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My wife and I had a number of visitors over the holidays, including several foreign friends from our time spent in Europe and the Middle East. Both the Americans and the visitors from overseas eventually came around to wanting to discuss how deformed United States foreign policy has become, noting generally that the elite that runs Washington seems to have no clue about what is going on outside the continental U.S. Worse, there appears to be no appreciation for how negatively the rest of the world views the United States. Several marveled at the mind boggling formulaic speech made by President Barack Obama at Christmas in which he announced that the United States had officially “ended its fighting role” in Afghanistan, a blatant bit of misdirection in that Washington is retaining more than 10,800 troops in the country with full authorization to engage the Taliban as necessary.

President Obama fancies himself the leader of the “free world” yet he heads a nation that until recently organized black site prisons for torturing suspects and which continues to use armed drones to kill innocent and guilty alike. One friend asked why is it that so many outwardly intelligent people in the White House and its various agencies can get so many things so wrong. As the dysfunction dominates both Democratic and Republican administrations and runs the gamut from the political left to the political right one must assume that there is a fundamental flaw in the way Washington goes about its business, though it might also be observed that liberal democracy promoters and neoconservative regime changers generally come to the same consensus conclusion when confronted by a foreign crisis. They opt for military intervention.

Broader issues rarely surface because the simplistic and violent solution to address all foreign policy ills drives the process. Regarding the war against ISIS, an observant former Army officer friend opined in a Christmas email “Here is why we are losing. They’ll look at any answer but the correct one: we (the West) are self-evidently waging war against the Islamic people for all intents and purposes, and the targeted people are looking to those they see as fighting back in their defense.” A former FBI officer asked “How can making ourselves into the most hated nation on Earth possibly have any benefits?”

To return to the example of Afghanistan one might wonder why Samantha Power, Susan Rice and President Barack Obama himself have not read the recent excellent analysis by Kelley Vlahos and also a piece by Pamela Constable in the Washington Post? Do they know something the rest of us do not know? Undoubtedly, but how are they interpreting what they have learned? Afghanistan after thirteen years of outside interference is ungovernable and it has evolved into a completely corrupted narco-kleptocracy that has become a bloody money pit. The bid to convert the country into a drug and terrorist free bastion of democracy and women’s rights has been a fantasy from start to finish. Whenever the last foreign troops eventually leave the country will revert to form and it won’t be pretty.

So why is Obama going through the charade? My friends and I concluded that it is all politics. The White House was blamed for losing Iraq when the government in Baghdad forced the U.S. military to depart in 2011 and it doesn’t want the Democrats to be blamed for also losing what the president has described as the “good war” in Afghanistan. Obama may be a lame duck personally but there is always an election coming up, in this case the 2016 presidential race where the usual culprits are already lining up and waving their national security credentials.

The presidential posturing would all be vaguely amusing except that people will die as a result and money that would best be spent here at home will be wasted, no matter how it plays out. And there are a number of other foreign policy issues that might similarly benefit from a little sunshine and airing out. The most critical to actual U.S. interests is Russia. The United States has only one strategic interest relating to Russia and that consists of keeping the relationship on an even keel. Russia remains, in terms of its nuclear weapons arsenal and delivery systems, a superpower.

The United States provoked the current crisis with Russia by intervening directly in Ukrainian politics. Sanctions will not change Russian policy because for Moscow a politically friendly or unaligned Ukraine and the status of Crimea are vital interests. Washington has a great deal to lose if Russia chooses to go tit-for-tat in responding to U.S. orchestrated attacks on its economy. Moscow has been working closely with both Washington and the Europeans regarding tracking the financing of terrorist groups, proliferators, and drug cartels and has also cooperated politically over how to deal with Syria, Iran, and North Korea. Russia could unilaterally break sanctions on oil purchases from Tehran and start selling weapons to Damascus, including up to date air defenses that could bring down American warplanes. It could ease restrictions on trade with North Korea. At the United Nations, it might use its veto selectively to impede U.S.-promoted initiatives.

So there is no good reason to be backing Russia into a corner from which it cannot extricate itself but that is precisely what the Obama Administration and Congress are doing. It would be much wiser to accept that what happens in Russia stays in Russia. Even if Vladimir Putin is the monster that the western media portrays him to be, and I would argue that he is not, it is none of our business.

The pressure on Russia has coincided with a so-called pivot to Asia, which is in reality a move to contain China. China is a competitor, not an enemy, but surrounding it with hostile states under the direction of Washington guarantees that it will reconsider its strategy. It has already begun to do so by drawing closer to Russia.

And then there is the Syria-ISIS-Iraq-Iran entanglement. It would require the exercise of only a tiny bit of hindsight to suggest that the American overthrow of Saddam Hussein, which was based only on a series of neocon concocted fantasies, created the witches brew that has now engulfed the region. We did it and we are now contemplating just how to clean the mess up. And we are failing to come to grips with the fact that the only way to defeat ISIS is on the ground using forces that have an actual compelling interest in doing so. As Turkey for reasons of its own prefers to keep its options open with ISIS to forestall creation of a Kurdish State, that means obtaining the cooperation of Syria and Iran, which Washington has officially rejected. Instead, the United States is working to empower the hopelessly corrupt and incompetent Iraqi Army while reconstructing the largely fantastical pro-Western rebel movement in Syria, both of which will (a) run before surrendering, (b) throw away their weapons and desert their posts or (c) join ISIS at the first opportunity.

And how can one forget Iran? Talks over the country’s nuclear program have been going on for more than a year. It now appears that they will fail in spite of the fact that it is in the U.S. interest to have them succeed. Obama lacks the will to make that happen even though it would be a rare foreign policy success that would benefit all parties. After all, it is not really about doing what is best for the country, is it? There is an election coming up and a lot of people with a lot of money and direct access to the media hate Iran.

And finally there is the case of Israel. The past two weeks witnessed the visits to Jerusalem by presidential wannabe Governor Mike Pence of Indiana and Senator Lindsey Graham. Graham pledged complete congressional support for Netanyahu and in particularly promised to follow Israel’s lead on what to do about Iran. Pence just groveled. The visits by senior federal and increasingly state government personalities to Israel to obtain Benjamin Netanyahu’s endorsement are both embarrassing and demeaning. Israel is just not that important in the world outside the Washington beltway and the so-called special relationship that has made U.S. policy in the Middle East subordinate to Likud party politics should be declared null and void.

The Palestinians deserve a state on humanitarian grounds and are finally beginning to understand that the real obstacle to sovereignty is a timorous and morally corrupted Washington, not the neo-fascists in Tel Aviv. Enabling a Palestinian state would defuse much of the anti-American rhetoric in the Middle East and elsewhere in the Muslim world, a net gain for any United States citizen who travels or does business overseas. It is in our interest to make it happen no matter how much the Israelis squeal. But it won’t happen because Israeli-American Haim Saban will not come up with the hard cash for Hillary in 2016 if there is any softening on Israel.

So there are a whole lot of things taking place in the world in which Washington is involved that make no sense whatsoever. But I will give Obama credit for doing the right thing on Cuba. Hopefully he will persevere in spite of obstacles being engineered by the Cuban mafia in Congress consisting of Senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Bob Menendez and Congressman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen with many in the GOP falling in line behind them to embarrass the White House. It should be noted that the Cuban Lobby’s nonsensical push for sanctions against Venezuela, seen as a close ally of Havana, was successful even as the first steps towards normalization with Cuba were being announced.

Maintaining sanctions on Cuba will not force it to renounce communism just as keeping troops in Afghanistan will not produce a good result, bombing ISIS will not destroy the group, sanctioning Russia will not force out Putin, surrounding China will not intimidate it, stonewalling Iran will not stop its possible weapons program and enabling Israel to do what it wants will not bring peace to the Middle East. And you might as well also ditch the Global War on Terror and the War on Drugs, both of which are ruinously expensive and bloody failures. It almost suggests that turning nearly all current policies on their heads would be the right thing to do for 2015, but that is not likely to happen. There is too much money involved and there is always another election coming up.

 
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  1. terryt says:

    The problems with the USA’s foreign policy considerably predate Obama’s presidency. In fact they predate 9/11, which was probably a reaction to the US foreign policy decisions in the first place. If anything US foreign policy has improved considerably under Obama.

    • Replies: @Chet Roman
    , @dahoit
  2. Kiza says:

    This article is a grand statement of the obvious (to the non-Americans), with only the last two sentences being valuable: “It almost suggests that turning nearly all current policies on their heads would be the right thing to do for 2015, but that is not likely to happen. There is too much money involved and there is always another election coming up.”

    If the US was really a democracy someone would at least listen to Philip and hundreds if not thousands of smart and well intentioned US intellectuals offering workable solutions. But US is not a democracy and nobody is even listening, let alone trying the change things for the better. The US is like a runaway train, fast, heavy and dangerous to countries which find themselves on its tracks, but ultimately catastrophic to itself.

    Pepe Escobar is a leading BRICS journalist (that is, from that other block which is not under Western domination). Pepe works for Asia Times and RT and has written a book whose title says it all: The Empire of Chaos. In other words, the problem is not that the US wants to rule the World, the problem is that it knows not how to. The US “leadership” is bad for the World and will ultimately be bad for the US and its remaining allies. EuroAsian Union is on the horizont.

  3. @terryt

    Yes, overthrowing the Ukrainian government and backing Russia into a corner, or colluding with the Saudis to depress the oil prices to hurt Iran and Russia, or expanding drone strikes, or staying in Afghanistan, or bombing ISIS, or continuing to allow Israel to determine U.S. ME policies, or turning over the negotiations with Iran to Wendy Sherman, or lying about his plans and bombing Libya for six months, yes, quite an “improvement”.

    The only thing of consequence that Obama’s foreign policy has accomplished is establishing relations with Cuba. Now if he can only treat the thugs in the Israeli lobby like he treated the thugs in the Israeli lobby then he can claims some real accomplishment.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
    , @terryt
  4. TomB says:

    Phil Giraldi wrote:

    My friends and I concluded that it is all politics.

    Since it is just incomprehensible that so many negative-result producing policies are truly believed in that seems right, but it just pushes the question back one more step.

    To wit: Why are such negative-producing policies good politics?

    And the obvious answer is that their negative results prove fertile ground for more good politics. Our ME policies produce more terrorists than less? What could be better for anti-terrorist politics?

    Our Russian politics produce a more hostile Russia rather than a less? What could be better for anti-Russian politics?

    Or in short, our politics have become so sophisticated that in far too many instances it is good politics to produce bad results. And so corrupted that such politics are freely engaged in.

    The precise opposite of pretty much the foundational theory of democracy which is that good results is what good democratic politics will strive for.

    How did we get here?

    So as to not use up all the bandwidth of the entire internet let us not try to count all the ways, but in my estimation at least one major factor is that success/good results presents few political opportunities, whereas failures present all kinds. And in a world in which “professional politicians” are allowed, of course political opportunities are a very valuable thing.

  5. Patriot says:

    America keeps changing how it fosters “Freedom and Democracy.” At first we used stealth bombers to deliver 2,000 lb packets of “Freedom and Democracy” from 40,000 ft.

    Using that crude technology, we could freedomize entire city blocks instantly. But newer drone technology allows us to administer smaller, more precise doses of Freedom and Democracy to individual houses, buses, weddings, and funerals.

    How many Muslims have received Freedom and Democracy? I don’t know. But I suppose that death is a kind of freedom, and democratic, considering that all dead are equal in at least one sense.

    America is Israel’s puppet.

    • Replies: @George
    , @a.z
  6. Astorian says:

    Say, genius- if Israel is so all-powerful, why is Jonathan Pollard still in prison after 27 years?

    • Replies: @Dismayed
    , @KA
    , @Pete
  7. Jim says:

    I think historians of the distant future will be utterly astonished at the extent to which the foreign policy of a huge continent spanning country came to be so much controlled by a tiny nation on the other side of the globe. I don’t believe there has ever been anything like it before in world history.

  8. Don Nash says: • Website

    I’m thinking US foreign policy is not so much a matter of being blind as it is being bat-crap insane.

  9. George says:
    @Patriot

    Patriot really puts this nicely. Republicans should like this analogy as they can then argue to open it up to “private” competition (their friends at what was once known as Blackwater) or even to privatize it entirely (as Rumsfeld tried), as they wish to do with that other federal package delivery service; the USPS.

  10. War for Blair Mountain [AKA "Bill Blizzard and his Men"] says:

    It is incomprehensible to your foreign guests because they fail to comprehend what we are dealing with. And what we are dealing with is basically a mafiosa-gangster operation with several rackets. The inner core gangster slime of the narcissistic Kenyan Foreigner Administration are:Victoria Nuland…Susan Rice…and the Irish Skank Samantha Powers. Barack Obama is the Corporate Lawyer who defends the gangster racket of this inner core Democratic Party Slime…this what he gets paid to do.

    So what’s their racket? Here it is:1)Military Industrial Complex(make $$$$$$$$$ murdering Human Beings)…2)Big Oil(explains The Gangsters’ murderous assault on The Conservative Orthodox Christian Russian People)….3)low wage-wage slave policy of CEOS…and this, is the core-rock bottom foundation of Democratic Party Immigration Policy:Wage slavery and racial minority status for The Historic Native Born White American Majority who did not consent to the Democratic Party’s wage slave policy, and the open and deliberate race-replacement immigration policy.

    The corresponding labor policy of the Democratic Party that goes along with 3) is a jobs program for Working Class Native Born White American Youth from The economically distressedAmerican Heartland that of consist of the US Military slave labor -coerced labor program of blowing the limps off of these teenagers in Iraq-Afghanistan…and eventually the Ukraine…off to Walter Reed Army Hospital attached to a bedpan as a Johnny-got-his-gun-basketcase!!!

    The repellant ideology of “THE BLESSINGS OF DIVERSTY’ is the ideological sewage that acts as the thin veneer that covers Democratic Party’s wage slave policy.

    It all meshes together quite nicely if you are part of the racket(think John Boehner).

    Democratic Foreign Policy may just end up killing another member of my family…I can hardly sleep at night these days….

    Behind every Great Fortune is a very very Great Crime!!!!!!!!…As General Smedly Butler put it:”War is a Racket!!!”

  11. Dismayed says:
    @Astorian

    Pollard is still in prison because Zionists and fellow travelers haven’t completely rooted out American patriots from the federal bureaucracy … yet. Don’t fret too much, Floyd. Each generation of Americans sees fewer and fewer patriots. I expect that your fellow travelers will win in the end, though final victory will probably come too late for Pollard.

  12. David says:

    I don’t believe a Palestinian State will make a lick of difference. It won’t be viable and it won’t be respected.

    The recent flap over the atlas without Israel didn’t prompt any news organizations to look at atlases in Israeli public schools. I wonder where they put the borders of Israel. I wonder what they call Palestine.

    Just like Afghanistan is and will always be a hell hole by American standards, Israel is and will never stop usurping their neighbors land. Until the next tranche, they can pray.

    http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/yes-rabbi-yanklowitz-orthodox-judaism-requires-us-to-pray-for-a-third-temple/

  13. pat says:

    “The Empire of Chaos.”
    This is an apt description of the US’ s foreign policy.
    But I would argue that far from being inept it has for the most part been largely successful.
    The chaos is not a sign of failure rather it is exactly what the US desires, and to a large extent needs.
    With our huge debts, our already negative interest rates on short term debt we are in desperate need of a world even worse off than we are. Seen in this light our seemingly stumble bum foreign endeavors seem positively Machiavellian, as the vertible tsunami of capital flooding our shores attests to.

    • Replies: @Kiza
  14. Biff says:

    Just more proof that a democracy is not at all possible in a capitalistic society..
    Simply does not work..

  15. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmothieX12"] says: • Website
    @Chet Roman

    backing Russia into a corner

    Russia is not in a corner, but in order to understand that, one has to know the real nature of current Russian national debate. Understanding this debate is what US “elites” physically are not capable of. Philip Giraldi, however, wrote an excellent piece, as he usually does.

  16. Robert says:

    EXCELLENT ARTICLE. MOST OF THIS IS DUE TO THE POWER OF THE JEWISH LOBBY.
    MAKING THE MID-EAST AND THE WORLD SAFE FOR ISRAEL.

    Thanks for the great article. All of America’s insanity makes sense if you understand that it is under Jewish control and carrying out Jewish agenda. The Judaists objective is to “defile, then destroy” (O’connor) due to their delusion that the world is “anti-semitic” and will destroy them (i.e. it is repulsed by their barbaric cult), so they must use the divide and conquer strategy to keep the US and the world under its subjugation and control by creating conflict and chaos.

    Our entire foreign (and even domestic, such as liberalism and immigration) policy is controlled is by Jewish lobby.

    Eg.:

    Iraq was invaded to get rid of Saddam Hussein as he was paying suicide bombers to attack Israel.

    Egypt is given foreign aid for one reason only. It is actually a bribe to the Egyptian military to make sure they do not attack Israel or help the Gazans with weapons.

    Saudi support is given because Saudis are sunnis, to make sure the Sunnis and shia keep fighting and killing each other—so they do not cooperate and attack Israel. If they join hands and nuke Israel, Israel is finished, so it is better they are busy killing each other instead.

    The US gov. (all 3 branches) are owned and operated by the Judaists.

    Gov. Owners and Operators: 50% of the campaign contributions to the Democratic party (and 40% to Republicans) are from the Judaists. This is just what is disclosed. Billions more are paid to both parties disguised in other ways.
    Supreme Court: Totally under Jewish control. 3 Judaists openly on board, destroying USA. 0 Protestants (the same Xians who worship their Jewish masters). Most of the others are also under Jewish control, issuing fake orders legitimizing the alien invasion, gay marriage, etc. as ordered by their Jewish masters.
    Senate: 27 Jewish Senators (27%), compared with 1-2% of the population.
    House: Under Jewish Control too with campaign contributions, threats of phoney scandals and attacks against patriots. Also see how they are taken to Israel:

    http://www.ifamericansknew.org/us_ints/freetrips.html

    During these Israeli trips, the congressmen are wined and dined in Israel and bribed and “entertained” and pretty girls come to their hotel room to “entertain them”. These rooms are secretly wired (just like Al Gore’s was, as reported in Newsweek) so everything is videotaped. If the Congressman returns to the US and does not follow the orders of the Jewish Oligarchs (such as flooding and destroying his own country with raping murdering aliens or billions for Israel or the Oligarchs), then he can be blackmailed and the video released and he could even be criminally prosecuted, so he has no choice but to vote as ordered by the Jewish Lobby.

    Federal Reserve: Jewish controlled dollar printing press.
    Media: 90% Jewish controlled.
    See the admission by Jewish writer Joel Stein in the LA Times article of Dec. 19, 2008, in the article

    http://articles.latimes.com/2008/dec/19/opinion/oe-stein19

    Solution: Amend the constitution to allow binding superseding national referenda so people can pass good laws themselves. See: ncid.us.

  17. unit472 says:

    I have no quarrel with ending our military involvement in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria etc but Giraldi seems to believe that the US gets no moves on the international chessboard at all and that China and Russia get as many as they want. That is absurd. If the US “has only one strategic interest relating to Russia and that consists of keeping the relationship on an even keel” then how much more true is that for Putin’s Russia when confronting the vastly more powerful US and its allies? Russia has almost no power relative to the West other than a nuclear arsenal it cannot use. NATO was a moribund alliance ready for the history books as the mission wound down in Afghanistan. It posed no threat to Russia and Ukrainian membership was not even on the table till Putin had a temper tantrum over his puppet fleeing the country one step ahead of the mob outside his office.

    There was no ‘crisis’ except in Putin’s mind and here we get to the crux of the matter. Putin might be insane. Angela Merkel, who knows him best, seems to believe the man has ‘issues’ and why wouldn’t he? He is surrounded by toadies who call him the “Czar”, has crushed all independent media and has held power for 15 years with no end in sight. His decisions over the past year are perhaps more reminiscent of Mussolini than Hitler for Hitler, at least, had the wherewithal to carry out his aggressive foreign policy. How in the world does Putin imagine Russia can get away with redrawing borders through military force when his military is more Italian than the Wehrmacht and his economy not even up to Italian levels? Its delusional unless he can somehow convince Xi Jinping to reprise the role of Germany and bail out “Benito” Putin from his predicaments. Unfortunately for Vlad, President Xi is not about to let Putin’s mangy tail wag China’s big dog.

    If the US has stained its reputation in the Muslim world look what Putin has done to Russia’s reputation in Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, the Baltics and beyond with the shoot down of MH-17 ( spare me the Kremlin talking points nobody in Europe believes them beyond Ukippers) and sending their jets and submarines on threatening patrols into the skies and waters of small nations who pose no threat to anyone to bully them or, for crying out loud, sending 4 warships to accompany Putin to a G-20 meeting in Australia! It’s the actions of a strutting buffoon who doesn’t realize how ridiculous and dangerous it makes him appear. You can bet the Chinese are watching though and want no part of Putin’s adventurism. They know the difference between a dangerous clown and a serious leader.

    • Replies: @Philip Giraldi
    , @Biff
    , @Pete
  18. terryt says:
    @Chet Roman

    Most of those factors, or something very similar, was going on long before Obama came on the scene. The Israel ‘problem’ certainly goes back much further than his presidency. The US has always colluded with the Saudis. It wasn’t Obama that constructed the mess that is Afghanistan or Iraq. And so on.

  19. @unit472

    Interesting. Another Putin hater. Obama gets a free pass to intervene wherever he wishes, including bringing about the regime change in Ukraine where a freely elected leader (whom you refer to as a puppet) was ousted and when Putin responds in a rather more restrained fashion to a crisis that he did not invite and which involves genuine national interests he becomes not only irrational but insane. How well does Merkel, who is a head of state, know another head of state Putin? And isn’t she describable as an American puppet? If there are any strutting buffoons on the world stage they are, unfortunately, mostly American and go by the names of McCain, Graham, Cheney, Kerry and Clinton. And yes, also Obama. Putin is a Russian nationalist who is hugely popular in his own country. He has been elected to office repeatedly over 15 years by large majorities in free elections. If you don’t like him that is your problem, but provoking World War III is not exactly a good solution to your grievances.

  20. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I can confirm that I, as an American, have no “appreciation” for how the rest of the world views the United States. Never have; never will.

    The rest of the world is clueless and in no position to judge. Or maybe someone would care to illuminate me: What and where is this magical world beyond the United States that places itself in a position of judgment above and beyond the United States? Name the country whose citizens have decided they can teach the Americans a thing or two.

    That same wonderful world benefits and has benefited from the goodwill, productivity, and ingenuity of the people of the United States and not so much as even a “Thank you.”

    Ingrates!

    The vast majority of “the rest of the world” is a 3rd World sewer, and that which is not is either pagan, muslim, or leftwing. Impressive stuff, really!

    Hey there, “rest of the world”: Pound sand! I am frankly tired of this meme that the U.S. is here to please “the rest of the world” while that same “rest of the world” is a failure in every respect and dependent in all sorts of ways on the United States.

    We Americans are judging YOU! How do ya like them apples?

    • Replies: @solontocroesus
    , @terryt
    , @Bill
  21. War for Blair Mountain [AKA "Bill Blizzard and his Men"] says:
    @Philip Giraldi

    Unit472 blathers in the policy wonk language of the Harvard Kennedy school of Government and the John Hopkins School of International Affairs. Strip it all down to its bare-bone basics it comes down to this:give our CEO paymasters what they want or we will justify exterminating enough of your nations Civilian Population to get compliance with the Neoliberal model of economic violence.

    Putin is well aware of what the consequences of not resisting the Mega CEO owned Democratic-Republican Party are going to be for the Conservative Christian Russian People…and among the very nasty consequences of not resisting the Kenyan Dear Leader’s agenda for Russia is sexual slavery for Russia’s Female population who will be forced into Tel Aviv brothels…and also be forced to service Billy Clinton’s bestial urges. And this is exactly what happened when Harvard economist and policy wonk celebrity Jeffrey Sachs inflicted Neoliberal economics on the Conservative Orthodox Christian Russian People during the Clinton years.

  22. Biff says:
    @unit472

    “You can bet the Chinese are watching though and want no part of Putin’s adventurism”

    By together signing the biggest energy deal in the history of the world?

    • Replies: @unit472
  23. Kiza says:
    @pat

    Yes, there is a school of thought which says that chaos produced by the Empire of Chaos is deliberate.

    Most benign empires in history have brought exploitation together with some degree of prosperity to the occupied, the US only creates failed societies because the US elite is only interested in stealing. Historically, some nations accepted occupation and being ruled by the foreigners for some period of time whilst this foreign rule was bringing benefits to the indigenous society. Take for example the French occupation of Indochina: to this day the only country in SE Asia with a decent railway is Vietnam with its Hanoi-Saigon railway line. This railway line was built by the French (for their own exploitive interests, of course), but Vietnam could hardly be one country without it.

    The US however, destroyed a country such is Iraq, then allocated funds for rebuilding it, but almost all of those tax-payer sourced funds got stolen by the US “elite”. Iraq ended up with nothing, only death, destruction and disorder (chaos). Thus, in my view, the mentioned chaos originates from the old-fashioned stealing. The US is the first empire in history which steals somewhat more from its own domestic population than from the foreigners it occupies. Therefore, in my view, the chaos is the end product of the general attitude of stealing, rathern than a planned outcome. After US attacks a country, the local get only death, destruction and social disorder (e.g. Libya), whilst the Americans get a higher national debt.

    • Replies: @Kiza
  24. unit472 says:
    @Biff

    Biff, it seems you are easily duped. The ‘biggest energy deal in the history of the world’ had long been under negotiation. Just the month or two before it was signed, the Russian deputy PM had been in Beijing to negotiate it. He couldn’t because its all pie in the sky. When Putin came to Beijing he had to leave with something. He had just been kicked out of the G-8 so he needed a diplomatic fig leaf and the Chinese knew this. They gave him one on their terms. The problem is this. The Power of Siberia pipeline, itself an immense undertaking, to deliver gas to China has not yet been built and, given Russia’s current financial situation, they won’t be able to build it. They also need to develop the Siberian gas fields that will supply the so called Power of Siberia pipeline, another future development that looks increasingly less likely. Shipments were not to begin, at the earliest, until 2019. Not going to happen. Why? Price.

    For decades BP and others have wanted to ship gas from the North Slope of Alaska down to the US. Plenty of gas up there and the route is shorter than the Siberian pipeline. It costs more to build the pipeline and drill the gas than the gas is worth in the US. It was only economic at the post Katrina gas price which was more than 5 times the current price for gas at the Henry Hub in Louisiana. At the beginning of 2014 natural gas delivered to North Asia was even more expensive. $18/million btus. The details on the China/Russia deal were not announced but based on the deals total value it seems China insisted on a price of around $10 or $11 per million btus or what gas delivered to Western Europe is currently sold by Gazprom for. Since then the world has changed. Australia is shipping gas from its offshore gas fields and Japan has begun restarting its nuclear reactors freeing up huge amounts of previously contracted for LNG. Later this year the US will begin exporting gas from the Sabine Pass, La. LNG terminal and next year from Cove Point, Maryland. Qatar is boosting LNG exports. Siberian gas is likely to be marooned just like Alaskan North Slope gas has been because it is just too expensive to develop and transport to markets.

    • Replies: @Bill
  25. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Attempts to discuss serious issues on the internet often get derailed by buffoon trolls such as this “unit” character. He’s able to do long distance psychiatry and diagnose Putin as being insane, all without even having a medical degree. Then there’s his concern trolling whereby he’s worried about democracy being suppressed in Russia as if he were really concerned about the well-being of Russians. Putin can’t “get away with redrawing borders”? Well then, go get ’em Rambo, let us know how you fared. I can’t tell if people like this are just roaming unmedicated cranks or if their intent is to be disruptive and drag the conversation down.

  26. “…noting generally that the elite that runs Washington seems to have no clue about what is going on outside the continental U.S. ”

    Had I been invited to the party, I couldn’t have helped but point out this begs the question, “Do they have a clue (or even care) about what goes on that ails most of us inside the continental U.S.?” Having given up on Americans, they’re playing world power games in such a destructive way that is even worse for foreigners than for us.

    “Whenever the last foreign troops eventually leave the country will revert to form and it won’t be pretty.”

    Maybe not, but it will be prettier for them – eventually.

    “…liberal democracy promoters and neoconservative regime changers generally come to the same consensus conclusion when confronted by a foreign crisis. They opt for military intervention.”

    The exceptional idea seems to be that if you want things done your own way, it’s a viable option to beat the rest of the world into submission, as if that creates obedience, on the theory that only the indispensable nationality aren’t on the lower order of curs. Truth be told, it doesn’t even work well on dogs, creating “pets” which are more dangerous than docile.

  27. @Anonymous

    Boris McGuffin.

    Interesting tag for someone directly out of Hasbara Central, MFA, borderless entity of Israel.

    “Propaganda by its very nature is an enterprise for perverting the significance of events and of insinuating false intentions…The propagandist will not accuse the enemy of just any misdeed; he will accuse him of the very intention that he himself has and of trying to commit the very crime that he himself is about to commit. He who wants to provoke a war not only proclaims his own peaceful intentions but also accuses the other party of provocation.”
    – Jacques Ellul, Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes, 1965

    as quoted in “Zionism’s Prior Condition: Propaganda,” by Nima Shirazi at Wide Asleep in America, Jul 2014 http://www.wideasleepinamerica.com/2014/07/zionism-prior-condition-propaganda.html

    —-

    The American ideal that I stubbornly believe in does not invite others to “pound sand.” I came by that belief from words of George Washington.

    The America you describe, Boris McMFA, fits the DSM for CPD© — Chosen People Derangement. Folks with CPD© are so convinced that their ass weighs a ton that they spend a great deal of time sitting down; the disorder manifests itself epigenitally. Take a look at the Kagans.

  28. “…and also be forced to service Billy Clinton’s bestial urges.”

    Over the top, for sure. But I’ve been worried about this ever since Monica went down under the desk next to Vince Foster.

  29. “Hey there, ‘rest of the world’: Pound sand! I am frankly tired of this meme that the U.S. is here to please ‘the rest of the world’ while that same ‘rest of the world’ is a failure in every respect and dependent in all sorts of ways on the United States.”

    I’m afraid our empire is the one pounding their sand. You are right, though, that the intention is not to please the rest of the world, nor the vast majority of Americans, either, for that matter.

    You are also right that “‘the rest of the world’ is a failure in every respect,” if you are referring specifically to the portion that has been made dependent and dysfunctional through coups, invasions and occupations.

    For the rest, they would rather be pleased if the United States government instead focused on its own dire domestic needs, as would millions of Americans who would also be pleased to find that the U.S. government mission is not to please anyone else but them.

  30. terryt says:
    @Anonymous

    I thin everyone here will now be able to understand why the rest of the world regards US citizens with such distrust. A perfect example of US attitudes.

    No-one (except many American citizens) believes The US is here to please the rest of the world. Most outside the US believe it is there to rip the rest of the world off.

  31. KA says:
    @Astorian

    For the whole intelligence staff threatened that they would go public and resign . Clinton folded . Israel got mad .

  32. Kiza says:
    @Kiza

    To clarify a little, I see a huge difference between exploitation and stealing. For an empire to exploit an acquired land, it usually needs to build an infrastructure, which may take years or decades. Also, occupation requires top-level management skills and high quality people.

    But, the Western societies are about instant gratification, which the US society has developed into an art form. The US political “elite” is part of the same society and thinks and behaves accordingly. They have no patience to exploit, they do only smash and grab. The US taxpayer is a quicker target than Libya’s oil, for example. Other typical quick targets are museums and treasury gold in the targeted country (Iraq and Ukraine both got their museums and gold reserves pillaged). This is why the US empire is the Empire of Chaos.

    Ultimately, Paul Bremer (former imperial viceroy of Iraq from US political elite) is just like Jamie Dimon (JPMorgan CEO of the US financial elite), their thinking is very similar: their payback horizon is 6-12 months. There is little chance to build anything within such timeframe. Destroy, rip out what you can and move on to the next target.

  33. Bill says:
    @unit472

    Right. China is not going to buy Russian gas because piping it there will be so expensive. Where, then, are they going to buy their gas? You seem to imply they will buy LNG. But, you see, LNG is more expensive than pipelined gas, so, umm, you seem to be quite incoherent.

    For decades BP and others have wanted to ship gas from the North Slope of Alaska down to the US. Plenty of gas up there and the route is shorter than the Siberian pipeline. It costs more to build the pipeline and drill the gas than the gas is worth in the US.

    Does the US use imported LNG instead of that pipelined Alaskan gas? No? It uses its own pipelined gas? That kind of sucks for your argument.

    How in the world does Putin imagine Russia can get away with redrawing borders through military force when his military is more Italian than the Wehrmacht and his economy not even up to Italian levels?

    Except he has redrawn no border by military force and his military has performed much better than the US military, whose record of constant, disastrously incompetent failure speaks for itself.

    What possible purpose is there in you coming here and spewing nothing but lies?

    • Replies: @Ace
  34. Bill says:
    @Anonymous

    That same wonderful world benefits and has benefited from the goodwill, productivity, and ingenuity of the people of the United States and not so much as even a “Thank you.”

    US goodwill is pretty hard to detect in the actual, physical world. Just lately, we’ve wrecked Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Ukraine, and Syria. We’ve ethnically cleansed Kosovo. We are presently shoving the EU into recession. In 2007, we pretty much single-handedly imposed a giant, global recession which has only sort-of ended. This isn’t blaming America first, either. It’s simply what happened.

    Furthermore, it’s pretty clear that it’s the US extracting wealth from the rest of the world and not the reverse. We import pretty much everything. We export Treasury Bills. It’s pretty hard to parse this as anything other than the US extracting tribute from the rest of the world.

  35. […]      There is a third point to underscore for Radio Point listeners and readers: Loyal Americans who love their Constitution and Bill of Rights, and have risked their lives and livelihoods to speak out on what has been happening in the last 13 years, are being quietly marginalized and demonized professionally, economically, and personally. I wish I could tell you more about my own experiences and those of the best people in the American populist movement I’ve worked with. I believe this is only the beginning of what we will experience here, and what the world will experience at the hands of these evil perpetrators driven by a truly demonic power lust. As one example, I knew that when I gave the interview on 9-11 posted on the Internet as “Kourosh Ziabari and Fars News Agency of Iran: A Conversation with Mark Dankof on Israel and 9-11,” my future life in my own country would be forever altered. I accept this fact, knowing that it would happen to me, and to the best of those I work with. It is my conviction that all of this will intensify during, or after the American Presidential Election of 2016. Dr. Philip Giraldi of the Council of the National Interest agrees with my assessment. Those who follow Radio Point will be interested in his essay today entitled, “There Are None So Blind.” […]

  36. TomB says:

    Well well, I feel like a prophet somewhat.

    Above, that is, before this Paris business took place, I noted that to me what’s going on here, with some issues and to at least some significant degree, is the intentional pursuit of bad policies having bad results because (again with some issues) bad results create more opportunities for politicians—esp. career politicians—than good results do.

    So now we have this Paris business, and sure enough it’s reported in Foreign Policy that what seems to have radicalized the two brothers involved in that attack was our attack on Iraq.

    What then could be the better illustration? Even if bin Laden was motivated by our bad policies after 911 when we went after him first—and even after rather foolishly declaring ourselves anti-Taliban too—really no-one in the world begrudged us much. Bin Laden had attacked us, it was just widely accepted that there was at least some justice in us going against him.

    But not the attack in Iraq, which of course only stirred up terrorism against us (and now Paris), which then just gives our politicians more opportunities by now declaring how much more anti-terror they are than the next guy, and on and on and on.

    And so we are drawn ever closer into just a out-and-out war with all of Islam. All billions of them. As unwindable as it is. As long and terrible as it will be.

  37. Sam J. says:

    “…One friend asked why is it that so many outwardly intelligent people in the White House and its various agencies can get so many things so wrong…”

    We don’t run this country the Jews do. Blame them.

    Has there ever been any country or group of people who have had a long relationship with the Jews that did not end in tragedy for them? I can’t think of any. Even for the Jews themselves. Maybe there is some but I don’t know about them.

    I believe eventually guerrilla war will break out against the Jews (not by me of course 🙂 ). I think they think that too. Hence all their efforts to disarm Americans. If they out and out try to take the country…well the number of hunting license permits issued in just Pennsylvania is larger than the size of all the US armed forces. Fat chance getting the majority of Marines, Army and Special Forces to fight to take over the US. All you’ve got is DHS. Have you seen these fat fuckers. Some are good but most are losers. I saw some video where they were shooting at zombies. No kidding. They had people dressed up as zombies for training. Notice the zombies didn’t have guns. I wonder what they would do if they went into a strange town and everyone started sniping at them. Wouldn’t have to stand and fight just snipe. They don’t have any where the numbers to even start. Even if 1% of the population resisted they would shit their pants. Armored personal carriers. Good luck. A couple of coke bottles full of gas and how are you going to see out of those things?

    Actually we should be of great cheer. The Jews have been kicked out of every country they’ve gone to. They’re over 200 loses and 0 wins. Nobody pays attention to the press and even those that do know they’re lying and only watch for the same reasons the Russians watched Pravda. Anyone with the brains of an aardvark knows our foreign policy is complete stupidity. Even those that don’t know why will eventually get around to trying to find out why. When they do find out…well just more ammo for the “Deport the Jews Foundation Initiative”

  38. a.z says:
    @Patriot

    that was just beautiful

  39. I am surprised to learn after reading the article and some of the comments too, that some Americans are
    so sensible and know the facts.

    • Replies: @TomB
  40. dahoit says:
    @terryt

    That is a dumb statement.Everyplace this clown touches turns to crap.Libya,Iraq,Afghanistan,Syria,Sudan,Iran,Egypt,Nigeria,Ukraine,all hell holes and worsening,most(all) of them as direct results of our meddling.The POTUS is a miseducated feather in the Zionist wind.
    The Blowback has reached gale force.

  41. TomB says:
    @Roger P Waters

    Just out of curiosity might you be the Roger Waters?

    And if so, just whose voice is it saying “short, sharp shock”?

  42. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    About as illuminating a broken light bulb. ‘Politics has been subverted by money’. Gee, ya think? There is no new information in this article for anyone who reads the news.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  43. moi says:

    Another excellent piece by Mr. Giraldi.

    Actually, it’s pretty simple to understand US foreign policy–the bully on the block will only accept obeisance from everyone else.

    And then there is the issue of the disproportionate influence of the Jews on US foreign policy and the erosion of our values, and pretty much a lot of other things.

  44. As outlined on antiwar, the US paid for the neo-nazi coup in Ukraine. At least 500 Blackwater are in Ukraine. Were they the snipers who made the coup succeed ? Who paid them ?
    As outlined by the great missile engineer Bob Aldridge-www.plrc.org-the US aims to achieve a Disarming First Strike Capability. According to Bob Aldridge the US Navy can track and destroy all enemy submarines simultaneously. Bob Aldridge on the 239 missiles in Romania, 409 in Poland and on 32 ships in the Mediterranean Sea, 4 now stationed in Cadiz: “Whether they are on ships or land, they are still a necessary component for an unanswerable first strike.” This leads to Launch On Warning, probably by 2017, and Suicide by mistake. GPS, earlier called NAVSTAR, was made for Minuteman-3 and Trident-2 to be able to hit Russian missile silos accurately. Bloody fools in the Pentagon ! Missile engineer Bob Aldridge-www.plrc.org-knows everything so he resigned. Robert C. Aldridge: The Counterforce Syndrome, First Strike! The Pentagon’s Strategy For Nuclear War (also available in German, French and Danish), Nuclear Empire, America In Peril.
    Professor J. Ed Anderson: “There is no doubt in my mind that deployment of anti-missile missiles in Eastern Europe is part of a first-strike strategy.”
    Dr Bob Bowman, Chief “Star Wars” Program: “Missile defence is the missing link to first strike.”

  45. People like Phil need to start specifically stating WHY all this foreign policy nonsense is going on – specifically to benefit certain specific parties in the US and the West generally, i.e., the military-industrial complex, the oil companies, the financial industry, and the banks who finance these entities, along with some rich Israeli-First Jews and a smattering of other beneficiaries like the lunatic neocons.

    But it’s the corporate oligarchy that is the primary beneficiary. Politicians are just hangers-on and domestic politics is just the front comedy show. Obama is an empty suit who is totally controlled by his rich backers in Chicago.

    Until that is done, the average US citizen has no clue why things are happening the way they are. But ninety nine percent of pundits are scared of being called “conspiracy theorists” for telling the truth.

  46. Pete says:
    @Astorian

    I repeat; GENIUS; you get first chance at picking how many days Pollard will spend in prison when Killary is elected. the choices are; 1 to 99. Wrong again; GENIUS; it will be hours, not days. He has to hurry to get to the White House where Ms. President will introduce him as a long-suffering Patriot, and propose him as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize, alongside OB.

  47. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Move along nothing to see–Don’t read an essay I can dismiss with the flick of my wrist and a snort of my nostrils.

  48. Pete says:
    @unit472

    “The only crisis except in Putin’s mind”. At least you seem to acknowledge that Putin has a mind. Sorry, I can’t say the same for Unit 472, since there appears to be no evidence of same!!

  49. Ace says:
    @Bill

    The record of the U.S. military is excellent. When civilian leadership imposes ridiculous ROE or throws away the battlefield success of the military the facile, go-to analysis is to speak of military failure. Even with the stupid ROE in Vietnam, the military crushed the communist forces.

    That is all.

  50. […] January 08, 2015 “ICH” – “Unz Review“-   […]

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