Democratic follies

Western publics gulled into war in which everyone loses.

Blog no. 158.

I promised a blog about Trump’s two summits, the one with NATO leaders and the other, with Putin in Helsinki. I also promised that after Helsinki, I would comment at greater length on the Russia, Israel and USA triangular relationship in the context of the Middle East. However so much, of much greater import has happened post-Helsinki, that the Middle East will have to wait for another blog. The outcome of the NATO meeting, in contrast to Helsinki, was largely predictable.

Trump has previously and on many occasions, made his position completely clear; he has no time for multinational organisations and nothing but contempt for leaders, who would prefer to rely on others to look after their countries’ interests. Looking at the post-NATO summit TV footage of Trump pursued by HM The Queen, as he reviewed the bear-skinned guard of honour, one couldn’t help but feel that the bully in him was positively enjoying tweaking the noses of the decrepit lion and its monarch, a 90-year old lady!

There is no shortage of commentary on the NATO event, so I need not dwell on it. By demanding that the debt-crippled EU members of NATO increase their defense expenditure to a ludicrous 4% of GDP, he was in effect saying ‘go on and bust a gut – I couldn’t care what happens to you.’ (1.) The following week in Helsinki he was effectively saying to the European compradors ‘Suckers! All this threat you are intent on countering, is an illusion.’

I am not claiming that this is all deliberate and targeted policy on Trump’s behalf. It could well be a by-product of his undeniable and, in the longer-term, certain to be unsuccessful attempts to ‘make America great again.’ It seems increasingly likely that by entering into economic competition with his European allies, Trump will so unsettle the assorted sycophants, compradors and political dependents, that they will change their policies in directions that makes the continuation of the US establishment’s current cold/hot war preparations against Russia no longer feasible.

Such an outcome should only be welcomed. The Europeans will then have to work out for themselves how they will avoid being invaded and crushed by a country with an economy smaller than Italy’s. Most significantly, and no doubt offering false encouragement to Washington’s hawks that their strategy is on the brink of success, in contrast to NATO’s, Russia’s defence budget is being reduced. (2.) In his comments, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s Secretary General, is clearly attempting to preempt Trump’s demand for higher defence expenditure that the Europeans knew was going to come and signalling to the Washington hawks that the European end of NATO was not fully on side.

Unsurprisingly, being that much closer to the action, the Europeans are not as blind to history, as the US appears to be. Russia, having saved Europe from the Nazis was totally depleted and had no urge, capability, or incentive to invade Western Europe once it had secured itself against any possibility of a renewed assault from the West. Instead of thanking Russia and help it get back on its feet again, the USA abetted by the UK and waving their nuclear monopoly, did all in their power to ensure that Russia had no reason to feel that security. NATO has pursued that same policy ever since, while, rejecting Gorbachev’s overtures to integrate with Western Europe after Russia had overthrown its communist dictatorship. Same old, same old – until now! Maverick Trump has come along from outside the Council on Foreign Relations matrix and started asking questions no previous presidents have dared to ask.

In contrast to Brussels, the Helsinki meeting between Trump and Putin took place behind closed doors. Only time will tell what actually transpired. In the meantime, there is this excellent article by Pepe Escobar of the Asia Times. His comment on the Helsinki summit says nothing with which I would disagree – though I believe more is going on between Trump and Putin in regard to Syria and Iran than Pepe here gives credit for. (3.)

As argued in my previous blog, Trump is interested in cooling the hostility between the US’s Council on Foreign Relations and its associated war-party groupies and Russia with a view, inter al, of reducing the risk of accidental nuclear war. A nuclear exchange with Russia, accidental or deliberate, would forever end Trump’s ambition of making America great again. The Russophobia gripping the USA poses a real danger to civilisation. Trump, as an  establishment outsider, by asking questions no other president since JFK has dared ask, is the first, who has the potential to remove that threat (provided the current wave of anti-Trump hysteria doesn’t remove him from office prematurely.)

Politics being the art of the possible, the post-Helsinki furore created by the Russophobes and Trump’s enforced public back-tracking has made obvious the disparity between what Trump actually thinks and what the pressures of domestic politics at home force him to say. I have to admit that I am bemused by the readiness with which the mainstream western media and with it the western publics, so eagerly ingest the Russophobic slavering that is being spat in their faces.

You would think that anyone interested in the matter could soon see that Donald Trump is trying to defuse the increasingly dangerous and irrational tensions between the West’s war parties and their Russian targets. But that is not the case. Western streets are filled with marchers protesting against Trump’s multiple, and deplorable, anti-‘liberal’ positions on matters such as immigration and climate change. However, laudable liberal sentiment provides only a front for these protests.

Were this in the USA, these would be lemmings headed for the nuclear cliff. Here, in London,, they might just contribute to the break-up of NATO and increase their chances of avoiding a holocaust.

In effect, the deluded crowds are shouting for their own destruction. Behind the self-virtuous mobs, are the profiteering manipulators of power and privilege. Now that Trump and Putin between them, have effectively neutered the global terrorism that served so well as the neo-cons’ stalking-horse, the pro-war party is urgently pressing for the most dangerous phase of the cold war to be wheeled back onto centre-stage. With communism no longer a viable target and Russian democracy not sufficiently dissimilar from the USA’s own dictocracy, the hostility has to be channeled ad hominem towards the Russian president himself.

Establishment advocates of the enhanced cold war, such as in the Council on Foreign Relations’ mouthpiece ‘Foreign Policy Magazine,’ are not in the least abashed in revealing not only that they are seeking regime change in Russia, but also the purely mercenary motives behind their assault. (4.) If they believe the western European allies will fall for such US-centric self-seeking policies, their contempt for their spineless allies must be extreme. Like an abused wife, the more they are beaten, the more they cling!

I have written many times (Google ‘Khakispecs media’) on the manipulation of the western media and of the deluded politicians and citizens enveloped in the 3Ms – the Media Manipulated Matrix. As the neo-liberal/neo-conservative defense and security industry profiteers see Trump securing his position to be re-elected for a second term, no longer are any holds barred. The CIA leads the baying pack – just listen to former CIA director John Brennan, (5.)

The triumph of the war-party’s partisanship over their common-sense has become so disproportionate, that they would rather risk human extinction than release the self-serving, ‘patriotic’ bees from their bonnets. No one should be surprised if another false flag is raised. Were I sitting in the CIA’s black-ops chair, I think my pick of the several choices open to me would be an outrage against some Russian speaking citizens of one of the Baltic states, so as to force Putin to come to their defence.

The young warriors in the agencies’ psyops departments are no doubt, having fun as they invent one preposterous story on top of another to feed to the media – and for the career-mindful, debt -enslaved individual journalists, in their turn, to feed to the gulls. They probably don’t foresee, or possibly don’t care, about the likely ultimate fate of a nuclear-armed democracy in which the voters are fed a continuous diet of paranoia and misinformation.

The entire Russia-gate hullabaloo has so far seen no credible evidence produced that would withstand proper scrutiny. That is not to say such a thing never happened, but, even if it did, when compared to say Israeli intervention in the same election, it would have been on a minor and ineffective scale, or else the evidence would have been easier to come by. In any case, compared to the USA’s extensive regime change ‘colour-revolution’ operations in Russia and elsewhere (6) any Russian endeavour to meddle, would pale into total insignificance.

The increasingly imaginative and likewise unsubstantiated stories around the Skripal incident are full of equally far-fetched, but diplomatically consequential allegations. The Syrian regime’s alleged use of Sarin in an attack on Douma, subsequently proven by the OPCW inspectorate to be a US intelligence generated lie, was yet another attempt by the USA’s war-party to prevent the onslaught of peace. All the above illustrate the apparent impunity with which the western media can and do deliberately manipulate the public to support unjustified and destabilising preparations for war.

While it is the media that ensures public acceptance of war preparations, it is the direct interventions and approaches to politicians by lobbyists and ambitious public officials that put these policies in place. These two articles give an excellent introduction to the wheels operating within the wheels of events such as the Helsinki summit! (7.) If an individual lobbyist can achieve Browder’s level of influence over US policy – think what an industry, such as defence or big oil can achieve! The influence of banking is working in an altogether different direction, looking out for its global, as opposed to its purely national interest. More of that in a later blog.

 

I have been catching some flak for my position on the Helsinki Summit. (Each day since the summit the hysterical clamour of America’s under-instruction, Russophobic media grows louder.) In my defence I quote in full an article by John Hallam, an eccentric, who is so out-of-step with American public opinion that he actually welcomes Trump’s and Putin’s attempt to defuse the risk of a nuclear exchange!

John quotes verbatim from Trump’s and Putin’s words. How many Khakispecs readers have spotted the same comments reported in their media?

WED 18 JULY 2018

PEOPLE FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT

HUMAN SURVIVAL PROJECT

CAN WE HAVE MORE ‘ TREASON SUMMITS’ , PLEASE?

THE PUTIN/TRUMP SUMMIT HAD ISSUES INFINITELY MORE IMPORTANT THAT WHO DID OR DIDNT HELP TRUMP WIN OFFICE. ISSUES ON WHICH HUMAN SURVIVAL MIGHT DEPEND.

THESE ISSUES DEMAND FOLLOWUP AND FURTHER SUMMITS.

There is much to criticize President Trump for, spanning the gamut from racism to misogyny. There is also much to criticize President Putin for, spanning the gamut from undemocratic practices to running a kleptocracy to human rights.

The Helsinki Summit deserves none of this criticism. It might be criticized for what it failed to discuss, but in the event it did discuss one item that has evoked existential anxiety ever since 1945, and on which human survival and the survival of what we call civilization may yet depend, namely nuclear weapons.

Had Trump done, as many critics are saying he should have done, the summit would have been over before it even began, and a golden opportunity to remove planetary obliteration from the global agenda would have been gone. One may argue that not enough was made of this opportunity: One may not argue that the opportunity should not have been created or taken. A US-Russia nuclear war, closer now than at any time since 1953, would kill most humans in roughly 90 minutes and leave those who had not been vaporized to freeze in the dark of a nuclear winter.

The significance of a few Russian bots on Facebook, whose final effect on an election outcome we are not even sure of, or even some of Putin’s actual crimes against humanity pales into complete insignificance in the light of a meeting that could have taken the prospect of global annihilation off the worlds agenda.

Trump was right to say prior to the summit that his ‘dream’ outcome for the meeting could be peace and the complete abolition of nuclear weapons. To want that is far from ‘treason’. Or if it IS ‘treason’ we need more of it.

As it was, Putin and Trump did say some somewhat helpful if not very revolutionary things about nuclear weapons in their joint press-conference which are reproduced below:

Putin:

“As major nuclear powers, we bear special responsibility for maintaining international security. It’s vital — and we mentioned this during the negotiations — it’s crucial that we fine-tune the dialogue on strategic stability and global security and nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

We submitted our American colleagues a note with a number of specific suggestions. We believe it necessary to work together further to interact on the disarmament agenda, military and technical co-operation. This includes the extension of the strategic offensive arms limitation treaty. It’s a dangerous situation with the global American antimissile defense system. It’s the implementation issues with the INF treaty. And, of course, the agenda of non-placement of weapons in space.”

Trump

“…But our relationship has never been worse than it is now. However, that changed, as of about four hours ago. I really believe that. Nothing would be easier politically than to refuse to meet, to refuse to engage, but that would not accomplish anything.

As President, I cannot make decisions on foreign policy in a futile effort to appease partisan critics, or the media, or Democrats who want to do nothing but resist and obstruct.”

“….Constructive dialogue between the United States and Russia affords the opportunity to open new pathways toward peace and stability in our world.I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace than to risk peace in pursuit of politics. As President, I will always put what is best for America and what is best for the American people.”

“….We also discussed one of the most critical challenges facing humanity: nuclear proliferation. I provided an update on my meeting last month with Chairman Kim on the denuclearization of North Korea and after today, I am very sure that President Putin and Russia want very much to end that problem. Going to work with us and I appreciate that commitment.”

It rather looks, to use Trumps words, as if some critics of the summit are ‘risking peace in the pursuit of politics’.

If to take a political risk in the pursuit of peace is ‘treason’, please let us have more of it – a lot lot more of it – and please let us have systematic follow-through.

Trump remarked that:

“Today’s meeting is only the beginning of a longer process but we have taken the first steps toward a brighter future and one with a strong dialogue and a lot of thought.”

Trump in addition at one point (not in the transcript) remarked that the US had ‘made mistakes’ in its relationship with Russia. Trump is merely saying it like it is (and only says a tenth of it). He has been damned for ‘treason’ for saying this. Please lets have more of this kind of ‘treason’ otherwise known as honesty!

On the matter of nuclear weapons in particular, this is very much to the point. What is required are more ‘treason summits’, and the deeper our ‘treason’ to the forces of planetary destruction, the better. There needs to be:

–A planned series of meetings in which matters of nuclear strategic stability are uppermost and in which discussions of electoral interference are off-limits.

–A series of lower-echelon meetings away from immediate public gaze in which nuclear risk reduction, lowering operational readiness of nuclear weapon systems, no-first-use agreements, improved military to military communication, and the implementation of the joint data exchange facility first agreed on in 1998 are not just discussed but implemented

–The creation of a joint task force on the complete abolition of US and Russian nuclear arsenals.

‘Treason’ of this kind could just save humans and human civilization from nuclear destruction.

The prescriptions of some of Trump’s critics on the other hand may just take us over the brink into the abyss.

John Hallam

Nuclear Disarmament Campaigner

People for Nuclear Disarmament

Human Survival Project

johnhallam2001@yahoo.com.au

jhjohnhallam@gmail.com

http://www.pndnsw.org.au/

https://www.facebook.com/Human-Survival-Project-388802504634024/

61-411-854-612

Footnotes:

1. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/11/donald-trump-tells-nato-allies-to-spend-4-of-gdp-on-defence

2. https://thedefensepost.com/2018/03/19/putin-russia-cut-military-spending-arms-race/

3. https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-17/pepe-escobar-russophobia-247-industry

4. https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/07/19/with-trump-going-soft-on-nord-stream-congress-readies-to-kill-the-pipeline-russia-helsinki/?utm_source=PostUp&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Editors%20Picks%20%207/19/18%20-%20Yale&utm_keyword=Editor#39;s%20Picks%20OC4.

5. https://www.vox.com/world/2018/7/16/17576804/trump-putin-meeting-john-brennan-tweet-treasonous

6. https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2015/03/06/kerry-re-writes-history-of-us-support-for-color-revolutions.html

7. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49886.htm Israel Shamir is an Israeli citizen and not without ardent enemies among his countrymen! https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/07/putins-big-tell/565460/ The two articles reveal diametrically opposed spins on the same topic. I leave it to the reader to choose, which more closely approximates to reality! The Atlantic rates as ‘left-leaning’ in the US political spectrum.

 

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3 Comments

  • Hi Hugh…another excellent article,

    You said…” I have to admit that I am bemused by the readiness with which the mainstream western media and with it the western publics, so eagerly ingest the Russophobic slavering that is being spat in their faces.”

    Caitlin Johnstone covered this subject rather well in this recent article…same LSM subject, just a different context… when she said…

    “Theoretically, journalism is meant to help create an informed populace and hold power to account. That’s why it’s the only profession explicitly named in the United States Constitution, and why freedom of the press has enjoyed such constitutional protections throughout US history. The press today is failing to protect Julian Assange because it has no intention of creating an informed populace or holding power to account.
    This is not to suggest the existence of some grand, secret conspiracy among US journalists. It’s just a simple fact that plutocrats own most of the US news media and hire the people who run it, which has naturally created an environment where the best way to advance one’s career is to remain perpetually inoffensive to the establishment upon which plutocrats have built their respective empires. This is why you see ambitious reporters on Twitter falling all over themselves to be the first with a pithy line that advances establishment agendas whenever breaking news presents an opportunity to do so; they are aware that their social media presence is being assessed by potential employers and allies for establishment loyalism. This also why so many of those aspiring journalists attack Assange and WikiLeaks whenever possible.”

    Cheers
    Col

    https://caitlinjohnstone.com/…/in-refusing-to-defend-assan…/

    • khakis5_wp says:

      Thank you Colin for your apposite contribution. I am reminded of the words of Cyril Connolly, a famous British literary critic who wrote a book called “The Enemies of Promise.” In it he states in respect to would-be writers of great literature that “The greatest enemy of promise is the pram in the hall.” That could well be rephrased to suit the context of modern mainstream journalism: “The greatest enemy of truth-telling is the next mortgage payment.”

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