Monday, August 8, 2016

Today's Links

1--The secret diplomacy that ended Turkey-Russia crisis

Turkey-Russian rapprochement began on June 22, which means the US had plenty of time to organize the July 15 coup.....Turkey-Russian rapprochement  meant that the US would not have land access to Syria when Hillary is elected, something that Brookings military analyst Michael o' Hanlon says is critical to success in conflict.

2--Defiant wife of Japanese PM Abe visits US Okinawa base construction protest

Hooray for Akie Abe!

3--U.S. Economy Was Growing at the Slowest Pace Since WW II; Now It’s Worse

The late Lester Thurow, the prominent MIT economist, explained today’s problem almost 30 years ago. In a foreward Thurow wrote in Ravi Batra’s book, “The Great Depression of 1990,” Thurow explained the economic dilemma of a society in which vast wealth is concentrated in too few hands. Thurow wrote:

“Depression is seen as a product of systematic tendencies for the distribution of wealth to become concentrated among a few. When this happens, demand eventually sags relative to supply and long cyclical downturns commence.

Unlike some cyclical analysts, Batra believes that such cycles are not inevitable and can be controlled with social policies essentially designed to stop undue concentration of wealth from developing.

“Essentially, the economic problem is like that of the wolf and the caribou. If the wolves eat all the caribou, the wolves also vanish. Conversely, if the wolves vanish, the caribou for a time multiply but eventually their numbers become too great and they die for lack of food. Producers need consumers, and if producers deprive workers of their fair share of production income they essentially deprive themselves of the affluent consumers they need to make their facilities profitable. One could think of Batra’s argument as a kindof economic ecology where there is a ‘right’ environmental balance.”

The depression that Batra wrongly had in mind for 1990 has become the secular stagnation of today. Its roots, beyond question, stem from concentrated wealth. Equally problematic, you are not likely to be reading about this in front-page newspaper headlines because the billionaires now own the major news outlets.

In the United States, almost 70 percent of GDP stems from consumption by the consumer. When workers are stripped of an adequate share of the nation’s income and wealth, they are crippled as consumers. This leads to corporate downsizing, plant closures, layoffs – which leads to even less consumer spending and a repetitive downward spiral.

4--CNN Gleefully celebrates jihadist victory: Syrian opposition hails 'miraculous' victory after claiming to break Aleppo siege

5--Excerpts from Brzezinski's "Chessboard", blueprint for global domination; Notes from Lala land

"For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia... Now a non-Eurasian power is preeminent in Eurasia - and America's global primacy is directly dependent on how long and how effectively its preponderance on the Eurasian continent is sustained.” (p.30)  (bases in Iraq??)

"America's withdrawal from the world or because of the sudden emergence of a successful rival - would produce massive international instability. It would prompt global anarchy." (p. 30)

"In that context, how America 'manages' Eurasia is critical. Eurasia is the globe's largest continent and is geopolitically axial. A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world's three most advanced and economically productive regions. A mere glance at the map also suggests that control over Eurasia would almost automatically entail Africa's subordination, rendering the Western Hemisphere and Oceania geopolitically peripheral to the world's central continent. About 75 per cent of the world's people live in Eurasia, and most of the world's physical wealth is there as well, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia accounts for 60 per cent of the world's GNP and about three-fourths of the world's known energy resources." (p.31)

“It is also a fact that America is too democratic at home to be autocratic abroad. This limits the use of America's power, especially its capacity for military intimidation. Never before has a populist democracy attained international supremacy. But the pursuit of power is not a goal that commands popular passion, except in conditions of a sudden threat or challenge to the public's sense of domestic well-being. The economic self-denial (that is, defense spending) and the human sacrifice (casualties, even among professional soldiers) required in the effort are uncongenial to democratic instincts. Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilization." (p.35)


(Therefore, it is
also critical -- not optional -- for America to overcome these limitations imposed by democracy.  That's what he's saying, right?  Right??  If imperial geostrategy is critical, the "permit" known as Sept 11 was also a critical component and precursor.  With or without Bush.  But the "cowboys" and neocons were much better "geared" in the public mind to exploit Sept 11.  "conditions of a sudden threat or challenge to the public's sense of domestic well-being"  ~gg)

"Two basic steps are thus required: first, to identify the geostrategically dynamic Eurasian states that have the power to cause a potentially important shift in the international distribution of power and to decipher the central external goals of their respective political elites and the likely consequences of their seeking to attain them;... second, to formulate specific U.S. policies to offset, co-opt, and/or control the above..." (p. 40)

"...To put it in a terminology that harkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together." (p.40)

"Henceforth, the United States may have to determine how to cope with regional coalitions that seek to push America out of Eurasia, thereby threatening America's status as a global power." (p.55)

6--Syrian War Report – August 8, 2016: Jihadists Break Aleppo Siege

Local sources report that the joint jihadi forces have concentrated a high number of experienced infantry in southwestern Aleppo. Furthermore, the urban fighting does not allow Syria and Russia to use their advantage in the air power. These facts indicate that the pro-government forces will not be able to take upper hand in the ongoing clashes, easily. The result of the battle will mostly depend on developments on the ground.

7--Who stands to gain as Aleppo battle rages?


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