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Thread: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    Quote Posted by Foxie Loxie (here)
    Whoa!! That diagram REALLY puts the whole thing into a correct perspective!! Exactly WHY do we need to be selling such an amount of arms?!!
    Well, @Foxie, I am no expert on this but I think the true answer may be about the overall economic system we have built. If one thinks about how many people depend on this arms industry directly or indirectly it amounts to many hundreds of thousands if not millions across the nations shown here.

    First we have the people directly employed. Then, there are those employees’ families and dependents. Both the employees and their dependents go out and spend money in the sectors of the economy not directly part of the arms industry. This spend is important for the economy as a whole.

    Next we have the allied industries in the overall arms industry ecosystem - all those engineering, finance, legal, manufacturing and technology, etc. companies who supply to and support the arms industry in some way. Note that they may not only be supporting the arms industry but may also provide goods and services to other sectors. If one considers for instance a carbon fiber manufacturer, they might be supplying products for military uses (body armour for example) they also supply sporting equipment manufacturers (high end bicycle frames are made from carbon fiber for example). But they may have designed their business models around a single large military customer and perhaps would not be financially viable without this customer.

    All these allied companies employ people who have dependents and hence they too depend on the military industrial complex indirectly. And these people are also important spenders in the other economic sectors.

    One could look at the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry in a similar way. The number of people they employ and all their dependents, plus the allied supply/support companies makes up a vast number of consumers, without which the economy as it is currently structured would fail. Hence, the economic incentive for this economic sector is to have more people ill for longer periods: that’s what keeps the companies running and keeps all those people employed and spending in the wider economy.

    Then there are other factors related to the ongoing economic dependence on the arms industry.

    One factor is innovation. The military focus in the economy creates a kind of vortex or field of attraction for all sorts of things but critically, it acts to channel and focus intelligent minds. Hence many of the innovations and improvements we have in daily life are offshoots of military technology developments. Probably the most famous example is the internet. So, in the absence of this military “field of attraction” what else will perform the function of channeling and spurring onwards innovation? I am sure there are other things but society has been operating this way for so long it is hard to switch to anything else.

    Another factor is the huge feeding trough of graft, corruption and favours that are created by the arms trade. Most of the world’s political class and high level bureaucracy seems to be off the books “funded” by the arms industry. It is in none of these people’s interest to see the demise of the arms industry; it’s what buys them their fancy cars, homes, expensive vacations, etc. This spend - though corrupt in its source - is also an “economic contributor” working in favor of reinforcing the system.

    There is an interesting study by Johann Galtung on the structural requirements of empire. It shows how local “elites” in client states are linked to “elites” in the central state and how both are set against the populations as a whole in order for empire to continue.

    Quote In Johan Galtung’s structural theory of imperialism, there can be no imperial centre without bridgeheads abroad. In effect, there can be no sustainable imperialism without the support of bridgeheads. For the purposes of the theory, bridgeheads comprise those privileged local intermediaries of imperial power—political elites that rule in favour of the imperial centre; military elites schooled in the imperial centre; academic elites that serve as missionaries for empire; and, local economic elites that facilitate the extraction of capital in the imperial centre’s favour, while keeping a cut for themselves. So critical are these bridgeheads, these “force multipliers” of empire, that without them it would be impossible to sustain an imperial enterprise: “Where there is no bridgehead for the Center nation in the center of the Periphery nation, there cannot be any imperialism by this definition” (Galtung, 1971, p. 85, emphasis added).
    From here: https://zeroanthropology.net/2018/01...erican-empire/
    (The full paper is here: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/...34337100800201)

    In the language of the quotation above, it is in the interests of both central and periphery power players to support the ongoing dominance of the arms trade; it is what secures their ongoing position and power.

    Also, each of us in our own way can probably trace some aspect of our current behavior to supporting (indirectly) the continued existence of the arms industry. When we buy agricultural products imported from somewhere like Kenya or Thailand we may be supporting a multinational company that depends on a military presence (direct or through mercenaries and private security companies) to “protect” the interests of that company in those places (ahead of the interests of local populations). Coffee is probably a great example of this, sugar too. Similarly, if we buy electronic devices, we are probably supporting the ongoing war in the Congo since key minerals from there are needed for electronics.

    Many people on Avalon know these things but most people in the developed world don’t draw (or choose to ignore) the connections between their ability to purchase something in the shop and the likelihood that this was made possible by some state or private military securing the privileges of a multinational or local oligarch somewhere in the world.

    A few of Catherine Austin-Fitts interviews touch on this I think. She talks about “pushing the big green button” (which is a metaphorical expression for switching over to a different economic system) and how even supposedly enlightened people will not agree to do this. [I might have this wrong and it’s a big red button she talks about but the colour is not the key part of the story].

    So, we have the arms industry’s employees and their dependents, the aligned industries and their employees and dependents, the function of “focus” played by the arms industry and the power players receiving privileges and rewards, our own indirect complicity... and the knock on spend of all this in the wider economy. I am sure there are other onwards and cascading and reinforcing feedback loops. However, I think it’s pretty clear that this is a systemic problem.

    And complex, systemic problems are notoriously difficult and sometimes counter intuitive to change (if one wanted to and we could argue that the power players have no desire to change anything).

    These excellent (free) courses online cover systems thinking and complexity:
    http://complexitylabs.io/courses/

    This course in particular might be relevant for anyone interested:


    Sorry @Foxie for such a long response to your short pithy comment!
    Last edited by Searcher; 13th March 2018 at 11:42.

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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    And serendipitously, I found this today while I was researching a bit more. I don’t have a stance on his politics or interpretation of them, but he theorizes cogently about “why militarism”. He approaches the explanation from a political economy perspective.


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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    Here is a recently done podcast from Tim Kelly (Our Interesting Times) with Richard Spence on Wall Street and the Russian revolution.

    It’s long but an excellent and detailed review of the various players, plots and money making motives. Very interesting! I recommend it.



    More about Richard Spence’s book here:
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...om_search=true


    He has also written a book with Walter Bosley (first book of the Empire of the Wheel).

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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    Now some ideas on culture and the culture of the West.

    /
    Quote Pitirim Sorokin, a leading 20th century sociologist, is someone you should know about. Consider this quote of his:
    “The organism of the Western society and culture seems to be undergoing one of the deepest and most significant crises of its life. The crisis is far greater than the ordinary; its depth is unfathomable, its end not yet in sight, and the whole of the Western society is involved in it. It is the crisis of a Sensate culture, now in its overripe stage, the culture that has dominated the Western World during the last five centuries….

    Shall we wonder, therefore, that if many do not apprehend clearly what is happening, they have at least a vague feeling that the issue is not merely that of “prosperity,” or “democracy,” or “capitalism,” or the like, but involves the whole contemporary culture, society, and man? …

    Shall we wonder, also, at the endless multitude of incessant major and minor crises that have been rolling over us, like ocean waves, during recent decades? Today in one form, tomorrow in another. Now here, now there. Crises political, agricultural, commercial, and industrial! Crises of production and distribution. Crises moral, juridical, religious, scientific, and artistic. Crises of property, of the State, of the family, of industrial enterprise… Each of the crises has battered our nerves and minds, each has shaken the very foundations of our culture and society, and each has left behind a legion of derelicts and victims. And alas! The end is not in view. Each of these crises has been, as it were, a movement in a great terrifying symphony, and each has been remarkable for its magnitude and intensity.”
    (P. Sorokin, SCD, pp. 622-623)
    Background

    Pitirim Alexandrovich Sorokin (1889–1968) was born in Russia to a Russian father and an indigenous (Komi, an ethnic group related to Finns) mother. Like other intellectuals of his age, he was swept up in the revolt against the tsarist government. He held a cabinet post in the short-lived Russian Provisional Government (1917), and had the distinction of being imprisoned successively by both tsarist and Bolshevist factions. Eventually sentenced to death, he was pardoned by Lenin, emigrated, and came to the US. There he enjoyed a long and distinguished academic career, much of it at Harvard University, where he served as head of the sociology department.

    His experience and acute observations of Russian politics left him uniquely suited for understanding the transformational forces of the 20th century. By 1937 he published the first three volumes of his masterpiece, Social and Cultural Dynamics, but he continued to refine his theories for nearly three more decades.

    Based on a careful study of world history – including detailed statistical analysis of phases in art, architecture, literature, economics, philosophy, science, and warfare – he identified three strikingly consistent phenomena:
    • There are two opposed elementary cultural patterns, the materialistic (Sensate) and spiritual (Ideational), along with certain intermediate or mixed patterns. One mixed pattern, called Idealistic, which integrates the Sensate and Ideational orientations, is extremely important.
    • Every society tends to alternate between materialistic and spiritual periods, sometimes with transitional, mixed periods, in a regular and predictable way.
    • Times of transition from one orientation to another are characterized by a markedly increased prevalence of wars and other crises.

    ...

    Western Cultural History

    Sorokin examined a wide range of world societies. In each he believed he found evidence of the regular alternation between Sensate and Ideational orientations, sometimes with an Integral culture intervening. According to Sorokin, Western culture is now in the third Sensate epoch of its recorded history. Table 1 summarizes his view of this history.

    Table 1: Cultural Periods of Western Civilization According to Sorokin

    Period -> Cultural Type -> Begin -> End
    Greek -> Dark Age -> Sensate ->1200 BC -> 900 BC
    Archaic Greece -> Ideational ->900 BC -> 550 BC
    Classical Greece -> Integral ->550 BC -> 320 BC
    Hellenistic – Roman -> Sensate ->320 BC -> 400
    Transitional -> Mixed -> 400 -> 600
    Middle Ages -> Ideational -> 600 -> 1200
    High Middle Ages, Renaissance -> Integral -> 1200 -> 1500
    Rationalism, Age of Science -> Sensate -> 1500 -> present

    Based on a detailed analysis of art, literature, economics, and other cultural indicators, Sorokin concluded that ancient Greece changed from a Sensate to an Ideational culture around the 9th century BC; during this Ideational phase, religious themes dominated society (Hesiod, Homer, etc.).

    Following this, in the Greek Classical period (roughly 600 BC to 300 BC), an Integral culture reigned: the Parthenon was built; art (the sculptures of Phidias, the plays of Aeschylus and Sophocles) flourished, as did philosophy (Plato, Aristotle). This was followed by a new Sensate age, associated first with Hellenistic (the empire founded by Alexander the Great) culture, and then the Roman Empire.

    As Rome’s Sensate culture decayed, it was eventually replaced by the Christian Ideational culture of the Middle Ages. The High Middle Ages and Renaissance brought a new Integral culture, again associated with many artistic and cultural innovations. After this Western society entered its present Sensate era, now in its twilight. We are due, according to Sorokin, to soon make a transition to a new Ideational, or, preferably, an Integral cultural era.
    ...
    From here: https://satyagraha.wordpress.com/201...-of-modernity/

    ==========

    Here is Morris Berman (author of a trilogy on consciousness as well as a cultural analysis of the USA) applying Sorokin to the USA empire:

    Quote Sorokin distinguished between what he called Ideational cultures and Sensate cultures. The former, he wrote, are spiritual in nature, focusing on the inner life of human beings. The latter, on the other hand—of which the West for the last five hundred years is a classic example—are preoccupied with the material modification of the external world by means of science and technology, and are the opposite of the Ideational ones. The Sensate culture of the last five centuries, he claimed, is now in crisis; in its dying phase.

    ...

    So Sorokin believed that present-day Sensate/scientific culture was in a state of fatigue; that it had run its course. When you have the excessive domination of a single system, he wrote, eventually it begins to exhibit signs of self-destruction. The pendulum starts to swing in the other direction because each type of culture contains only part of the truth, and is thus an untruth. But this partial truth is mistaken for the whole truth, and becomes the basis for culture and social life—which is the untruth of the situation. The false part of the culture tends to grow, and eventually, the whole thing goes out of kilter. In other words, the untruth evokes a strong reaction, creating a dynamic of change and disintegration. (Cf. Hegel, or even Aristotle: any reality contains its own negation within itself, producing its antithesis over time.) Cultures dominated by one-sided mentalities, said Sorokin, fall victim to their own narrow-mindedness. He goes on:

    “The great crisis of Sensate culture is here in all its stark reality. Before our very eyes this culture is committing suicide. If it does not die in our lifetime, it can hardly recover from the exhaustion of its creative forces and from the wounds of self-destruction. Half-alive and half-dead, it may linger in its agony for decades; but its spring and summer are definitely over….I hear distinctly the requiem that the symphony of history is playing in its memory.”

    Sorokin’s predictions for this end-game scenario (remember, he’s writing this nearly seventy-five years ago) were as follows:

    1. The boundary between true and false, and beautiful and ugly, will erode. Conscience will disappear in favor of special interest groups. Force and fraud will become the norm; might will become right, and brutality rampant. It will be a bellum omnium contra omnes, and the family will disintegrate as well. “The home will become a mere overnight parking place.”

    2. Sensate values “will be progressively destructive rather than constructive, representing in their totality a museum of sociocultural pathology….The Sensate mentality will increasingly interpret man and all values ‘physicochemically,’ ‘biologically,’ ‘reflexologically,’ ‘endocrinologically,’ ‘behavioristically,’ ‘economically’…[etc.].”

    3. Real creativity will die out. Instead, we shall get a multitude of mediocre pseudo-thinkers and vulgar groups and organizations. Our belief systems will turn into a strange chaotic stew of science, philosophy, and magical beliefs. “Quantitative colossalism will substitute for qualitative refinement.” What is biggest will be regarded as best. Instead of classics, we shall have best-sellers. Instead of genius, technique. Instead of real thought, Information. Instead of inner value, glittering externality. Instead of sages, smart alecs. The great cultural values of the past will be degraded; “Michelangelos and Rembrandts will be decorating soap and razor blades, washing machines and whiskey bottles.”

    4. Freedom will become a myth. “Inalienable rights will be alienated; Declarations of Rights either abolished or used only as beautiful screens for an unadulterated coercion. Governments will become more and more hoary, fraudulent, and tyrannical, giving bombs instead of bread; death instead of freedom; violence instead of law.” Security will fade; the population will become weary and scared. “Suicide, mental disease, and crime will grow.”

    5. The dies irae of transition will not be fun to live through, but the only way out of this mess, he wrote, is precisely through it. Under the conditions outlined above, the “population will not be able to help opening its eyes [this will be a very delayed phase in the U.S., I’m guessing] to the hollowness of the declining Sensate culture…. As a result, it will increasingly forsake it and shift its allegiance to either Ideational or Idealistic values.” Finally, we shall see the release of new creative forces, which “will usher in a culture and a noble society built not upon the withered Sensate root but upon a healthier and more vigorous root of integralistic principle.” In other words, we can expect “the emergence and slow growth of the first components of a new sociocultural order.”
    From here: https://morrisberman.blogspot.ae/201...orokin_28.html

    More on Morris Berman’s books here: https://www.goodreads.com/author/sho...om_search=true

    /

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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    So, there’s another thread all about the recent speech of Russian president Putin (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/show...March-1st-2018).

    Here are some comments from one of Pat Lang’s website commentors on the why and the why now questions:
    Quote It seems very timely taking into account the sudden escalation by its proxy "rebels" and franchises and stubbornly declared permanent stay of the US in Syria with around 20 illegal bases there....

    Not to mention the almost daily attacks on Russian interests/institutions in the Ukraine as well as obvious preparations for war against Donbass precceded by the last declaration of "Regulation Law" by the Ukranian Rada....

    To this you could add the recent displacement of IS efectives to the north Afghanistan border which took place almost coincidentaly with the dismissal of government nationalist figures at that zone...

    All this added to the shameful and unfair ban of Russia from the Winter Olympics, continuous expanding of sanctions against increasing number of Russian officials ( and menaces of the same fur towards every living being trading with them )...well you name them...And do not forget the totally outlaw invasion and requisition of Russian diplomatic propierties by US officials...As weel as the continuous harassment of Russian professionals around the world, especially those working in the US, as is the case of Russian journalists or Russian IT especialists...

    Last but not least, the continuous accumulation of missiles, troops and warfare equipment, along with the performance of military drills where Russian fake human targets are shot in the Baltics, the almost daily appearance of US spy aircrafts or warships around Russian borders and the Black Sea waters...

    It is not the Russians who chose the time, what was really timely is the already unbearable provocations by the US around the Russian presidential elections...

    Enough is enough. In fact they have had more patience than Saint Job.
    From here: http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_s...b7c954e580970b

    And from Pat Lang himself:
    Quote One of the things we refused to notice during the Cold War was that Soviet equipment developments generally were attempts to match and mirror ours.
    From here: http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_s...b8d2df327d970c

    And here from Willy B (who wrote the article that these comments are a response to):
    Quote The Soviets didn't explode their first atom bomb until 1949 and prior to that resisted efforts that would have resulted in the US being the only possessor of the bomb. They also didn't reach parity with the US on ICBMs until sometime in the 1970's. There WAS a missile gap in the 1960-61, but it was the other way, in favor of the U.S.
    From here: http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_s...bb09f82a4b970d

    ==========

    And here’s a sobering, short video (posted in 2010) showing the scale of nuclear development:

    Quote Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto has created a beautiful, undeniably scary time-lapse map of the 2053 nuclear explosions which have taken place between 1945 and 1998, beginning with the Manhattan Project's "Trinity" test near Los Alamos and concluding with Pakistan's nuclear tests in May of 1998. This leaves out North Korea's two alleged nuclear tests in this past decade (the legitimacy of both of which is not 100% clear).

    Each nation gets a blip and a flashing dot on the map whenever they detonate a nuclear weapon, with a running tally kept on the top and bottom bars of the screen. Hashimoto, who began the project in 2003, says that he created it with the goal of showing"the fear and folly of nuclear weapons." It starts really slow — if you want to see real action, skip ahead to 1962 or so — but the buildup becomes overwhelming.
    ==========

    More about the “missile gap”:
    Quote The “Missile Gap” was more than an imaginary talking point. It was an extraordinarily effective Soviet disinformation program, aimed at convincing the US that a nuclear attack on the USSR would result in a devastating Soviet retaliation. Khrushchev reasoned that nuclear deterrence could be achieved by convincing the US that he had a massive ICBM capability, even if he had none whatsoever, and, in a guns-vs-butter decision, chose not to develop an actual capability.

    The CIA’S human intelligence provided constant reports (from a steady stream of fake defectors) of ever-increasing Soviet capabilities. But what confounded Eisenhower was that over-flight intelligence could locate not a single ICBM site. (This is what Gary Powers was looking for when he was shot down.) The rapid growth of the Corona satellite surveillance project after the Powers incident dramatically increased coverage over the U-2 flights, but could still not locate a single ICBM site.

    Khrushchev, however, became alarmed by the Corona program, and fearing the his ruse would be discovered, made a desperate attempt to secure an actual retaliatory capability by installing short-range nuclear missiles in Cuba, allowing the USSR at least to retaliate against Miami in case of a US attack. It was this move that removed any doubt in the minds of the CIA and JFK that the missile gap was a hoax.

    The Cuban Missile Crisis resulted in the downfall of Khrushchev and the USSR’s decision to develop a genuine nuclear arsenal.

    It is a tribute to the effectiveness of Khrushchev’s disinformation campaign that, even today, people believe that the Cuban Missile Crisis brought the world to the brink of a nuclear holocaust, in spite of the fact that the Soviet Missiles in Cuba were never made launch-ready.

    (Source: Walt W. Rostow “Open Skies: Eisenhower’s proposal of July 21, 1955”, University of Texas Press, 1982)
    From here: https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018...omment-2933059
    Last edited by Searcher; 4th March 2018 at 06:24.

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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    More on the nuclear theme.

    /
    Here is some research on the controversial outcome of a nuclear winter. They use a global climate model and the test case of a nuclear war between India and Pakistan. The extrapolate the effects of Black Carbon (BC)

    Quote Multidecadal global cooling and unprecedented ozone loss following a regional nuclear conflict

    Michael J. Mills 1 , Owen B. Toon 2 , Julia Lee-Taylor 1 , and Alan Robock 3

    Received 30 SEP 2013
    Accepted 31 JAN 2014
    Accepted article online 7 FEB 2014
    Published online 1 APR 2014

    Key Points:

    • Impacts of a regional nuclear war are simulated with an Earth system model
    Global cooling following a regional nuclear war could persist for more than 25 years
    • Global ozone loss unprecedented in human history is confirmed



    Abstract
    We present the first study of the global impacts of a regional nuclear war with an Earth system model including atmospheric chemistry, ocean dynamics, and interactive sea ice and land components. A limited, regional nuclear war between India and Pakistan in which each side detonates 50 15 kt weapons could produce about 5 Tg of black carbon (BC). This would self-loft to the stratosphere, where it would spread globally, producing a sudden drop in surface temperatures and intense heating of the stratosphere. Using the Community Earth System Model with the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model, we calculate an e-folding time of 8.7 years for stratospheric BC compared to 4–6.5 years for previous studies. Our calculations show that global ozone losses of 20%–50% over populated areas, levels unprecedented in human history, would accompany the coldest average surface temperatures in the last 1000 years. We calculate summer enhancements in UV indices of 30%–80% over midlatitudes, suggesting widespread damage to human health, agriculture, and terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Killing frosts would reduce growing seasons by 10–40 days per year for 5 years. Surface temperatures would be reduced for more than 25 years due to thermal inertia and albedo effects in the ocean and expanded sea ice. The combined cooling and enhanced UV would put significant pressures on global food supplies and could trigger a global nuclear famine. Knowledge of the impacts of 100 small nuclear weapons should motivate the elimination of more than 17,000 nuclear weapons that exist today.

    ...

    Summary

    We present the first simulations of the chemistry-climate effects of smoke produced by a nuclear war using an Earth system model that includes both stratospheric chemistry and feedbacks on sea ice and deep ocean circulation. We calculate impacts on surface climate persisting significantly longer than previous studies, as a result of several feedback mechanisms. First, BC [black carbon] absorbs sunlight, heating ambient air, and self-lofts to the upper stratosphere, a region treated with greater vertical resolution in CESM1(WACCM) than in the model used by Robock et al. [2007b]. Second, the BC spreads globally, absorbing sunlight, which heats the stratosphere and cools the surface. This has the effect of reducing the strength of the stratospheric circulation and increasing the lifetime of BC in the stratosphere. Third, the reduction of surface temperatures cools the upper 100 m of the ocean by >0.5 K for 12 years, and expands ice extent on sea and land. This lends inertia to the surface cooling due to both thermal mass and enhanced albedo, causing recovery in surface temperatures to lag the recovery in BC by a decade or more. As a result, we calculate that surface temperatures remain below the control ensemble range even 26 years after the nuclear war.

    The global average temperature increase in the stratosphere following the BC injection initially exceeds 70 K, and persists above 30 K for 5 years, with full recovery taking two decades. As in previous studies, this temperature increase produces global ozone loss on a scale never observed, as a result of several chemical mechanisms. The resulting enhancements to UV radiation at the surface would be directly damaging to human health, and would damage agricultural crops, as well as ecosystems on land and in the oceans.

    These results illustrate some of the severe negative consequences of the use of only 100 of the smallest nuclear weapons in modern megacities. Yet the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, China, and France each have stockpiles of much larger nuclear weapons that dwarf the 100 examined here [Robock et al., 2007a; Toon et al., 2007]. Knowing the perils to human society and other forms of life on Earth of even small numbers of nuclear weapons, societies can better understand the urgent need to eliminate this danger worldwide.
    Here is the full article - it’s open access - http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/1...3EF000205/full

    ==========

    A little bit on the effects of nuclear explosions on ozone:
    Quote Ozone Depletion

    When a nuclear weapon explodes in the air, the surrounding air is subjected to great heat, followed by relatively rapid cooling. These conditions are ideal for the production of tremendous amounts of nitric oxides. These oxides are carried into the upper atmosphere, where they reduce the concentration of protective ozone. Ozone is necessary to block harmful ultraviolet radiation from reaching the Earth's surface.


    Oxides of nitrogen form a catalytic cycle to reduce the protective ozone layer.

    The nitric oxides produced by the weapons could reduce the ozone levels in the Northern Hemisphere by as much as 30 to 70 percent. Such a depletion might produce changes in the Earth's climate, and would allow more ultraviolet radiation from the sun through the atmosphere to the surface of the Earth, where it could produce dangerous burns and a variety of potentially dangerous ecological effects.

    It has been estimated that as much as 5,000 tons of nitric oxide is produced for each megaton of nuclear explosive power.
    From here: http://www.atomicarchive.com/Effects/effects22.shtml

    So perhaps all those atomic tests by the USA, French, British in the South Pacific were the underlying cause of the ozone hole? CFCs were just a convenient scapegoat maybe. Certainly scapegoating is a common cultural occurrence.

    /
    Last edited by Searcher; 5th March 2018 at 06:45.

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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    And here some perhaps more reliable commentary on what the US has been doing from a nuclear perspective.

    /
    Quote THEODORE A. POSTOL... is professor of science, technology, and national security policy at MIT.

    He said today:
    “The American foreign policy establishment should not be surprised by Mr. Putin’s recent statements about Russian efforts to improve the capabilities of their nuclear forces against U.S. offensive nuclear forces and missile defenses.

    “The United States has created the appearance that it believes it can fight and win a nuclear war against Russia. The U.S. is in the process of increasing the killing power of its nuclear ballistic missile forces against Russian ICBMs by a factor of three or more, and it is building missile defenses that suggest the U.S. believes it can strike Russia and and then defend against retaliation. It has issued a Nuclear Policy Review (NPR) that makes it clear that the U.S. could choose to use nuclear weapons first and at any time.
    ...

    In 2014, Postol wrote the piece “How the Obama Administration Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” for The Nation.

    Last year, Postol co-wrote a paper for The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists: “How U.S. nuclear force modernization is undermining strategic stability: The burst-height compensating super-fuze.”

    The paper warned:
    “The U.S. nuclear forces modernization program has been portrayed to the public as an effort to ensure the reliability and safety of warheads in the U.S. nuclear arsenal, rather than to enhance their military capabilities. In reality, however, that program has implemented revolutionary new technologies that will vastly increase the targeting capability of the U.S. ballistic missile arsenal. This increase in capability is astonishing — boosting the overall killing power of existing U.S. ballistic missile forces by a factor of roughly three — and it creates exactly what one would expect to see, if a nuclear-armed state were planning to have the capacity to fight and win a nuclear war by disarming enemies with a surprise first strike.”
    The paper continued:
    “The capability upgrade has happened outside the attention of most government officials, who have been preoccupied with reducing nuclear warhead numbers. The result is a nuclear arsenal that is being transformed into a force that has the unambiguous characteristics of being optimized for surprise attacks against Russia and for fighting and winning nuclear wars. While the lethality and firepower of the U.S. force has been greatly increased, the numbers of weapons in both U.S. and Russian forces have decreased, resulting in a dramatic increase in the vulnerability of Russian nuclear forces to a U.S. first strike. We estimate that the results of arms reductions with the increase in U.S. nuclear capacity means that the U.S. military can now destroy all of Russia’s ICBM silos using only about 20 percent of the warheads deployed on U.S. land- and sea-based ballistic missiles.”
    ...
    From here: http://www.accuracy.org/release/post...ar-statements/
    /

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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    And now a meander into somewhere a little different: pre-planned wars.

    /
    Here is an interesting article - The Disastrous 21st Century - about the UK establishment’s preplanning of the wars in the Middle East and Russia...
    http://www.perseus.ch/wp-content/upl...st-Century.pdf

    I’ll quote here the most of the article but you can read the more esoteric parts and framing in the pdf linked above.

    Quote ... at the very same time that the Single European Market 1992 pro ject was due to begin (1st Jan. 1993) an article appeared in The Economist magazine of London (double issue 26.12.1992 - 8.1.1993) which gave a stark indication of how the Ahrimanic forces would seek to block what Steiner had said is so necessary for the future. The article, written in 1992 on the very verge of the age of the World Wide Web, outlined a conflict that would last for most of the first half of the 20th century; it would begin with an Islamic group seeking a Caliphate and along the way it would involve the destruction of Russia as we know it. The anonymous, three-page article was quite specific as to the year in which the strategy would begin – 2011!

    The article was written in the form of an extract from an imaginary history of the world written in the year 2992, and is titled: “Looking Back from 2992 - A World History, Chapter 13: The disastrous 21st century”. It is accompanied by three illustrations in mock mediaeval style. This is a semiotic reference to the well-known book by the American historian, the late Barbara Tuchman, A Distant Mirror - The Calamitous 14th Century. Tuchman’s book dramatically portrayed the real disasters of Europe’s “puberty crisis” in the 14th century, which was in many respects truly cataclysmic. The Economist article’s subtitle implies that the 21st century will be a similar century of calamity.

    ...

    because the article paints a picture of disaster for much of mankind in the 21st century (except for the USA and Israel which would be unaffected by the conflict in Eurasia) because mankind did not do in the years after 1992 what The Economist felt it should do, which was of course to allow the world to be influenced by the English-speaking world and its “belief in every man’s right to political and economic freedom.” 2

    Although the article purports to be Chapter 13 of a world history that extends up to 2992, in fact it discusses only the first half of the 21st century – events up to about 2050. In short, from 2011, (the year in which the Arab Spring took place and Anders Breivik carried out his massacres in Norway) the Eurasian conflict gets underway after a military coup takes place in a Muslim country, which leads to the emergence of a new pan-Muslim super-entity that avails itself of Arab oil resources and launches an offensive that seeks to restore the Caliphate – a single state for all Muslims. This pan-Islamic entity somehow allies itself with China, which has its own issues with ‘the West’ in the Asia-Pacific region and ends up bullying Japan into submission. Together, the Chinese and the Muslims turn against the West. Interestingly enough, Israel is not even mentioned in the article; it is ap parently unaffected by all the disasters of the 21st century and nothing happens to it – perhaps because the Rothschilds are well-known to have a 30% stake in The Economist and Lynn Forester de Rothschild sits on the board. Clearly, the author of the article imagined some kind of war would be going on elsewhere in the Levant, however, in and around Syria in 2014, because the article refers to the “Battle of Antioch” (Antakya) in that year. Antakya today is in Turkey just over the border from NW Syria. Antioch in classical times was a Syrian city, the place where St Paul went, and where Christians were first known as ‘Christians’. Turkey - seen by the pan-Islamists as a traitor to Islam - becomes the first victim of the alliance, but most significantly, the main target of the alliance turns out to be - Russia!

    Russia’s intended fate
    By the middle of the 21st century, Russia is described in the article as having lost to the alliance all its territory east of the Urals – a vast region: “in two brief campaigns Russia’s borders were pushed back to the Urals and to an uneasy line running from the central Urals to the Sea of Azov.” America retreats into isolationism and merely looks on at the conflict in the ‘Old World’ as Russia is reduced. The article describes how Europe holds off the alliance attack by means of its nuclear weapons, so that most of the conflict apparently happens between the Chinese-Muslim alliance and Russia. The West in effect provides the anvil and the East provides the hammer, and between them Russia is broken in pieces. 3 The Chinese take eastern Siberia and the Muslims take the rest. Russia would thus be returned to its borders of the late 16th century and would become, in geopolitical terms a purely European state. As such, although this is not mentioned in the article, Russia would then be ripe for integration in what Zbigniew Brzezinski in the 1990s was already calling “Atlanticist Europe”, “Euro-America” etc. In other words, as a result of this 21st century Eurasian war which would begin in 2011 and end in about 2050, Russia would be taken over by Euro-America; the latter is a combination we can see turning into reality around us today in the form of NATO, the EU, and now TTIP, which Hillary Clinton has praised as “an economic NATO” and Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former NATO Secretary General, has hailed as “an integrated transatlantic community”. This would be the ultimate victory for Brzezinski and those who think like him in the British elite (e.g. The Economist) as it would mean the complete termination of what he, with all his family’s Polish aristocratic antipathy, has long called ‘the Russian Empire’. Indeed, in an article for the Council On Foreign Relations journal Foreign Affairs (Sept/ Oct 1997, USA), Brzezinski was already imagining a “Confederated Russia” in three pieces: “Russia”, “Siberia” and a “Far Eastern Republic”. The notion of the integration of Russia into the EU and NATO was, interestingly enough, then floated in articles in Foreign Affairs in 2010 (May/June issue).



    Imperial strategies
    In view of the increasingly close links between Russia and China today, the Eurasian energy and transport infrastructure networks they are jointly develop ing and the military connections between them, it might seem as though The Economist ’s prospect of a Chinese-Islamic alliance breaking up Russia is sheer fantasy. We should remember, however, that stranger things have often happened in history and that the British elite are accustomed to “playing a long game”. The Economist is not known for indulging in mere speculation and fantasy. If one had said in 1887 (when Britain was in its diplomatic “splendid isolation”, while maintaining friendly relations with Germany and hostile ones with France and Russia), that within 20 years, Britain would be allied with France and Russia against Germany, one would have been thought a fantasist by those Europeans familiar with diplomatic affairs, but precisely that realignment was organised by a certain circle of British diplomats and statesmen between 1887 and 1907.


    Zbigniew Brzezinski and his allies look back to their British imperial ‘mentor’, the first geopolitician Halford Mackinder, who argued that at all costs, a Russo-German combination must be prevented, as only that could threaten Anglo-Saxon world domination; the geostrategist George Friedman of the influential thinktank STRATFOR said the very same thing earlier this year in the USA. 4 Mackinder also warned against a Russo-Chinese alliance for the same reason: it would allow the vast resources of Central Asia and Siberia to be used to create a mighty fleet which could challenge the fleets of what he called the “Sea Wolves”, Britain and America. Three times in the 20th century (First and Second World Wars, and the Cold War) the Anglo-American elite were successful in preventing any kind of Russo-German understanding; indeed, they even managed – with a great deal of help from the stupidity of the two countries’ own leaders – to get Russia and Germany to make war on each other twice within 30 years.

    Russia and China
    But Mackinder’s other nightmare is now fast becoming reality, namely, a Russo-Chinese alliance, and China is now far more powerful than it was in his day. We can therefore be sure that deep within the elites of ‘the West’ plans are already afoot to break up that alliance by some strategem or other, and most likely within the next few years, before the economies of what Mackinder called “the Land Wolves” become inextricably linked by the growing energy and transport networks across Siberia.

    Between 2010 and 2012 Russia’s allies Iran and Syria negotiated with Iraq for an “Islamic pipeline” to cross from Iran via Iraq to Syria, to their joint advantage. This pipeline was bitterly resented by the US-aligned Sunni states of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, who have had pipeline plans of their own which all feature the removal of the pro-Russian President Assad of Syria. Meanwhile, the Iranians are also busy building a pipeline to link them with India via Pakistan, a Chinese ally. The prospect emerges - with Iran as the key hub - of energy and transport links that stretch all the way from China to Syria – a new ‘iron silk road’ indeed that could actually greatly benefit the peoples of Asia and beyond! 5 But it represents a terrible concern for the “Sea Wolves” of the West and their economic ‘values’. They see it as a threat, as the British elite once saw the Germans moving into South African gold and diamond mines as a threat, and as they saw the Berlin-Baghdad Railway as a threat – a threat to their own monopoly on the material fundaments of global domination.

    The Middle East conflict 2011-2015
    A military coup (in Egypt) emerged out of the “Arab Spring” in 2011; Libya was destroyed by the West; much of Syria has been destroyed as a functioning state by a combination of so-called ‘opposition forces’, many of them Islamist fanatics and foreign mercenaries, backed more or less covertly by the Sunni states of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait. At first, these forces were too weak to gain the advantage. Then in 2014 there exploded onto the scene a new fanatical pan-Islamic movement calling for a Caliphate. It too was covertly backed by the West and their Sunni Arab allies. It quickly seized oil resources to finance itself. By 2013, President Assad was on the back foot; then he received support from Hezbollah and Iran, behind whom was Russia. The Western leaders Obama and Cameron sought to intervene militarily against Assad to change the balance back against him but were denied by their own peoples. Instead, they struck at Russia through Ukraine in late 2013/early 2014 by covertly organising and supporting an illegal coup. Putin responded with his own ‘coup de main’ in Crimea and by backing separatists in eastern Ukraine. This led the West to declare economic warfare against Russia; a new “Cold War” had begun, the media told us repeatedly. But while the Russian-backed Ukrainians fought the Western-backed Ukrainians to a standstill in the Donbass, the balance shifted again in Syria when the West, in mid-2014, suddenly played its ISIS card: the Caliphate-seeking fanatics had arrived. The West has pretended to take military action against ISIS, or ‘Islamic State’, but has achieved little after over a year of ‘air strikes’; the situation has merely worsened. A stream of refugees, many from Syria, began to pour across to Europe in 2015, and the West immediately sought to use this new crisis to make demands for the end of Assad’s state, its logic being that unless Assad goes, the Syrian disaster will only worsen and the refugee crisis will cause ever more problems for Europe. By mid-2015, the military situation was again looking bad for Assad until at Michaelmas, Russia stepped in to prop him up with air strikes of its own aimed at all Assad’s enemies in Syria. Meanwhile, NATO member Turkey, ever prickly and oversensitive about its borders and about the Kurds, and still hungry to overthrow Assad for economic oil-and-gas-related reasons, is making hostile noises about Russia’s intervention, and NATO begins to do the same….

    What is at stake in all this is the future of Russia and the Slavic world.... Russia today in global terms is in the same situation as Germany was in 1914 in Europe – in the middle, the bridging culture between East and West, between China and Europe

    ...

    It might seem as though the Anglo-American goal is to produce a binary counterweight to a Russo-Chinese alliance, thus producing a colossal East-West binary which would be truly dangerous, and indeed, we are already perilously close to that scenario today. But the 1990 article by Beedham (he was a close personal friend of Samuel P. Huntington, who first published his Clash of Civilizations thesis in Foreign Affairs in 1993) showed Russia separate from both Europe and China - and this is the long-term aim of the Anglo-American elite: Europe with N.America, and Russia weakened and reduced between Euro-America and China.

    The military coup, the neo-Caliphate, war in Syria, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Turkey, Russia, Iran are all involved, with China and ‘the West’ in the background (not to mention Israel) – the elements of The Economist ’s 1992 scenario for the 21st century are thus all in place only four years after 2011, when the scenario was set to begin. The elites of the West have always acted covertly, but they have also often ‘leaked’ out information about their plans in ‘coded’ form; they did so in Steiner’s day 6 and they do so today. Why they do this is a question to ponder but the rest of us do at least have a chance to perceive those intentions, expose them and thus seek to defend against them or prevent them from being realised.
    From here: http://www.perseus.ch/wp-content/upl...st-Century.pdf

    ==========

    The above article makes reference to Rudolf Steiner’s work. The lectures in which he focuses most on the secret pre-planning of the First World War seems to be “The Karma of Untruthfulness: Secret Societies, the Media, and Preparations for the Great War”, in two volumes:

    Volume 1: https://www.rudolfsteinerpress.com/v...=9781855841864
    Volume 2: https://www.rudolfsteinerpress.com/v...=9781855841918

    From the publisher’s description:
    Quote Although these lectures were given during 1916, they have much to teach us about the political spin, media distortions, propaganda and downright lies we encounter on a daily basis in public life. Rudolf Steiner's calm and methodological approach penetrates the smokescreen of accusations and counterclaims, of illusion and untruth, surrounding the Great War. Hiding behind this fog, and under the guise of outer events, he reveals the true spiritual struggle that is taking place. His words give a deeper understanding of the politics and world conflicts that confront us today through the filter of the media.

    In the midst of the turmoil of the First World War, Steiner speaks out courageously against the hatred and untruthfulness in the propaganda of the time. From his detailed research into the spiritual impulses of human evolution, he describes the dominant role secret brotherhoods played in the events culminating in the cataclysmic war, and warns that the retarding forces of nationalism must be overcome if Europe is to find its new destiny. He also emphasizes the urgent need for new social structures if further catastrophes are to be avoided.

    At a time when political events throughout the world are moving with breathless rapidity, the reader will find much in these lectures that will illuminate what lies behind the symptoms of our turbulent times.

    This new edition, reproduced in a larger format, is put in a modern context and introduced by Terry Boardman.
    Dale Brunsvold reads these lectures and you can find links to these audios here:
    http://www.rudolfsteineraudio.com/ka...vol1cw173.html

    (Brunsvold also reads many other Steiner works, see the home page here: http://www.rudolfsteineraudio.com/)

    ==========

    Terry Boardman who wrote the article I quoted first above, has a site - http://threeman.org/ - where you can read more of his articles. His latest few deal with the Cecil family and their role in the UK establishment.

    /
    Last edited by Searcher; 7th March 2018 at 04:46.

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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    Here’s a “nice” rant about the state of today’s western world:

    Quote Canada is in for a huge, ‘MAGA’-like wakeup call. In light of Trump’s battle against the Deep State in the U.S., with Hillary Clinton and Obama being seriously challenged, the insanity of neo-liberal menticide conducted on the American, Canadian and European populations for the last 60 years, the sane, rational all but silenced and angry voices are speaking up. The National Rifle Association (NRA) issued one of their first political call to arms in years against this insanity last week. For ‘gun-culture’ critics in and out of the U.S., the NRA speak on behalf of members and non-members, including many Canadians, who have quite simply had enough of the dystopia projected into the western world’s living rooms. Guns are not the issue here. Standing up to the Imperialist system of the City of London and Wall Street’s destructive, imperialist monetary and neo-conservative/neo-liberal policies ARE the issue. Reality is not being addressed by our Institutions any longer – so if your only argument is about ‘to-gun’ or ‘not-to-gun’ then you have your head in the sand. No solutions are being presented. Instead we are told to open wide and swallow shallow virtue-signals which ignore the opioid crisis, gross FBI incompetence too high and grave to qualify properly in this sentence, domestic and foreign Pentagon/CIA operations so evil that, at this point, makes Nazi Germany’s crimes look like a misdemeanor. We have bankers and corporate executives rigging and exploiting the population through economic manipulation on such a grand scale without any government regulation or interference that the fallout is going to make 1929 look like Grandpa stole cookies from the cookie jar. Dear readers, we are literally at the tipping point of revolution – NOW.
    From here: http://thesaker.is/canadas-envy-russia-and-china/

    The remainder of the article is interesting too.

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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    A detour today to the thinking of philosopher-social critic-cultural analyst-Christian scholar René Girard.

    /
    Quote For anyone interested in getting a fuller understanding of Rene Girard’s ideas, this is how I was introduced to them. It’s a 5 part radio show from CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Company, that includes an interview with Girard mixed with an easy to follow summation of his ideas by the narrator.

    “The Scapegoat: René Girard’s Anthropology of Violence and Religion, Part 1 – 5
    Human beings, according to French thinker René Girard, are fundamentally imitative creatures. We copy each other’s desires and are in perpetual conflict with one another over the objects of our desire. In early human communities, this conflict created a permanent threat of violence and forced our ancestors to find a way to unify themselves. They chose a victim, a scapegoat, an evil one against whom the community could unite. Biblical religion, according to Girard, has attempted to overcome this historic plight. From the unjust murder of Abel by his brother Cain to the crucifixion of Christ, the Bible reveals the innocence of the victim. It is on this revelation that modern society unquietly rests. Girard’s ideas have influenced social scientists over his long career as a writer and teacher.

    IDEAS producer David Cayley introduces this seminal thinker to a wider audience.”
    From here: https://auticulture.com/the-skapegoa...mp3-downloads/

    ==========

    And here are the five parts of this CBC piece with and on Girard:






    ==========

    And if you just want a quick summary of his thinking, here’s a short summary (4 minutes) of the main idea: Mimetic Theory



    ==========

    More on the cultural and social phenomenon of blame and scapegoating:

    Quote If often seems as though policy-making has devolved into nothing more than a contest where the goal is to blame as many people as possible (but not yourself) for the country’s problems. Fossil fuel companies blame environmental regulations for economic stagnation and high energy prices. Neocons blame civil libertarians for national security weaknesses. And of course, Westboro Baptist blames homosexuality for everything. Much of the blame appears to be farfetched (the exception is homosexuality, which since the days of Newton has been scientifically proven to cause hurricanes), and though the political motivations behind the blame game seem easy to understand, a new study led by Zachary Rothschild of the University of Kansas helps break down exactly when and why people latch on to a scapegoat.

    Rothschild and his team were interested in examining how the potential culpability of one’s own group influenced moral outrage and blame for a third-party. They began their experiment by giving participants a survey that led participants to categorize themselves as middle class rather than working class or upper class. Participants then read an article about the struggles of working-class Americans, but in the in-group condition the article blamed the middle class for the struggles, in the out-group condition the article blamed the upper class, and in the unknown condition the article stated that economists don’t know the cause of working-class struggles. Participants then read another article about the status of illegal immigrants. In the viable scapegoat condition the article described the rising fortunes of illegal immigrants, while in the non-viable scapegoat condition the articles describe how illegal immigrants were also struggling to find work.

    As expected, when illegal immigrants were viable scapegoats, participants were more likely to blame them for the struggles of the working-class when the cause of those struggles was unknown or attributed to their own group, the middle-class. Participants in the in-group condition also reported more moral outrage at illegal immigrants and a stronger desire for retributive action than participants in the out-group or unknown conditions. When illegal immigrants were not portrayed as a viable scapegoat (i.e. they were shown to also be struggling), participant perceptions about the cause of working class struggles had no effect on how they viewed illegal immigrants. In general, when a third-party was presented as a viable scapegoat, people were more likely to blame the third-party for a negative outcome when their own group was at risk of being viewed as responsible for that outcome.

    ...

    More broadly, the politics of scapegoating can prevent problems from actually getting solved.

    The irony of the present findings is that moral outrage in the present study arguably ensures the maintenance of the status quo of disadvantaged group’s suffering, while providing advantaged group members with an air of self-righteousness. That is, outraged advantaged group members may punish a supposed third-party culprit in the name of restoring justice for a disadvantaged group while simultaneously continuing to perpetrate harm against the disadvantaged without repair. Stated differently, there is the appearance of justice being served only to ensure that injustice is preserved.

    ...
    From here: https://peerreviewedbymyneurons.word...g-for-a-patsy/

    Here’s the study that the article refers to:
    Quote Rothschild, Z., Landau, M., Molina, L., Branscombe, N., & Sullivan, D. (2013). Displacing Blame over the Ingroup’s Harming of a Disadvantaged Group can Fuel Moral Outrage at a Third-Party Scapegoat
    Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2013.05.005
    ==========

    Interesting that it was a Rothschild running the experiment above.... what kind of social engineering could one do with a detailed understanding of social and cultural levers and mechanisms such as scapegoating?

    /

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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    Just for fun:


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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    Here is an article outlining the greater geopolitical game currently in play, in particular focused on the US.

    It’s a long article that skips back and forward from general framing to detailed specifics.

    I will paste some parts here but do recommend reading the whole long article.
    The full article is here: http://thesaker.is/pinning-the-trail.../?inmoderation

    Quote Pinning the Trail on the Donkey
    March 09, 2018
    by Norman Ball for the Saker Blog



    ...

    History repeats even its most odious chapters. Today, the cleverest trick against President Trump in the current high-stakes establishment war is to accuse him of what his enemies, mostly Democrats, are already up to their donkey-ears in: Russian collusion.

    ***

    The term Russian collusion sounds like it walked off a Tavistock Institute clipboard with the usual aim of promoting fear and avoiding mass enlightenment. Knowledge is power. Enlightenment is the coveted reserve of the Few. Not surprisingly, power favors misdirection (ignorance) over enlightenment (empowerment). Dumb down and frighten — divide and conquer.

    ...


    Keeping the masses both joined to a common moral cause (the Straussian baton of Greatest Present Evil has clearly passed from Terror to Russia) and trained on their potent enemy (for what appears to be an imminent conflict), our Managers find the prospect of We the People—in our militarized permutation—inflicting a deathblow on Russia, while getting death-blown ourselves, a very tempting two-for-one proposition.

    For the moment, until a cure is found (or a war is started in earnest) we are urged to please wash our hands thoroughly after handling all things Russian. Russian flags on Olympic grounds could spark an outbreak. Ban them. If you encountered a Russian-sponsored ad on Facebook during the election be aware the contagion may have survived on your PC screen for weeks, causing some to waste their vote even on the likes of Jill Stein. Now that’s sick! The political valence of the click ads–Trump or Clinton—didn’t matter either. Germs are agnostic and airborne. They can travel for miles disguised as competing worldviews.

    ...

    In a recent tweet, Hillary Clinton stoops yet again to Russia-baiting. Then there’s the thirteen Facebook trolls who happen to be Russian nationals engaged in a strictly business venture with no evidence of a state actor role and no overt political leanings. None of this prevents Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein from alluding by sly inference to the Russians during his press conference (here at 3:19) as though King Bee Putin himself was supplying the company with kitty and puppy clickbait pics from the depths of the Kremlin’s basement.

    How does national origin warrant even a cursory mention unless a larger point is being made? The indicted will never see a court of law anyway. The slur was the thing. It was lodged. Mission accomplished.

    ***

    This essay would be remiss if it didn’t acknowledge another deep reservoir of Russian antipathy, one rarely cited in realpolitik analyses.

    Americans can scarcely imagine the elemental hatred unreconstructed Bolshevism still harbors for the Russian people, even less so that the current anti-Russian mania reprises a century-old conflict in a far-off land. The depth and context of this hatred overflows America’s rather provincial and TV-centric intellectual boundaries. Russia’s defeated Bolsheviks are America’s resurgent ones.
    ...

    Some will ask, but wasn’t Bolshevism forever consigned to the ashcan of history? Not universally.

    America’s aversion to introspection permitted it to circumvent the dialectical process (that the disintegrating Soviet Union had no choice but to pass through) by audaciously claiming one-sided victory in the First Cold War. This undigested Hegelian synthesis goes on to become a catastrophe for the world:

    “Refused her duly earned ticker-tape parade, America was presented instead, at war’s end, with the preposterous Neocon invocation to beat her sword into yet another sword. The interminable loop of permawar (itself an indigestible bit of ahistorical mischief) became America’s ‘way forward’. As for our supposed adversary, ‘terror’, it offers an inexhaustible emotional response to perils of the real, imagined and endlessly manipulated kinds. The Neocon catastrophe is now a matter of global record. The peace dividend was purloined by a unipolar will-to-power that metastasized into a monomania worthy of Ahab himself.” [—from ‘War of Imposition: This Is Not America (Any More Than It Was Russia Once Upon a Time)’, by Norman Ball]

    ... In Hegelian terms, because historical synthesis in America was not allowed to happen, Bolshevism is free to renew itself on American shores like a new, old plague. Certainly the appearance of Trump impedes this process. Whether Trumpism can, in the long term, avert Bolshevism (essentially, collectivization and centralized control) altogether runs counter to the eschatological necessity, within Abrahamic traditions, for a climactic and unassailable evil.

    ...

    Into this bewildering spiritual-geopolitical nexus tumbles the Trump phenomenon as though God Himself delivered the former reality TV star to an especially propitious moment in history. Actually Trump arrives as an emissary and change agent from the tippiest-top of human society in its current arrangement.

    For, with all due respect to Alex Jones, the elite is not simply a monolithic invective to be invoked between vitamin appeals. Both George Orwell and Ferdinand Lundberg recognized a tripartite class structure; the Inner/Outer Party and the FinPols/PubPols respectively, with the Proles languishing beneath their bicameral overlords. Recognition of this structure is imperative to understanding the machinations occurring overhead, particularly during moments of inflection.

    The Outer Party (what I’ve taken to calling the Janusian Class) is always, by the latter phase of empire, existentially corrupt and irredeemably evil. Beholden to the empire-of-the-moment, this class is typified by Bill and Hillary Clinton: proles-by-birth, striving, venal, amoral, grasping, highly acquisitive and power-hungry. Outer Party corruption grows as the empire becomes more sclerotic. Influence-peddling and trading off past empire glories overtake bold new action.

    American foreign policy has been of the self-harm variety in recent years. Take the myriad sanctions regimes and their strange internal contradiction: By hurting ourselves we will hurt you more. Petulance is a weird master. Each chastisement of the outside world is met with greater strides by the latter to extricate itself from the Empire yolk. Global retreat from petrodollar recycling accelerates. You call this success?

    Unlike the transnational and multi-generational Inner Party, a genus apart, the Outer Party administers the prevailing empire on the former’s behalf while feigning attentiveness to the proles. In the waning days of every empire (a point we find ourselves at with Pax Americana), the Outer Party must be disabused of its false sense of entitlement. The privileges it enjoys are far from inalienable, though many may be ‘compartmentalized away’ from a full understanding of their own ephemeral, second-tier status.

    Dispatched from the highest strata of society to organize the masses behind the ostensible banner of populism (yes, a seeming paradox), Trump’s task is to retrieve and restore America the Nation from the vacating, century-long mandate of America the Empire.

    Therein lies the Trump paradox as he serves both the Upper Party and the Proles with material assistance from the former and cheers from the latter. His war is with the Outer Party, a confluence of Democrats, Republicans and Deep State operatives whose end is near. Though their potential to inflict great damage (in the manner of thermonuclear war) remains potent.

    It is America’s Outer Party—not the Transnational Inner Party—that detests and fears Trump and Putin. Nor are these leaders saviors-for-all-seasons it must be understood. The nationalism they champion is but an interim step to a full-on advance of renewed globalism.

    ...

    Suffice it to say the world is in a normalizing phase. The ultimate equilibration during this phase involves establishing a trade-balanced parity between the US and China. To the disappointment of many, the Eurasian Century, the One Belt One Road (OBOR) and AIIB initiatives are not born of exogenous processes, but rather unfold within the rubric of the Transnational Inner Party.

    ...

    ***

    The insistence that Trump is a Russian agent (against an avalanche of absent facts) is simply untrue. Nothing has been produced to substantiate the charge.
    ...

    What Trump and Putin are are co-agents of strikingly similar conceptual frameworks that are at odds with the ultimate globalist plan for eviscerated national sovereignties. The Outer Party fights them as though their lives depend on it. And they do. The Inner Party are using both men as transitional cleansing agents on the way to a culminating globalist regime. The current ‘Globalist’ vs. Nationalist struggle is an orchestrated conflict.
    ...


    Trump and Putin are thus wed, neither by treasonous acts nor shared paramours, but by worldviews that happen to align. The collusion narrative neatly ties both leaders together in the pejorative image of partners in crime. Exactitudes such as these hardly matter to those who would like nothing better than to see an end to both of them by any means necessary.

    The Democratic Party version of Russian collusion, ... , is a much seedier brand. Traditionally a globalist stalking horse and Deep Swamp entity and possessing greater latitude than the currently hamstrung Republicans (with the disliked Trump at their helm), the Party of the Donkey views Russia as a source of enrichment. As long as it fulfills its globalist work-list, the usual graft and corruption is permitted to occur simultaneously.

    Thus Trump’s ‘collusion’ is an unfairly earned and intentionally misleading depiction of his geopolitical intentions. Whereas the Democrat’s ‘collusion’ is the old-school, under-the-table form of corruption implicating business interests rather than state actors. Oddly enough, neither is collusion in the proper sense of the word.

    ...

    The Trump collusion delusion—impudently put into play by Podesta during the 2016 election—is the Goebbels Doctrine brought back to wretched life. The trick, again, is to identify one’s most glaring vulnerability (Uranium One, Podesta Group), then ruthlessly attack the enemy with it.

    ...

    Podesta had every reason to believe Clinton would win thereby allowing his disinfo project to slink, unexamined, into the mists of time.

    ...

    Of course Trump, no limping Kaiser, is a TV-savvy guy with uncanny media instincts.

    So yes, in terms of propaganda firepower, Trump is badly outnumbered. However to Twitter management’s continued exasperation, he’s far from toothless. Early on, he elects to sidestep the gatekeeper’s media prism altogether, weathering the simpleton accusations and conveying his policy initiatives in 280-characters or less.

    ...

    Post-election, we move into a far more perilous phase for the Democrats and their Deep State patrons as they decide to inflict the hopelessly self-referential collusion narrative on a sitting President.

    ...

    Slowly but surely, we’re converging upon the million dollar question which is really the trillion dollar question. Why did the Democrats, in league with certain Deep State actors, persist in a brazen plot to unseat a duly elected President? Because it is a trillion dollar question, that’s why. The stakes are exponentially high, and not because of the Russians either. Because of the money.

    ...

    Once again, The Conservative Treehouse reminds us why the Facebook bobble-heads wake up every morning in a diversionary funk regarding all things Trump. And no, it’s not because he has funny hair:
    “For the past 30 years the U.S. has lost jobs, wages have been depressed, and the middle-class has suffered through the implementation of economic trade policy that destroyed the U.S. manufacturing base. None of this is in question – the results stare us in the face – yet the Wall Street and multinational corporate club(s) [U.S. Chamber of Commerce chief among them] now demand a continuance of the same.

    The economic and trade policies of the Trump administration are adverse to those interests. As we have shared for several years, candidate Trump, now President Trump is an existential threat to the multinational program.

    All opposition to President Trump is about the underlying financial and economic policy of America-First. There are trillions at stake.
    ...

    With a GDP half that of the UK’s, Russia is still economic small potatoes. Nonetheless a double-bang is achieved (for the Military Industrial Complex) with a renewed Cold War directed at the Bear. Conceivably, that’s the quid pro quo presented to Trump for acquiring the military as Praetorian Guard as a counterweight against intelligence agency hostility. The military is an institution with naturally strong nationalist affinities. The antagonism between the Pentagon and the CIA is longstanding and culturally embedded.

    As Voltaire might allow by way of paraphrase, “look to the behemoth you’ve barely broached for there you will find the puppet-master extraordinaire.” That behemoth is China.

    China’s hidden hand (with, it must be said again, the Inner Party’s active assent and participation) has been evident in America’s establishment parties since at least Bill Clinton, with Western banking interests active since at least 1972, probably earlier. Should Congress not deliver (on continued sedition against America-First interests and prolongation of NAFTA), the extortion screws will begin turning in earnest.

    Might this explain the recent spate of announced Congressional Republican resignations? The easy money has been made selling the nation out for decades with duopolistic abandon and mutually-assured cover. Faint-hearted traitors are moving for the exits.

    For today, we have a wily gate-crasher in the White House. Under him, the People are tasting the early, tangible fruits of a renationalizing economy: full employment, rising property values, an anticipatory stock market rise and re-equilibrating food and consumer prices (ultimately to revise downward for America consumers) when China’s backdoor entry to the American market via camouflaged proxy points Mexico and Canada is appreciably closed. Again, this is all part of an equilibration process sanctioned from above.

    The fiction of Trump as Putin stooge is a threadbare pretext. Manafort and Podesta are prior working colleagues after all, hardly diehard ideologues for their respective Red and Blue. Both hail from the Outer Party’s Great Purple Swamp, an environ intent on the de-industrialization of America, the delivery of productive primacy to China and the ascent of Wall Street over Main Street forevermore. ...

    ...

    For thirty years or more, China was the chief beneficiary of this Great Game of Treachery. Then Mr. Trump came to Washington. This re-nationalization (de-empirization) of America involves normalizing trade, defusing the Triffin Paradox, extracting the dollar from reserve currency status and petrodollar primacy, i.e. smoothing the potentially bumpy road back to nation-among-nations status, all without WW3 being instigated by a power-mad Outer Party in precipitous decline.

    That’s the balancing act. Importantly, this walk-back—while ostensibly nationalist—expresses the desire of some of the most powerful forces on earth. A peaceably requited US will then create the parity required to install a proper globalist super-state. The US is the last empire to emerge from nation-state auspices. Although its presence will be greatly felt (already it is asserting a repressive hand on the global Internet) China will not assume the empire mantle from America, thereby averting the enormous dislocations caused by the Triffin Paradox. A global currency (the SDR) unbeholden to destabilizing trade imbalances will become the coin of the global realm.

    ...
    From here: http://thesaker.is/pinning-the-trail-on-the-donkey/

    I have done some fairly aggressive cutting on this article to make it not too overwhelming in length for sharing here. There are loads of details I have left out - details on moves and plays by specific people in the US political sphere. For anyone following the details of this may, you might want to look through the whole article to see how these moves are interpreted and framed.

    ==========

    I thought about this a little more since I shared this and I consider the current “chipping away at Europe” to be part of the same speculated strategy... the EU would need to be just functional but not too functional in order for it to be replaced / superseded by a global structure.

    Rudolf Steiner talks a bit about the coming “age of evolution” of humanity as being one beyond the nation state. I can’t give a specific reference for this but his lecture cycle “The Karma of Untruthfulness” does touch on it. He also talks about how these spiritual currents (his term) are highjacked by brotherhoods and secret societies to drive a less-beneficial-for-all-humanity outcome.
    Last edited by Searcher; 10th March 2018 at 17:01.

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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    Interesting tidbit about “state of war” legalities...

    Quote The "state of war" is a legal concept that was necessary during the pre-ww2 legal framework of the Formal Declaration of War and its obligatory book-end the Peace Treaty.

    But that all ended with the UN Charter where all that formalized nonsense was tossed out the window.

    Now there is only "armed conflict", and it is entirely fact-based i.e. once someone starts shooting at somebody else (aka "armed attack") then there is "armed conflict" and it continues until both sides Stop Shooting At Me!

    This is because the UN Charter clearly forbids CHOOSING war as a instrument of foreign policy.

    And - let's face it - a Congressional Declaration of War is a declaratory statement by the USA that is it *choosing* war as its means of settling some argument.

    (That's the real reason why Congress hasn't Declared War on anyone since 1942 i.e. not because Congress is lazy but because Declaring War is utterly inconsistent with the USA's obligation under Article 2 of the UN Charter)

    So, long story short: North Korea went *BANG* on South Korea in June 1950 (= "armed conflict"), and the Armistice in 1954 is the Stop Shooting At Me! moment.

    There has been no "technically at war" since then, no "state of war".

    No "peace" either, but that's another story.
    From here: http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/03...b7c956fdc9970b

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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    And a little about the WW2 and post WW2 story of Japan and its relations with the US.... Korea and China are a part of this story

    Quote So long it does not possess nuclear weapons, Japan will cling on US as long as it can. Because it is afraid the rest of Asian countries would avenge the war crimes it had committed to them during WWII.

    During WWII Japan was as just vicious as the Nazi German, if not worse. It plundered gold, silver and resources from China, Korea, Malaysia and the rest of Asian countries it set its feet on, looted the artifacts and antiques, forced Chinese/Korean/other Asian women to prostitution for Japanese army, deliberately infected Chinese/Koreans/POWs with plague, anthrax, cholera and other pathogens:
    Japan 731 Project

    Thanks to US' protectiom, Japan got away with all its war crimes without much punishment. Its biochemical experts from the infamous 731 went to work got US Army:
    CIA Document Suggests US Lied About Biological, Chemical Weapon Use in the Korean War

    To say Japan committed Asian Holocausts is no exaggeration.
    From here: http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/03...b8d2e14faf970c

    ===========
    Some quotations about the use of biological weapons in Asia:

    Quote I went to China in 1952 wanting to assess the assertions of germ warfare being one reason. Without going into the evidence, I came away convinced that Chinese officials believed that the evidence was conclusive. On returning, Alan Watt, my successor as permanent head of the Australian Department of External Affairs, informed me that in the light of my public statements he had sought a response from Washington and was informed that the United States had used biological weapons during the Korean war but only for experimental purposes.
    —Dr. John Burton, letter of 12 April 1997


    The dropping of insects from the air is entirely feasible.

    —Dr. G. B. Reed, Canadian expert in biological warfare, 15 May 1952

    Let us get mobilized, attend to hygiene, reduce the incidence of disease, raise the standard of health, and crush the enemy's germ warfare.
    —Mao Zedong, Inscription for the Second National Health Conference, 1953
    These quotations are from an extract from this book:

    The United States and Biological Warfare
    Secrets from the Early Cold War and Korea
    By STEPHEN ENDICOTT and EDWARD HAGERMAN
    Indiana University Press
    1998 ISBN: 0-253-33472-1



    Chapter 1 can be read here: http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/e...iological.html

    Its Goodreads entry here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...ogical_Warfare

    And the book can be borrowed at Internet Archive: https://archive.org/details/unitedstatesbiol00endi

    ===========

    And biological warfare seems to continue today:

    Quote Live anthrax shipped across states, to S. Korea by accident – Pentagon
    Published time: 27 May, 2015 19:37 Edited time: 29 May, 2015 07:06



    The Pentagon says that live anthrax was inadvertently shipped across state lines from a military lab in Utah to nine other states and a military base in South Korea. However, a Department of Defense spokesperson says the public is not at risk.
    One unnamed US official also told Reuters that anthrax samples were being shipped out from two military facilities for over a year, from March 2014 to April 2015. These samples were mistakenly marked inactive, the official said.

    ...

    The one sample accidentally sent to South Korea arrived at the Osan Air Base, the Pentagon stated. The sample was destroyed and, so far, no one is believed to be at risk.
    ...
    From here: https://www.rt.com/usa/262533-anthrax-lab-mail-country/

    ===========

    On Japanese ability to possess nuclear weapons:
    Quote No nation has suffered more in the nuclear age than Japan, where atomic bombs flattened two cities in World War II and three reactors melted down at Fukushima just three years ago.

    But government officials and proliferation experts say Japan is happy to let neighbors like China and North Korea believe it is part of the nuclear club, because it has a “bomb in the basement” -– the material and the means to produce nuclear weapons within six months, according to some estimates. And with tensions rising in the region, China’s belief in the “bomb in the basement” is strong enough that it has demanded Japan get rid of its massive stockpile of plutonium and drop plans to open a new breeder reactor this fall.

    Japan signed the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which bans it from developing nuclear weapons, more than 40 years ago. But according to a senior Japanese government official deeply involved in the country’s nuclear energy program, Japan has been able to build nuclear weapons ever since it launched a plutonium breeder reactor and a uranium enrichment plant 30 years ago.

    Japan already has the technical capability, and has had it since the 1980s,” said the official. He said that once Japan had more than five to 10 kilograms of plutonium, the amount needed for a single weapon, it had “already gone over the threshold,” and had a nuclear deterrent.

    Japan now has 9 tons of plutonium stockpiled at several locations in Japan and another 35 tons stored in France and the U.K. The material is enough to create 5,000 nuclear bombs. The country also has 1.2 tons of enriched uranium.

    Technical ability doesn’t equate to a bomb, but experts suggest getting from raw plutonium to a nuclear weapon could take as little as six months after the political decision to go forward. A senior U.S. official familiar with Japanese nuclear strategy said the six-month figure for a country with Japan’s advanced nuclear engineering infrastructure was not out of the ballpark, and no expert gave an estimate of more than two years.
    ...
    From here: https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/fu...t-happy-n48976
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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    While spy assassinations are being hyped in the news, here is some lighter relief - or is it really?



    It’s somewhat derisive of Russians, so works as a subtler kind of propaganda as part of the ongoing propaganda war but is amusing nevertheless.... stereotypes are being created and used for perception management, and they come in the form of comedy....

    When “messaging” is included in comedy and our usual skeptical defenses are “down” propaganda can be especially effective. Similarly, in movies and tv programmes when we are absorbed in the realism of the plot and character drama (or nowadays the virtual reality awe of special effects and cgi), and set aside our interrogative mind, messages are “loaded into us....

    Just like here where we are encouraged to take on the view of “Russians are direct, unsubtle, limited in intelligence, and ‘when the signs say it is Russia, it is Russia’,”.... which, to the extent we take on this view will colour our future reading of all things Russian.


    ==========

    Here is the case that this comedy sketch draws from:

    Quote Russian experts fail to find polonium source in Litvinenko case
    MOSCOW, October 2 (RIA Novosti) - Russian experts have so far failed to trace the original source of the polonium believed to have been used in the fatal poisoning of ex-KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko, a top investigator said Tuesday.

    Moscow undertook its own inquiry into the November 2006 murder of the defector and Kremlin critic, dismissing British investigators' evidence against their chief suspect, Russian national Andrei Lugovoi, as ungrounded and refusing his extradition.

    "The first phase of the investigation has shown that the polonium has no identification signs," Alexander Bastrykin, head of the investigative committee at the Russian Prosecutor General's Office, said in a newspaper interview.

    "We are trying to determine the polonium's original source, which is very important," Bastrykin said.

    Scotland Yard said Litvinenko had received a fatal dose of polonium November 1, when he met with Lugovoi, former Kremlin borderguard-turned businessman, and his business partner Dmitry Kovtun at a luxury hotel. Kovtun has been treated as a witness in the case.

    Russia also said its Constitution did not permit the extradition of its nationals, and suggested trying Lugovoi at home if sufficient evidence was provided.

    The millionaire businessman, who owns a private security firm, Lugovoi plans to run for the lower house of parliament in the December elections. Membership in the State Duma would give him immunity from prosecution under Russian law.

    Lugovoi earlier said the Crown Prosecution Service's accusations were a lie inspired by the British leadership and secret services.

    The extradition dispute has strained relations between Russia and Britain, which sparked a tit-for-tat row involving expulsions of diplomats and visa restrictions.
    From here: https://sputniknews.com/russia/2007100281934498/

    Note the presence of “British Leadership and secret services” in the story.

    Also interesting in the comedy sketch is the use of a previous “news” story that is recent enough to be remembered vaguely but long enough ago for people to have forgotten the details except for the “main idea” of the cultural programming,.... a clever way to build a story below the surface of most people’s conscious awareness.
    Last edited by Searcher; 12th March 2018 at 04:52.

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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    You know Searcher, I was infected deliberately by Mers nCOV in Abu Dhabi a few years back, resulting in great harm to myself and the death of my mom (after I coughed at home).. So the use of biological weapons from UAE to me is very real. NaHayan obviously didn't know about it nor condone it.. (or did he?) What do you think? I've been in UAE twice, first time seeing the "koolaid" the second time seeing and experiencing the underbelly and dross.. I refused to be part of the "scam" and ended up paying the price..

    --- How about we discuss the MINISTER of PROPAGANDA (er minister of information) - Now you wouldn't know anything about that office would you? BTW that incident WAS reported to the FBI when it happened. As well as all the perps involved.


    Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates on 9 February 2006.

    During his tenure as Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the UAE has witnessed a rapid expansion of its diplomatic relations with countries in Latin America, the South Pacific, Sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia as well as a consolidation and strengthening of its relations with Western countries.

    As Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Abdullah launched a number of international forums, including the Sir Bani Yas Forum the Global Forum on Relationships between the Arab World, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Arab League countries dialogue with Pacific Island States.

    Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to US, got his mails compromised by a group of hackers, which revealed that Abdullah bin Zayed was in favour of Abu Dhabi hosting Taliban embassy. Otaiba's conversations also convey that he received angry call and complaints from Abdullah bin Zayed on not being able to do so.

    Abdullah attends the UNFCCC climate change negotiations; in 2011 he led the UAE delegation at the G20 Summit in Cannes, France; and he has supported UN Women since it was established. From 2010-2012 he served as a member of the UN Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Global Sustainability, which issued the report Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing in 2012.

    He is a Global Champion of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, launched by William Hague, the UK Foreign Secretary in 2012.

    He has advocated international action on countering piracy and supporting stability and development in Somalia. To further these goals, he established an annual high-level Counter Piracy Conference in the UAE.

    In 2009 Sheikh Abdullah headed the UAE's international campaign to rally support for its successful bid to host the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). He supported Dubai’s winning bid to host the World Expo 2020.

    According to the Book "Clinton Cash", an interesting coincidence, puts Sheikh Abdullah visiting Washington D.C. Dec. 12, 2011 to meet with then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. During this visit to see Then Secretary of state Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton was in Abu Dhabi staying at the Emirates Palace Hotel. The subject of Bill Clinton's speech was on the "Lack of Environmental Data" "On top of all environmental issues, the financial crisis is making the world's stability even worse. The only way out, though, is a green economy". This speech was paid for by the UAE Royal family according to the book's statements. The sum quoted was $500,000.

    In August 2017, Sheikh Abdullah urged Iran and Turkey to end what the UAE called their "colonial" actions in Syria, signaling unease about diminishing Gulf Arab influence in the war, and calling "the exit of those parties trying to reduce the sovereignty of the Syrian state." He added that "if Iran and Turkey continue the same historical, colonial and competitive behavior and perspectives between them in Arab affairs, we will continue in this situation not just in Syria today but tomorrow in some other country."

    == ya know when I was being dealt the "koolaid" they had me stay at the Palace too.. Great programming, but seriously it was about as lame as could be.. A few years later I met the finance minister of Saudi Arabia.. had a great 1 hour meeting.. and guess what, no difference.. Propaganda justifying how great they all are.. how we should worship and kiss the ring.. No thanks.
    Last edited by Bob; 12th March 2018 at 05:37.
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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    Thank you @Bob for your post. I am sorry to hear about your experiences and the death of your mother.

    I find Dubai, the UAE and the Middle East in general are strange and complex, often difficult. I came to live here with my husband and have struggled and do struggle daily. There is so much potential and so many dark streams. I use my time here as a chance to understand more about the world.

    I feel unable to comment specifically on what you shared in your post. I don’t know the people you mention nor do I follow closely the local politics because:
    (a) while we have lots of international uncensored news (with the exception of Al Jazeera which is censored since the spat with Qatar), local news is more like public relations, press releases and advertorial about government achievements so there is no real “pithy” content, and
    (b) the Emirati culture is very private and mostly inaccessible for people without wealth or influence (or family connections) - I have neither. The closest I have come to a palace here is driving on the road outside!

    Having said that, while living here, I have met people displaced from Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria. Their harrowing stories are shared in such a matter of fact manner, that it is disturbing to see the degree to which the region has become accepting of ongoing violence. It’s also inspiring to see how they pick themselves up and don’t become cynical or follow fanatical ideologies.

    Also while here, I have met three or four Emiratis while attending personal development courses here. They have all been polite, kind and had enquiring minds. I met an Australian yoga teacher who married an Emirati and shared some of her experiences, all seemed ordinary and positive from her perspective.

    (I have also met ordinary people from other middle eastern countries such as Jordan, Saudi, Egypt,..., who are not displaced but visit Dubai for work, meetings, etc. as many international companies choose to operate regional events in Dubai.)

    Regarding your specific experience, I have not come across any info in that area.

    However, here is some information and some of my thoughts based on what I have experienced, read or seen about the UAE - you probably know much of this, I include these for those who may not:

    The UAE in general:
    - The country is essentially a group of seven smallish monarchies / duchies called emirates that agreed to cooperate and become a country.
    - Each emirate is ruled and owned by a ruling family or clan of allied families
    - The overall initiator of this process of forming a country was the ruling family of Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi is both an Emirate and a city, as are the other emirates)
    - Abu Dhabi has the most land and oil resources by a significant margin out of all the emirates. They bailed out Dubai after the recent crash here.
    - Dubai has traditionally depended on trade and has relied much less on oil revenues.
    - There are no elections or open political process in the UAE, power is held by the ruling families in each emirate, supported by closely allied families
    - There are no “rights” in the UAE, only the granting of certain freedoms by the ruling sheik through his government apparatus. Having said this, it is a remarkably tolerant and forward thinking place for a country that essentially runs on a monarchy.
    - The individual emirates have some degree of freedom in their local affairs. Each has a distinctly different feel. Some are more conservative and religious, others more modern and free.
    - They also seem to have different political relations with other countries. Example: Dubai seems to have a more “get along”, practical relationship with Iran. At the Dubai creek, small wooden trading boats can be seen; these travel back and forth from Dubai to Iran with consumer goods going and fresh produce coming back. There is a large, well regarded Iranian hospital in Dubai and reportedly there is a well established and somewhat influential local Iranian community.

    Some other small pieces:
    1. Mercenaries
    Some time ago I looked into the Wikileaks files on the UAE. There were the expected bits and pieces of US and UK military industrial and financial companies doing deals.... I did find some things on relationships with Erik Prince and the establishment of mercenary training camps and posted about it here:
    http://projectavalon.net/forum4/show...=1#post1111881
    The original Wikileaks source is here: https://wikileaks.org/hackingteam/emails/emailid/574850

    Essentially, it seems Erik Prince using a front company did a deal with the UAE to establish mercenary camps in the country. Mercenaries from Colombia were involved and the ”management” seems to have come from the band of mercenaries who made themselves “useful” in Africa in our modern day scramble for Africa.

    2. The UAE military has been involved in the war on Yemen. There have been days of mourning declared in the UAE when Emiratis have died in the fighting (radio shows do not air and they play classical music instead). UAE military seems to be allied with Saudi Arabia, or at least one faction in Saudi, but may be there for its own reasons.

    Also, I did read an article that reported mercenaries (this time from Sudan, Africa) being used in the Yemen war as casualties of local Arabs were viewed as being too high.

    Here’s an article that talks about Sudanese mercenaries being used.
    https://fanack.com/sudan/history-pas...rces-in-yemen/

    And

    Here’s a story about use of Colombian mercenaries being used (maybe the same ones from Erik Prince’s venture): https://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/26/w...-in-yemen.html

    3. There is reported to be a close relationship between the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, MBS as he is called, and the sheik of Abu Dhabi, with the latter playing something of a mentoring / guiding role. This was reported during the start of and after the time of the Saudi spat with Qatar and again when French President Macron visited the region but I can’t find the articles. It might be that relative to Saudi Arabia, the much smaller UAE has more power and influence than it would appear on the surface.

    4. Dubai is in some way involved in the Mars project. They are building a Mars Simulation City:
    http://newatlas.com/big-dubai-mars-c...project/51533/

    5. Elon Musk is “playing” in the UAE with his hyperloop:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...habi-line.html

    These last two could be chalked up to Dubai being interested in new tech... they are .... but it might be more than this too.

    6. There are significant investments in the healthcare industry in Dubai with free zones being established. The obvious motivation is that they want to become a centre for “medical tourism” to support and expand their other tourism sector but there could be more to it.

    7. There is a development area called Dubai Aid City:
    https://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/...-city-launched
    And another called International Humanitarian City:
    http://www.ihc.ae/

    I’ve been to the latter as we were looking for a new place to live a couple of years ago and one happened to be close by and I got lost trying to find it. It was empty and no one was around. The first one looks like a port/transit facility since it is right next to Jebel Ali Free Zone port.

    8. There was recently a “hit piece” in the Intercept about the UAE ambassador to the US, Yousef Al Otaiba. It is a damning piece that paints a picture of sex, corruption and impunity....
    https://theintercept.com/2017/08/30/...utes-sex-work/
    As The Intercept has some Qatar financing behind it, it’s probably a counter move in the ongoing spat with Qatar but it nevertheless shows a very dark side to the UAE.


    I am not sure if what I have shared is helpful at all in view of your post.

    I do know that living in Dubai and meeting displaced middle eastern people here has made me much more aware of the multiple layers and power factions in politics and geopolitics. This awareness is what led ultimately to this thread.
    Last edited by Searcher; 13th March 2018 at 11:38.

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  35. Link to Post #38
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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    In support of my speculation in the above post that the UAE might be playing a larger, more influential role than it would first appear, here is an interesting twitter thread. Starts with this tweet:

    https://twitter.com/iyad_elbaghdadi/...382022145?s=20

    And here are the two “summaries” tweets:
    Quote Summary:
    - UAE wanted Trump elected and illegally funded his campaign
    - UAE worked to establish Putin-Trump back channel
    - UAE used Trump as a blunt instrument to attack Qatar
    - UAE disliked Tillerson and wanted him fired
    - Tillerson got fired six days before MBS is to visit DC
    And here:

    Quote Aaaaand there it is. I rest my case.
    Khalid M. Turaani
    @turaani
    Dr. Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, a UAE political science academician brags that #UAE was behind #Tillerson ouster. Hay Doc, FYI, there is an ongoing #FBI investigation into foriegn countries meddling in US affairs, are you implicating MBZ ?! I bet he'll deleted it soon. @BobSMueller https://twitter.com/Abdulkhaleq_UAE/...484030976?s=20

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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    Too much “marketing” about what I posted here previously so I have elected to delete it as I now doubt the intentions of the people promoting the item.
    Last edited by Searcher; 15th March 2018 at 08:43.

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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    Here is a helpful comment from Pat Lang’s blog Sic Semper Tyrannis, which has comment and analysis through a military / political lens.

    The comment is from LondonBob in answer to the question “what is going on in Britain today?”.

    Quote What is going on here in Britain?

    There are more unsavoury types who have fallen foul of the law and/or the Kremlin who then base themselves in London. If your country becomes a haven for dodgy people, like Berezovsky, then dodgy things are likely to happen.

    In some ways on the political right the neocons are more dominant than they are in the US. The Murdoch empire controls a huge chunk of the right leaning media and pumps out the usual tropes, with the added hysteria of the tabloid press of this country. Sadly we saw the replacement of Emily Blunt's uncle Crispin as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, a realist replaced by fellow Conservative but Zionist Tughendat. The neocons and the Blairites have the numbers in the Commons.

    On the left they have been traumatised by the election of Trump and the vote for Brexit. They have dutifully followed the Russia smokescreen of the Democrats in the US. Crucially though Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour party and continues to poll well. Blairites, the press and the Israelis have launched an unrelenting campaign to unseat him and damage him electorally. This has not worked, Israel looks to have lost the political left. If you thought Trump was pro Russia, anti-interventionist and NATO skeptical then Corbyn is even mores so, with the added bonus of being fiercely critical of Israel.

    Finally we have also seen continuing cuts to the defence budget, The military industrial complex has been eagerly jumping on the Russia bandwagon to try to stop this.

    Add in the Saudi/Arab lobby and Syria and it is a perfect storm. The hysteria is because they are losing, not winning.

    I'll add two articles on the Skripal affair that I like.
    https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/u...ning-1.3425736
    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archi...-to-judgement/
    From here: http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_s...b8d2e25ba2970c

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