind are telling these people to 'sacrifice' more so that the world's largest and most aggressive military ever, which they've been drained to provide, can become more lethal because it hasn't killed enough millions of civilians in attacked/sanctioned/invaded countries which some psychopaths infiltrating government wish to control for personal profit, because billions and even trillions in personal wealth are not enough for them,they want it all - whatever anyone else has remaining.

Tell them it's not good, it's not OK. Enough is enough.

Somehow this tune, at bottom, sprang to mind, especially about the part about the big man telling you where you go... don't do a god damn thing they say.

Just skip the part about stringing them along - I'll bet that this is where TPTB evidently plan to crush the last vestige of wealth and pretense of democracy out of the country, by enlisting the help of their victims, under the claim that the world is their enemy.

They need to know that it won't wash and that they should have been happy with stealing almost everything from Americans and everyone else they could shake down, rather than attempting to claim the crumbs as well.

Bush-2/the Clintons/Obama previously and illegally illegally took the already pathetically undefended rights and living standards of Americans, 'to keep them safe from (their pet) terrorists' - now they probably want to melt down your fillings so they have more mercury-poisoned lead to make into bullets to shoot more citizens at home and abroad.

What else does the average American - 60% so far at, or dangerously near, poverty - have left to be sacrificed for the murderous global power-games of the Trilateral Commission Mafia and their parasitic lackeys who have already stolen nearly everything? Their skin to make into lamp-shades? That's been done before, by the global-dominating fascists that this lot sponsored/supported/derived from.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mY956Tk8F0

Published on 21 Feb 2014

Album: Going to Hell 2014

Don't go to hell with them - tell 'em to go alone. It's your country, and they're fired. Phone or write - they might have tanks out for peaceful protesters.

But a big enough and prompt enough public response that they can't use militarized police to crush might make them realize they aren't fooling as many of the people as much of the time as they'd hoped, and perhaps gain a little breathing space.

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Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

wendy davis's picture

@Ellen North

for insurrection! and i love the song, and agree, and you've reminded me of mario savio's call on the steps of sproul hall at berekeley so long ago: 'be the wrench in the machine that stops its gears!', well close to that, anyway.

and we never know what might be the spark that lights a mass insurrection, either here or globally. but i do remember that on one bridge outside of tahrir square seeing footage of masses of people pushing back police cars. human plows, iow. one other thing that my favorite tankie commented on after digging thru the pdf was this, and good on him and his suspicions; hope this works.

he'd also said in another tweet: "“I'd keep an eye out for those "non-traditional pathways."

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Pluto's Republic's picture

It's too late. Much of the world is buying oil in their own currencies, including Japan and China. India, too. The Middle East is regularly accepting gold for oil. Europe is buying from Russia and will be using Gold-Yuan futures to do so. The Brics are leading the way for the entire Global South. Dollar reserves are drying up and countries are trading with direct currency swaps, bypassing the Dollar. The Saudis haven’t made a clean break with the US and the petrodollar—yet. But they are drifting toward China financially and Russia militarily. These moves are already sidelining the petrodollar. The Saudis are clearly setting up the option to dump the petrodollar.

And China has given them an ultimatum. A few years ago, Saudi oil made up over 25% of Chinese oil imports. They were Beijing’s No. 1 supplier. Today, the Saudis’ market share has dropped below 15%. The Saudis are losing massive market share and getting pushed out of the biggest oil market in the world—mainly because they are reluctant to sell oil to China in yuan. But China has made itself clear. It’s willing to expand business with anyone who will accept yuan as payment. China represents the future for the Saudis. They'll cave, and OPEC will follow, and that will be it for the US. The Dollar will crash on the Forex as the world decides how much it's worth.

At that point, the world will still trade with the US in Dollars, but it won't accept Dollars to cover the Trade deficit. The US military will need to use a foreign currency to move through the world. Now when the US prints dollars, their value will likely go down. Most of the 1,500 or so US bases will close and the military will come home. All these old generals will soon be dead and the world will move on to better times in a 21st century infrastructure that connects the entire Eastern Hemisphere. Eurasia has risen in a multipolar world. US Sanctions will be a thing of the past.

The world doesn't need anything the US has, so the US will have an opportunity to invest in itself and make America great again.

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"There will be no end to the troubles of States, or of Humanity itself, until Philosophers become Kings in this world — or until those we now call kings and rulers truly become Philosophers." — Plato
wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

and when empires are in their death throes, most agree that that's when they're the most dangerous and frantic to deny it by increased military might as a hedge to 'obedience!' rules. it doe seem that escobar's understandings about the disappearing petro-dollar agrees w/ you about warnings to the house of saud, but he says: "Of course, the prelude to D-Day will be when the House of Saud officially announces it accepts yuan for at least part of its exports to China." and that for now, "Saudi Arabia is also considering to issue so-called Panda bonds, after the Emirate of Sharjah is set to take the lead in the Middle East for Chinese interbank bonds."

but of course one of the prime reasons Gadaffi had to go was that he was in the process of selling oil in gold dinars. ping: do you remember when over a decade ago Iran was set to create its own oil bourse? flipped me out, and it didn't happen, but i'm wondering now how much that had to do w/ iran as a big enemy? now israel would never see it that way because: ahmadinejad and mis-translations, but i wonder.

i'd sent you pepe's piece some time ago, but never did hear back. i figured that your day job might be interested. (smile) but perhaps you've had your finger on the pulse all along.

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in a dark ugly way is his repeated insistence on "we must win." I'm sorry but for fuck's sake, now really? After 16 years of endless war, you're going to say more will do the job? I did actually laugh a little the third time or so I read that in your excerpts. I think I got enough too, I don't need to read anymore to be thoroughly sickened. The empire in it's death throes. USA, USA, USA!!!!

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Only a fool lets someone else tell him who his enemy is. Assata Shakur

wendy davis's picture

@lizzyh7

but rather than claim 'our manifest destiny', mattis had said close to 'we're not destined to win these wars', again alluding to the fact that more money is needed to prevail!' and fuck congress for all their 'continuing resolutions': as in they are the enemy within, kinda.

yes, and herr drumpf has doubled down in afghanistan because: gold, jewels, strategic minerals. meanwhile that war is STILL the graveyard of empires; the stats against the Empire are horrific. i swear, sigh.

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wendy davis's picture

and figures in my MLK day Militarism diary, but given that he's written the book, so to speak, as in:

‘Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq’, i'm glad to see that today at consortium news he's penned a very calm, deliberative, analysis on Mattis’s defense strategy in his 'A National Defense Strategy of Sowing Global Chaos’ today. he places flailing empires in an historical narratives, including the british empire's (rather successful) bloody attempts at command-and-control.

the stats he provides on afghnanistan are what one might imagine, not limited to the failure to 'train afghan forces, and how much of the kinda/sorta nation is controlled by the taliban. but he provides similar narratives and stats for many nations under US or ISAF seige.

while noting anew that Trump is just the naked face of Empire, this:
"The streams of Orwellian euphemisms with which U.S. officials and media instead discuss U.S. foreign policy do more to obscure the reality of the U.S. role in the world than to describe or explain it, “hiding imperial interests behind ever more elaborate fig leaves,” as British historian A.J.P. Taylor described European imperialists doing the same a century ago.

As topics like empire, imperialism, and even war and peace, are censored and excised from political debate, U.S. officials, subservient media and the rest of the U.S. political class conjure up an illusion of peace for domestic consumption by simply not mentioning our country’s 291,000 occupation troops in 183 other countries or the 39,000 bombs and missiles dropped on our neighbors in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan since Trump took office.

The 100,000 bombs and missiles dropped on these and other countries by Obama and the 70,000 dropped on them by Bush II have likewise been swept down a kind of real time “memory hole,” leaving America’s collective conscience untroubled by what the public was never told in the first place.

But in reality, it’s been a long time since U.S. leaders of either party resisted the temptation to threaten anyone anywhere, or to follow through on their threats with “fire and fury” bombing campaigns, coups and invasions. This is how empires maintain a “credible threat” to undergird their power and discourage other countries from challenging them."

Of course the drafters of this U.S. strategy document dare not admit that U.S. policy is almost single-handedly responsible for this global chaos, after successive U.S. administrations have worked to marginalize the institutions and rules of international law and to establish illegal U.S. threats and uses of force that international law defines as crimes of aggression as the ultimate arbiter of international affairs."

as i'd mentioned in regard to Africom: "Nor do they dare acknowledge that the CIA’s politicized intelligence and covert operations, which generate a steady stream of political pretexts for U.S. military intervention, are designed to create and exacerbate international crises, not to solve them. For U.S. officials to admit such hard truths would shake the very foundations of U.S. imperialism."

ah, well, i'm shutting down for the night. dream of a better world if you can, and here's one of my favorite boogie lullabyes: titi ! tula ! yahamba ! dare ya to try to it still!

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