Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

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Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:17 pm

Previous Trump tidbits here: ... l?t=157991

I suspect The Donald will fulfill the grand title of this thread.


Trump the Warmonger: U.S. imperialists escalate provocations against North Korea

In a move that escalates the dangerous situation in the Korean peninsula, U.S. President Donald Trump added fuel to the fire on Tuesday, cautioning North Korea that they “will be met with fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which the world has never seen before.”

The tensions between the US and North Korea were exacerbated by the adoption of a new round of sanctions by the UN Security Council last week. Apart from trading verbal punches, both parties are flexing military muscle as well. In response to two test-fires of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) by North Korea last month, the US and South Korea repeatedly fired surface-to-surface missiles into neutral waters close to North Korea.

Responding to the threats by President Trump, a spokesman for the General Staff of the Korean People's Army (KPA) commented, among other things, in an statement:
"Timed to coincide with the fabrication of the heinous "sanctions resolution" against the DPRK at the UN, the U.S. war-thirsty forces are engrossed in war hysteria without discretion. [...] All these military actions being conducted in the ground, sea and air clearly go to prove that the nuclear war hysteria of the U.S. authorities including Trump has reached an extremely reckless and rash phase for an actual war after crossing the red line. Under the prevailing grave situation, the General Staff of the KPA clarifies at home and abroad its resolute stand as follows to mercilessly smash all sorts of military provocation, being planned by the U.S. imperialist warmongers, with the inexhaustible military might of the powerful revolutionary Paektusan army which has so far been built".
"War is by no means a game", pointed out the KPA spokeman and underlined that "the U.S. has gone hysteric, being quite unaware of the army and people of the DPRK".
According to the KCNA news agency, Pyongyang is "carefully examining the operation plan for making an enveloping fire at the areas around Guam with medium-to-long-range ballistic rocket Hwasong-12".
The government of the United States of America is responsible for the dangerous escalation of the situation. The Trump administration not only continues threatening the DPRK, but does everything in order to limit any options for peaceful resolution. Another characteristic example is the U.S. travel ban to North Korea (effective from September 1st), which shows that Washington is heading down the road of military tension and conflict escalation.

With info from: Reuters/KCNA/RT.

KCNA Commentary: DPRK Will Never Step Back from Road of Justice.


Pyongyang, August 9 (KCNA) -- The U.S. and other hostile forces, taken aback by the powerful might of the DPRK's nuclear force, challenged it through the harshest sanctions and pressure and provocative moves.

On August 6, the U.S. framed up "sanctions resolution" 2371 by abusing the name of the UNSC, branding the DPRK's ICBM test-launch as a "threat to global peace and security." Meanwhile, it is running amuck, uttering imprudent remarks for military option against the DPRK.

This is a wanton violation of the sovereignty of the DPRK and another provocation to it as it is a product of the U.S. heinous hostile policy toward the DPRK to stifle the ideology, social system and people in the DPRK.

The U.S. is the sworn enemy of the Korean nation as it has incurred the bitter grudge upon the nation hard to be settled through centuries.

From long ago, the U.S. regarded invasion of Korea, gate to the Asian continent, as the important key for implementing the strategy for world domination. It artificially divided Korea, which is neither a war criminal nor the defeated in the Second World War, and unhesitatingly committed the most monstrous crimes unprecedented in history.

The U.S., from its gangster-like nature not to allow the existence of the DPRK, has cooked up a lot of illegal anti-DPRK "sanctions resolutions" and increased them while resorting to the nuclear threats and blackmail to it.

It is the instinct of human being to protect himself or herself from the attack of brutes and it is a righteous step to defend the safety of each nation and security of its country from the aggression of outsiders.

The DPRK took the option of having access to the strongest nuclear force to defend its sovereignty and the right to existence of the nation from the highhanded and arbitrary practices of the U.S.

By taking the option the DPRK declared an end to the gangster-like logic and Yankee-style way of existence that all the countries on the earth should be colonies serving the U.S. interests or fall victim to the U.S.

Now standing before the "only superpower in the world" are the heroic people of Juche Korea, who created the legendary war victory by shattering the myth of "mightiness" of the U.S. imperialists with rifles 60 odd years ago. Today they have the most powerful strategic weapons, Juche weapons with the U.S. mainland in their striking range.

It is a foolish calculation for the U.S. to think that its mainland would be safe across the ocean.

The more "sanctions resolutions" aimed at depriving the DPRK of its sovereignty and rights to existence and development would only stir up the hatred of the Korean army and people toward the gangster-like U.S. and harden their will to retaliate against it thousand times.

The way out for the DPRK is to bolster up the state nuclear force, and the DPRK will never step back even an inch from the road of justice chosen by itself, no matter what others may say. ... lists.html
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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:25 pm

In Latest Tweetstorm, Trump Again Threatens to Kill NAFTA and Demands Mexico Pay for Wall

Trump conducting a video teleconference on Hurricane Harvey from a conference room at Camp David. | Photo: ddp USA/REX/Shutterstock

Published 27 August 2017 (10 hours 8 minutes ago)

Trump has bragged that he is considered the “Ernest Hemingway of 140 characters,” but that didn't prevent Mexico from shooting his suggestion down.
In the latest case of the White House announcing major policy decisions via Twitter, President Donald Trump has fired off another social media salvo at the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, while pledging once again to force the Mexican government to fund construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

The Sunday morning tweets came days ahead of the second round of talks between the U.S., Canada and Mexico on a possible revamp of the free trade deal. Touted as a “renegotiation” by the White House and billed as a “modernization” by its NAFTA counterparts, the ambitious talks have already shown signs of deep divisions that will require major compromises by parties to the agreement.

In Trump's tweet, the former reality television star speculated about the possibility of terminating the talks due to the “difficult” renegotiation with the Canadian and Mexican trade teams. Trump regularly refers to NAFTA as the "the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere."

Mexico's Ministry of Foreign Affairs took the tweet in its stride, noting that it will continue “to be serious and constructive, always putting national interest ahead” and seeking a deal that is mutually agreeable to the three North American countries.

“Mexico will not negotiate NAFTA, nor any other aspect of the bilateral relationship through social networks or the media,” the statement added.

Trump also repeated his campaign pledge vowing that the U.S. would proceed in building “THE WALL” while “Mexico will pay for it through reimbursement/other.”

Trump has threatened to shut down the government if congressional Republicans fail to include funding for the barrier in a spending bill due by the end of September.

In a Jan. 27 phone call with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Trump beseeched him to stop publicly saying that Mexico wouldn't pay for the wall, according to a recently-released transcript of the call.

“Believe it or not, this is the least important thing that we are talking about, but politically this might be the most important talk about,” the U.S. head of state told Peña Nieto.

“But the fact is we are both in a little bit of a political bind because I have to have Mexico pay for the wall — I have to,” he added. “We cannot say that anymore because if you are going to say that Mexico is not going to pay for the wall, then I do not want to meet with you guys anymore because I cannot live with that. I am willing to say that we will work it out, but that means it will come out in the wash and that is okay.”

Mexico's Foreign Ministry reiterated in its statement that “as the Mexican government has always maintained, our country will not pay, under any circumstances, for a wall or physical barrier that is built on US territory along the border with Mexico. This determination is not part of a Mexican negotiating strategy, but a principle of national sovereignty and dignity.”

While critics have blasted President Trump's early-morning habit of addressing important and trivial issues alike through the social network as unbecoming of the commander-in-chief, Trump has defended the practice as “not Presidential – it’s MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL.”

During his election campaign, Trump bragged that he is considered the “Ernest Hemingway of 140 characters,” adding that if one of his detractors says something bad about him, “bing bing bing — I say something really bad about them.” ... -0022.html

I perversely love this guy, he is the personification of the ruling class without the flacks, fixers, pr consultants and decent make-up artists. Anyone who is embarrassed by Trump tactically sides with the ruling class. I doubt he will do any worse than a Hilary presidency when it comes to the bloody manifestations of imperialism, that's quite a challenge. But he strips the facade off the ruling class just a little, the arrogance of ignorance could never be so well displayed. Petty viciousness is celebrated, hatred of all that is not rich white male is accepted as a given.

Trump is but one rich asshole, and he's just the tip of the iceberg. To the best of our knowledge he is not a drug fiend, sot or pedophile, as I'm sure an alarming number of his fellow booj are. But we should be clear, their unchecked sociopathy is enabled and brought to fruition by their class. And it is their class which not only allows such monumental ignorance to parade in public, unwholesome and perverse indulgences, but more importantly command over every aspect of the economy and thus the lives of all of us for their private benefit.
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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Thu Aug 31, 2017 3:49 pm

Trump, Joe Arpaio and the Black Codes
Glen Ford, BAR executive editor 31 Aug 2017

President Trump’s pardon of arch-racist Joe Arpaio was made possible by a previous president’s pardoning of ex-Confederates.

Trump, Joe Arpaio and the Black Codes
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
“The international corporate elite of both parties have no use for the symbolism and crude language of the Confederacy and Jim Crow.”

Donald Trump identifies most closely with America’s hyper-aggressive “outlaw” presidents, especially Andrew Jackson, arguably the most hands-on violent and law-defying chief executive in U.S. history. As a general, Jackson repeatedly violated Spanish sovereignty in Florida in his expeditions against Native American and Black resistance to the ever-expanding U.S. slavocracy. As the 7th president, Jackson ignored a U.S. Supreme Court decision that recognized the sovereignty of the Cherokee Nation. “[Chief Justice] John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it,” said Jackson, mocking the judiciary’s lack of an army .

Trump admires Jackson’s savage racism and ruthlessness -- as did majorities of U.S. voters of the era. The Orange Oligarch doubtless thinks of Jackson as a “winner,” which is all that counts in Trump’s cutthroat capitalist world. However, Trump himself is looking more like a “loser” president with every passing day – more like the other “A.J.” in the White House, Andrew Johnson, who escaped impeachment by only one vote, in 1868.

Although most analysts believe Trump is on safe legal ground in his pardoning of arch-racist former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, impeachment is ultimately a political act. The Republican Party does control both Houses of Congress, but it’s not Donald Trump’s party. Rather, it’s the same GOP whose entire pantheon of top politicians Trump defeated in the 2016 primaries (with extraordinary assistance from corporate media and the Democratic National Committee, as revealed by Wikileaks). These Republicans detest Trump, who continues to harangue and bully them with tweets and ad-lib outbursts that will someday soon come home to roost.

“Trump himself is looking more like a ‘loser’ president with every passing day.”

The Arpaio pardon has further eroded Trump’s support among the majority party on Capitol Hill. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who boarded the Trump train during the primaries when he discovered that the billionaire was even better than him at riling up racists, has distanced himself from Trump’s latest gambit. House Speaker Paul Ryan said he opposed the pardon, as did both of Arizona’s Republican senators.

Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell let it be known, last week, that he despairs of Trump’s ability to salvage his presidency -- which is another way of saying that McConnell will not be the one to throw Trump a life jacket when the crisis comes. McConnell reportedly “expressed horror ” at Trump’s moral equation of white supremacists and anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia.

White supremacy was the Daddy Trump’s guiding business principle and the spoiled son’s trampoline to fame in New York City politics, and it will likely be the agent of The Donald’s presidential demise. He inherited the broad -- near absolute -- powers of pardon from President Andrew “The Loser” Johnson, the vice president and Tennessee Democrat who succeeded the assassinated Lincoln and immediately set about the wholesale pardoning of Confederates. Augustus Hill Garland, a former Arkansas senator in the Confederate States of America, and once a supporter of the “Know Nothing” party, immediately re-entered politics, but was prohibited by federal legislation from practicing law. In 1866, the U.S. Supreme -- which until only two years before had been presided over by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, of Dred Scott decision infamy -- ruled that Johnson and all U.S. presidents had almost unlimited powers to pardon; a gift to ex-Confederates throughout the South.

“Trump inherited the broad -- near absolute -- powers of pardon from President Andrew ‘The Loser’ Johnson.”

Johnson’s mass rehabilitation of rebels allowed them to almost instantaneously form ex-Confederate governments all over Dixie, legislating Black Codes that negated Emancipation and prompted the Radical Republican Congress to pass amendments to the Constitution and impose a Reconstruction regime on the South to protect the freedmen and women. Johnson fought the Radical Republicans every step of the way, repeatedly vetoing civil rights legislation and economic aid for the ex-slaves. The issue came to a head in 1868, when Johnson escaped impeachment by one vote.

Reconstruction ended early in Arkansas, where Garland was elected as Governor in 1872. He became a U.S. Senator in 1876, the year of the Hayes-Tilden Compromise that resulted in the withdrawal of federal troops from the South, ushering in Jim Crow, the world’s most regimented racial regime. In 1885, Garland became attorney general of the United States under Democratic President Grover Cleveland, of Illinois, who ruled in concert with a Republican-dominated Congress. Garland’s story personifies the reconciliation of white people, North and South, around the principle of Negro subordination.

Garland may now have played a role, through the Supreme Court decision on pardons that bears his name, in the dissolution of Donald Trump’s regime -- through excess of Confederateness. The international corporate elite of both parties have no use for the symbolism and crude language of the Confederacy and Jim Crow. This tiny, overwhelmingly white fraction of one percent rules through the hegemony of capital, the corporate ownership of the means of communication, the world’s biggest police and prisons state, and a war machine that can destroy the planet many times over. The day approaches when Trump will be more useful to the Lords of Capital as a foil and ritual sacrifice.

When that day arrives, the still-unfree Black and brown masses will, of course, celebrate Trump’s demise, in the woefully mistaken belief that the Deep State is finally on their side.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at . ... lack-codes

I think Ford's conclusion will probably be borne out unless the notion that Trump is anything but a bad apple of the ruling class but rather a typical specimen can be given voice far and wide.
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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:21 pm

Boston Protest of White Supremacy and Fascism Reveal Deep Contradictions of the Trump Era

by Danny Haiphong

“The two ruling parties in the US, which have united to wage an all-out assault on the oppressed both here and worldwide.”

August 19th marked the arrival of so-called "free speech" groups to the Boston Common. They were met by 30,000 protesters who sought to run them out of the city in the aftermath of events in Charlottesville just a week earlier. The overwhelming opposition forced what many deemed to be Nazis to end their event prematurely. Activists rejoiced over the sheer numerical advantage they enjoyed over the right-wing assembly. The protest has been hailed as a victory for the "left" in the US. As with any perceived victory under the terminal decline of the US empire, the question of how revolutionaries can move the struggle against white supremacy toward the transformation of society remains unanswered.

First, white supremacy cannot be confined to the ideas that exist in the minds individual white Americans or even organized formations of white Americans. White supremacy is a system of power rooted in the social relations of US capitalism. The invention of the white race has historically justified the dispossession and oppression necessary to maximize profits in the midst of labor solidarity. Whiteness not only divided workers based on race, but ascribed a more intense form of exploitation to whoever was deemed by the ruling class to fall out of the markers of white identity. White supremacy first justified the colonial conquest of indigenous lands and the enslavement of Africans. The system of white rule was then implemented beyond the borders of the US nation-state to encompass all nations and peoples who stood in the way of capitalism's unmitigated expansion.

“White supremacy is a system of power rooted in the social relations of US capitalism.”

Marxist thinkers and organizers use the scientific method of dialectical materialism to understand the development of society. The dialectical method studies contradictions as the defining force of all phenomena and concludes that the struggle between contradictions leads to change. Contradictions are always in motion and change constantly as they interact with each other. Quantitative changes in the interrelations of things eventually lead to qualitative change. Marxists use this scientific outlook to study the development of class society from the earliest periods of humanity to the present day.

And in the present day, the principle contradiction of US society is the struggle between white supremacy and the class exploitation it produces both at home and abroad. White supremacy is often promoted by the power structure as nothing more than bad ideas which are unrelated to the structure of US society. This can be seen by the number of people at the Boston protest who were in attendance primarily to condemn “hate” speech and “Nazis.” Separating “hate speech” and “Nazis” from their historical roots masks the fact that white supremacy and corporate power have always interlocked in the US to produce ripe conditions for the rise of actual fascism. US intelligence nurtured fascism during the Roosevelt period and after, hiring many former SS war criminals to help wage a "cold" war against the Soviet Union. Under the Democratic Party presidency of Barack Obama, the US backed similar forces in Ukraine to intensify the new cold war against Russia. NATO, a thoroughly bi-partisan institution of war, recently released a documentary that celebrates the historic struggle of fascist forces in the Baltic States against the Soviet Union.

“The system of white rule was then implemented beyond the borders of the US nation-state to encompass all nations and peoples who stood in the way of capitalism's unmitigated expansion.”

The conversation and activity targeting white supremacy and fascism in the US must move beyond the present outlook of the ruling class. This outlook places Donald Trump at the center of the struggle to legitimize the US imperial system. Trump's ascendancy is more reflective of the crisis of white supremacy and imperialism than it is of the gathering strength of fascism. For Trump would not be President at this moment were it not for the deep contradictions that plague every facet of the US social structure. The intensity of opposition to Trump's racist policy propositions has been met with an equally intense opposition to his campaign promises to ease relations with Russia and institute a variant of "economic nationalism." The dialectical method thus reveals a contradiction in the struggle against white supremacy, fascism, and Donald Trump.

All contradictions possess two sides. The struggle against white supremacy and Donald Trump is no different. On one side sits the ruling class political parties, both of which oppose Donald Trump based on his positions on foreign policy and economy. On the other side of the contradiction is the left. The left has targeted Donald Trump for his racist and sexist commentary and policy throughout his campaign and presidency. Much of the left's opposition to Trump has ignored the system of imperialism. Ruling class opposition to Trump has thus created a hostile political environment for organizing on a class basis.

“Trump's ascendancy is more reflective of the crisis of white supremacy and imperialism than it is of the gathering strength of fascism.”

This has significantly limited the debate and terms of struggle. Opposition to Trump is united is in its inability to project a coherent class analysis of the period. Unity between contradictions renders the conflict between them invisible. In this time of stagnation and crisis in US imperialism, ideological unity between the left and the ruling class has blurred the contradiction between the people and the system. To fight white supremacist ideas and not the total structure of the white supremacist system of imperialism places the left in dangerous territory. Such activity obscures the actual levers of power that make the material conditions for racist ideas possible.

The fact remains that US popular anger over racist ideas is nowhere to be found when Washington decides to bomb, occupy, or destabilize another country. Demonstrations against the war on Syria have been small over the course of six-plus years, and there have been few, if any, popular protests of the US war drive against Russia, China or the DPRK despite their potentially nuclear implications. Few protested the NATO bombing of Libya that murdered over 50,000 Africans and struck a huge blow in the struggle against US military occupation of the continent through AFRICOM. The same can be said when the police in the US lynch Black Americans at a daily rate and imprison them in world record numbers. Of course, individuals and even movements are not solely to blame for this phenomenon. Much of the blame rests on the shoulders of the two ruling parties in the US, which have united to wage an all-out assault on the oppressed both here and worldwide.

“To fight white supremacist ideas and not the total structure of the white supremacist system of imperialism places the left in dangerous territory.

Disagreement within the ruling class exists over just how white supremacy should be presented to the masses. Russophobia is not considered white supremacy, nor is the constant, Orientalist coverage in the media of the DPRK being a "rogue state" ruled over by a singular "dictator." The ruling class also has no problem portraying Black Americans as a criminal element in the US whenever the police need to be defended from persecution. White supremacy must be framed as a malady of the past, one that doesn't stain the fabric of present day US imperialism. Trump and his Administration makes the suppression of US imperialism's white supremacist reality increasingly difficult and therefore possess little use to the ruling class.

And it isn't just Trump's overt white supremacy that makes his rule impractical to a large section of the ruling class. White nationalists in the streets are problematic, but even more problematic is Trump's willingness to debate the rulers on key policy issues. When questioned about his support for Confederate monuments, Trump lashed back by raising the racist implications of memorializing George Washington or Thomas Jefferson. This is but one aspect of Washington's power struggle over Trump's Presidency. Since his inauguration, Trump and his Administration have clashed with the corporate media and with the CIA over the questions of Syria and Russia.

The contradictions of the current epoch must be understood to chart a clearer path forward to social revolution and transformation. White supremacy is not just a feeling of hate that incites white Americans into violence. It is a system of social relations that supports the profit-driven interests of the US imperialist system. So what side are we on? Who is marching among us, and would they march with us should we turn our attention to the actual levers of power that make white supremacy possible? These are the questions that must be asked as the contradictions of the Trump era become more acute by the day.

Danny Haiphong is a Vietnamese-American activist and political analyst in the Boston area. He ... -trump-era
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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:46 pm

And despite a raft of history which the author outlines it's still all about Trump.....


Trump Already Has a Wall. It’s the Thin Blue Line.
Police are suppressing the rights of protesters—and that's just the way Trump wants it.
September 1, 2017

At protest after protest in recent years, when police officers have moved in with their pepper spray or rolls of orange mesh to break things up, the same chant has greeted them: “Who do you protect? Who do you serve?” It rang out in the Occupy encampments and in the movement for black lives. It could be heard last week in the streets of Phoenix, Arizona, where thousands of protesters thronged the streets outside Donald Trump’s rally. As Phoenix police fired tear gas canisters, pepper balls, and flashbang grenades into mostly unarmed crowds, it was clear that what the officers were protecting was power. “It was a war zone that was initiated by the Phoenix Police Department,” Alejandra Gomez, an organizer with Living United for Change in Arizona who was in the crowd, told me.

The chant took on a particularly urgent tone in Charlottesville, Virginia, in early August, as armed white supremacists waving torches and wearing body armor marched and assaulted residents. Video released last week confirms that at least one of the white supremacists, as care worker Corey Long had earlier noted, fired his gun into a crowd of counterprotesters and, in the words of the New York Times, “strolled past a line of about a dozen state police troopers who were safely positioned about 10 feet away behind two metal barricades. None of them budged.”

Who do the police protect, and who do they serve? These are real questions, not rhetorical ones, and after the last couple of weeks, more people than ever are asking them out loud. Yet the president of the United States is intent on encouraging the same old horrifying answers. Whether he is denouncing “both sides” in Charlottesville or urging Long Island police officers to replicate the kinds of tactics that killed Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Trump has emphasized at every turn that he is less interested in the rule of law than in order by any means. His decision this week—announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions at a National Fraternal Order of Police event—to resume at full force the 1033 program, in which the weapons of war are distributed to local police departments, was another such salvo, as was his pardon of the infamous former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, which Trump hinted at in Phoenix and then issued Friday night, even as Texas braced for unprecedented flooding from a catastrophic hurricane.

Arpaio once laughed as he compared his infamous outdoor prison in Maricopa County, Arizona, to a concentration camp; prisoners there, according to Gomez, were denied air-conditioning in 120-degree heat and fed moldy bread. Arpaio neglected to investigate violent crimes against Latinos and instead spent his resources rounding up and terrorizing immigrants. He was convicted of criminal contempt for defying an order to stop his practices, which a court ruled regularly violated the rights of Latinos. By pardoning him, Trump has sent a message to police officers at the core of his base. Not only will he support the worst of police abuses; he also believes that those abuses are part of an officer’s job.

The fact that violent crackdowns on protesters, rough treatment for criminal suspects, and brutal mistreatment of immigrants are seen as simply prerogatives of the police is indicative of “a fundamental crisis in police legitimacy,” writes sociologist Alex Vitale in his forthcoming book, The End of Policing (Verso, 2017). While the police tend to argue that such behavior is necessary to keep people safe and society in order, the leniency we have seen being offered to armed white nationalists this summer suggests that violence is not meted out equally.

Indeed, Vitale writes, the origins of policing are rooted in colonialism, labor conflict, and slavery. From armed slave patrols in the American South to colonial policing by the English in Ireland to the police riot at Chicago’s Haymarket Square during the eight-hour-day strike, police have been expected to protect private property and serve power. “The reality,” Vitale writes, “is that the police exist primarily as a system for managing and even producing inequality by suppressing social movements and tightly managing the behaviors of poor and nonwhite people: those on the losing end of economic and political arrangements.”

Meanwhile, the president seems just fine with that—more than fine, in fact. And so we get the curious spectacle of the police claiming they face discrimination (“blue racism,” in the words of one poorly-thought-out ad) even as the executive branch hands them everything they ask for.

During the early days of Occupy, one would occasionally hear a different chant aimed at the police: “Cops! Are! The Ninety-Nine Percent!” It was an attempt to reach out to police officers who, protesters noted, might also feel the pinch of austerity. But as the weeks wore on, the chant came less and less often, as even the most optimistic of protesters realized that none of the officers they faced were going to break ranks and halt the pepper-spraying, the arrests, the teargas, and the evictions of protest camps. Wherever they might fall on the economic spectrum, the police did not, apparently, feel like part of the 99 percent.

With all the intense debate over Trump’s vote totals from the “white working class” in the wake of the election, it’s surprising that the position of police has not received more scrutiny. Police have an uneasy relationship to the rest of the working class, but they do share many markers that are often used to determine working-classness in the media and in scholarship. A majority of them are white men without college degrees; they have unions and often bargain fiercely for their working conditions. The average police officer makes a little over $61,000 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics; only about 30 percent work in departments that require college. Many of those who do attend college, Vitale tells me, attend criminal justice programs that are primarily taught by instructors who are themselves former police, offering more of a “how-to” than a critical examination.

This matters because while college attainment is a poor indicator of one’s class position, the education that police officers do get, whether in a criminal justice program, the police academy, or on the job, is designed to set them apart from the rest of society and create within the force an ideology of its own. “Policing represents a deeply conservative view of the nature of the state,” Vitale says, in which “the only appropriate role for the state is a repressive one, to use punitive mechanisms to coerce people into proper behavior.”

This ideological position, Vitale adds, is more pronounced in the United States than elsewhere, and it has been heightened in recent years. Police and their unions lean Republican and have for a while now; their support for Trump is certainly no surprise. In fact, in 2012 it was a major shock when the Fraternal Order of Police didn’t endorse the Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney. After Romney backed an Ohio law that attacked police collective bargaining rights alongside those of public-sector workers, he faced angry pushback. Police, used to being carved out of such bills as they had been in Wisconsin, instead found themselves working with other unions to successfully overturn the bill via referendum. Mike Weinman of the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police told me at the time, “It’s kind of different for us to sit at a table with all these folks. It worked out pretty well, but there was some apprehension there for a little while.”

Historically, it has been the nature of the police to suppress labor conflict, not support it.
Mitt Romney’s enthusiastic support for the plan doomed him with the national FOP; in Ohio, the union even endorsed liberal Democrat Sherrod Brown for the Senate. But this story is notable precisely because it is so rare, as Weinman noted. Police unions may support collective bargaining rights, but they have little record of fighting for them unless their own are on the chopping block. Historically, it has been the nature of the police to help suppress labor conflict, not to support it. Solidarity, for police, tends to be for those on their side of the “thin blue line.”

Trump’s overtures to the so-called “white working class,” combined with his vocal denunciations of leftist protesters and his calls for more police with fewer restrictions, was the perfect blend to win the support of police unions, as well as that of border patrol and other law enforcement unions. Indeed, the ascent of Trumpism seems to only be fanning the flames of an us-versus-them mentality. The sight of the “thin blue line” flag, an American flag all in black with one blue stripe across it, is more and more common on homes and on cars—photographer Paul Weiskel even captured a police officer with such a sticker on his service revolver at the protests against white supremacy in Boston recently.

The flags, Vitale says, are “part of the idea that there is a war on the cops.” They began as an awareness and fundraising campaign for fallen officers, but have now become part of the ideology that says that because the police risk their lives, any criticism of them is equivalent to endangering them and undermining their ability to maintain order. “After its becoming so politicized,” he adds, “I think that we can say that the public display of that symbol is going to be highly correlated with Trump supporters.”

The flag heightens the “us or them” mentality, the idea that there are good people and bad people, and the bad people must simply be controlled. “That is very much the Trump worldview. ‘We are just going to build a wall,’” Vitale says. “The Thin Blue Line accomplishes the same task. It is the domestic wall.”

This mentality persists even as policing has in fact become safer. Jobs more likely to kill you than policing include roofing, garbage and recycling collection, farming, and construction. It persists even though police officers rarely face consequences more dire than a few weeks’ desk duty for killing civilians, and even though a recent Washington Post study found that hundreds of officers fired for misconduct were rehired through appeals required by union contracts. Police union contracts are often the envy of the rest of the labor movement; while grandstanding politicians love nothing more than to swipe at “overpaid” government workers whose pensions are bankrupting the city, state, or country, they rarely target police.

This is no longer an issue of one election; Trump may not have kept many of his promises, but he is keeping the ones he made to the police officers who supported him. And it’s also not just about Trump; around the country, police work hand-in-hand with far-right politicians orchestrating crackdowns on immigrants, harsher penalties for crimes, and so-called “blue lives matter” bills that make crimes against police equivalent to crimes against marginalized and oppressed groups. In California, for example, the California State Sheriffs’ Association is working hard to bury a “sanctuary state” proposal, and one sheriff even publicly floated the idea of her county simply ignoring the law if it were to pass.

While the occasional story of an officer with neo-Nazi tattoos or apparent ties to white supremacist websites does surface from time to time, this is not a matter of individual officers going rogue. It is a belief system produced through the decades of American policing, a history that includes police collusion with white supremacist vigilantes in the South and elsewhere, as Vitale points out. There is also police overlap with militia groups like the Oath Keepers—in 2015, reporting for my book, I spoke with Sam Andrews, a former Oath Keeper who had left the organization over its refusal to endorse an open-carry march he held with black residents of Ferguson and the greater St. Louis area. For the police in the organization, he said, such a thing was a bridge too far.

These days, open collusion with white supremacist groups might be less common, but an offensive post made to the Instagram account of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of Newburgh, New York, this August struck a nerve because it seemed to echo the policy on the ground in Charlottesville. The image, rapidly denounced by the PBA and the police department, showed a Confederate flag juxtaposed with a photo of young black men with sagging pants, with the words “This does not offend me” emblazoned over the flag and “This bullshit does” over the photo. It was a sign, once again, of just who “us” and “them” is.

And so, in the age of Trump, police and the institutions that represent them continue to double down on their siege mentality. As protesters confront white supremacists in city after city—as I write this, Berkeley’s streets are full of red flags and tear gas—police still seem to see protesters, particularly protesters of the political left, as a sign of disorder. The movement for black lives, along with its demands for accountability or even abolition of the police, is felt to be a particular threat to police officers, and Trump has done his best to encourage this feeling. With his approval ratings at an all-time low and officials departing his administration like proverbial rats from a sinking ship, Trump has sent a signal to what Marcy Wheeler has noted is the “respectable” part of his base—the police—that anything goes. This should concern us.

Many of the arguments that Trump would quickly put an end to democracy have been overblown. Yet if there is a fear of creeping authoritarianism in this country, it should be in the nexus of law enforcement and Trumpism. Michael German of the Brennan Center for Justice, a former FBI agent, warned that the combination of allowing certain groups to commit political violence—against opponents of the government—with intensified crackdowns on protests against the government is how police powers expand and governments stop protests altogether. The fact that Trump’s ideal police force is one that cares only for its ever-increasing power to enforce order with ever-larger weapons should frighten us all. ... -blue-line

That Trump is a symptom of fraying booj democracy and not the cause would cause Sarah a bit of cognitive dissonance. Even as the class divide becomes more apparent than it's been in a hundred years despite the media camouflage these wormy progressives shill for the Democratic Party. Know them by their acts.
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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:02 pm

You are here: Home › Newswire › Politics above law: how Trump channels far right icon Carl Schmitt without knowing it
Carl Schmitt, Donald Trump, and Academic Poltical Theory | jewish philosophy place.
Politics above law: how Trump channels far right icon Carl Schmitt without knowing it

Posted Sep 09, 2017 by Eds.
Topics: FascismPlaces: United States
Originally published: Informed Comment by Andrew Kolin (September 5, 2017)
Trump’s various public statements have made clear that he is not an avid reader. He has remarked that he does not have time to read, stating, “I never have. I’m always busy doing a lot. Now I’m more busy, I guess, than ever before.”

It is safe to assume that Trump has not read the writings of the German legal and political theorist Carl Schmitt, who wrote his most important books during the Weimar Republic and leading up to the Nazi regime. At the root of these writings was Schmitt’s emphasis on placing politics above law. According to Schmitt, legality of a particular constitutional order cannot be separated from the specific political system it which it originates. He argued that sovereign authority of the ruler is superior to rigid, abstract legal principles, especially during a crisis, when he argued, the ruler must be freed from legal restraints. The example Schmitt used to underscore this point was Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution, which allowed the concentration of power in the sovereign during an emergency. Schmitt accepted this concept of sovereignty. He joined the Nazi Party in 1933 and supported the regime’s anti-Semitic policies from 1933-36.

Schmitt’s writings are not especially well-known to the general public, but Trump’s actions and thoughts regarding sovereign authority and rule of law parallel much of what he expressed in his books: Political Theology; The Concept of the Political; and Dictatorship. In Political Theology, Schmitt presents the idea that “the sovereign is he who decides on the exception.” In many ways, this statement defines the essence of Trump’s conception of sovereign authority. Schmitt described sovereign authority as embodied in the liberty of the sovereign to act without the formal restraint of law. Many of Trump’s statements and actions are consistent with the idea that it is within his sovereign authority to decide when exceptions can be made to legalism. He believes his sovereign authority is not fixed by legal restraints. Like Schmitt, Trump places the ruler above the law; he rejects the concept of universal law, replacing it with situational law, in which he believes he has the authority to decide in which situations exceptions can be made. Also in line with Schmitt’s reasoning, Trump cannot understand why there would be any questioning of the sovereign’s authority because sovereign authority has to be absolute.

Trump also has been consistent in expressing Schmitt’s political distinctions between friend and enemy, demonstrating that what is political is a reflection of, in Schmitt’s words, “…the most intense and extreme antagonisms…” For example, his pardon of ex-Sheriff Arpaio provides a powerful example of the dual use of the sovereign exception and the use of Schmitt’s friend/enemy distinction. This distinction was also on display after the Charlottesville protests, when Trump excused the neo-Nazis as “fine people,” clearly indicating the fascist tendencies in Trump’s White House. This neo-fascism amounts to the arbitrary enforcement of legal means in order to enact reactionary policies, such as Bannon’s ethno-nationalism and assaults on immigrants, branches of government and mainstream media.

Trump’s actions so far manifest a governing philosophy that closely follows Schmitt’s analysis of sovereign dictatorship. In his book Dictatorship, Schmitt defines its essence as the use of state power without input or mediation from independent institutions. He identifies the sovereign dictatorship in terms of the elimination of “legal restrictions and restraints.” Schmitt’s justification for this type of government is not designed to ultimately eliminate the constitution, but rather, to provide the conditions for its maintenance. Trump’s method of policy formulation reveals his position that only he knows what is legal and only he can be the final judge of rule of law. It should be noted that this tendency did not begin with Trump. But while the Obama and George W. Bush administrations sought to legitimize authoritarian measures, the Trump administration sees no need to argue for supporting actions within a legal framework.

Both Nixon and Trump made themselves the final judge of legality, while also disregarding rule of law. That concept closely follows Schmitt’s observation that “The sovereign is he who defines the exception.” When Trump vents his extreme disdain for the judiciary and regards anyone who questions his authority as an automatic enemy, he is calling into question the foundation of law. So when a judge called into question his administration’s immigration ban, Trump strips him and the entire judiciary of credibility when calling him “this so-called judge.”

As an absolute sovereign authority, Trump is at liberty to unleash policies that appeal to those friends who do not question his authority while his enemies are those who express support for political diversity. Therefore, it is no coincidence that Trump condemned Judge Curiel due to his ethnicity and also scapegoats Muslims, Mexicans, the mainstream media and many others. Trump further demonstrates how he alone decides the exception by breaking from and discarding past legal precedents. For example, he expressed his intention to let the Affordable Care Act “fail” or “implode.” He was also willing to withhold cost-sharing payments and eliminate millions of dollars used to promote signing up for the ACA. He advocates reducing the tax credits under the ACA and cutting the individual mandates the law established.

Schmitt’s sovereign exception and distinctions between political friends and enemies are also at work in Trump’s Muslim ban, which violates the Establishment Clause, the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause, again demonstrating Trump’s position that his sovereignty is above the law. As the sovereign deciding to make the exception, Trump sent 59 Tomahawk missiles to bomb Syria, ignoring the 2001 legislation that limited authorization for military force to those nations and organizations that had been responsible for the 9/11 attacks. He also overlooked international law and the U.N. Charter that restricts the use of force to self-defense or actions authorized by the Security Council. Trump’s exceptions to law are becoming the norm.

The self-destructive elements of neo-fascism are now in place, as seen with climate change deniers Scott Pruitt heading up the Environmental Protection Agency and Rick Perry heading the Department of Energy. The underlying idea of greater social control causing greater social harm can be seen as motivating the appointment of Betsy Devos as Education Secretary. With this appointment, Trump’s goal is to accelerate the privatization of public education by allocating billions into funding vouchers for charter schools, increasing social inequality and destroying public sector unions. Along with the Republican Congress, Trump seeks to establish a national right-to-work law, which would destroy the funding of labor unions and effectively do away with collective bargaining. The U.S. Supreme Court could strip from public sector unions their right to remove fees from the paychecks of members who wish to opt out.

During the campaign, Trump had the support of his friends, billionaires from the worlds of finance, insurance, real estate and energy, who could expect Trump to propose lower corporate tax rates and other billionaire-friendly measures. His proposal for a massive infrastructure investment turns out to be another handout to the billionaire class through government subsidies and tax credits to the tune of $137 billion. Billionaires and Wall Street elites are well-represented throughout his cabinet: Todd Ricketts, deputy secretary of Commerce has a net worth of $5.3 billion; Betsy Devos as Education Secretary is worth $5.1 billion; Steven Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary was a hedge fund investor and Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State, was Exxon’s chief executive officer.

One can only speculate whether or not other parts of the U.S. government that haven’t embraced the administration’s neo-fascism will offer meaningful resistance and to what extent fledgling progressive social movements will rise up and demand policies that expand, rather than diminish, democracy. ... nowing-it/

Oh noes! Trump is a subconscious/unconscious/conscious fascist! Jesusfuckingchrist, more liberal psycho-babble.

My immediate thought was," who is Schmidt channeling?" What is Schmidt's thesis but the base consensus of the ruling class? Ruling Class, fascism, what's the difference? Money talks and bullshit walks. Which also agrees with Calvin's thoughts about the fortunate here on Earth.(there's a feedback loop in there somewhere). In this Trump is an exemplar of his kind, who more representative of the asociality of the privileged?

And there is the rational for the political class, they cannot manage their own affairs without displaying the arrogance and imbecility, so they are usually fronted by a gang of opportunistic petty booj who just might be admitted to 'the club' if they murder and steal enough for their betters.

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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:25 pm

What About It
Posted on August 30, 2017 by eugenlevinesweblog
In the past few months liberal anticommunists have revived one their most frustrating rhetorical devices to once again bludgeon those of us who insist a better world is possible. With the election of Donald Trump, the accusation of ‘whataboutism’ has once again become en vogue. “Whataboutism,” according to these liberals, is another devious invention of the inscrutable Russian mind. When challenged regarding “crimes” of the Soviet Union, the practitioner of the dark art of “whataboutism,” be they a Russian, an “agent of influence,” or merely a “useful idiot,” wryly smirks and replies, “no you.”

More seriously, liberal anticommunists claim this “whataboutism” is a rhetorical practice, originating in the Soviet Union and now practiced by the Russian Federation where the practitioner responds to allegations of their own nation’s crimes by changing the subject to the crimes of the West. The term itself has an odd history. Its older British English brother “whataboutry” dates to the 1970s, when it was deployed as a term of a abuse against those who refused to condemn the IRA for its alleged crimes and insisted on focusing on imperialist brutality. “Whataboutism” does not see its first use until the mid-’90s and becomes associated with that famous-in-anticommunist-circles phrase “and you are lynching negroes,” a reference to the alleged tendency of Communists to respond to any criticism with criticism of Jim Crow. Strange that the term for this “centerpiece of Soviet propaganda” only arose after the USSR no longer existed. Perhaps liberal anticommunists were finally too embarrassed to continue accusing the USSR of being overzealous in its opposition to Jim Crow and Amerikkka’s genocidal treatment of Black people.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s bullshit. Let us take a moment to analyze why the liberal objections to ‘whataboutism’ are facile and frequently dishonest. “Whataboutism,” according to its liberal coiners, is a form of the tu quoque (Latin: “you also,” also called the appeal to hypocrisy) fallacy. This fallacy is when, rather than attacking the argument itself, one attacks the arguer as a hypocrite who does not follow their own conclusions. Imagine, for example, a debate on the merits of veganism in which the con participant, rather than attacking the pro participant’s argument, instead argues that they are wrong because they are not personally a vegan: “And you also eat meat,” they might say. This is, of course, a fallacious argument. Someone might eat meat but also make a correct argument that they should not do so. The liberal sees the “what about…” argument in the same light. They imagine they are engaged in a debate over the legacy of the USSR and that, rather than respond directly to their condemnation of the GULAG, their opponent instead says, “what about Amerikkka’s own prison system which is both larger and fundamentally racist?”

“A fallacy!” says the liberal. “That may be true but what does that have to do with my argument?” The liberal makes two vital mistakes here. First, they fail to understand, or at least to admit, that they are not only arguing against socialism but for an alternative, for capitalist bourgeois democracy. This is not an academic argument occurring in a classroom or somehwhere behind the Rawlsian veil of ignorance. It is occurring in the real world and has real consequences. The choices are socialism or the barbarism of liberal democracy. There is no other option. To point out that in the liberal’s society there is a prison system an order of magnitude greater in size, misery and injustice than under socialism is not inappropriate but necessary.

The second error is that they have been dishonest, with their interlocutor and perhaps with themselves, about their motivations. Liberals portray themselves as great humanitarians whose hearts bleed for the poor souls interned by GULAG. Why then does their heart bleed so much less for the many more souls, interned more unjustly, in Amerikkkan prisons under the very system the liberals demand replace socialism? The reason is they have class sympathy for the people interned by GULAG and class antagonism for those victimized by their own prisons. The liberal hatred of socialism is fundamentally a class antagonism, and by contrasting the socialist repression of the parasitic oppressor classes with the capitalist repression of the working classes, we reveal that.

There is a further question, though: if “whataboutism” is merely the tu quoque fallacy, why the fancy name? The first and simplest answer is probably that the Latin name of a logical fallacy doesn’t make a great political buzzword; but I think there is another reason as well. By accusing their opponents of “whataboutism,” a word constructed to look like an ideology (any liberal’s greatest fear after the GULAG), they can imply that communists are not merely making an error but engaging in a cynical ploy. They imply that the person who objects to Amerikkka’s genocidal imperialism, brutal exploitation or systematic racism is not motivated by sincere disgust or sober political analysis, but is a sinister agent of a foreign master.

In the months since the election of Donald Trump accusations of “whataboutism” have found a new target: the president himself. Strange for an anticommunist rhetorical device to suddenly be used against the reactionary executive of the fascistic Amerikkkan empire, and yet a news search for “whataboutism” will turn up dozens of articles accusing him. What are we to make of this? Let’s look at one of these articles: “FACT CHECK: ‘Whatabout’ Those Other Historical Figures? Trump’s Question Answered” by Steve Inskeep, posted on on August 16, 2017. It was written regarding Trump’s comments after a fascist mob opposed to the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee rampaged through Charlottesville, Virginia, killing one and injuring others. About the fascists’ demands, Trump said:

“So this week it’s Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson’s coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop? … [Jefferson] was a major slave owner. Are we going to take down his statue?”

Inskeep finds this comparison offensive and fallacious, hilariously calling his article a “fact check” as though there are any facts in dispute here. The crux of his argument is that while it is true that Washington and Jefferson were, like Lee, slavers and they, again like Lee, fought a “treasonous” war for the expansion of slavery and of the genocide of indigenous people (Jefferson’s own Declaration of Independence cites the British Crown’s restrictions of these as causes for his rebellion), that these men “stood for something more” and so might be honored while Lee is reviled. Inskeep writes:

“Some figures stood for something larger. Washington guided the foundation of a country that eventually preserved freedom for all. Jefferson authored the Declaration of Independence, in which a single phrase — “that all men are created equal” — became a hammer that later generations would use to help smash the chains of slavery. It’s possible to make a case for honoring such men, so long as we are also honest about their flaws. They were participants in a great experiment in self-government, which has expanded over time to embrace more and more people of all races, not to mention women, too.”

Inskeep provides no evidence for any of this—that Amerikkka provides “freedom for all” and so its founding must be celebrated or that Jefferson’s words were instrumental in ending slavery. I would argue that none exists. I think (and I am somewhat surprised to write this) Trump is right: there is no difference between the three men; all were slavers and genocidaires. Trump, however, seems to think this is good and so they should be honored, while I, and all ethical people, believe they are shameful and evil examples of humanity.

But even if Inskeep is right, and Washington and Jefferson are different and do stand for “freedom for all” (don’t laugh!), how then is this an example of “whataboutism”? Trump is not changing the subject or calling his interlocutors a hypocrite. He is contrasting Lee with other historical figures in order to find the specific point of difference. If Trump’s remarks resemble any fallacy, it is the slippery slope, not tu quoque. Why describe this as “whataboutism” at all?

Inskeep unintentionally reveals the reason when, rather than define “whataboutism,” he links to another NPR article by Danielle Kurtzleben entitled “Trump Embraces One Of Russia’s Favorite Propaganda Tactics — Whataboutism.” The issue is not Trump’s reasoning at all but his alleged “foreignness.” Trump is unAmerikkkan, they say: he imports foreign bigotries, utilizes foreign propaganda techniques, some even go so far as to claim he is an agent of Moscow. Trump, in the liberal imagination, is a communist and onto him they are able to project all the ugliness of Amerikkkan society and call it foreign.

For some, this bizarre and fantastic figure of “Comrade Trump” (I feel a wave of revulsion just typing the phrase) is literal. They believe Trump is an agent of the Russian Federation (which they claim is the USSR reborn, just like the Simpsons gag). In the writings of liberal conspiracy mongers like Louise Mensch and Sarah Kendzior one can even find claims that Trump was brainwashed by agents of the KGB in the 1980s. For others it is more abstract, found instead in this steady stream of “whataboutism” stories, in the comparisons to Kim Jong-un or Hugo Chavez (anyone but an Amerikkkan politician!), in their rallying cry of “not my president.”

“This is not who we are,” say the Amerikkkan soldiers with their boots on the throat of the Global South and the Amerikkkan cops with their boots on the throat of oppressed nations within the USA, say the bourgeoisie as they poison the earth and steal our labor, say the lawyers writing up eviction notices and the journalists writing libelous “exposes” on Social Security Disability Insurance “abuse.” Instead they blame the millions upon millions of workers and peasants who courageously fight Amerikkkan imperialism under the banners of Bolivarian Venezuela, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and so many more, the working class youths who come out to fight fascist mobs when no one else will stop their pogroms, and the revolutionaries everywhere who demand a better world. “Trump,” say these liberal ghouls, somehow with a straight face, “is their president.”

They are obviously, laughably wrong. Donald Trump is their president; he is exactly who they are. Trump is Amerikkka: he is its evil and its bigotry, its genocidal imperialism and its brutal exploitation. They are all the same and all our enemies.

What about that?

dare to struggle // dare to win

eugen leviné

august 30 2017 ... -about-it/

On his page Eugene also asks " But Will We Have Videogames Under Communism" . Nope, sorry Eugene, and no golf either.
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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:48 pm

Read: Trump's full speech to the UN General Assembly
Updated by Kelly Sep 19, 2017, 11:40am EDT


President Donald Trump addressed the United Nations General Assembly for the first time on Tuesday. In his speech, he focused on the threat posed by North Korea, and on Iran’s government and the Iran nuclear deal.

Trump referred to North Korean leader Kim Jung Un as “rocket man,” and described him as being on “a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.” He also threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if the US finds itself “forced to defend itself or its allies.”

On Iran, Trump demanded that “Iran's government must stop supporting terrorists, begin serving its own people, and respect the sovereign rights of its neighbors.” He also criticized the Iran nuclear deal, calling it, characteristically, “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions” and “an embarrassment.”

Read a rush transcript of President Trump’s full remarks below.

Mr. Secretary General, Mr. President, world leaders, and distinguished delegates, welcome to New York. It is a profound honor to stand here in my home city as a representative of the American people to address the people of the world. As millions of our citizens continue to suffer the effects of the devastating hurricanes that have struck our country, I want to begin by expressing my appreciation to every leader in this room who has offered assistance and aid. The American people are strong and resilient, and they will emerge from these hardships more determined than ever before.

Fortunately, the United States has done very well since Election Day last November 8. The stock market is at an all-time high, a record. Unemployment is at its lowest level in 16 years, and because of our regulatory and other reforms, we have more people working in the United States today than ever before. Companies are moving back, creating job growth, the likes of which our country has not seen in a very long time, and it has just been announced that we will be spending almost $700 billion on our military and defense. Our military will soon be the strongest it has ever been. For more than 70 years, in times of war and peace, the leaders of nations, movements, and religions have stood before this assembly.

Like them, I intend to address some of the very serious threats before us today, but also the enormous potential waiting to be unleashed. We live in a time of extraordinary opportunity. Breakthroughs in science, technology, and medicine are curing illnesses and solving problems that prior generations thought impossible to solve. But each day also brings news of growing dangers that threaten everything we cherish and value. Terrorists and extremists have gathered strength and spread to every region of the planet. Rogue regimes represented in this body not only support terror but threaten other nations and their own people with the most destructive weapons known to humanity.

Authority and authoritarian powers seek to collapse the values, the systems, and alliances, that prevented conflict and tilted the word toward freedom since World War II. International criminal networks traffic drugs, weapons, people, force dislocation and mass migration, threaten our borders and new forms of aggression exploit technology to menace our citizens. To put it simply, we meet at a time of both immense promise and great peril. It is entirely up to us whether we lift the world to new heights or let it fall into a valley of disrepair. We have it in our power, should we so choose, to lift millions from poverty, to help our citizens realize their dreams, and to ensure that new generations of children are raised free from violence, hatred, and fear.

This institution was founded in the aftermath of two world wars, to help shape this better future. It was based on the vision that diverse nations could cooperate to protect their sovereignty, preserve their security, and promote their prosperity. It was in the same period exactly 70 years ago that the United States developed the Marshall Plan to help restore Europe. Those these beautiful pillars, they are pillars of peace, sovereignty, security, and prosperity. The Marshall Plan was built on the noble idea that the whole world is safer when nations are strong, independent, and free. As president, Truman said in his message to congress at that time, our support of European recovery is in full accord with our support of the United Nations.

The success of the United Nations depends upon the independent strength of its members. To overcome the perils of the present, and to achieve the promise of the future, we must begin with the wisdom of the past. Our success depends on a coalition of strong and independent nations that embrace their sovereignty, to promote security, prosperity, and peace, for themselves and for the world. We do not expect diverse countries to share the same cultures, traditions, or even systems of government, but we do expect all nations to uphold these two core sovereign duties, to respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation.

This is the beautiful vision of this institution, and this is the foundation for cooperation and success. Strong sovereign nations let diverse countries with different values, different cultures, and different dreams not just coexist, but work side by side on the basis of mutual respect. Strong sovereign nations let their people take ownership of the future and control their own destiny. And strong sovereign nations allow individuals to flourish in the fullness of the life intended by God. In America, we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to watch.

This week gives our country a special reason to take pride in that example. We are celebrating the 230th anniversary of our beloved Constitution, the oldest constitution still in use in the world today. This timeless document has been the foundation of peace, prosperity, and freedom for the Americans and for countless millions around the globe whose own countries have found inspiration in its respect for human nature, human dignity, and the rule of law. The greatest in the united States Constitution is its first three beautiful words. They are "We the people." Generations of Americans have sacrificed to maintain the promise of those words, the promise of our country and of our great history.

In America, the people govern, the people rule, and the people are sovereign. I was elected not to take power, but to give power to the American people where it belongs. In foreign affairs, we are renewing this founding principle of sovereignty. Our government's first duty is to its people, to our citizens, to serve their needs, to ensure their safety, to preserve their rights, and to defend their values. As president of the United States, I will always put America first. Just like you, as the leaders of your countries, will always and should always put your countries first.

All responsible leaders have an obligation to serve their own citizens, and the nation state remains the best vehicle for elevating the human condition. But making a better life for our people also requires us to with work together in close harmony and unity, to create a more safe and peaceful future for all people.

The United States will forever be a great friend to the world and especially to its allies. But we can no longer be taken advantage of or enter into a one-sided deal where the United States gets nothing in return. As long as I hold this office, I will defend America's interests above all else, but in fulfilling our obligations to our nations, we also realize that it's in everyone's interests to seek the future where all nations can be sovereign, prosperous, and secure.

America does more than speak for the values expressed in the United Nations charter. Our citizens have paid the ultimate price to defend our freedom and the freedom of many nations represented in this great hall. America's devotion is measured on the battlefields where our young men and women have fought and sacrificed alongside of our allies. From the beaches of Europe to the deserts of the Middle East to the jungles of Asia, it is an eternal credit to the American character that even after we and our allies emerge victorious from the bloodiest war in history, we did not seek territorial expansion or attempt to oppose and impose our way of life on others. Instead, we helped build institutions such as this one to defend the sovereignty, security, and prosperity for all. For the diverse nations of the world, this is our hope.

We want harmony and friendship, not conflict and strife. We are guided by outcomes, not ideologies. We have a policy of principled realism, rooted in shared goal, interests, and values. That realism forces us to confront the question facing every leader and nation in this room, it is a question we cannot escape or avoid. We will slide down the path of complacency, numb to the challenges, threats, and even wars that we face, or do we have enough strength and pride to confront those dangers today so that our citizens can enjoy peace and prosperity tomorrow.

If we desire to lift up our citizens, if we aspire to the approval of history, then we must fulfill our sovereign duties to the people we faithfully represent. We must protect our nations, their interests and their futures. We must reject threats to sovereignty from the Ukraine to the South China Sea. We must uphold respect for law, respect for borders, and respect for culture, and the peaceful engagement these allow.

And just as the founders of this body intended, we must work together and confront together those who threatens us with chaos, turmoil, and terror. The score of our planet today is small regimes that violate every principle that the United Nations is based. They respect neither their own citizens nor the sovereign rights of their countries. If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph. When decent people and nations become bystanders to history, the forces of destruction only gather power and strength.

No one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the well-being of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea. It is responsible for the starvation deaths of millions of North Koreans. And for the imprisonment, torture, killing, and oppression of countless more. We were all witness to the regime's deadly abuse when an innocent American college student, Otto Warmbier, was returned to America, only to die a few days later.

We saw it in the assassination of the dictator's brother, using banned nerve agents in an international airport. We know it kidnapped a sweet 13-year-old Japanese girl from a beach in her own country, to enslave her as a language tutor for North Korea's spies. If this is not twisted enough, now North Korea's reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles threatens the entire world with unthinkable loss of human life. It is an outrage that some nations would not only trade with such a regime, but would arm, supply, and financially support a country that imperils the world with nuclear conflict.

No nation on Earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles. The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready, willing, and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary. That's what the United Nations is all about. That's what the United Nations is for. Let's see how they do.

It is time for North Korea to realize that the denuclearization is its only acceptable future. The United Nations Security Council recently held two unanimous 15-0 votes adopting hard-hitting resolutions against North Korea, and I want to thank China and Russia for joining the vote to impose sanctions, along with all of the other members of the Security Council. Thank you to all involved. But we must do much more.

It is time for all nations to work together to isolate the Kim regime until it ceases its hostile behavior. We face this decision not only in North Korea; it is far past time for the nations of the world to confront another reckless regime, one that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing death to America, destruction to Israel, and ruin for many leaders and nations in this room.

The Iranian government masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a democracy. It has turned a wealthy country, with a rich history and culture, into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos. The longest-suffering victims of Iran's leaders are, in fact, its own people. Rather than use its resources to improve Iranian live, its oil profits go to fund Hezbollah and other terrorists that kill innocent Muslims and attack their peaceful Arab and Israeli neighbors.

This wealth, which rightly belongs to Iran's people, also goes to shore up Bashar al-Assad's dictatorship, fuel Yemen's civil war, and undermine peace throughout the entire Middle East. We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities while building dangerous missiles, and we cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program. The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into. Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don't think you've heard the last of it. Believe me.

It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran's government end its pursuit of death and destruction. It is time for the regime to free all Americans and citizens of other nations that they have unjustly detained. Above all, Iran's government must stop supporting terrorists, begin serving its own people, and respect the sovereign rights of its neighbors. The entire world understands that the good people of Iran want change, and, other than the vast military power of the United States, that Iran's people are what their leaders fear the most. This is what causes the regime to restrict internet access, tear down satellite dishes, shoot unarmed student protesters, and imprison political reformers.

Oppressive regimes cannot endure forever, and the day will come when the people will face a choice. Will they continue down the path of poverty, bloodshed, and terror, or will the Iranian people return to the nation's proud roots as a center of civilization, culture, and wealth, where their people can be happy and prosperous once again? The Iranian regime's support for terror is in stark contrast to the recent commitments of many of its neighbors to fight terrorism and halt its finance, and in Saudi Arabia early last year, I was greatly honored to address the leaders of more than 50 Arab and Muslim nations. We agreed that all responsible nations must work together to confront terrorists and the Islamic extremism that inspires them.

We will stop radical islamic terrorism because we cannot allow it to tear up our nation and, indeed, to tear up the entire world. We must deny the terrorists' safe haven, transit, funding, and any form of support for their vile and sinister ideology. We must drive them out of our nation. It is time to expose and hold responsible those countries whose support and fi — who support and finance terror groups like al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, the Taliban, and others that slaughter innocent people.

The United States and our allies are working together throughout the Middle East to crush the loser terrorists and stop the reemergence of safe havens they use to launch attacks on all of our people. Last month I announced a new strategy for victory in the fight against this evil in Afghanistan. From now on, our security interests will dictate the length and scope of military operation, not arbitrary benchmarks and timetables set up by politicians. I have also totally changed the rules of engagement in our fight against the Taliban and other terrorist groups.

In Syria and Iraq, we have made big gains toward lasting defeat of ISIS. In fact, our country has achieved more against ISIS in the last eight months than it has in many, many years combined. We seek the deescalation of the Syrian conflict, and a political solution that honors the will of the Syrian people. The actions of the criminal regime of Bashar al-Assad, including the use of chemical weapons against his own citizens, even innocent children, shock the conscience of every decent person. No society could be safe if banned chemical weapons are allowed to spread. That is why the United States carried out a missile strike on the airbase that launched the attack.

We appreciate the efforts of the United Nations' agencies that are providing vital humanitarian assistance in areas liberated from ISIS, and we especially thank Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon for their role in hosting refugees from the Syrian conflict. The United States is a compassionate nation and has spent billions and billions of dollars in helping to support this effort. We seek an approach to refugee resettlement that is designed to help these horribly treated people and which enables their eventual return to their home countries to be part of the rebuilding process. For the cost of resettling one refugee in the United States, we can assist more than 10 in their home region.

Out of the goodness of our hearts, we offer financial assistance to hosting countries in the region and we support recent agreements of the G20 nations that will seek to host refugees as close to their home countries as possible. This is the safe, responsible, and humanitarian approach. For decades the United States has dealt with migration challenges here in the Western Hemisphere.

We have learned that over the long term, uncontrolled migration is deeply unfair to both the sending and the receiving countries. For the sending countries, it reduces domestic pressure to pursue needed political and economic reform and drains them of the human capital necessary to motivate and implement those reforms. For the receiving countries, the substantial costs of uncontrolled migration are born overwhelmingly by low-income citizens whose concerns are often ignored by both media and government.

I want to salute the work of the United Nations in seeking to address the problems that cause people to flee from their home. The United Nations and African Union led peacekeeping missions to have invaluable contributions in stabilizing conflict in Africa. The United States continues to lead the world in humanitarian assistance, including famine prevention and relief, in South Sudan, Somalia, and northern Nigeria and Yemen.

We have invested in better health and opportunity all over the world through programs like PEPFAR, which funds AIDS relief, the President’s Malaria Initiative, the Global Health Security Agenda, the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery, and the Women Entrepreneur's Finance Initiative, part of our commitment to empowering women all across the globe.

We also thank — we also thank the secretary general for recognizing that the United Nations must reform if it is to be an effective partner in confronting threats to sovereignty, security, and prosperity. Too often the focus of this organization has not been on results, but on bureaucracy and process. In some cases, states that seek to subvert this institution's noble end have hijacked the very systems that are supposed to advance them. For example, it is a massive source of embarrassment to the United Nations that some governments with egregious human rights records sit on the UN Human Rights Council.

The United States is one out of 193 countries in the United Nations, and yet we pay 22 percent of the entire budget and more. In fact, we pay far more than anybody realizes. The United States bears an unfair cost burden, but to be fair, if it could actually accomplish all of its stated goals, especially the goal of peace, this investment would easily be well worth it. Major portions of the world are in conflict, and some, in fact, are going to hell, but the powerful people in this room, under the guidance and auspices of the United Nations, can solve many of these vicious and complex problems. The American people hope that one day soon the United Nations can be a much more accountable and effective advocate for human dignity and freedom around the world.

In the meantime, we believe that no nation should have to bear a disproportionate share of the burden, militarily or financially. Nations of the world must take a greater role in promoting secure and prosperous societies in their own region. That is why in the Western Hemisphere the United States has stood against the corrupt, destabilizing regime in Cuba and embraced the enduring dream of the Cuban people to live in freedom.

My administration recently announced that we will not lift sanctions on the Cuban government until it makes fundamental reforms. We have also imposed tough calibrated sanctions on the socialist Maduro regime in Venezuela, which has brought a once thriving nation to the brink of total collapse. The socialist dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro has inflicted terrible pain and suffering on the good people of that country.

This corrupt regime destroyed a prosperous nation — prosperous nation, by imposing a failed ideology that has produced poverty and misery everywhere it has been tried. To make matters worse, Maduro has defied his own people, stealing power from their elected representatives, to preserve his disastrous rule. The Venezuelan people are starving, and their country is collapsing. Their democratic institutions are being destroyed. The situation is completely unacceptable, and we cannot stand by and watch.

As a responsible neighbor and friend, we and all others have a goal — that goal is to help them regain their freedom, recover their country, and restore their democracy. I would like to thank leaders in this room for condemning the regime and providing vital support to the Venezuelan people. The United States has taken important steps to hold the regime accountable. We are prepared to take further action if the government of Venezuela persists on its path to impose authoritarian rule on the Venezuelan people.

We are fortunate to have incredibly strong and healthy trade relationships with many of the Latin American countries gathered here today. Our economic bond forms a critical foundation for advancing peace and prosperity for all of our people and all of our neighbors. I ask every country represented here today to be prepared to do more to address this very real crisis. We call for the full restoration of democracy and political freedoms in Venezuela. The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented.

From the Soviet Union to Cuba to Venezuela, wherever true socialism or communism has been adopted, it has delivered anguish and devastation and failure. Those who preach the tenets of these discredited ideologies only contribute to the continued suffering of the people who live under these cruel systems. America stands with every person living under a brutal regime. Our respect for sovereignty is also a call for action. All people deserve a government that cares for their safety, their interests, and their well-being, including their prosperity. In America, we seek stronger ties of business and trade with all nations of goodwill, but this trade must be fair and it must be reciprocal.

For too long the American people were told that mammoth, multinational trade deals, unaccountable international tribunals, and powerful global bureaucracies were the best way to promote their success. But as those promises flowed, millions of jobs vanished and thousands of factories disappeared. Others gamed the system and broke the rules, and our great middle class, once the bedrock of American prosperity, was forgotten and left behind, but they are forgotten no more and they will never be forgotten again.

While America will pursue cooperation and commerce with other nations, we are renewing our commitment to the first duty of every government, the duty of our citizens. This bond is the source of America's strength and that of every responsible nation represented here today. If this organization is to have any hope of successfully confronting the challenges before us, it will depend, as President Truman said some 70 years ago, on the independent strength of its members. If we are to embrace the opportunities of the future and overcome the present dangers together, there can be no substantive for strong, sovereign, and independent nations, nations that are rooted in the histories and invested in their destiny, nations that seek allies to befriend, not enemies to conquer, and most important of all, nations that are home to men and women who are willing to sacrifice for their countries, their fellow citizens, and for all that is best in the human spirit.

In remembering the great victory that led to this body's founding, we must never forget that those heroes who fought against evil, also fought for the nations that they love. Patriotism led the Poles to die to save Poland, the French to fight for a free France, and the Brits to stand strong for Britain. Today, if we do not invest ourselves, our hearts, our minds, and our nations, if we will not build strong families, safe communities, and healthy societies for ourselves, no one can do it for us.

This is the ancient wish of every people and the deepest yearning that lives inside every sacred soul. So let this be our mission, and let this be our message to the world. We will fight together, sacrifice together, and stand together for peace, for freedom, for justice, for family, for humanity, and for the almighty God who made us all. Thank you, God bless you, God bless the nations of the world, and God bless the United States of America. Thank you very much. ... l-assembly

I was right all along, doncha know? This peabrain really is channeling the id of his class, the arrogance of power and the arrogance of ignorance. The ignorance of history would be an embarrassment but the bar is really low. The braggadocio is typical, as is the parsimony.
When in recent decades has a US prez mentioned communism? Clearly something the rich can't let go....

Time for some popcorn as the responses come in. But ya know who's gonna like this speech? The liberals. They'll have quibbles but they love saber-rattling, it's so presidential.
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by kidoftheblackhole » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:03 pm

We'd almost call them "strange bedfellows" if it wasn't staring us in the face the whole time. The liberals could hardly wait to call him "Daddy".

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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:34 pm

Former Pentagon Analyst Explains Why Trump Fostering Hysteria Over North Korea

03:32 20.09.2017Get short URL
3316 0 0 ... -hysteria/
Former Defense Department analyst Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski says that Donald Trump and members of his administration have been deliberately fostering public hysteria over North Korea.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — President Donald Trump and members of his administration have been deliberately fostering public hysteria over North Korea to drown out voices opposed to any US military buildup, former Defense Department and Air Force analyst Lieutenant Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski told Sputnik.

During a speech at the UN General Assembly in New York earlier in the day, Trump said the United States would “totally destroy” North Korea if it was forced to. On Sunday, US Envoy to the UN Nikki Haley warned that the United States had “plenty” of unilateral military options to choose from to address Pyongyang’s missile tests.

“The public hysteria being promoted by the [Trump] administration… indicates to me that this is an attempt to entertain the US population through fear, and shut down or limit public dissent,” Kwiatkowski said on Tuesday.

A man watches a television screen showing U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at the Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea. (File)
© AP Photo/ Ahn Young-joon

The Defense Department and its major contractors have been alarmed at the American public’s growing opposition to massive spending and endless US military adventures and interventions around the world, Kwiatkowski pointed out.

“That we are speaking today of North Korea and its destruction by the US military reveals the driving and desperate concern of the Pentagon and its economic dependencies,” she said.

The United States has repeatedly tried to use the United States as a cover and justification for waging major wars around the world over the past nearly 70 years, Kwiatkowski recalled.

“When the US goes to war as it did in Korea in 1950, Yugoslavia in 1991, Iraq in 1990 and again in 2003, it was under the auspice or strong appearance of UN support,” she said.

Current US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has tried to build up support for a similar war against North Korea this year, but so far she had largely failed, Kwiatkowski observed.

“Haley’s efforts at the UN have been designed to garner such support this summer, and it appears she has been less than fully successful, in part because taking a US fight to North Korea is very similar to declaring war against China and Russia,” she said.

The ploy had failed in part because Moscow and Beijing had both grown in global stature and influence in recent years, Kwiatkowski explained.

“The governments of both China and Russia not only hold UN Security Council veto power, both have asserted themselves globally, financially and militarily in the past decade,” she said.

People watch a TV news reporting about a possible nuclear test conducted by North Korea ,at the Seoul Railway station in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017
© AP Photo/ Ahn Young-joon

Also, US propaganda had not been successful so far in making the case for renewed war against North Korea to the American people, Kwiatkowski added.”The domestic propaganda battle by the US Government and domestic war advocates has been largely ineffective, and does not seem to be catching fire yet,” she said.

Efforts to play up the alleged North Korean threat to the Pacific island of Guam, a US dependency had also failed, Kwiatkowski noted.

“Even the potential of a North Korean missile attack of US territory Guam, a tourist location serving a largely Asian clientele, was viewed by many residents of Guam as not much more than a schoolboy spat between two flamboyant and prone-to-exaggeration politicians,” she said.

The Korean security crisis could be finally resolved if the United Statres finally agreed sign a lasting, full peace treaty with Pyongyang as it had failed to do since 1953, Kwiatkowski stated.

“What needs to be done is to actually end the Korean War by committing to the peace treaty between the North and South that the 1953 Armistice was supposed to foster. The US government seems institutionally unable to support such a peace treaty,” she said.

Washington did not want to sign such a peace treaty because it would then no longer have the excuse to continue to operate its massive military bases in South Korea, Kwiatkowski commented.

“Of course, if a peace treaty were signed between North and South Korea, the US military bases in South Korea would no longer be required. Any treaty would likely require these US bases (Army, Navy, Air Force and intelligence operations) to be closed or shifted to South Korean military control,” she said.

All war-games scenarios on a new Korean War result in greater global war with massive casualties and environmental destruction, Kwiatkowski warned.

“Any hot war with North Korea results in literally a billion people dead… [yet there are no fundamental US interests in North Korea than cannot be peacefully acquired or accomplished with the help of China and Russia,” she said.

The Trump administration was seeking to intensify the crisis or defuse it, Kwiatkowski remarked.

“Clearly, the US government is seeking to intensify the crisis, not diffuse it,” she said.

US military needed the justification of continued and worsening crises because the Pentagon faces very real and very severe budget and influence reduction in coming years, as US debt grows rapidly and the US economy slows, Kwiatkowski concluded.

Last week, North Korea tested an intermediate ballistic missile, which flew over Japan before falling into the Pacific Ocean about 20 minutes after the launch.The situation on the Korean Peninsula has escalated in recent months due to Pyongyang’s ballistic missile launches and nuclear tests in violation of the UN Security Council resolutions. The UN Security Council has imposed sanctions on North Korea, which, however, have failed to prevent Pyongyang from conducting new tests. ... rth-korea/

Huh, is a 'Former Pentagon Analyst' like 'former CIA'?

I think this is meant to reassure. But I think that the US is in a cleft stick of it's own cutting. As hegemon it cannot back down, because ruling out a peace treaty and all that entails has been unacceptable forever backing down is retreat. Can't have that. And savage as those pigs in the Pentagon are they are loath to have their 30K 'assets' shot to shit in no time flat(fuck those S Korean 'collaterals') And that doesn't take into account the possibility of nuclear war, which would entirely fuck up next quarter's 'numbers'.
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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