Thursday 29th of July 2021

the paucity of the US leadership intellect






















Left hook, right jab, duck… And if this does not work, throw in the towel... This is the gamut of the intellectual — say philosophical — extend of the US leadership. Republicans or democrats... It’s a bit childish and is lacking in depth: you’re with us or against us. Yes, join the bullies and you won’t get hurt while your intellectual capacities to think for yourself shrink into a black hole of stupidity that makes an American footballer a professor of scientific rigour. 


This does not mean you won’t make money. At this level the only saving grace of joining the US thugs is that you will be able to share in the loot plundered from other nations, and from within, as they print more cash as if it was raining gold. It’s not...


As mentioned before on this site, the US morons dislike socialism and communism to the point of white rage — and tolerate terrorism to the point of sponsoring terrorists to unseat people they don’t like (mostly socialists and communists)... 


Meanwhile the US armed forces are on steroids and in constant need of “training” to maintain the level of muscular fitness required for beefy brawn attached to the brainpower of a gnat.


The US are the specialists of biffo, not of oratory subtleties. If you find a speech by a US president that does not mention going to bash someone else, here, there and everywhere, please let me know: I will stand corrected. Now it seems that this disease has caught on with the Chinese leadership. Who can blame Xi when every second of any day, China is blamed for everything gone wrong — constipation and diarrhoea, you name it — in the USA.


Imagine Afghanistan, 1970… 50 Years ago…The country is going socialist, verging on communism. It’s an evolution from dumb Islamic extremism… A bit like the French revolution and the dunking of the Catholic church in the new style crappers. What did this meant? Women were able to live their life as pleased. With equal rights… A modern era for the place was about to blossom. The US interfered with the local balance of power to prevent socialism there and the Russians reluctantly came to rescue the place… The USA without any thought for what the locals wanted, supported a band of terrorists — the Mujahideen. The US were ever so pleased: the Ruskies left the place, fed up... Victory! The Mujahideen soon morphed into the Taliban. Progress went back 100 years. So the USA in their charitable way to solve everything —biffo and intellectual paucity — went back in there believing people should become yankee-ised by drinking Coke and eating hamburgers, under the fake excuse of 9/11… 20 years latter, the mess is still there, and the US never understood why their former friends turned on them… Morons! Make your brain work. Charity and biffo are not intellectual philosophies. Both are designed to keep people in a state of begging on crutches. Charity and philanthropy alla Americana are like crumbs falling off the table to feed the dogs… Dogs are better fed than the poor outside the door, awaiting for some social justice. Social justice never happens with charity and biffo. 


So the terrorists the US supported, then had turned against the US are now running riot… Nothing like Vietnam but similar result on the ledger, except this time extremist Islam wins and women win the booby prize to be placed back in their box. Yoohoohooooooo…. Ah, we won’t blame you, US leaderships. You don’t know any better and you are unable to think. And you even support the Saudis… who in their charitable ways supported the Taliban and other Sunni terrorists. Meanwhile, you, the USA, have also helped the Saudis to try and destroyed Syria by propping up the terrorists there. What's wrong with you? Ah yes I know... your lack of intellectual understanding...


So let’s go into a bit more details...





In Afghanistan today the US calls for the rights of women to be respected. But it was the US that acted  in 1978 so that women’s rights would suffer.


In 1953 Afghanistan set out to reform itself under the prime ministership of the pro-Soviet Gen. Mohammed Daoud Khan, cousin of the king. Moscow’s influence was strong in that land-locked nation adjacent to the Soviet Union.


In the major cities, at least, women’s rights were promoted. Women were allowed to attend university and enter the workforce on the same egalitarian basis as that dictated by communist doctrine in the Soviet Union.


But the ousting of Khan in 1978 by a pro-communist coup, in turn, triggered an Islamist revolt opposed to the regime’s modernizing reforms. Moscow in 1979 felt obliged to intervene to back up the faltering pro-communist regime.


That intervention failed, mainly due to crucial US military support for the rebels, leading to a withdrawal of all Soviet forces by 1989. Civil war between rival Islamist forces only ended with the establishment of a Taliban government in 1996, which was then overthrown in 2001 by the US, which has since made women’s rights a key issue in its support for Kabul against Taliban guerrillas.


The former US president’s wife, Laura Bush, was made a special women’s rights envoy to Afghanistan.


Now, as it withdraws from Afghanistan, there are cries of concern in the US that women’s rights will be suppressed once again. It is a major issue. But the US which once abandoned that issue by supporting extremist Islamist rebels in its failed effort to gain geopolitical power in Central Asia has little right now to complain.


Fortunately the protracted, expensive and destructive US support for various failed regimes in Afghanistan may, as in Vietnam, leave a residue of some reform. And the Taliban are known to be less extremist than other Islamist groups.


A recent New York Times reporting venture into a Taliban-controlled area near Kabul affirmed girls were being provided with some education. Taliban spokesmen also say women’s rights will be respected in any future regime it imposes. Maybe all that US bombing was not needed after all.


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FREE JULIAN ASSANGE NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

changing the curriculum?...

Taliban spokesperson claims they respect women, but some Afghans fear return to 'dark age'


The Taliban claim they will respect women and girls' rights and education if they seize control of Afghanistan, despite reports suggesting otherwise.

Key points:
  • Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen claims in an ABC interview that the group "respects" women

  • However, a leading female Afghan politician says the Taliban are brutally targeting women in newly controlled areas

  • It comes as negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government restart this weekend in Doha

The extremist organisation has tightened its grip on the country in recent weeks, seizing vital towns and districts in the north and west.  

Experts believe the militants, who are making a push to surround cities and capture more territory, have become emboldened by the departure of US, NATO and Australian forces.

There's growing concern the country could fall to the Taliban within the next six months, according to a US intelligence assessment first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Reports have also emerged from the north of the country suggesting thousands of women have already been subjugated to archaic restrictions — including being banned from school and leaving the house.

But speaking exclusively to the ABC, Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen claimed those claims are false.

"Our opponents are producing fake propaganda against us," he told RN Breakfast.

"The recent videos, documents, reports, are all fake. The closing of schools in the northern part of the country, that is not true."

Mr Shaheen, who speaks for the Taliban's Doha office, said the group "respects" the rights of women, as long as they are in line with "Islamic" tradition.

"We have practically shown we are committed to women's rights," he said.

"We are committed to have a law that women would have access to education and work while observing the Islamic hijab.

"In the last four weeks we have taken 193 districts … we have not put any ban on high schools and the liberties of women."

Afghans on the ground disagree

Shukria Barakzai ran her own underground school during the 1990s, when the country was largely under Taliban rule.

She is now an Afghan politician and said the Taliban's new rhetoric on women was not to be trusted.

"What the Taliban is saying and what they are doing is two different things," she said.

"Especially when it comes to the women and girls' education or civil rights — they are always denied."

Ms Barakzai has survived numerous assassination attempts, including a suicide car bomb attack in 2014.


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As previously, the "education of girls" could become exclusively done by learning the K'ran and nothing else. It's called brainwashing... What is brainwashing? It is limiting the ability of people to ask questions and prevent them to be curious about other answers to the questions of life.




American fascism...

Time to Plan for a World with No ‘United States’


BY Gordon Duff


A game is afoot. Laws are being passed, in state after state, that disenfranchise eligible voters, tens of millions of them, not criminals or “illegal aliens” but working Americans who are now living under regional governments that have abandoned any system of justice or decency as much of America descends into fascism.

There is a deeper game behind this, one easy to predict. A dismembered America will still have its nuclear weapons, its massive navy, its bases around the world. With Trump gone, the US has become a less reliable resource for the cabal of “bankers” and extremist cults that have kept hidden behind the scenes for centuries.

They believe that they can still “have the milk” and kill and eat the cow at the same time. They may very well be right.

They want their power back and America’s few surviving institutions, the hand full of real leaders in the military, a military filled with cowards and mama’s boys, a few honest judges and prosecutors, a few dozen legislators, won’t be able to stop them.

Billions in corporate cash, cartel cash, polluter cash, poured into Washington, poured into the Pentagon, has created a tinderbox that threatens the planet.

The United States is still the world’s largest economy, certainly the world’s most powerful nation militarily and yet it is nearly a very real collapse. The problem originates from its federal system of government.

The stage has been set for either states to leave ‘the union,’ such as it is or for the nation to surrender entirely to organized crime rule. These may sound like harsh words, perhaps even alarmist but for any nation to plan to move forward, contingencies must be established to move forward in a world with no “United States.”

The federal system, as outlined by the “Founding Fathers,” is understood by none in the US. Nobody teaches about the constitution, where it came from, who really wrote it and what the game was some 250 years ago.

There were 13 states, some no bigger than a postage stamp, like Rhode Island and Connecticut, who wanted equal power but had no people. Compromises were made, insane ones.

At the time, those who penned the constitution, according to scholar Charles A. Beard, in his Economic Interpretation of the Constitution, much of the impetus for getting rid of the Articles of Confederation was to create a central government capable of supporting bond and land speculators, grifters not unlike today’s Trump family, who didn’t fight against the British for independence.

Instead, they waited around like vultures to “engineer” a government that would feed off working Americans, feed off war veterans and build the America we have today, where one percent own the government, own everything and make the rules.

This group wrote inherent weaknesses into the constitution, giving two senators to tiny states and leaving the door open, as we now know, for the Senate to be controlled by the wealthy.

State after state was added that would never be populated, no water, no arable land, only mineral resources and cattle grazing, always under control of the railroads and bankers who then used the three dozen “fake state” senators to control the government.

There is one especially deep and dark secret hidden in the US constitution. Disputed elections are sent to the House of Representatives to select a president.

Let us establish the root of the issue very quickly. Well over forty million people live in California and yet only two hundred thousand people live in Wyoming. Yet, under the system the US is governed by Wyoming has the same voting power as California in choosing a president.

The State of Wyoming is entirely controlled by a single coal company that chooses its two senators. Other states, more than a few, are similarly controlled by the GMO agricultural giants, Monsanto and Archer Daniels Midland Company having more political representation than regions with a population of one hundred million.

This bizarre system was recently discussed, for the first time, by former Vice President Al Gore who may well have won the 2000 election. The “overt” system, an “electoral college” which no one understands, is to choose a president based, not on popular vote, but by state “electors.”

Wealthy, advanced, populous states are disenfranchised by this system whereby massive pluralities for one candidate are simply wiped off the books.

In 2000, it went further, a fake protest was staged in Florida by less than a dozen millionaires, the “Brooks Brothers Riot,” named after a high-priced clothier favored by Wall Street types, which gave a Supreme Court, stacked with corporate lawyers, an excuse to stop vote counting and name illiterate weakling George Bush as puppet president.

No lawsuit could correct this as the fallback is turning the election over to the House where “fake states” with no people control the system.

At state level, this problem has existed since day one. Cities like Detroit, which once had 3 million people would get one representative in the Michigan Senate or House, and we are talking state government, while counties in the near frozen north with one tiny village and endless miles of trees would have the same, the exact same representation.

The result was urban decay, environmental disaster after disaster, infrastructure collapse and a total breakdown of public education.

Not only is this no accident but endless millions, even billions, in funding from corporations, most often with agendas in climate denialism, or other dangerous environmental ploys like fracking or defective nuclear power plants or, worse still, flooding the nation with opiates, flood cash into these efforts.

And, as we have so often said, any attempt to stop this open bribery that has made this injustice possible was outlawed in 2005 by a 5/4 vote of the corporate controlled Supreme Court under Citizens United v. the Federal Elections Commission.

Corporations can simply pay any amount to any local or regional politician but even that isn’t enough. They now fund armed extremist militia’s as well and, as we have seen, work hand in hand with police to silence any opposition.

Do you wonder why millions of Americans fill private prisons owned by corporations that backflush their stolen gains into the hands of corrupt judges?

The easiest part is, as is simple to grasp, the total control of the press and social media. It didn’t take five minutes for Wall Street to show up in Silicon Valley and take control of not just the social media platforms but technologies as well, the same way they control the news networks that pretend to oppose and offset one another.

The reality is that both the right and left are equally orchestrated to create a theatrical fake reality with clowns and actors in the public eye playing roles written for them. These clowns and actors are our political leaders, and it isn’t just the United States. Think “Boris Johnson.”

No tale about America’s political peculiarities is complete without a personal touch. To avoid redundancy, we left out the usual references to America’s Federal Reserve System, something that nobody understands and, as with the bizarre system of selecting presidents, no one is allowed to discuss.

You see, the same Rothschild family that long ago took over the banking systems of France, the Netherlands and Britain, took over the United States after a century old legal battle and a Civil War that few are aware was much a part of that struggle as well.

One of the first things they did was to have congress, yes, the Senators and Representatives of the “fake states” controlled by corporations owned by banks, and nobody knows who controls banks, make it a crime to tell who owns the private European banks that are the Federal Reserve.

There is no list, no place to find the information and looking for it is a crime.

It goes even further. Ever wonder why nobody ever writes about the process that brought his about, created “the Fed” and made it illegal to talk about both the process itself and who “the Fed” actually is?

Instead, Americans talk about UFOs and aliens, but UFOs and aliens aren’t causing wars and killing millions and “the Fed” is.

Back some years ago I flew New Orleans for a conference, defense technology issues. Part of that trip was a layover in Raleigh, North Carolina lasting 4 hours. Their airport had three barbeque restaurants, quite impressive regional foods they do so well but what it didn’t have was functioning toilets or “bathrooms” as Americans call them.

The bathrooms had “attendants” who accepted gratuities and handed out towels but the toilets themselves were not just broken, some clogged and beyond unacceptable.

Yes, you could get memorable food, even visit a toilet where you could dry your hands with a clean towel, but it was impossible to not be struck with the certain insanity that you had entered another world.

This is Southern rural America where “church” means snake handling, speaking in “tongues” a form of fake Christianity steeped in violence and hatred.

Short decades ago, the American South was still suffering from the collapse that lingered for a century after the end of the Civil War. Public education was almost non-existent as were indoor toilets.

Today there are schools, they look like schools anyway, modern homes replace the shacks, in most places anyway and people who can barely read drive seventy-thousand-dollar pickup trucks, but the old ways live on, as we are seeing today.

This week, the State of Tennessee made it illegal to vaccinate children, in response to fabricated news stories carried on the Murdoch owned Fox News network. No nation of earth has made vaccination illegal, the idea stinks of insanity but then, as few outside the US have any remote idea, Tennessee “stinks of insanity” and has since the days of Andrew Jackson.

But today, we are talking political collapse and how this may or will play out. What we have seen is state after state passing bizarre laws, said to be “shameful” by President Biden, disenfranchising tens of millions of legal voters.

In Texas, democrats in the state government were forced to flee in order to block the passage of voting restriction laws that are utterly insane, the specifics of which are never discussed or allowed to be discussed on the news or social media.

The governor of Texas, a strange man name Greg Abbot, has contacted private militias designated as “terrorist” by the US Department of Justice to hunt down the state’s fleeing legislators.

You didn’t know the US is this insane?

So, what is our point then, why is a melt down inexorable for the US? Imagine an election, a mid-term for house and senate or a presidential election, as we see in 3 years.

How can votes from a state with blatantly unfair voting practices be accepted in a national election?

How can representatives from such states be seated in a national assembly when their election itself spits in the face of any democratic principle?

This is a “lose-lose” situation. You seat illegally “elected” politicians or you block them, either way, the United States fails.

In the end, as we saw during Trump’s failed attempt to set up a dictatorship based on Hitler’s assumption of power in 1933, the goal is the end of representative government.

It is being sold in the South and rural West, quite openly, as a “theocracy” based on their version of Christianity, a Christianity utterly foreign to anything in Europe, be it Roman Catholic or of Orthodox origin.

This is religion that promotes racism, that promotes nuclear war, that promotes human slavery and child sex trafficking.

The government it would give the world’s most powerful nation, militarily at least, would use biological weapons, would keep no treaties and seek hegemony over the planet.

In fact, for many years, on and off, it has done exactly that as can be easily seen after Al Gore was pushed aside in 2000.


Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War that has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades and consulted with governments challenged by security issues. He’s a senior editor and chairman of the board of Veterans Today, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.


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american know how...

The difficulties of America’s efforts to wean itself off Chinese technology have been revealed, after the Pentagon spent over $13m developing far less capable aerial devices. It’s a stark illustration of wider economic woes.

Last year the Trump administration took the step of grounding the entire federal government fleet of drones, many of which were made by Chinese company DJI. Amounting to an inventory of more than 800, the White House was concerned they were being used for espionage and demanded that they be made in America instead. 

Biden has embraced this policy wholeheartedly, Congress is currently busy pushing legislation which will restrict them even further. But as a recent Financial Times report has revealed, this is not having the intended results. Being forced to produce drones made in the US, the government now finds itself paying eight to 14 times more for a product which doesn't even have 95% of the sensors seen on its Chinese counterpart. Who could have ever seen that coming? 

Lessons learnt? Nope. Arguably the worst has not yet come, as the Biden administration is enthusiastically pursuing this botched strategy of protectionism across a whole range of other areas, too. He wants to make things in America and rival China's industrial policy with his own brand of ‘America First’, optimistically accusing Chinese products of all kinds of malign things in order to discredit their place in the US market. This includes allegations of human rights abuses, of using forced labour and, of course, playing the espionage card.



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Revelations about the use of spying tools sold to governments by NSO Group sparked furious political rows across the world on Monday after evidence emerged to suggest the surveillance firm’s clients may have sought to target their political opponents.

Amid growing concern over the apparent abuse of NSO’s powerful phone-hacking spyware, Pegasus, Amazon confirmed it already had cut some of its ties to the Israeli surveillance company. The stock price of Apple dipped amid worries about the privacy and security of its handsets.


NSO claims its surveillance tools are sold to carefully vetted government clients who are only permitted to use them for legitimate investigations into crime and terrorism. However, the Pegasus project, a consortium of media outlets including the Guardian, revealed that:


At least 50 people close to Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador– including his wife, children, aides and doctor – were included in the list of possible targets when he was an opposition politician.

 Rahul Gandhi, the most prominent political rival of the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, was twice selected as a potential target in leaked phone number data.

 Carine Kanimba, the American daughter of Paul Rusesabagina, the imprisoned Rwandan activist who inspired the film Hotel Rwanda, has been victim of multiple attacks using NSO spyware, according to a forensic analysis of her mobile phone, although Rwanda denies it has the NSO technology.

 Whistleblower Edward Snowden said he feared Pegasus was potentially so powerful that it and spyware like it should be banned from international sale. “If they find a way to hack one iPhone, they’ve found a way to hack all of them,” Snowden said, arguing spyware should be treated in a similar way to nuclear weapons where trade in the technology is heavily restricted.


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the end of "sanctions"?...


by George Liebmann


The Biden State Department has announced that it is undertaking a long-overdue review of American sanctions policy. This is to be welcomed, but there are obvious perils ahead: from neoconservatives with Manichaean attitudes predisposing them to continue fighting the Cold War or finding a new enemy of the month; from liberal imperialists of the Samantha Power and Anne-Marie Slaughter persuasion anxious to engage in virtue-signaling in opposition to authoritarian regimes; and from the State and Treasury Departments’ sanctions bureaucrats who are quick with assurances that the foreign government they are sanctioning is on its last legs and will succumb to the triumphant forces of democracy if we ‘stay the course’ and give it one more heave. These area “experts” also enjoy the support of ever hopeful and ever more out-of-touch exile communities, notably those from Cuba, Iran, and Venezuela.

There are a number of things wrong with sanctions as a tool of foreign policy. To the extent they are effective, they immiserate the local population while the country’s leaders rarely suffer from a shortage of supply, even of luxury goods. In their impact on populations they are, as Herbert Hoover once observed, not measures short of war but measures of total war. As Hoover and his aide in Europe Robert Taft never forgot, the continuation of the British blockade of Germany after the armistice and before the Treaty of Versailles was a gift to German nationalists; the near-starvation conditions that resulted led a later British ambassador Sir Horace Rumbold and German Chancellor Heinrich Bruning to speculate somewhat extravagantly that the abnormality of Germans in the 1930s owed something to the past under-nourishment of them and their mothers.

It is also clear that, by isolating a nation’s leadership, sanctions produce hermit kingdoms out of touch with scientific and technological progress and economic and political realities. The need to ration strengthens rather than weakens the group in power, by rendering the general population, including potential dissenters, dependent from day to day on the government for their basic subsistence. Even where exceptions to a sanctions regime are provided, for such things as medicine and library books, shortages of foreign exchange may operate to render them not meaningful.

It is thought that oil sanctions might have deterred Mussolini’s invasion of Abyssinia, but the British justifiably feared that their result would have been a naval war against a powerful Italian fleet and did not view the governance of Abyssinia as a vital interest. The sanctions imposed in the ’80s and ’90s against apartheid South Africa did not bring down the regime, which responded with measures of autarchy. When I visited South Africa in 1997 while the transfer of power was in progress, the department stores bore signs proudly proclaiming that 95 percent of their shoddy but serviceable goods were of South African manufacture. What brought down the regime were the revelations of lawlessness by the police and propaganda ministry and the realization of the leadership that the regime could be sustained only by turning the government over to thugs.

Sanctions are frequently justified as a means of limiting the military power of authoritarian regimes. When military power rested on tanks, artillery, vessels and aircraft, this made more sense. But now, even a relatively backward nation like North Korea is able to achieve nuclear technology.

Sanctions in their current form are prompted, as former British ambassador to the United Nations Sir Jeremy Greenstock has observed, by the desire of politicians and diplomats to be seen as doing something to retaliate against obnoxious regimes or acts. But the “don’t stand there, do something” syndrome has few successes and many failures to report. Sanctions against North Korea have now been in effect for 71 years without producing regime change; for 64 years in the case of Cuba, 41 years in the case of Iran, and 35 years in the case of Syria. In the natural sciences, such a long history of failed experiments would long since have prompted a change of approach; only politicians and diplomats appear to believe in the inviolability of precedent.

Peculiarly perverse are U.S. sanctions against Russia. The framers of the U.N. Charter conceived of the five permanent members of the Security Council as the pillars of world order. How putting one of them in permanent Coventry is conductive to this end is not clear. Equally strange are less formal efforts to prevent Russia from exporting its principal economic asset, natural gas. This strikes at a vital Russian interest, while presupposing that the Nordstream pipeline’s principal customer, Germany, is incapable of protecting itself against supply interruptions. The German government and economy, however, almost single-handedly propped up Russia after 1989; as its principal supplier it still does so.


As the State Department’s recent general pronouncements recognize, sanctions are at war with a Western ideology favoring free trade and communication. But their flaw is worse than that. Their premise, and the vision of their proponents, is that they will foster revolutions from below. The sanctioneers have visions of new Bastille Days; in the words of the Internationale, the “wretched of the earth” will arise and “a better world will be in the birth.” But such hoped-for revolutions from below rarely produce a better world; the widespread public engagement produces much bloodshed, leadership by the ruthless, and animosities which endure. The chances of successful revolutions from below are further diminished by the development of new methods of social control, supplementing the sordid regimes of block captains and secret police files. The authorities now have at their disposal CCTV cameras, voice and ocular recognition, computers, and wireless and internet interceptions.

In fact, today’s successful revolutions, and the ones that it is reasonable to hope for in pariah states like those of Cuba, Iran, Syria, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, are revolutions not from below but from above. As Hannah Arendt observed, in modern revolutions “power is not seized, it is left lying in the street.” It is the governing elites’ loss of confidence in the existing system that causes instruments of repression to collapse or be abandoned.

In this interpretation, the collapse of European communism in 1989 had as one of its key events an occasion in the late 1950s when two mid-level apparatchiks from Stavropol were permitted to take a two-week vacation in France and Italy. This event, multiplied many times in the years just before 1989, had more to do with the largely peaceful surrender of power than President Reagan’s Star Wars or Pope John Paul II’s visit to Poland. The mining and sapping of Eastern Europe owed much to the Ostpolitik of Willy Brandt and Hans-Dietrich Genscher.

The “Helsinki basket” negotiated during the Carter administration as part of a disarmament treaty, though widely derided at the time, also fostered cultural penetration. So did the Eastern European activities of the Soros Foundation. Whatever may be said of its more doctrinaire later initiatives, including the Open Society Foundations in the United States and the Central European University in Hungary, its activities in Eastern Europe in 1989 were quite constructive. When I visited the Law School of Odessa University in 1990, its dean pointed with pride to a new course sponsored by Soros on Western business methods given by an official of the Polish Ministry of Finance.

It is doubtful that the mid-level officials responsible for feeding, curing, educating, and transporting the Cuban, Venezuelan North Korean, Iranian, and Syrian populations have much confidence in the future of their present systems. Sanctions isolating them and their countries from contact and comparison with the West are one of the chief factors sustaining the present governments.

I may be a poor prophet, but I believe that if the Biden administration has the courage to resume normal economic relations with North Korea, Cuba, Iran, Syria, and Venezuela, that a majority of their regimes will be gone by the end of his term, and with much less bloodshed than would accompany a “revolution from below.”



George Liebmann, president of the Library Company of the Baltimore Bar, is the author of a number of works in international relations, including Diplomacy Between the Wars: Five Diplomats and the Making of the Modern World; The Last American Diplomat: John D. Negroponte and His Times, 1960-2010; and The Fall of the House of Speyer, all published by Bloomsbury.


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The hilarious 2006 film “Idiocracy” offers a vivid depiction of American politics. The movie is classified as a sci-fi comedy, but it is more like a searing documentary. It almost perfectly describes America’s crisis of survival today. The American people, and the people of the world, deserve better than an American idiocracy.


In “Idiocracy,” set 500 years in the future, America is suffering from famine. Every public function has been turned over to some self-serving corporate interest. A fruit-drink company controls crop irrigation, and the nation’s crops are being poisoned by the fruit drink. In the meantime, the public is kept in a state of abject ignorance and distraction by demolition derbies, drugs, and debauchery. The nation is saved when an average joe, miraculously resuscitated from the distant past, reintroduces clean water to the crops, thereby saving the nation. He is hailed as a genius for his simple insight.


Which brings us to America’s idiocracy in 2021. Our most important public functions are handed over to corporate sponsors. Our entire political system is designed to let corporate money speak, through campaign contributions and corporate lobbying.


Instead of famine caused by fruit drink, today’s disasters are due to human-induced climate change caused mainly by burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas).


Hundreds of people have already died this summer due to severe weather events linked to climate change. The heatwaves in the Western states and parts of Canada have been relentless, not to mention deadly. The hurricane season arrived a month early in the Caribbean. Extreme flooding in western Europe killed at least 185 people.


Yet even as these disasters unfold, the US political system continues to defend fossil fuels. And in the current round, it is West Virginia’s two senators, Republican Shelley Moore Capito and Democrat Joe Manchin, who are the mouthpieces of the fossil fuel industry. Each has received more than $2 million during their careers in campaign contributions from the energy and natural resource sectors. And each stands shoulder to shoulder with the fossil-fuel industry.


Earlier this month, an ExxonMobil lobbyist called Manchin the “kingmaker,” and said he is in contact with the senator’s office once a week. (As I described in a recent column, ExxonMobil and the lobbyist himself subsequently denied, walked back, and apologized for what the lobbyist said on the covertly recorded tape, so we can rest easy, fellow citizens of our idiocracy!)


After President Joe Biden and Senate Democrats on the Budget Committee announced an early agreement on a budget reconciliation package that includes, among other things, provisions to tackle climate change, Manchin predictably raised objections. He said that he was “very, very disturbed” by the provisions he believes would phase out fossil fuels.


“I know they have the climate portion in here, and I’m concerned about that,” Manchin declared. He continued:



“Because if they’re eliminating fossils, and I’m finding out there’s a lot of language in places they’re eliminating fossils, which is very, very disturbing, because if you’re sticking your head in the sand, and saying that fossil (fuel) has to be eliminated in America, and they want to get rid of it, and thinking that’s going to clean up the global climate, it won’t clean it up at all. If anything, it would be worse.”



This is blather. Climate safety requires that the US and the rest of the world decarbonize the energy system. To that end, Biden successfully brought together China, Europe, and other countries in April to commit to decarbonizing their economies. Manchin is simply aiming to derail that effort.


West Virginia’s pro-fossil-fuel politicians have long been a disaster for their own constituents. West Virginia ranks near the bottom of the US in just about every major dimension of wellbeing. In the current US News and World Report ranking of all 50 states, West Virginia ranks 47th in healthcare, 45th in education, 48th on economy, and dead last on infrastructure. The state is also notorious for having the highest number of opioid-involved overdose deaths per 100,000 people. But instead of looking for real solutions for the state, and moving beyond the fossil fuel sectors (which employ less than 2% of the state’s workforce), Manchin and Capito are actually trying to slash Biden’s plans for federal investments in infrastructure.


Of course, the idiocracy extends beyond West Virginia. In the 2020 election, according to OpenSecrets, federal campaign spending reached $14.4 billion, plus another $3.5 billion spent on lobbying last year. With this financing, corporations run the show. Right on cue, Republican senators have now decided to oppose additional funding for IRS enforcement against tax evasion.



The American people, and the people of the world, deserve better than an American idiocracy. The US is perilously close to becoming a failed state. Yet the positive message of the film “Idiocracy,” should also be clear. Our problems are solvable, if and when an average joe – even a Joe Manchin – defends the common good against corporate interests.



This op-ed was republished from CNN 20 July 2021. Click here to read the original opinion piece.



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