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Kunstler: Wonderland

Public Policy

There are times in the course of events when a society cannot tell what the fuck is going on, or what to do about it, and this is one of those moments in history here in the USA. The quandaries of life on the home front — how to make a living, how to care for ourselves and loved ones — get shoved aside by misadventures in foreign lands with their own quandaries. One delusion leads to another until you enter a zero gravity of the mind. Case in point du jour: Syria.

The persistent hyperRussomania of the US Dem-Prog alliance and its sob-sisters in the media seeks to make a bad situation worse in Syria and probably for the worst reasons. How many Americans have even the dimmest idea what’s going on in Syria, who the cast of characters there represent, and where the USA fits into all of it?

There is the head of government, one Bashar al Assad (son of the previous president, Hafez al Assad). The Assads had run Syria as a mostly secular Arab state until the civil war within Islam, Sunni against Shia, spilled out of Iraq. The Assads belonged to the tiny Alawite sect of the Shia. They comprise only 13 percent of the Syrian population, which has a Sunni majority. Under the Assads, Syria has tilted toward Iran, the Shia home state, and away from the Sunni Arabs elsewhere in the neighborhood. Russia has cultivated Iran and support its “friends,” the Assads.

A mash-up of Sunni jihad armies fights the Assad government in Syria’s civil war. These are Isis, al Qaeda, and Jabhat al Nusra. The US government had made official noise about supporting the more “moderate rebels” in the Syrian conflict. Who are they exactly? Do you have a clue? Which army among those three rebel groups are “moderates?” And what is their moderate goal under jihad? To topple Assad. And then what? To set up a new theocratic government perhaps? How is it in America’s interests to promote Islamic jihadi theocracy?

One hypothesis is that the struggle is over who gets to run gas and oil pipelines through Syria to get easier access to the Mediterranean Sea and the European energy market. Iran would very badly like to do that. But they are in competition with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the little giant emirate of natural gas. So, you have the Iran/Shia gang on one side and the KSA/Qatar/Sunni on the other side. Anybody who had scanned the news since 1979 can probably tell whose side the US is on. By the way, this hypothesis has had no airing among the mainstream media triumvirate: The New York Times, CNN, and The WashPo. These news orgs won’t even entertain that angle of the story… but as I said, it’s only a hypothesis.

It was not so many weeks ago that President Trump met with the crown prince of KSA at the White House to give assurances of American friendship and support. KSA is supposedly America’s chief ally against Isis in Syria. Yet, KSA and the USA are dedicated to getting rid of the Assad government as well as Isis. That is, we are against both sides in the Syrian civil war. Still wondering why the American public is confused by all this? Do you know who our choice is to replace Assad? Can you name an opposition figure? Of course you can’t. There is nobody. What the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department, and the NSA seem to have in mind is the familiar failed state policy that has worked so well in the past (not).

Which brings us to the curious case of Bashar Assad’s recent supposed poison gas bombing of civilians in Khan Sheikhoun. The media triumvirate was avid to play along with the story. I don’t know about you, but I have to ask myself: what would Assad’s strategic goal be in gas bombing women and children? To gin up worldwide positive PR? To get the Syrian people on his side against Isis and other jihadis? What advantage could Assad possibly gain? In warfare generally, the tacticians strike against military targets. There’s a hypothesis that Assad’s air force sought to strike a rebel arms depot in Idlib province — a military target. The hypothesis goes further, saying that the depot contained phosgene and chlorine gas, but not Sarin. The wind carried these released gases among civilian homes and streets in Khan Sheikhoun. People suffered and died. Evidence for the absence of Sarin gas is that the gassing victims were handled manually by doctors and aid workers in street clothes. Sarin can kill on skin contact and doctors have to treat it in protective gear. So, maybe the gas wasn’t Sarin and maybe it wasn’t dropped in bombs from Assad’s planes. But, like the pipeline angle of the story, this hypothesis is missing in the media triumvirate’s pages.

President Trump was lauded mostly for the missile strike against the Syrian air force base that followed. The Dem/Progs and The New York Times gave him brownie points, if only for it being a swipe against Russia. It seemed so clever, what with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Mar-a-Lago dinner table where, presumably, the subject of the maniac in North Korea came up. Days later, a US aircraft carrier group steamed to the waters off Kim Jong Un’s fortress state. Which brings forth another hypothesis: that the Syria missile strike was solely a demonstration of US military will vis-a-vis the more ominous threat over in Asia — an attempt to get Xi to do something about the Kim Jong Un before we do.

It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out. The big fear is that in the event of a rumble, Kim will turn Seoul into an ashtray. The South Korean capital is only a few miles from the DMZ between the two states. The US couldn’t find a jucier enemy than Kim Jong Un, a character so improbable he might have been dreamed up in a Batman comic. Hence, he’s comprehensible to an American public that more and more looks like the ever-present crowd of perplexed bystanders in a Batman movie.


I was quite surprised to hear that a podcast called “S-Town,” about the dark doings in an Alabama backwater, had become a huge hit on the Web-waves. Back around 2012-2013, I had some email correspondence from John B. McLemore, the tragic figure at the center of the series. He was a real person, referred to by various people in the series as “brilliant,” “a genius,” “a real character,” and he was for sure.

Apparently, he was also a fan of my books. He got my phone number off my website and took to calling me on the phone. I probably had a dozen long phone conversations with him. Hours. It is well-known now that he called his home of Woodstock, Alabama, “Shit-town.” He regaled me with many a sordid tale of the home-folk, and even of himself. The place sounded like Hieronymus Bosch meets Dogpatch. Since John B seemed so unhappy under his mask of hilarity and mirth, I tried to encourage him to think about moving. He always had an excuse for not doing that, but clearly John B and the neighbors he disdained, fought with, looked for love with, had a synergistic thing going. They needed each other to play out their never-ending crazy scripts of cracker mischief, vengeance, and failure. After a while, John B went dark. I thought he’d just gotten tired of me telling him to move.

I was startled to hear in the second episode of the “S-Town” podcast that John B had made good on his constant intimations of suicide. Startled, but not especially surprised. He was more than a fish out of water. He was like a Martian suffocating in an atmosphere too heavy for him. I suspect the truth is there are thousands of places like “S-Town” all over America, places devastated by the poor choices of the last several generations — most particularly the way they threw away their livelihoods and surrendered to one vice after another in boredom, defeat, and self-loathing. It’s a very sad story and it’s not over yet by a long shot.


19 Comments on "Kunstler: Wonderland"

  1. onlooker on Mon, 10th Apr 2017 10:49 am 

    Yes, the US is a sad story but so is the entire planet. We are a sadly forlorn species. No better proof than as the planets capacity to remain habitable is rapidly diminishing all we can do is continue fighting with each other

  2. Cloggie on Mon, 10th Apr 2017 10:59 am 

    How is it in America’s interests to promote Islamic jihadi theocracy?

    KSA is a fine theocracy and nevertheless a staunch ally of the US. Washington doesn’t care who runs Syria, just as long as Syria is a US vassal, just like all Gulf states are. It’s not rocket science, mr Kunstler.

    The US doesn’t about Sunny or Shia. They happen to be anti-Shia for one reason only: because the Iranian population threw out the Shah, who was a puppet of Washington. If it had been the other way around, namely a Shah still in Iran and the Saudi-population having thrown out the House of Saud (and Saudi-Arabia stopped being called like that), Washington would be big buddies now with Iran and “hating” KSA.

    The pipe-line story does play a role but is of secondary importance. The main motivation in the Syrian drama was an attempt by Washington to draw the country into it’s own orbit, just like in Ukraine 2014 (and Western Europe in 1945). Like in Afghanistan they encouraged Turkey, KSA and Qatar to hire rent-a-jihadist for a few hundred $ per month in an attempt to topple Assad, just like these folks toppled the Russian occupation in Afghanistan. Unfortunately for the US, these Jihadist used their gains in Iraq and Syria to setup a Caliphate operation for themselves and merely organized terrorist attacks in European Infidel country. After all, the Caliphate is designed by Mohamed to eventually become a global enterprise, in stiff competition with the NWO, pursued by yet another Abrahamic religion, but I digress.

    To be continued.

  3. onlooker on Mon, 10th Apr 2017 11:08 am 

    Clog, the people in KSA are devout Muslims but the royalty sheikhs are just a depraved bunch of rich people

  4. GregT on Mon, 10th Apr 2017 12:24 pm 

    Looks like Canadian Prime Minister Justine Trudeau has finally been read the riot act. Here we go again………..

    Trudeau says path to peace in Syria doesn’t include Assad

    Canada is open to more sanctions against Russia for its support of Syrian regime, PM says

    Removing Assad a U.S. priority

  5. GregT on Mon, 10th Apr 2017 12:42 pm 

    Russian naval activity in Europe exceeds Cold War levels: U.S. admiral

  6. GregT on Mon, 10th Apr 2017 12:58 pm 

    After NATO’s failure, Russia eyes oil-rich Libya

    Russia’s burgeoning connections to a powerful Libyan warlord could signal that President Vladimir Putin sees an opportunity in Libya’s chaos to sideline the West and catapult Moscow into the position of power broker on NATO’s southern flank.

  7. Anonymouse on Mon, 10th Apr 2017 1:00 pm 

    JT serves a function not unlike that of barack obomber. Ostensibly, a ‘liberal’, he is a loyal a servant of washingdum and tel aviv as harper is. JT is basically harper, but with far better optics and media management. Harper’s actions and those of his low-IQ cabinet made him an easy target. The neo-liberal wonder-boy otoh, can get away with pretty much everything harper did, with barely a ripple by the ‘free press’, or by ‘liberals’ here in the great-white north.

    But this is equally true in the all uS colonies. All political parties in the american empire, whatever ideology they profess, whether in power, or in opposition hardly matters, support uS hegemony. The officially approved ‘leaders’ and ‘parties’ scattered about Oceania, are really a singular entity. Opposition to uS and ISISraeli narratives and agenda’s even in the mildest way, is strictly forbidden.

  8. onlooker on Mon, 10th Apr 2017 1:10 pm 

    The Mad scramble for the securing of resources has begun in earnest or as they say in the jungle survival of the fittest

  9. Jerry McManus on Mon, 10th Apr 2017 6:51 pm 

    I actually moved to an S-Town a few years ago, and yeah, it’s as bad as it sounds.

    I’m still trying to figure out just how big a mistake it was…

  10. Boat on Mon, 10th Apr 2017 7:39 pm 


    Is Russia being directed by the Jews to go after Lybia and increase activity or simply being manipulated by the Jews to think that’s what they should do.

  11. Sissyfuss on Mon, 10th Apr 2017 8:18 pm 

    Ape-man, would love to hear your take on the new wunderkind of the great white north, Justin Trudat.

  12. GregT on Mon, 10th Apr 2017 8:19 pm 


    I already provided you with a link to the BBC documentary explaining how Putin kicked the Jewish deep state out of Russia. Much of that documentary was interviews with the Jewish oligarchs themselves. The ones that fled to the US and Europe that is. The ones that are in prison were not available for comment.

    If you would take the time to watch it, you might look a little less like an complete idiot.

  13. GregT on Mon, 10th Apr 2017 9:23 pm 

    And also Boat,

    If you had a half a brain in your head, you would understand that the article I linked above is propaganda. Just like the rest of the BS being spewed at an ever increasingly daily level throughout the entire Associated “Free” Press. The US deep state’s propaganda machine.

  14. GregT on Mon, 10th Apr 2017 9:32 pm 

    And that Stars and Stripes propaganda piece would be about Libya.

    Not Lybia. Moron.

  15. joe on Tue, 11th Apr 2017 1:25 am 

    Sorry to tell him. Solution on Syria DOES include Assad. Syrias Sunnis had their choice, to stay and fight and live as devout conservative jihadist subjects. 11 million Syrians have voted with their feet. The level of racism expressed by the US left is shocking, blaming Allawites because Assad is alawite is an evil belief. It should have been easy to topple Assad, because he was supposedly weak, yet he hung on becuase many Sunnis and Christians fight for SYRIA, their home, they dont want jihadists to create states on their border. Would you? Muslims in general are not stupid, many I speak to know this war is a Saudi/US plot all about oil. But with Homs, Aleppo, Damascus, Hama and Palmyra and Deir Ezzor almost fully liberated it seems that the US must either accept Assad or face the prospect of invasion.
    Why did the US leave Iraq, or did that reason vanish down liberals memory hole? I remember, al qaeda in Iraq (now called isis) was mopping the floor with America in the hated Sunni Triangle, so the US paid tribes to give the US cover for extraction, so called awakening councils were formed and the propaganda was job done, lets go, declare victory.
    That should have been that.
    But sombody in the US thought it would be a good idea to expand the war into Syria. Whoever that was, has had a more disastrous foreign policy idea than Charlie Wilsons Afghan Arabs.

  16. joe on Tue, 11th Apr 2017 1:31 am 

    As for onlookers comment on Muslims in Saudi, I mean, devout? He realises that every Friday sombody is flogged or beheaded publicly, such devotion to God….

    What does it say in Americs about cruel and unusual somthings…..


  17. Hubert on Tue, 11th Apr 2017 9:54 pm 

    Crazy Loons:

  18. makati1 on Wed, 12th Apr 2017 2:44 am 

    In today’s news:

    “Food stamps are important because we’re only 9 meals away from a revolution. For as long as the government can keep feeding people, the worst of social unrest, looting, rioting, mass migrations, and civil wars can be held off.

    Since the carrying capacity of the U.S.A without fossil fuels is about 100 million people (the population in 1920 before fossil fuels tripled carrying capacity), quite a few more of us will be on food stamps over the next few decades.”

    “Life Expectancy Indicates A Nation’s Overall Well Being – So Why Is America’s Dropping?”

    “… life is sacrifice and risk taking, and nothing that doesn’t entail some moderate amount of the former, under the constraint of satisfying the latter, is close to what we can call life. If you do not undertake a risk of real, reversible or even potentially irreversible, harm from an adventure, it is not an adventure.” ( I am on a great adventure and enjoying every minute of it. ^_^

    BTW: The World Bank just said that the Philippines is a leader in growth in S.E. Asia with an annual projected GDP growth of 6.9% in 2017 and 2018. Eat your heart out America. Best you will do is 1-2%. Maybe.

  19. stumble guys on Thu, 24th Nov 2022 3:21 am 

    This will help make sure that you’re not confused when learning how to play this popular tile sliding game

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