Dec. 22, 2017
although it’s certainly by way of a long Newsweek tradition…
Bryan MacDonald at RT:
“So, what’s behind Newsweek’s incessant anti-Russia stance, and its reliance on poorly researched articles to drive home its agenda?
Perhaps it’s related to an unusual partnership with NATO’s Atlantic Council adjunct. Because, for the past couple of years, Newsweek has been publishing advertorials from the notoriously Russophobic lobby group. [wd here: the Newsweek ‘article’ ‘Vladimir Putin Has Parked a Trojan Horse Inside Europe’, noting that it was first published at the Atlantic Council website.]
As it happens, the Atlantic Council’s activities are funded by military contractors Lockheed Martin Corporation and the Raytheon Company; the Ukrainian World Congress and United States Department of State. In other words, the very same sort of entities which benefit, in terms of relevance or profits, from presenting Russia as a threat. Just fancy that!
And from poet Phil Rockstroh:
“Trump’s ascendency should not come as a shock. Nor should desperate Democrats’ embrace of Russia-gate/The Russians Are Coming (fool’s) mythos. In essence, US citizens/consumers are the most successfully psychologically colonised people on planet earth. In the realm of the political, Democratic and Republican partisans alike, on cue, are prone to parrot the self-serving lies of their party’s cynical elite, who, it is evident, by the utter disregard they hold towards the prerogatives of their constituency, view the influence-bereft hoi polloi with abiding distain…that is, in the rare event they regard them at all.
The crucial question is: Whose and what agenda does the Russia-gate yarn serve? The answer is hidden in plain sight: the profiteers of US economic and militarist hegemony. The demonisation and diminution of Russian power and influence is essential in order to maintain and expand US dominance and the attendant maintenance and expansion of the already obscene wealth of capitalism’s ruling elite.” [snip]
“Take at perusal at the cover story of the Washington Establishment mouthpiece Newsweek, headlined: “PUTIN IS PREPARING FOR WORLD WAR III—IS TRUMP?
There are probably a few true things in the linked story, but they’re hidden underneath all the UpsideDown World (‘Putin has turned HIS foreign policy over to his generals!’, as if the Great Orange Tweeter hasn’t) frenetic, kinetic agitprop, but it’s another in a series of pre-emptive strike against a unipolar world: shifting economic and military alliances: OMG! Yeah, the western hegemon sure does hate to hear talk of ‘those tyrranical regimes™ decoupling trade from the god-almighty dollar, too. Eeeeek! But as far as ‘revanchist-Putin, this from yesterday at wsws.org : Trump authorizes $41.5 million sale of lethal US weaponry to Ukraine’
Update 12/26: from Pepe Escobar’s Dec. 25 ‘The Petro-Yuan Bombshell’; The new 55-page “America First” National Security Strategy
“The website of the China Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS) recently announced the establishment of a yuan-ruble payment system, hinting that similar systems regarding other currencies participating in the New Silk Roads, a.k.a. Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will also be in place in the near future.” snip]
“The decision follows the establishment by Beijing, in October 2015, of the China International Payments System (CIPS). CIPS has a cooperation agreement with the private, Belgium-based SWIFT international bank clearing system, through which virtually every global transaction must transit.
What matters, in this case, is that Beijing – as well as Moscow – clearly read the writing on the wall when, in 2012, Washington applied pressure on SWIFT; blocked international clearing for every Iranian bank; and froze $100 billion in Iranian assets overseas as well as Tehran’s potential to export oil. In the event Washington might decide to slap sanctions on China, bank clearing though CIPS works as a de facto sanctions-evading mechanism.
Last March, Russia’s central bank opened its first office in Beijing. Moscow is launching its first $1 billion yuan-denominated government bond sale. Moscow has made it very clear it is committed to a long term strategy to stop using the US dollar as their primary currency in global trade, moving alongside Beijing towards what could be dubbed a post-Bretton Woods exchange system.
Gold is essential in this strategy. Russia, China, India, Brazil & South Africa are all either large producers or consumers of gold – or both. Following what has been extensively discussed in their summits since the early 2010s, the BRICS are bound to focus on
trading physical gold.”
(He’d earlier noted that the dollar is the reserve currency for two thirds of global trade energy-pricing and strategic raw materials.)
Now Herr Trump’s Generals’ America First National Security Strategy paper may be an actual jobs program, military jobs, perhaps to the the tune of 1.5 million new ‘jobs’. But that’s a story for another day.
Tina Brown, who co-founded The Daily Beast, acts as editor-in-chief for both Newsweek and The Daily Beast. Among the staff are Fareed, Fineman, Isikoff, Meacham, George Will, and a cha cha cha…
‘CNN host Fareed Zakaria said Donald Trump “became president” Thursday night when he announced to the American people that he ordered an airstrike against Syrian President Bashar-al Assad’s military.’
H/T cordeliers on Twitter today:
Merry Christmas, China
From the gun-boats in the river,
Ten-inch shells for Christmas gifts,
And peace on earth forever.
Merry Christmas, India,
To Gandhi in his cell,
From righteous Christian England,
Ring out, bright Christmas bell!
Ring Merry Christmas, Africa,
From Cairo to the Cape!
Ring Hallehuiah! Praise the Lord!
(For murder and rape.)
Ring Merry Christmas, Haiti!
(And drown the voodoo drums –
We’ll rob you to the Christian hymns
Until the next Christ comes.) Ring Merry Christmas, Cuba!
(While Yankee domination
Keeps a nice fat president
In a little half-starved nation.)
And to you down-and-outers,
(“Due to economic laws”)
Oh, eat, drink, and be merry
With a bread-line Santa Claus –
While all the world hails Christmas,
While all the church bells sway!
While, better still, the Christian guns
Proclaim this joyous day!
While holy steel that makes us strong
Spits forth a mighty Yuletide song:
SHOOT Merry Christmas everywhere!
Let Merry Christmas GAS the air!
~ Langston Hughes (1930)
(Harding also kept repeating: ‘ but you have to consider the context!’) #WhatASchmuck
While I’m not sure which iteration of ‘America’ Joni was pinging, the sentiments are still almost too-relevant all these decades later:
‘What time is this…to trade the handshake for the fist?
We have all come…to fear the beating of your drum’
Bonus (of a sort): ‘Ode to the Sea: Art from Guantanamo Bay’
‘Detainees at the United States military prison camp known as Guantánamo Bay have made art from the time they arrived. The exhibit will display some of these evocative works, made by eight men: four who have since been cleared and released from Guantánamo, and four who remain there. They paint the sea again and again although they cannot reach it.’ (a slide show)