Unipolar Moments Never Last More Than A Moment

Authored by Martin Sieff via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

American leaders, politicians, policymakers and pundits are fond of talking about the “Unipolar Moment” and “Hyper Power” position that they imagine the United States enjoys in the world.

Totally lacking from this fantasy are any inconvenient historical facts.

The US Unipolar Moment (insofar as it existed at all) lasted less than a decade from the break-up of the Soviet Union at the end of December 1991 to June 15, 2001. The US “moment” barely made it into the 21st Century.

On that epochal day of June 15, 2001, two major events happened.

First, US President George W. Bush gave a speech in Warsaw pledging to integrate the three tiny Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania into NATO as a prime strategic goal of the United States.

That very same day, Russia and China created with four Central Asian nations the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO): The most populous and powerful international security organization in history.

This year, the SCO doubled in population by adding India and Pakistan at the same time – two major nuclear powers with a combined population of 1.5 billion people. That means the SCO now includes more than 3 billion people, around 40 percent of the human race.

From the moment the SCO was created – dedicated from its inception to preserve and protect a multipolar world from the domination of any one power, the US unipolar moment was dead and gone.

This reality was confirmed less than three months later when al-Qaeda’s terror attacks of September 11, 2001 killed almost 3,000 people. More Americans died that day than in the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

George W. Bush should have been impeached for his gross incompetence. Instead his popularity soared. Imagining the Unipolar Moment (or Era) to be still in full flood he invaded Afghanistan later that year and Iraq less than two years later. The United States is still endlessly stuck in those unending wars.

The patterns of history – totally ignored by the US media, pundit-ocracy and political world – in fact teach this lesson consistently. Over the past half a millennium, there have been several unipolar moments for great powers seeking to reign supreme over the world and they all collapsed after only a few years.

When Habsburg Spain and its allies decisively defeated the huge fleet of the mighty Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, Spain’s imperial domination over Europe seemed assured. But in fact Spain was already embroiled in a Dutch revolt that started in 1568. Over the following decades, it became even more exhausting than the current US deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq.

King Philip II of Spain’s dream of domination was totally buried only 17 years after Lepanto with the destruction of his giant Armada fleet to conquer England in 1588.

France rose next. Its domination over Europe appeared to be sealed with the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. But by the mid-1660s, glory-crazed Louis XIV, the so-called “Sun King” had already repeated the Spanish mistake and bogged his country down in half a century of endless wars in what is now Belgium, the Netherlands and southern Germany. France’s unipolar moment lasted less than 20 years.

The British came next. Even after winning the Napoleonic Wars against France, they knew they could not rule the world alone and were forced to share it with the far more conservative major monarchies of Europe – Russia, Austria-Hungary and Prussia.

Finally in 1848, the kings of France, Austria-Hungary and Prussia were all rocked or topped by liberal popular revolutions. The British thought then, as the Americans did in 1989-91, that their Unipolar Moment had finally come and would last for eternity. The whole world would look to London for guidance and wisdom.

It didn’t: By 1871, Prussia under its Iron Chancellor Otto von Bismarck had united Germany, smashed France, by then Britain’s ally and humiliatingly swept the British out of any continental pretensions of power and influence.

When asked what he would do if the tiny British Army ever invaded North Germany, Bismarck replied that he would send the police to arrest it.

After the defeat of Imperial Germany in World War I, Britain seemed to enjoy another hyper-power moment. The isolationist United States and the Soviet Union both temporarily withdrew from the world stage.

However, that British fantasy did not even last until the rise of Hitler in 1933. Two years earlier in 1931, Imperial Japan had occupied Manchuria – a huge chunk of Northeastern China: British military leaders were forced to admit to Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald there was nothing they could do about it. Britain’s unipolar moment had lasted only 12 years – from 1919 to 1931.

Once these historical facts are understood, it is easy to see why the US Unipolar Moment only lasted even less time than Britain’s 20th century one had – less than a decade.

Since 2001, the United States has bankrupted and exhausted itself, just as Habsburg Spain, Bourbon France and post-Victorian Britain did before it in futile, doomed and ludicrous attempts to deny and roll back the inevitable tides of history.

That should come as no surprise: As Friedrich Hegel warned us, “The only thing that we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.”

Gowdy: No National Security Risk In Classified Russia Docs; DOJ Stonewalling Over Brennan, FBI Embarassment

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) said in a Thursday interview that the information contained in the Russia documents withheld by the Department of Justice (DOJ) pose no risk to national security, and would be embarrassing to former CIA Director John Brennan, the DOJ and the FBI. 

“I’ve read it. Some of it’s embarrassing for the Department of Justice — some of it’s embarrassing for the FBI. Embarrassment is not a reason to classify something,” said Gowdy. “A lot of it should be embarrassing to John Brennan, and maybe therein lies why he is so adamant that this information not be released.”

“I don’t think it’s going to change anyone’s mind, but I’ve seen nothing in it that is going to jeopardize the national security interest of this country,” Gowdy added. “Other than one document related to George Papadopoulos, I don’t think people are going to be that interested in it. And I don’t think any mind’s are going to be changed.”

Watch:

Brennan, meanwhile, suggested in a Tuesday MSNBC interview that government officials should resign rather than comply with President Trump’s order to release the records

Brennan, who now serves as an MSNBC contributor, has been a vocal critic of Trump’s over the past year. Trump recently responded by ordering Brennan’s security clearance revoked. Gowdy criticized Brennan, saying the Obama appointee is “part of the reason we are in this historic conundrum.” He did not describe what information in the classified documents will embarrass Brennan and other government officials. But as CIA director, Brennan was directly involved in gathering and sharing intelligence used to investigate whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government.

The documents in question are related to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants obtained against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page as well as FBI notes of interviews used to obtain the warrants. –Daily Caller

According to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), Trump’s order to declassify a broad swath of DOJ/FBI documents related to the Russia investigation will also expose the infamous “insurance policy” referred to in an August 15, 2016 text between former FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. 

Speaking with Fox News‘s Laura Ingraham last week, Nunes said that declassification will provide exculpatory evidence, including a dozen or so 302 witness interview forms from DOJ official Bruce Ohr which may shed light on his significant relationship with former MI6 spy Christopher Steele and “many other rotten apples.” 

“A lot of people think that the insurance policy was getting the FISA warrant on [former Trump campaign aide] Carter Page,” Nunes told Ingraham, adding “We actually believe it was more explicit than that.”

Rep. @DevinNunes on @POTUS‘ order to declassify FISA documents: “This is going to be a great day for the American people.” @IngrahamAngle https://t.co/a01AUmj5MI pic.twitter.com/lhi2tkjgQN

— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 18, 2018

Trump also ordered the DOJ to release text messages from several key players in the Trump-Russia investigation, “without redaction,” of former FBI Director James Comey, his deputy Andrew McCabe, now-fired special agent Peter Strzok, former FBI attorney Lisa Page and twice-demoted DOJ official Bruce Ohr. 

A spokesman from the Justice Department told Fox News that the DOJ and FBI “are already working with the Director of National Intelligence to comply with the President’s order,” while ODNI spokesperson Kellie Wade told the network: “As requested by the White House, the ODNI is working expeditiously with our interagency partners to conduct a declassification review of the documents the President has identified for declassification.

Meanwhile, Trump agreed to delay the release on Friday – allowing the DOJ’s Inspector General to review the documents prior to declassification. 

In Friday morning Tweets, Trump said: “I met with the DOJ concerning the declassification of various UNREDACTED documents. They agreed to release them but stated that so doing may have a perceived negative impact on the Russia probe. Also, key Allies’ called to ask not to release. Therefore, the Inspector General has been asked to review these documents on an expedited basis. I believe he will move quickly on this (and hopefully other things which he is looking at). In the end I can always declassify if it proves necessary. Speed is very important to me – and everyone!”

I met with the DOJ concerning the declassification of various UNREDACTED documents. They agreed to release them but stated that so doing may have a perceived negative impact on the Russia probe. Also, key Allies’ called to ask not to release. Therefore, the Inspector General…..

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 21, 2018

….has been asked to review these documents on an expedited basis. I believe he will move quickly on this (and hopefully other things which he is looking at). In the end I can always declassify if it proves necessary. Speed is very important to me – and everyone!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 21, 2018

 So it looks like Brennan’s embarrassment has been delayed…

Saturday Satire: Down With The Working Classes!

Authored by CJ Hopkins via Unz.com,

If the Left is ever going to come together to save the world from Donald Trump and his legions of fascistic Putin-Nazis, we’re going to need to confront our primary enemy… the international working classes.

Yes, my comrades, I’m afraid it’s time to face the facts, depressing as they are. The working classes are not our friends. Just look at how they’ve been betraying us… and after all we’ve done for them all these years!

This cannot be allowed to continue, not if we are going to rescue democracy from Trump, Putin, Assad, the Iranians, and Palestinian kids with terrorist kites, and eventually stem the blood-dimmed tide of neo-fascist anti-Globalism!

Now, OK, I know you’re probably asking, “how can the international working classes possibly be the enemy of the Left?” and “wouldn’t that render the whole concept of the Left completely absurd and essentially meaningless?” and other pertinent questions like that. And that’s totally fine, you’re allowed to ask that. Questioning aspects of the official narrative the ruling classes are forcing everyone to conform to like members of a worldwide cult doesn’t make you a Nazi or anything. It’s perfectly OK to ask such questions, as long as you don’t continue to ask them, over and over, and over again, after the facts have been explained to you. Here are those facts, one more time.

The international working classes are racists. They are misogynists. Xenophobic transphobes. They do not think the way we want them to. Some of them actually still believe in God. They are white supremacists. Anti-Semites. Gun-toting, Confederate-flag-flying rednecks. Most of them have never even heard of terms like “intersectionality,” “TERF,” and so on. They do not respect the corporate media. They think that news sources like the Washington Post, The New York Times, The Guardian, CNN, MSNBC, BBC, and so on, are basically propaganda outlets for the global corporations and oligarchs who own them, and thus are essentially no different from FOX, whose pundits they believe every word of. Their minds are so twisted by racism and xenophobia that they can’t understand how global capitalism, the graduated phase-out of national sovereignty, the privatization of virtually everything, the debt-enslavement of nearly everyone, and the replacement of their so-called “cultures” with an ubiquitous, smiley-faced, gender-neutral, non-oppressive, corporate-friendly, Disney simulation of culture are actually wonderfully progressive steps forward on the road to a more peaceful, less offensive world.

Now this has been proved in numerous studies with all kinds of charts and graphs and so on. And not only by the corporate statisticians, and the corporate media, and liberal think tanks. Why, just this week, Mehdi Hasan, in an exasperated jeremiad in the pages of The Intercept, that bastion of fearless, adversarial journalism owned by billionaire Pierre Omidyar, proved, once again, that Donald Trump was elected because PEOPLE ARE GODDAMN RACISTS!

Apparently, Hasan has just about had it with these Putin-loving Trump-apologists proposing that general dissatisfaction with global capitalism, neoliberalism, and identity politics could have had anything to do with Americans electing a bombastic ass clown with absolutely no political experience to the highest office in the land. Hasan cites a number of expert studies, among them one by the Democracy Fund, which just happens to be another Omidyar outfit. But let’s not get all paranoid or anything. There are literally hundreds of such studies at this point, each and every one of which has been cited by the mainstream media, the alternative media, the far-alternative media, and virtually every Trump-obsessed loon with a blog or a Facebook or Twitter account.

Look, I realize the truth is painful, but the science of statistics leaves no room for doubt. As much as some of us may want to deny it, the fact is, the country that elected Barack Obama (who is Black) president, twice, has been transformed by Putin’s brainwashing agents into a cesspool of xenophobia and racism, and it is up to us lefties to set things right!

Now, to do this, we need to unite the Left, and get everyone marching in lockstep, and so on. Which means that we need to identify and weed out all the fake leftists among us. Then, and only then (i.e., after we’ve tracked down, sanctimoniously denounced, and exiled any and all neo-Stasserist “alt-Right” infiltrators, Sputnik leftists, and Assad-apologists), can we turn our attention to meeting face-to-face with the international working classes and sanctimoniously denouncing them as a bunch of filthy racists.

OK, that sounds a little harsh, and possibly totally idiotic, but what other choice do we really have? If we’re going to defeat these Putin-Nazis, a few eggs are going to have to get broken. This is not the time to abandon our commitment to imposing our identity-based ideology on every last person on the planet Earth, or to indulge in that ugly kind of old-fashioned leftism that is based on what the working classes want. Who gives a damn what the working classes want? What’s important is what we want them to want. This isn’t the 1990s, after all. All that nonsense about globalization, and supranational entities like the WTO, and the World Bank, not to mention “American jobs” … only fascists talk like that these days!

But, seriously … if you’ve made it this far in my essay, and you consider yourself a leftist of some sort, you’re probably extremely frustrated with what passes for the Left these days, and with how the working classes are flocking to the Right, both in the United States and all over the world. If I’ve got that right, you might want to read this essay by Diana Johnstone (which we lefties are technically not allowed to read, because it’s posted in The Unz Review, where a lot of “alt-Right” pieces are also posted … and you don’t want to get any of that stuff on you!)

What she is writing about is the ongoing “populist” insurgency against globalized capitalism, which is what I’ve also been writing about for the better part of the last two years. This is the historical moment we are experiencing, a clumsy, sloppy, partly fascistic, partly non-fascistic democratic uprising against the continuing spread of global capitalism, the erosion of what is left of national sovereignty, and … yes, people’s cultures and values.

The international working classes understand this. The neo-nationalist Right understands this. The majority of the Left does not understand this, and is refusing to admit that it’s happening, and so is standing around on the sidelines calling everybody “racists” and “fascists” while the global capitalist ruling classes and the neo-nationalists sort things out.

Which is exactly what the ruling classes want, and what the official Putin-Nazi narrative was designed to achieve from the very beginning. The “Overton Window” (i.e., the range of ideas tolerated in public discourse) works best when divided into two clean halves. During the so-called “War on Terror,” it was Democracy versus the Islamic Terrorists. Now, it’s Democracy versus the Putin-Nazis. Both of which narratives are fairy tales, of course, the reality, as ever, being rather more messy.

If what is left of the Left expects to play any meaningful part in our historical moment (other than sanctimoniously cheerleading for the global capitalist ruling classes), it is going to need to get its hand a littler dirtier, mingle a bit more with all those working class “populists,” talk to them, and, I don’t know, maybe even listen to them.

Or maybe I’m completely out of my mind…

I mean, actually listening to the working classes? Some of them are sure to say racist things, and anti-Semitic and transphobic things, which we cannot ignore for even one second, or rationally discuss and disagree with, because that would mean giving their racism a platform. Yeah, screw it, I don’t know what I was thinking … forget all that stuff I just made you read. Down with the fascist working classes!

Libya Urges United Nations To Take “Concrete Action” To Halt Chaos In Tripoli

More than seven years after NATO launched a regime change war in Libya on the side of anti-Gaddafi rebels, the West is again being asked to intervene as the country further descends into civil war

Except this time it’s the internationally recognized government since installed in Tripoli that is at war with itself, and the death toll from inter-factional fighting since August has now reached over 100 and is growing as street battles in Tripoli suburbs rage, causing leaders to urge the United Nations to act. 

Tripoli street scene in early September. Via Libya Observer 

The UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) issued a statement late Friday calling on the U.N. to take “concrete and effective” action to protect civilians and halt fighting near the capital. The GNA urged the UN mission to “present the Security Council with the reality of the bloody events in Libya so that it can… protect the lives and property of civilians”.

On Friday alone clashes in Tripoli left 15 dead and dozens more wounded, according to official health ministry statements

Since fresh fighting again erupted in Tripoli on August 26 (there’s been internecine battles in the capital for years), whole sections of the city have been shut down, especially the southern suburbs where initial street battles began, which has witnessed  the shelling of residential areas, street-to-street fighting, and tanks in the streets all reminiscent of the 2011 war which eventually led to a NATO air campaign and forcible removal and assassination of Libya’s longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi.

According to international reports, some of the feuding militias have come mostly from Libya’s third city Misrata and the town of Tarhouna southeast of the capital; however, the early weeks of fighting were driven mostly by rival factions within the GNA itself

On Friday UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres issued a statement through his spokesman, saying he is “alarmed by the increasing number of violations of the ceasefire agreement.” Guterres called on the warring militias to respect a prior truce and to “refrain from any actions that would increase the suffering of the civilian population”. 

He said groups responsible for “the violation of international humanitarian law and international human rights law must be held responsible,” according to the statement. 

Previously the UN Support Mission in Libya voiced concerns over “the use of indiscriminate fire and heavy weapons in densely populated residential areas.”

#Clashes between armed groups in #Tripoli leave at least 96 dead #Libya pic.twitter.com/76r7LBs1vv

— Ruptly (@Ruptly) September 22, 2018

Since the NATO-backed overthrow of Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has remained split between rival parliaments and governments in the east and west, with militias and tribes lining up behind each, resulting in fierce periodic clashes

In March 2011 the UN passed Resolution 1973 which authorized the imposition of a No Fly Zone over Libya, ostensibly to protect civilians from pro-Gaddafi forces. The US, UK, France, and other NATO and Gulf allies bombed the country while claiming to act in the name of democracy and human rights. 

Though the recently “liberated” Libya has remained conflict-prone after NATO and US forces promised an “Arab Spring”-style “blossoming of democracy” — things have clearly only gone from worse to worse as the capital now again slides toward full blown civil war. Welcome to the “new” Libya.

The “Resistance” Supports Trump’s ‘Evil Agendas’ While Attacking Fake Nonsense

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

new article from the Wall Street Journal reports that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lied to congress about the measures Saudi Arabia is taking to minimize the civilian casualties in its catastrophic war on Yemen, and that he did so in order to secure two billion dollars for war profiteers.

This is about as depraved as anything you could possibly imagine. US-made bombs have been conclusively tied to civilian deaths in a war which has caused the single worst humanitarian crisis on earth, a crisis which sees scores of Yemeni children dying every single day and has placed five million children at risk of death by starvation in a nation where families are now eating leaves to survive. CIA veteran Bruce Riedel once said that “if the United States of America and the United Kingdom tonight told King Salman that this war has to end, it would end tomorrow, because the Royal Saudi Airforce cannot operate without American and British support.” Nobody other than war plutocrats benefits from the US assisting Saudi Arabia in its monstrous crimes against humanity, and yet Pompeo chose to override his own expert advisors on the matter for fear of hurting the income of those very war plutocrats.

If the so-called “Resistance” to Trump was ever actually interested in opposing this administration in any meaningful way, this would be the top trending news story in America for days, like how “bombshell” revelations pertaining to the made-up Russiagate narrative trend for days. Spoiler alert: it isn’t, and it won’t be.

Starving children are being forced to eat leaves in a desperate bid for survival, as conditions in Yemen become a ‘living hell’. pic.twitter.com/KyIrUW9Dac

— SBS News (@SBSNews) September 19, 2018

It would be so very, very easy for Democratic party leaders and Democrat-aligned media to hurt this administration at the highest level and cause irreparable political damage based on this story. All they’d have to do is give it the same blanket coverage they’ve given the stories about Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos and Paul Manafort which end up leading nowhere remotely near impeachment or proof of collusion with the Russian government. The footage of the starving children is right there, ready to be aired to pluck at the heart strings of rank-and-file Americans day after day until Republicans have lost all hope of victory in the midterms and in 2020; all they’d have to do is use it. But they don’t. And they won’t.

The US Senate has just passed Trump’s mammoth military spending increase by a landslide 92–8 vote. The eight senators who voted “nay”? Seven Republicans, and Independent Bernie Sanders. Every single Democrat supported the most bloated war budget since the height of the Iraq war. Rather than doing everything they can to weaken the potential damage that can be done by a president they’ve been assuring us is a dangerous hybrid of equal parts Benedict Arnold and Adolf Hitler, they’ve been actively increasing his power as Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful military force the world has ever seen.

The reason for this is very simple: President Trump’s ostensible political opposition does not oppose President Trump. They’re on the same team, wearing different uniforms. This is the reason they attack him on Russian collusion accusations which the brighter bulbs among them know full well will never be proven and have no basis in reality. They don’t stand up to Trump because, as Julian Assange once said, they are Trump.

Stand up to Trump? They are Trump. https://t.co/OFriDAhFub

— #FreeAssange! (tweets by campaign)⌛ (@JulianAssange) December 7, 2017

In John Steinbeck’s The Pearl, there are jewelry buyers set up around a fishing community which are all owned by the same plutocrat, but they all pretend to be in competition with one another. When the story’s protagonist discovers an enormous and valuable pearl and goes to sell it, they all gather round and individually bid far less than it is worth in order to trick him into giving it away for almost nothing. US politics is pretty much the same; two mainstream parties owned by the same political class, engaged in a staged bidding war for votes to give the illusion of competition.

In reality, the US political system is like the unplugged video game remote that kids give their baby brother so he stops whining that he wants a turn to play. No matter who they vote for they get an Orwellian warmongering government which exists solely to advance the agendas of a plutocratic class which has no loyalties to any nation; the only difference is sometimes that government is pretending to care about women and minorities and sometimes it’s pretending to care about white men. In reality, all the jewelers work for the same plutocrat, and that video game remote won’t impact the outcome of the game no matter how many buttons you push.

The only way to effect real change is to stop playing along with the rigged system and start waking people up to the lies. As long as Americans believe that the mass media are telling them the truth about their country and their partisan votes are going somewhere useful, the populace whose numbers should give it immense influence is nullified and sedated into a passive ride toward war, ecocide and oppression. If enough of us keep throwing sand in the gears of the lie factory, we can wake the masses up from the oligarchic lullaby they’re being sung. And then maybe we’ll be big enough to have a shot at grabbing one of the real video game controllers.

*  *  *

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My articles are entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, checking out mypodcast, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal, buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

Gossip and views about privacy, gold, wealth, asset preservation