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Start Dealing

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Empires have one historical constant: they fail.

President Trump likes deals and campaigned on his deal-making prowess. Negotiation requires parties who respect each other enough to bargain in good faith. It is a lost art in US foreign policy, replaced by imperatives: we tell you what to do and you do it. This makes the US government the world’s most hated institution. Negotiation poses an existential threat to a Deep State grown powerful and wealthy imposing US dominance on the rest of the world, and increasingly, the American people. Dominance implies unipolarity; negotiation implies multipolarity.

During his campaign, Trump resonated with voters and put the Deep State on alert, voicing two criticisms of unipolarity: its cost and its failures. Trump’s criticism of NATO, particularly of costs borne primarily by the US, should be an opening salvo in a wider war against the costs of US empire. The US has over 800 bases in over 150 countries. The annual expense of maintaining those outposts is substantial, and other personnel costs, high-tech weaponry, and foreign military interventions run into the hundreds of billions. (Foreign interventions are usually kept off budget by one of Washington’s beloved accounting tricks.) Total annual spending for the military and intelligence, including veterans benefits, is close to $1 trillion.

There is significant waste and corruption. The Defense Department has never passed an audit, and trillions of dollars remain unaccounted for. Most of the intelligence agencies’ budgets are “black box”—undisclosed—but waste and corruption on a comparable scale is probably a safe assumption.

All that money has bought multiple failures. The US has turned the Middle East and Northern Africa into a chaotic quagmire that has led to increased terrorism and refugee flows in the millions. Trump’s campaign adroitly played on popular fears of refugees and terrorism, but he’s maintaining the policies that produce them. More US forces are being sent to Iraq and Syria, and one special forces’ operation in Yemen has resulted in the first US military death (and the deaths of at least 10 Yemeni civilians) on Trump’s watch. He has shown no inclination to stop or curtail drone strikes, covert operations, or proxy warfare.

Trump’s military policy in the Middle East has been indistinguishable from Obama’s, and a subtle diplomatic shift demonstrates that US unipolarity, rather than multipolar “deals,” will continue to be the order of the day. Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran was a throwback to presidents Kennedy, Nixon, and Reagan, who negotiated arms control agreements with hostile powers. It has achieved its primary aim – nobody claims Iran is now developing nuclear weapons – yet Trump and team continuously criticize it. Iran has taken a substantial risk with the nuclear treaty. Muammar Gaddafi explicitly renounced nuclear weapons and terminated Libya’s embryonic program, while Saddam Hussein never had them, and the US violently deposed both of them. ( And US officials wonder why North Korea “clings” to its nuclear program!) Yet, Trump officials have put Iran “on notice,” called for renewed sanctions, and rattled the invasion sabers because Iran fired missiles that were not banned in the agreement.

An objective assessment of repressive “state sponsors of terrorism” in the Middle East would conclude that Saudi Arabia is at least as culpable, if not more so, than Iran. Saudi Arabia has supported al Qaeda offshoot ISIS (which Iran is fighting) in Syria and Iraq. It is waging war against its tiny, impoverished neighbor, Yemen, on the unproven contention that the Houthi rebels they’re fighting are an Iranian proxy force. Al Queda in Yemen has been the beneficiary of this Saudi campaign. The US has been helping the Saudis, providing weapons and other military and intelligence support. After a Saudi missile, bought from the US, struck a Yemeni funeral, killing over 100 people, Obama held up an arms sale, but Trump is reconsidering and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is pushing for it. Thousands of its citizens are dying of malnutrition, but relief convoys can’t get through because Saudi Arabia has bombed much of the infrastructure. Yet, nobody is putting Saudi Arabia “on notice.” Trump recently sat down with the Saudi deputy crown prince for a convivial lunch.

Yemen marks the latest in a string of American military adventures stretching back to Korea. These forays have increased the power and wealth of the US military-industrial-intelligence complex, but have not attained any concrete military objective, i.e., winning. In Washington, nothing succeeds like failure. Trump has promoted some of failure’s architects to prominent places in his administration, and he’s increasing the military’s already bloated budget, with no check on its spendthrift ways. Notwithstanding failure’s staggering costs in blood and treasure, substantial elements of the foreign policy, military, and intelligence establishment, (including Hillary Clinton), want to train their sights on Syria, Iran, North Korea, Russia and China. After sixteen years the US cannot win a war in Afghanistan, but they want to take on the world’s second and third largest military forces (and nuclear arsenals) and three of their allies.

Trump’s voters elected him to reject, not buy into, the establishment and Clinton’s absurdity. Russia and China do not have the economic or military strength to build empires. (Nobody does; empires dissipate, not increase, strength.) They recognize the multipolarity the US rejects, and are leading diplomatic, financial, and economic initiatives with nations stretching from Southeast Asia to Europe. Whatever noises Trump made about establishing better relations with Russia have fallen by the wayside in the wake of the Russian “election hacking” and undue influence allegations. His administration’s stance towards China has been nonstop bluster. Last week Tillerson told North Korea it had better shape up or else, the “else” being possible US military action (LINK). As Justin Raimondo has argued, the tense and highly militarized situation on the Korean peninsula requires negotiations between the US, the Koreas, and China; saber rattling could lead to Korean War II or worse.

Trash talk, gestures, and threats may play well to domestic crowds, but they don’t get you far in international relations. If Trump engages in skirmishes over the Deep State’s surveillance of him, but carries water for its disastrous policies, including its surveillance of the American people, then his election was a waste of time. He can recognize the evolving multipolar world and negotiate, compromise, and deal, or he can try to maintain the US’s fading dominance. If he chooses the former, he has a shot at greatness. If he chooses the latter, his presidency will fail with the US empire.

Straight Line Logic



54 Comments on "Start Dealing"

  1. Cloggie on Mon, 20th Mar 2017 10:03 pm 

    Agree with every single line in this article.

  2. GregT on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 1:07 am 

    “Trump’s military policy in the Middle East has been indistinguishable from Obama’s, and a subtle diplomatic shift demonstrates that US unipolarity, rather than multipolar “deals,” will continue to be the order of the day.’

    The NWO is still alive and well. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss, only far more wealthy.

  3. Go Speed Racer on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 1:34 am 

    The Art of the Deal?

    Don’t pay your sub contractors!

    Lie to them!

    Make them sheetrock 85,000 square feet of
    Casino, and when they send the invoice,
    never pay it. Use Chapter 11, and a shell
    holding company, to your advantage.

    And move your daughter into the White House
    so she can sell perfume and expensive clothing
    to rich people!

    This is the Art of the Deal.

    (I can get better behavior out of Russian gypsies).

  4. Cloggie on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 2:31 am 

    The NWO is still alive and well. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss, only far more wealthy.

    That’s too simple and doesn’t explain why the deep state/establishment hates Trump with passion and wages open war against him or why he wages war against the media or snubs Merkel.

    On the other hand, why the hell does he need to increase his “defense” spending even more as if he can afford it?

    Here his recent speech explaining his “defense policy” in a somewhat thuggish style with a background of perhaps three euro and eight non-white youngsters, the face of the new America:

    “projecting American power in distant lands”

    WTF

    I don’t blame the Russians that they have no idea what The Donald is up to and neither do I and neither does the article.

  5. Cloggie on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 2:32 am 

    Forgot the link:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9_upCMonOU

  6. Davy on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 5:30 am 

    You have to admit Trump has balls. Another president would have folded on engaging Russia after what has happened, not Trump. He is remaining firm with his Nato policy of more burden sharing.

    “Rex Tillerson To Skip NATO Meeting, Will Visit Russia Instead”
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-20/rex-tillerson-skip-nato-meeting-will-visit-russia-instead

    “Tillerson intends to miss what would be his first meeting in Brussels with the 28 NATO members to attend President Donald Trump’s expected April 6-7 talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.”

    “Perhaps this is Trump’s way of demonstrating how little he cares about the public’s reaction to Comey’s revelations. Furthermore, Trump has already antagonized and worried NATO allies by referring to the Western security alliance as “obsolete” and by pressing other members to meet their commitments to spend at least 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense.”

  7. Davy on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 5:31 am 

    Looks like at least as far as Syria goes the status quo is on. This may change following the Tillerson meeting in Russia. Trump appears to be following his gaming strategy with no changes until there is a deal.

    “US’ Main Target In Syria Is Iran; ISIS Comes Second”
    http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/03/20/us-main-target-syria-iran-isis-comes-second.html

    “The fact of the matter is that conflicting signals are emanating out of Washington. Although Trump administration is yet to spell out its policies in the Middle East, the statement made by the US Central Command chief General Joseph Votel at the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 9 contains the Pentagon’s approach that do not augur well for an effective anti-terrorist campaign in Syria.”

    “It appears that the US is not looking for an anti-terrorist coalition to fight the ISIS in Syria in a concerted manner, which Russia would have liked. Washington’s preference seems to be for a limited alliance under its leadership, comprising the US’ European partners, Turkey and the GCC states. (The recent conclave in Washington on Syria, which excluded Russia and Iran, falls into perspective.) A question that arises here is whether it is the defeat of the Islamic State that is the US’ number one priority in Syria or the containment of Iran.”

  8. twocats on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 6:28 am 

    I miss infowars

  9. Cloggie on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 6:50 am 

    I miss infowars

    Marion le Pen responded to president Endorgan’s call that Turks in Europe should have 5 children by saying: Turks belong in Turkey:

    https://www.infowars.com/le-pen-niece-to-erdogan-turks-belong-in-turkey/

    The gloves are off in France and this time there is no Soros-backed Obama around to reprimand her. Trump won’t.

  10. Hello on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 7:18 am 

    Clogs, the gloves are not off at all in europe.

    Even with 40% youth unemployment in southern nations, no ones gloves are off. The very people (the young) that are supposed to change the world, are sucking it up.

    Meanswhile in more capable (northern) nations, economy is humming along just fine.
    Revolutions don’t happen with humming economies. Revolutions happen if you don’t have anyhting to loose no more.

    Meanswhile the first generation of eastern europeans are made used to having maybe 1 or 2% of 3rd worlds amongst them. While the next generation will see this increased, slowly.

    It’s relatively simple.
    1. Growing economies needs people.
    2. Since native women don’t have babies, they are imported.
    3. revolution don’t happen with a full stomach

    My grandmother (catholic) was FORBIDDEN to play with protestant childern (that was 100 years) ago. A fact to be lauged at now. In the same way, ragheads will slowly integrate, over many generations till it becomes a non-issue, a normal.

    Europe cannot be saved, I’m sorry. The only cure would be extensive and prolonged economic downturn, which doesn’t seem likely (but who knows).
    And even then, the blame must be projected onto the right victims. And nowadays it looks like the blame will be directed more towards the rich, bankers etc., not necessarly foreigners.

  11. JuanP on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 7:22 am 

    As a South American, I am very happy that the US government is continuing to pick fights in Europe, Africa, and Asia. I am even happy that Trump is picking on the Mexicans. Call me selfish but I just want the USA to stop interfering in my country. I never thought I’d say this but during the Obama years I missed W. While Bush was president the USA mostly ignored my continent and we had some time for ourselves. I am also glad thatTrump will spend more money in weapons and empire building. The sooner the USA goes bankrupt the better for the rest of the world.

    The rest of the world just want the USA to stop fucking with them and that will only happen when the USA goes bankrupt.

  12. makati1 on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 7:46 am 

    JuanP, I second that thought. Asia will be too far away for the U$ to meddle and the dollar will be on a 3rd world level. The days of a new smart phone every year will be gone for the serfs. The idea that trillions can be spent trying to contain a world that hates them, will be impossible to continue.

    I keep looking for the blood to run on Wall Street. Those who claim that Asia is the hell hole of the world will find out that it is the country that they live in that is the hell hole, exposed for all the world to see. Everyday, the ‘news’ exposes more and more of it.

  13. dkb on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 8:47 am 

    When isn’t there a conflict resulting in another war somewhere in the Middle East?

    The misery index in Aleppo is redlined.

    Iran and Iraq couldn’t see eye to eye for eight years in the eighties, the Soviet Union was all over Afghanistan for ten years.

    The British tried it, doesn’t work as planned.

    Even the US gets involved. Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, you name it, they’re here, there, and everywhere.

    Arms are traded in the process, blowback occurs. Revenge, people get hurt. You have to call 911.

    Probably won’t get any better for those who make war all of the time.

  14. Cloggie on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 9:41 am 

    Clogs, the gloves are not off at all in europe.

    You need to read more carefully Hello. I said that the gloves were off in the French election campaign.

  15. Cloggie on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 9:51 am 

    My grandmother (catholic) was FORBIDDEN to play with protestant childern (that was 100 years) ago. A fact to be lauged at now. In the same way, ragheads will slowly integrate, over many generations till it becomes a non-issue, a normal.

    I grew up in the sixties as a Protestant in the Catholic province of Brabant (all the provinces below the Rhine are majority Catholic except Zeeland; above the Rhine all Protestant). My family was one of the few Protestant one’s in my street. We played alright in a mixed fashion, but regularly I was being made to feel that I was different.

    Even with 40% youth unemployment in southern nations, no ones gloves are off. The very people (the young) that are supposed to change the world, are sucking it up.

    In Holland most of the young vote right. Spain has no right-wing parties… because they have no immigrants, big deal.

    Europe cannot be saved, I’m sorry.

    Completely disagree with that idea. The mood is clearly shifting in the Netherlands as well in France. The Germans still want to prove to the world that they are not (Hollywood) Nazis, but that won’t last too long either. Eastern Europe got rid of its leftist scumbags as well in 1989. We will too. I agree that a nice economic crash can do wonders. I had hoped that peak oil would be that crash, but Richard Heinberg failed to deliver.lol.

  16. Ghung on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 10:21 am 

    Justice Dept. closed investigation into Deutsche Bank currency manipulation

    “Deutsche Bank, the Trump Organization’s largest creditor, said Monday that the Justice Department recently closed a criminal investigation into possible currency manipulation.

    The Justice Department notified the German bank in a letter Feb. 13 that it was closing the investigation, Deutsche Bank said Monday in a public filing. ….

    …. Deutsche Bank has drawn special scrutiny in recent months because of its ties to Trump, which include billions of dollars of loans since the 1990s. Many of the loans have been paid off but four remain unpaid — on properties in Miami, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

    The four loans were worth a total of $364 million when they were made, between 2012 and 2015, and are now worth roughly $300 million, according to an estimate by Bloomberg.

    The Justice Department would not comment on its decision to close the investigation. Deutsche Bank did not return an email seeking comment.” ….

    This whole thing just keeps getting better and better. “Stinkin’ to high heaven”.

  17. Cloggie on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 11:43 am 

    US FM Tillerson snubs a NATO meeting early April. He prefers to visit Russia instead:

    http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/rex-tillerson-us-aussenminister-sagt-nato-treffen-ab-a-1139733.html

    Der Spiegel, not to mention NATO, are not amused.

    This whole thing just keeps getting better and better. “Stinkin’ to high heaven”.

    You are so right Ghung. It must be one giant Teutonic plot between Trump and ze Krauts.

  18. Jerome Purtzer on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 12:13 pm 

    Essential Trump-read the latest New Yorker article by Adam Davidson about Trump business deals in Baku, Azerbaijan. It is one of many examples of the infinite greed trumped by stupidity that are the essence of The Donald. The fact that the 48% of the people who voted for him have bought into the marketing hype that he will make America great like the 50’s and 60’s, only proves that a sucker/investor is born every second.

  19. BobInget on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 12:22 pm 

    Ya can’t ‘deal’ if ya don’t play.
    Sec. Tillerson skipping NATO. Instead, he’s going to Russia. (one hopes, for political asylum)

  20. Davy on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 1:05 pm 

    Jerome, get real with Trump voters. Your dumbass party lost the election from a horrible lack of honesty and integrity. You deserve Trump up your butt for 4 years. Then maybe you will learn the meaning of honesty.

  21. DerHundistlos on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 2:11 pm 

    @ Davy

    I don’t follow your logic. By inference you claim that your party won due to a wealth of honesty and integrity. Really?

    @ Juan P

    I live in Colombia. I don’t know of a single Colombian who would agree with your statement as it relates to Colombia, “While Bush was president the USA mostly ignored my continent and we had some time for ourselves.” The US military, CIA, and DEA, thanks to the collusion of former president and Bush protege Uribe, acted with impunity without any controls or oversight in the internal affairs of Colombia. In response, the Colombian electorate voted out of office Uribe and his party. Even then, Uribe refused to leave gracefully. He attempted to nullify the constitution of the Colombian Republic by pressuring the Corte Suprema de Justicia de Colombia to appoint him as president for life.

    With the election of Trump, the interventionist forces that had taken a sabbatical during the Obama years are emboldened and are attempting a return to the good ole Bush years of Colombia as a vassal state. Here is just one example per a letter I submitted in January (never received a response, wonder why?):

    Estimado Presidente Trump:

    Dos mineras norteamericanas demandan para operar una mina de oro en un parque nacional en el departamento colombiano de Amazonas. El Tribunal Constitucional de Colombia ha dictaminado que el parque nacional se estableció de manera legal y que la minería NO está permitida en áreas protegidas.

    Mediante la presentación de un acuerdo de disputa inversionista-estatal con la Asociación Americana de Arbitraje en Texas. Las empresas están intentando anular la Corte Suprema de Justicia de Colombia y obligar la República de Colombia a rendirse a la voluntad de empresarios extranjeros. Las compañías están demandando $ 16.5 mil millones en daños – el valor supuesto del depósito de oro que intentan explotar.

    Los acuerdos de libre comercio entre Colombia y los Estados Unidos y Canadá constituyen el fundamento jurídico de sus acciones.

    Les pedimos que pongan en marcha la disposición para los paneles de solución de controversias entre inversionista y estado privado (ISDS) de los acuerdos de libre comercio. ISDS es una amenaza para la justicia y la democracia. El bienestar de los seres humanos y la naturaleza deben venir antes de los beneficios de las empresas de los Estados Unidos.

    Atentamente,

    DerHundistLos
    Conservacion Colombia, NGO

  22. Davy on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 2:24 pm 

    Not my party der hund. I am an independent. My party is doom. You can have your grotesque party politics. I voted for Trump for one reason only and that was the Democratic Party and libitards have become so horrible there is no way in good conscious I could vote for them. Even now after the trouncing in the polls look at the leadership. There is zero to look forward to. The democrats today remind me of the Republicans over the past 8 years and that is losers with a capital L. I couldn’t stand McCain or Romney. There are many conservative Republicans around here. For the last 8 years I constantly gave these people hell about their looser party. Now I am giving people like you hell. Der Hund, give me some real leadership and I will vote your party but don’t make me sick with what you are today. Trump and the Republicans do not represent my values but at this time I love how they are making the democrats hurt. It is only through pain and suffering that a real leader might emerge. Your party will have to hit rock bottom and reemerge as a real deal.

  23. DerHundistlos on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 3:00 pm 

    @ Davy

    At least I posses the honesty to realize that my interests, for the most part, align with the Democratic party.

    You claim to be in independent, yet your actions and proclamations identify you as a staunch RepubliCON.

    Quoting from, “The Outlaw Josey Wales”, Don’t go pissing down my back and tell me it’s raining, Davey.

  24. Sissyfuss on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 3:02 pm 

    Davy, in a bizzaro world such as ours, who better to lead us into the predicament than Clump, the magnificent.

  25. Sissyfuss on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 3:05 pm 

    Derhund, your proclivities like mine better align with the Green Party. A pity they are so inconsequential, give them a few years and they may become relevant.

  26. Davy on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 3:15 pm 

    Sorry, der hund, your interpretation not my reality. Label me all you like but I am a doomer. Neither party supports doom. I am an environmentalist and neither party is real about the environment. This is especially true of the republicans but your democrats are so deep into status quo destructive behavior there is no way a democrat can claim to be pro environment in my book. Just like the fake news democratic media so are the democratic environmentalist fake green.

  27. DerHundistlos on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 3:17 pm 

    Davy, I forgot to mention that you must feel terribly conflicted. You honestly care about the well being of the natural world. Your words emanate from the heart and I deeply admire your writing style regarding the natural world.

    So how do you square feeling with such passion for the land, the flora, and fauna yet support vociferously the most anti-environmental president and political party in its present incarnation ever? This is the text book definition of a polar opposite contradiction. I think this may be why you attack with such vitriol any poster who dares question our dear leader. Rather than defend Trump, you make the conversation about the Democrats, despite the Dems having, at least for the next two years, zero influence or impact on the national policy agenda. Every decision and consequence that happens is pure Trump/Republican. As with Trump’s disastrous first military intervention in Yemen and his lame attempt to blame Obama, the American people are smart enough to know the difference. Now it’s Trump’s claims that his campaign was tapped by the FBI on orders from Obama. Even members of his own party are embarrassed by such blatant lies (dishonesty) and areworried about the accumulating blow back.

  28. DerHundistlos on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 3:22 pm 

    @ Siss

    Yes, I totally agree with you, but I always worry that a vote for the Greens is a vote for the bad guys. So what is a realist to do?

    Also, you mentioned that you worked in the recycling industry. I hope you will share your experiences and suggestions. I and I am sure many others want to know. Thank you.

  29. Davy on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 3:23 pm 

    Siss, I have given up on any and all leadership. Something might rise out of the tar pit of decline but I doubt it. Even if real leadership materialized what could it ever accomplish? No leadership will embrace decline and still be leadership.

    If I like some things about Trump it is only because there is some comedy that goes with tragedy. He is not a status quo politician. He is a status quo businessman. I don’t like anything about Trump the businessman. I like him as a politician only because he is not status quo. The status quo is horrible so anyone that shatters that facade is great in my book. Juan P and I are on the same wave in this respect.

  30. Davy on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 3:31 pm 

    Der hund, Trump was set up in Yeman. That was an Obama operation that was handed to him. The element of surprise was compromised and I am sure it was one of the team anti-Trump characters that did it. We have some horrible characters in that shadow world of corrupt power.

    You need to take off your rose colored glasses and see reality. You are truely off the deep end of realism. That is the problem today with liberals. They are unable to reality test. They are living in a fake world of social justice and environmentalism just not the real kind.

  31. Apneaman on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 3:40 pm 

    Don’t Get Distracted: The Reality Of Extinction Must Trump The Sideshow

    “Oldspeak: “As we fix our collective and terrified gaze on the (dangerous) antics of a canny bully and his gang, more and more evidence emerges to suggest that no matter what they do, what any of us do, our species’ time on this planet is rapidly drawing to a close. Certainly that which we term ‘civilization’ is well into its final act. Trump and his cronies are an engine that will vastly accelerate this near inevitability, but the greater decimation is not of his making.

    Very few of us would like to look in this direction, to consider the increasing probability, for instance, that most of the children born this year may not make it to middle-age, quite possibly not even to adulthood. Even in first world countries. Even in the upper economic echelons of first world countries. This reality—as opposed to the surreality emerging from the White House– appears to offer so little to work with, to engage with, to, well…DO. As humans, most of us like to DO, and we like to find ways to feel valid and hopeful and good about our lives. It isn’t always easy and the specter of repeatedly chosen self-destruction looms darkly right now, acknowledged or not. Survival fears, well-founded ones that currently spark in a panoply of flavors, drive many of us, intent upon finding comfort, into unconsciousness, denial, frantic action.”

    https://theoldspeakjournal.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/dont-get-distracted-the-reality-of-extinction-must-trump-the-sideshow/

  32. DerHundistlos on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 4:44 pm 

    In my commentary to Juan P, I addressed the resurrection of a cabal of US based businesses working in unison to subvert the Colombian constitution. Whereas the US government permits the exploitation of natural resources from protected areas, the Colombian Supreme Court voted unilaterally that Colombia’s protected areas are entirely off limits. Resource extraction or any activity that degrades the natural environment of these large areas is strictly prohibited. During Bush’s final term, Dick Cheney, working in collaboration with former President Uribe, attempted to overturn this decision, but thankfully ran out of time.

    In a current test case, the reconstituted business consortium is now demanding payment by Colombia for the expected value of gold deposits in a national park as reparation for not permitting a US based gold mining company. The Trump administration is threatening an import tax on Colombian goods if Colombia does not reimburse the mining company.

  33. DerHundistlos on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 4:51 pm 

    Davy, our dear leader gave final approval for the Yemen military disaster. He could have said, NO to the operation. Trump is the commander and chief. As Harry Truman said, “THE BUCK STIOPS HERE”, except for Trump. You are an excuse making machine. If the operation had been a blazing success, I have no doubt you would give all the credit to Obama and none for Trump, right?

    By the way, I thought you made clear that Trump would disengage the US from military adventurism overseas.

  34. JuanP on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 5:07 pm 

    Derhund, Yes, Colombia is a special case within South America. The USA has been fucking Colombia nonstop for over 40 years. Venezuela and Bolivia have also been punished since Morales and Chavez came to power. My perspective applies more to the Southern Cone of South America, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay.

    The truth is that most of the world is getting worse regardless of what the USA does. I feel for Colombians and Cubans because I think they have suffered more at the USA’s hands than most of Latin America.

  35. makati1 on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 5:15 pm 

    The Imperial circus gets better and better. The Don gets farther and farther down the rabbit hole. His ‘Mad Tea Party’ crowd (Not to be confused with that other ‘tea party’) of ex military, Wall Streeters and miscellaneous corporate plunderers is about to begin the final destruction of America. How many more wars of choice can the Empire support before it all crashes down? One more? Two? NONE? We shall see. Pass the popcorn.

  36. Davy on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 5:16 pm 

    Der Hund, if you are going to fight you are going to die. You don’t do complicated dangerous missions and always expect everyone to get out alive. Besides let’s move past the details of Trump and DC politics. I am talking about the status quo and liberals in general. We know the conservatives are a lost cause. They are deniers and skydaddy worshippers to name a few. I am not here to put down skydaddy worshiping what I will put down is making policy based upon it. They are unconcerned with the environment in relation to the economy. They like trickle down prosperity.

    My point with the liberals is affluence has corrupted them. Power and privilege has damaged their wisdom. There is no way to seek social justice and sound environmentalism with a platform of affluence, population growth, and globalism. This means most modern liberal policy is a failure. The only policy that has a chance of success is one that embraces decline. This means a policy of less with a basis in fairness and localism. This means and end to mass immigration and mass global travel. This means and end to development of all kinds. It is about a degrowth process that is about collapse. There is no way to degrowth a growth based system without some degree and duration of collapse. This is about a 180 degree turning of the ship with lifeboats and hospices. I could give a shit about the democrats and the republicans. Both parties are beyond a joke they are killing us. Get with the picture Der Hund. Open your eyes and turn your back on the status quo. Wake up.

  37. onlooker on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 5:17 pm 

    “The USA has been fucking Colombia nonstop for over 40 years.” The US has been fucking everyone in its continent for at least 60 years

  38. Cloggie on Tue, 21st Mar 2017 5:50 pm 

    Talking about deals and Bolivia: Germany and China are pushing for the construction of the Transocean railways through the heart of the South-American continent from Pacific to Atlantic:

    http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/soziales/zug-zwischen-den-ozeanen-deutschland-will-jahrhundertprojekt-in-suedamerika-bauen-a-1139682.html

    Germany the red line, through Bolivia and China the green line.

  39. Revi on Wed, 22nd Mar 2017 8:12 am 

    I really don’t think our new leader is any different from the old ones. The whole idea is to get the world to accept the fact that we are the ones you send your stuff to. Then we give them IOU’s. I think he’s beginning to realize that he’s not the one calling the shots now. We’re only about 2 months into this presidency. There is still the “healthcare bill”, the budget and the big one, getting 218 votes to up the debt ceiling. The clock’s ticking. We’ll see…

  40. Jerome Purtzer on Wed, 22nd Mar 2017 11:07 am 

    Davy, I might consider myself an old school Democrat-you know, civil rights all that happy stuff. The party started to go wrong in the early Clinton years when they deregulated the banks, jumped on Welfare etc. to appeal to Reagan Republicans-the whole veer right thing. Bush 2, Obama more of the same. So I guess if your theory is that electing a morally bankrupt Russian Style Oligarch to lead our country is the answer to our problems, we’ll have to wait and see. If the first 60 days are any indicator, he has proved that he is no better at running the country than running his failed businesses, marriages,Universities and on and on. If your theory is that he’ll crash the Country/Planet you are probably correct. Did you read the New Yorker article March 13, 2017 titled Donald Trump’s Worst Deal. I don’t know if it was his worst deal but it was in the top 10.

  41. Davy on Wed, 22nd Mar 2017 11:21 am 

    “So I guess if your theory is that electing a morally bankrupt Russian Style Oligarch to lead our country is the answer to our problems, we’ll have to wait and see.”

    Jerome, by no means is Trump the answer but he is your legacy of a failure of liberalism based on a horrible Obama 2 and the offering of Clinton as your choice of a leader. Anything is better than Clinton, anything. The answer is for something new to rise from the ashes and that looks pretty unlikely since all sides are compromised and corrupt. So, Jerome, I am saying both sides are a failure. The country is a failure. Globalism is failing. What part of failure are you not understanding? Be patient the Republicans will shit their nest and as the country declines voters will increasingly vote the opposition until one day they get the hint all is lost and neither side has answers to our predicaments.

  42. Cloggie on Wed, 22nd Mar 2017 11:28 am 

    The country is a failure. Globalism is failing.

    Wanna know about my constructive proposition?

    Ah forget it, just kidding.

    I really don’t think our new leader is any different from the old ones.

    Really? So how do you explain that the MSM, CIA, FBI and a host of others are waging war against him, if his is more of the same?

  43. BobInget on Wed, 22nd Mar 2017 1:28 pm 

    Saudi export distribution choke points now in peril.
    Washington Post web site for additional.

    Houthi forces are using a type of drone probably built by Iran to attack Saudi and UAE missile defense sites in Yemen, an arms research organization said in a report Wednesday.

    The report, put out by the group Conflict Armament Research, or CAR, looks at seven Houthi Qasef-1 drones and one drone engine recovered by forces from the United Arab Emirates. Six of the drones were captured in October on a known Iranian smuggling route that runs through Oman, while another was found after an attack by Houthi forces near Aden, Yemen, last month.

    [Iran holds military exercises in response to U.S. sanctions]

    The Qasef-1 is “consistent with descriptions and imagery” of an Iranian drone called the Ababil-T, produced by Iran’s Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company, according to the report.

    Last month, the Houthis released an infographic indicating that the drone had been indigenously built in Yemen.

    “The Qasef-1 not only shares near-identical design and construction characteristics with the [Ababil-T],” the report says, “but also features identical serial number prefixes.”

    Posted note;
    Once missile defense sites are eliminated or compromised, Iran is free to deploy missiles of their own making. BTW this war is six years in the making.
    Even w/o directly attacking oil infrastructure, Saudis
    will be broke in a year unless they can pull off
    the ARAMCO con.

    Keep in mind ARAMCO is supplying most of the fuels to its various wartime ‘coalition’ members, including the USA.

    On the face of it, a hot war ongoing between Iran and Saudi Arabia should be warning enough. Anyone who believes KSA can continue this ruinous adventure endlessly needs to reexamine the situation.

  44. BobInget on Wed, 22nd Mar 2017 1:36 pm 

    Trump’s powers have been minimized.
    He is no longer a threat to democracy.

    DJT’s problems are only now becoming evident.
    President T will, for the foreseeable future be obsessed with survival. (staying out of Federal Prison)

  45. Jerome Purtzer on Wed, 22nd Mar 2017 3:08 pm 

    Hey Davy, I think the basis of our common misconception is that I assume that because you voted for Trump that you are/were a card carrying, goose stepping, big corporate loving Republican and you assume that because I am opposed to all that is Trump that I am a Tree Hugging, big government loving Democrat and that I voted for Hillary. Wrong on all counts. I believe that John Michael Greer is absolutely correct in his theory of Catabolic Collapse which began back in the 70’s. We have these reactive elections/spasms which are becoming more hysterical with time. All of the politicians promise the impossible and when that does not come to pass everyone in the middle lurches over to the other side. As the Trumpster would say “so sad”. I agree with you that we are heading toward global collapse. The exact date is uncertain just like Peak Oil. The Democrats did some good with civil rights, social security etc. and the Republicans freed the slaves? Right? But that was far in the past.

  46. Davy on Wed, 22nd Mar 2017 5:02 pm 

    Alright Jerome, we can holster our guns and go back to watching this tradegy/comedy unfold. You have any recommendations on popcorn?

  47. DerHundistlos on Wed, 22nd Mar 2017 9:17 pm 

    @ APE

    YES INDEED. The lies, dishonesty, and and all-round malfeasance, albeit now on an industrial scale, are most likely a purposeful diversion from the MASS EXTINCTION EMERGENCY.

    Thank you for the clarification.

  48. DerHundistlos on Wed, 22nd Mar 2017 10:04 pm 

    “Besides let’s move past the details of Trump and DC politics. I am talking about the status quo and liberals in general.”

    President Cheeto et al IS the status quo. While I appreciate your desire to make the conversation about liberals and Democrats, my party has no relevance for at least the next two years so why the desire to debate a topic that has NO bearing on current affairs? A clever diversion as alluded to by Ape.

    To be clear, I am a PROUD Jimmy Carter, Fritz Mondale, Dick Gephardt Democrat. Never supported the Clinton’s from day 1. Matter of fact, in 1992 I made sure my precinct went to the convention, “Uncommitted”.

    Also, I refuse to make an equivalency between the Cons and the Dems. This shoudl explain why:

    Watch the shocking Discovery Chanel/BBC documentary posted to YouTube titled, “Conspiracy of Silence” about the widespread sexual abuse of the boys at Boys’ Town by numerous national Republican politicians and wealthy financial donors (Note: my cousin was sexually abused by these perverts when he was 14/15 and was so disturbed that he committed suicide at age 17- he was bright, athletic, kind, and good looking with his whole life in front of him). You will hear former Republican Nebraska State Senator and Chairman of the state committee charged with investigating the affair, Loran Schmit, state that the pedophilia reached the highest levels of the Republican Party (to Mr. Schmit’s credit, he was so disgusted that he resigned from the state senate/Republican Party and returned to farming).

    The Republican’s attempted to whitewash the entire event by purchasing the documentary’s publication rights for a monumental sum, but fortunately a few copies were leaked before the evidence could be destroyed. Unfortunately, the Republicans have been mostly successful in erasing the truth, which is why I am doing everything possible to make people aware of the facts.

    Here is the YouTube address for the documentary, “Conspiracy of Silence”:
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DquLnRycZms

  49. Davy on Thu, 23rd Mar 2017 6:02 am 

    “my party has no relevance for at least the next two years so why the desire to debate a topic that has NO bearing on current affairs? A clever diversion as alluded to by Ape.”

    Your party is part of the deep state and they are very much relevant. You are the opposition and you are the legacy that got us here. You want to wash your hands of this and walk away like a bull in a china store. Your damage has been done and it is still being done throughout society where your rich liberal privileged elite are conning the poor sheeple elite wannabees into a war against any and all they disagree with. This is about a party that has been hijacked and turned into a movement of corruption instrumental in social decline. You can’t fight fascism with fascism and violence with violence. Your leaders are bought off by rich industrialist and Wall Street. Your academia and scientific community are deceiving themselves that the means justify the ends when they are not honest about the ends. There is little chance of a techno transition away from the destructive effects of modernism. Techno gave us modern and modern gave us destruction.

    Trump and the republicans will likely do nothing good for the country or the world that is clear. No one can do any good for the world in its predicaments except those who embrace localism and decline. That is a step away from digging the hole deeper. Those who embrace real social justice through poverty like the monks of old are the future leaders. The deception is a two party system that is really one party and a deep state. It is really a global system of corrupted liberal democracy and market based capitalism in its final days. Your side thinks it can make this failure right with failed policy. Your side is the flip side of the coin of failure.

  50. Davy on Thu, 23rd Mar 2017 6:19 am 

    Is this what you are bragging about? Sick. I thought only republicans did this.

    “Davos For Democrats: DNC Mega Donors Meet At Mandarin Oriental Hotel To Plot “The Resistance”
    http://tinyurl.com/lfmyn5o

    “The Daily Beast just published an article previewing what should be referred to from this day forth as Davos for Democrats; a big-money infused orgy of wealthy donors telling their political puppets what to do as they mingle at one of the most luxurious hotel chains in the world.”

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