Ian Lustick, professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania and specialist on the modern history of the Middle East, explains why the two state solution is a hollow and deceitful promise. Just like none of the North’s political elites envisioned a multi-racial democracy in the United States after the civil war [as opposed to a White Christian republic], the Israeli elites aren’t contemplating a multi-racial and secular democracy [Israel-Palestine] either. However, generational struggles [primarily at grassroots level] paved the way for such a change in the US, and that will be or should be the future of Israel and the de facto annexed territories of Gaza and the West Bank. However, Lustick doesn’t see such a fundamental change any time soon, and goes on to make a couple of observations on the region’s geopolitical situation, emphasizing the US-Israeli conflict with Iran and the possibility of a nuclear-free region. Ian Lustick is interviewed by RT’s Oksana Boyko. Watch the video here!
Alex Christoforou and Alexander Mercouris discuss President Trump’s relationship with his national security adviser John Bolton. After the embarrassing failure of the recent US-backed coup in Venezuela, rumor has it that Trump grows frustrated with Bolton’s work. His uber-hawkish worldview and lust for US-led military interventions is at odds with Trump’s core campaign pledge to keep the United States out of costly foreign entanglements. Before becoming POTUS, Trump consistently called for an end to the wars in Afghanistan and Syria.
My comment: Previous US presidents have criticized hawkish foreign policy, especially during political campaigns, and once they got into office, they all did 180 degree turns on that subject. Donald Trump is by no means different from the likes of Obama, Bush Jr, Kennedy, Nixon, Eisenhower and others.
Trump is a genius political whore. He is one of the best salesmen out there, at least for the American political market. Even if Bolton gets fired, or steps down at Trump’s request, another war hawk is going to take his place. During the electoral campaign [in the Trump vs Hillary confines], I actually believed Trump might be the lesser evil, but since then, I’ve come to the conclusion that the lesser evil is a myth… Just like his predecessors, Trump faithfully serves the interests of usurers, rent-seekers, and war profiteers. He is the anti-PC version of Globalism.
I’m certain the White House will soon give the green light in Venezuela for professional mercenaries to go in and attempt a better coup d’etat. Such a move ensures no guarantees of success, but it will certainly be a prolonged and bloody operation – on top of the West’s economic bleeding of Venezuela.
In the geopolitics of empire, if you can’t have it [the treasure], no one can. So if the Russian and Chinese military aid to Maduro won’t suffice, Venezuela may very well face a civil war. As long as European political elites dance to Washington’s tune [making the US hawks and the Deep State bolder], things will only get worse for those countries blacklisted by the West.
by Diego Ramiro Lattes & Serban V.C. Enache
It was Stalin’s fault for the Winter War AND the Nazi invasion [at least, for why Germany invaded when it did]. The Red Army was demoralized and suffered massive losses. Things might have gone differently if Stalin had left Finland alone. It was the [Soviet] Winter War’s failure that tempted Hitler to invade. Imagine the intelligence reports:
“Confidence in the leadership waning after the war. Soviet leadership unity is at an all time low. Talks of a coup spoken in whispers…”
“Stalin’s credibility also at all time low. Former supporters critiquing his decision to invade Finland almost openly.”
“Red Army morale is terrible. Losses compounded by recent purge from years back, disorganization levels high, etc.”
But at least Stalin learned something from the USSR’s shameful defeat at the hands of the brave Fins. [Finland’s 300,000–340,000 soldiers, 32 tanks, 114 aircraft vs Soviet Union’s 425,000–760,000 soldiers, 2,514–6,541 tanks, and 3,880 aircraft]. The war’s conclusion? 70,000 total casualties [human & material] for Finland and 321,000–381,000 total casualties [human & material] for the Soviets.
Stalin used the country’s geography and climate to his advantage, allowing the Nazis to move in, instead of mounting resistance from the beginning. And, of course, he benefited from raw materials and military supplies coming in from Britain and the US, without which the USSR would have collapsed.
The Red Army men also committed mass rapes in their path [more than 1.4 million cases in East Prussia, Pomerania and Silesia alone, children included], while the Soviet intelligentsia imprisoned and killed political dissidents, even those who had struggled against Nazi occupation.
It’s important not to romanticize the rule of Joseph Stalin and the ideology of Bolshevism – whether in Stalinist form, Leninist form, or Trotskyism [in the memory of Fanny Kaplan, Yes to Socialism, NO to Bolshevism], but to remember the many sacrifices and tragedies of all those countries involved in the 2nd Great War – and to always remember it was ‘great’ for all the wrong reasons, reasons inimical to a Humanity that’s morally fit to survive.
Alex Christoforou and Alexander Mercouris discuss the breakdown in trade relationship between the United States and China. After the talks reached an impasse, Trump threatened to raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of imports from China [raising the rate from 10 percent to 25 percent]. The increase will take effect on Friday.
My comment: Trump keeps mentioning how China pays and will pay for his tariffs and how great it is that the Chinese are fueling the US Government with [ironically] its own fiat money. Chinese-owned dollars sit on the Federal Reserve’s electronic ledger, by the way.
Every mainstream and heterodox economist will tell you that consumers pay these tariffs, not exporters. I must stress the fact that the only way the Chinese are paying for these tariffs is if they agree to decrease their markups to accommodate Trump’s tariffs, in order to maintain their market share [which is shrinking]. That being said, celebrating this [as Trump is doing] doesn’t square with his promise of bringing back jobs from China. In fact, even if China’s share of the US market were to vanish, that gap would largely if not totally be plugged by other foreign countries, NOT by domestic production & employment. Given Washington’s belligerent stance, Beijing is securing commercial and strategic ties with other important state actors and it’s concluding these agreements in currency swap operations, which bypass the US state financial system.
Trump is a master when it comes to wielding smoke and mirrors, both domestically and at international level. Many think Trump is an Anti-Globalist, but that is not true. He is a Globalist who wants to keep the US as the ‘grand master’ of that cabal and is actively combating efforts led by other countries [like Russia] to create a multi-polar system. As far as the ‘one world government’ idea is concerned, the US is that entity de facto [albeit not in its complete form] and wishes to remain so at any cost, even if the price is a new Cold War and needless mayhem across the globe. The most eloquent [recent] example of such needless death and suffering is this paper from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), which finds US Sanctions on Venezuela Are Responsible for Tens of Thousands of Deaths!
by Serban V.C. Enache
UFA stands for Unconditional Food-stamps for All. For the past few years, while considering pro and contra arguments vis-a-vis UBI [Unconditional Basic Income], I came up with UFA as an alternative program. The logic behind it?
Easier to introduce as a nation-wide pilot test, with fewer complaints from across the [skeptical] political spectrum. UFA would allow citizens to better manage their finances and secure their food basket every month. We have an astronomical overproduction of food relative to effective demand at global scale. About 1.4 billion tons per year of unsold food gets wasted, enough to feed 2 billion people. Given this context, food price inflation should not occur under UFA – at least, not as a result of demand-pull. Note: effective demand means the real intention to purchase by people with the means to pay.
Those who don’t wish to use these ‘unconditional food stamps,’ like the rich and upper middle class, can donate them to charities, or just sit on them [until they expire]. UFA would have a great and swift effect on sector specific economic activity & alleviate poverty [with all the good social and psychological effects that come with it], while allowing previous purchasing power designated for the monthly basket to be redirected somewhere else. Unlike cash, you can’t use these food stamps to gamble, buy drugs or alcohol, video games or what not.
To give the UK as an example of how much the UFA would cost the National Government in money terms, I used numbeo’s minimum amount of money for food per person, which is 171,55 pounds, and multiplied it with 66 million [total UK population from 2017 census]. The cost figure comes down to 11,32 billion pounds per month. Multiplying that to 12 months we get 135,86 billion per year. For the sake of keeping the math simple, this means I categorized 1/4 of the population [being children] as adults. So the true nominal figure will be smaller than 135,86 billion annual.
For those concerned with UBI [unconditional cash payments] causing big and harmful distortions to business planning, to the labor market, and to the general price level, and for those concerned with the size and nature of the spending cuts required to accompany such a program, then the UFA [Unconditional Food-stamps for All] would be far more palatable & easier for activists [on the left, right, and center] to sell it to the public. At least, to test it out nation-wide and see its effects on labor force participation, crime rate, birth rate, school abandonment, hospitalization rate etc. Many people say that the time for UBI hasn’t arrived yet. But I don’t think we can find so many to say that we can’t have enough effective demand to feed every soul, because reality [year after year] says otherwise.