Coronavirus and The Collapse Of The US Empire

ISHCHENKO: Coronavirus & The Collapse Of The US Empire

It comes to be that empires collapse suddenly, after being quite sturdy (as was the Russian Empire in 1917). It comes to be that empires disappear after many decades even centuries of excruciating decline, like the Western Roman Empire in 476. But if the empire collapses, two conditions must always coincide: an acute global crisis, which the empire cannot resolve at the expense of domestic means alone, and the inability or unwillingness of imperial power to adapt to the crisis through the necessary reforms.

The West – the United States and its first-line vassals: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, and the EU –  has long refused to recognize that the global imperial space it created is in systemic crisis. At worst, periodic economic crises were recognized, but the main thesis was that crisis events would pass quickly, growth would resume, and the results of the temporary recession would be quickly offset.

This was a lie. Since the mid-1980s, with Reagan’s administration (with his famous “Reaganomics”), US leaders have been well aware that the possibility of further expanding production through the development of new markets and the inclusion of new resources has been exhausted. Free markets and free resources on planet Earth are over. In fact, Reagan’s idea was to finance the current needs of the United States from the pocket of future generations through a monopoly on the printing of the dollar (already back then the currencies of international settlements).

It was assumed (by the way, quite rightly) that the United States and the USSR were equally exhausted by the Cold War and economic confrontation. The one who could last longer would win. The USSR could last longer. The US no longer had free resources for economic growth.

The money of future generations pumped into the economy has started to create bubbles that have been bursting since the beginning of the new century in front of us. But they were enough to last until Gorbachev and his perestroika. The leadership of the USSR then correctly defined the need for reforms, but they were carried out completely ineptly – it’s not by chance that people still call these reforms intentional sabotage.

Yes, it is hard to believe such an outstanding intellectual failure of a superpower’s top leadership.

Yes, there were clear traitors in Gorbachev’s entourage. But the primary things in the collapse of the USSR is still foolishness and unprofessional ways. Without the foolishness and unprofessional nature of the first persons, the traitors could do nothing.

Coming after an unexpected resounding victory over the USSR, America urgently needed to roll back “Reaganomics” and return to a normal economic model. But firstly, banks and exchanges had already tasted easy money. Household loans for household needs generated unprecedented demand that spurred sales and production. Everyone was living well, and no one wanted to give up their unearned benefits. Secondly, and most importantly, the Western economy of the 1950’s-1970’s still lacked free markets and free resources. It was necessary to start reforms ― reorganizing the West, but nobody knew how exactly to create a new steady global economic model without at the same time sacrificing western hegemony. In the event that reforms were abandoned, stimulating demand with cheap but unsecured credit remained the only way to prolong the existence of the cash model.

Perhaps such a model would even prove viable if money reached real production. But banks soon realized that speculation with securities generated significantly more income than investing in the real sector. As a result, more and more credit funds started to settle in the exchange-banking (financial) sector, and then almost all the money allocated for warming up the economy started to go there.

More and more funds were needed to continue this fictitious growth every time. As a result the public debt of the US started to grow exponentially, and the real purchasing power of the dollar fell just as quickly (the dollar of 1950, 1980, and 2010 are completely different dollars). The middle class in the United States started to erode rapidly.

For Europe, by moving defense spending and traditionally powerful social support programs to America, this process has been slowed down, but not stopped. Now in terms of the rate of erosion of the middle class, the EU is quickly catching up with the US. It’s just that Europe has its own features. Until recently, it managed to maintain an acceptable level of middle-class income in the “old EU” and in the rich north by the progressive impoverishment of the “new EU”, the poor south, and by attracting a mass of migrants.

As we can see, all the measures taken by the West delayed the onset of the crisis, or rather even made it less visible to the general population, but they were not only simply insufficient to solve the problem, they also only deepened it. Since the money of future generations became trivially not enough to maintain the appearance of well-being (contrary to conventional belief, the US was unable to print enough unsecured dollars, although it very much wanted to), the West tried to delay the crisis by appropriating the resources of the rest of the world. Hence the unresolved contradictions in the West’s relations with China, Iran, Russia, and the era of “wars for democracy” and “color revolutions” began.

All of this was just a method for transferring resources to the West. But the resources of all the states of the planet are not infinite, and since the needs of the West grew exponentially, they ended quickly. Especially since Russian, Chinese, Iranian, Venezuelan, and some other resources could not be reached. Under Obama and Trump, the United States tried to dispossess its European allies on several visits. So far, it’s been without success, but Washington continues to work on it.

Nevertheless, it was initially clear that recognition of the crisis could be delayed but could not be avoided. Moreover, the longer the crisis was not recognized and the exhausted global financial and economic mechanisms continued to operate, the more terrible (for the whole world) the collapse should have been. Not least because each next American administration refused to recognize the obvious, acting on the principle “for our century there will be enough, and there will be flood anyway” ― the next president will be responsible for it.

Crisis are like some diseases: the longer it stays in hidden form, the more devastating its effects are. Since 2016, its presence has become no longer possible to hide. Hence the phenomenon of Trump and the “new right” in Europe opposing globalism. In fact, they speak of the need to change an exhausted economic and political system. However, since Trump and the “new right” set two tasks for themselves at once – to reform the system and to overcome the crisis, without having renounced the western political and economic domination – it is possible to safely claim that they will not solve any of them.

Especially since their capabilities are limited by the division of the elites. While some of the West’s traditional elites have realized and accepted the need for reform (although trying to carry it out no more qualitatively than Gorbachev’s perestroika), strong positions in the ruling establishment still belong to the globalists, who do not want to change anything, hoping that they will be able to “outstay” Russia and China in the same way they “outstayed” the USSR, winning on an exhalation.

The gradual destruction of the Western Empire (led by the United States) could have taken place for a long time. In the West, they would pretend that there is no crisis, and in the East they would pretend to believe that they are trying to provide the West with a “soft landing”, because in a collapse, the consequences would be tragic for the entire global economy and would hurt everyone more or less. History, as always happens, was changed by chance.

The coronavirus pandemic became a straw breaking the western empire’s back. I am surprised by people trying to explain what is happening within the framework of a conspiracy theory. According to some, “China covered up coronavirus exercises to deploy the civil defense system during a special period”. According to others, “the West has covered up a world crisis via the coronavirus”. None of the “whistleblowers” wonder what was covered there if the crisis has not been talked about for a year only by a lazy person, and it has been going on for 20 years? No one is interested in how the authorities of one and a half dozen warring countries could collude to promote the same narrative.

No one is afraid that trillions of dollars, not unnecessary to the world economy, have already been spent on the fight against the virus and quarantine measures, and the total losses will be by an order of magnitude more. And all of this to deceive the plumber, the journalist, and the suspiciously well-off Instagram girls? A costly deception is the result.

Quarantine measures will indeed have a serious impact on both the world economy and the economies of individual countries. If this were happening at the time of a development rise, they would count the losses, shake them off and forget, and start to increase production again. But the blow came at a time of sharp exacerbation of the global systemic crisis. Quarantine measures break traditional trade and economic ties, forcing various national and regional economies to enter a regime of partial or complete autarky.

This, in turn, hits most integration projects. Eurasian projects have not yet been seriously affected: China has quickly stopped the spread of the epidemic, and Russia has not yet crossed the epidemic threshold, namely, the sustainability of Eurasian integration projects depends on them. But with the EU everything is quite bad. Not only and not so much because the internal borders are closed. It’s just that the EU has shown itself to be helpless, the full weight of the fight against the virus has fallen on national governments, and they immediately started pursuing selfish policies, trying to isolate themselves from the worst-hit countries, leaving them one-on-one with an epidemic.

As a result, Italy has already stated that it is necessary to refuse hospitalization to elderly people who are sick in order to save the younger ones. The national health care system has been over-stressed and there are not enough places in hospitals.

What is happening in the United States is not clear at all.

There is no way they can decide when the epidemic started and how many people actually got sick. There is already speculation that many of the “flu deaths” in the United States were actually from coronavirus. But this, in principle, does not matter, the helplessness and incompetence of the “world hegemon” in the face of the epidemic is important. It is possible not to cope with a flow of patients, but not to manage to count them is beyond good and evil.

The West is atomizing, countries are closing off from each other. I think that proud Eastern European border states in the current conditions have almost no chance of securing the EU’s multi-billion dollar aid for their budgets. No one else has any extra money. And “European unity” is retreating to the background in the face of national problems.

I do not want to say that the European Union will soon collapse (although such a result is possible), but its political and economic coherence will significantly weaken and centrifugal forces will strengthen. The unity of the EU will weaken. Weaker member states may receive a knockout blow from which they will not die, but will remain permanently disabled.

“Euro-oriented” countries like Ukraine will lose much of the West’s attention and support. When the usual world order collapses, when resources are lacking for urgent needs, it’s not time for games in the backyard of the empire, and even more so in someone else’s backyard. Ukraine, like other weak links in the global system, is the first candidate for being dumped as ballast. The West won’t kill it on purpose. It just won’t be able to help it survive anymore.

As for Russia, difficult times are also waiting for us. After all, we were part of the West’s global empire from 1991 to 2005 (at least until 2008). Over the past ten years (especially since 2014), Russia has distanced itself from the Western system, but many ties have remained intact, and the well-being of the Russian economy is still directly dependent on the state of the world economy. We cope with the crisis easier, but it’s still a crisis, not a Sunday picnic. In addition, we do not yet know whether the coronavirus epidemic will cover us and how destructive it will be (if it is) to the national economy.

But it can be stated that Russia has the largest safety margin in the world. It is the only one with a self-sufficient economy to survive in a state of complete autarky. As is always the case during global systemic crises that destroy empires, the one who lasts longer will survive. The safety margin is very important for this. But the history of the collapse of the USSR has shown that it is equally important to realize the need to stand up. It is possible (although not always necessary) to make peace with a former enemy after it has surrendered to us, not after we have surrendered to it.

Resultant from the current systemic crisis, we will certainly see the end of an empire. There is every reason to believe that it will be the empire of the West. But nothing is done by itself, and in order not to be a “victim of circumstances”, there is still a lot of effort to be made.

Trump Ex. Order Activates National Guard, Up To One Million Soldiers, For Up To Two Years

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.),  and in furtherance of Proclamation 9994 of March 13, 2020 (Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak), which declared a national emergency by reason of the threat that the novel (new) coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2 poses to our Nation’s healthcare systems, I hereby order as follows:

Section 1.  Emergency Authority.  To provide additional authority to the Secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security to respond to the national emergency declared by Proclamation 9994, the authorities under section 12302 of title 10, United States Code, and sections 2127, 2308, 2314, and 3735 of title 14, United States Code, are invoked and made available, according to their terms, to the Secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security.  The Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, at the direction of the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the Coast Guard when it is not operating as a service in the Navy, are authorized to order to active duty not to exceed 24 consecutive months, such units, and individual members of the Ready Reserve under the jurisdiction of the Secretary concerned, not to exceed 1,000,000 members on active duty at any one time, as the Secretary of Defense and, with respect to the Coast Guard when it is not operating as a service in the Navy, the Secretary of Homeland Security consider necessary.  The Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of Homeland Security, as applicable, will ensure appropriate consultation is undertaken with relevant state officials with respect to the utilization of National Guard Reserve Component units activated under this authority.

Sec2.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

DONALD J. TRUMP

THE WHITE HOUSE,
March 27, 2020.

Pentagon Preparing New Offensive Operations in Iraq To Destroy Iranian/Hezbollah Proxy, Kataib Hezbollah

A secret Pentagon directive orders planning to try to destroy a militia group backed by Iran, but America’s top general in Iraq cautions of the risks.

Credit…Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times 

By Mark Mazzetti and 

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has ordered military commanders to plan for an escalation of American combat in Iraq, issuing a directive last week to prepare a campaign to destroy an Iranian-backed militia group that has threatened more attacks against American troops.

But the United States’ top commander in Iraq has warned that such a campaign could be bloody and counterproductive and risks war with Iran. In a blunt memo last week, the commander, Lt. Gen. Robert P. White, wrote that a new military campaign would also require thousands more American troops be sent to Iraq and divert resources from what has been the primary American military mission there: training Iraqi troops to combat the Islamic State.

The Pentagon directive and General White’s response — both classified internal military communications — were described by several American officials with direct knowledge of their contents. The exchange comes amid a simmering fight inside the Trump administration over policy toward Iran and the course of America’s war in Iraq, which began just over 17 years ago.

CORONAVIRUS CRISIS
As Iran reels over the coronavirus, top Trump administration aides are clashing over how to confront Iran and its Shiite military proxies in Iraq.

Some top officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Robert C. O’Brien, the national security adviser, have been pushing for aggressive new action against Iran and its proxy forces — and see an opportunity to try to destroy Iranian-backed militia groups in Iraq as leaders in Iran are distracted by the pandemic crisis in their country.

Military leaders, including Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have been wary of a sharp military escalation, warning it could further destabilize the Middle East at a time when President Trump has said he hopes to reduce the number of American troops in the region.

Still, American officials said Mr. Esper authorized planning for a new campaign inside Iraq — even as the military reduces its counterterrorism presence there — to provide options for Mr. Trump in the event that Iranian-backed militia groups escalate their own attacks against American troops, said two senior administration officials.

During an Oval Office meeting on March 19, Mr. Trump did not make a decision about whether he might authorize the new campaign in Iraq, but allowed the planning to continue, according to American officials.

A spokesman for the National Security Council declined to comment. Cmdr. Sean Robertson, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement: “Operation Inherent Resolve is in Iraq at the invitation of the Iraqi government and remains focused on partnering with Iraqi security forces for the shared goal of permanently defeating ISIS remnants. We are not going to discuss hypotheticals or internal deliberations.”

The debate is happening as top Pentagon officials and senior commanders worldwide are also expressing growing concerns about coronavirus cases expanding rapidly in the ranks, potentially threatening the military’s ability to field combat-ready troops.

Several American officials said they were struck by the blunt tone of General White’s memorandum — sent on March 16, the day after he received the Pentagon directive to start the planning — which they said emphasized the costs and risks against an effort to try to destroy the militia group, known as Kataib Hezbollah.

The memo also pointed out that such a campaign might run afoul of the current agreement with the Iraqi government that allows American troops to operate in the country.

Iran’s leadership has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
Credit…Iranian President’s Office/EPA, via Shutterstock 

Beyond that, it would most likely put the Iraqi leadership and especially its military in the position of having to choose between its American allies — whose leaders are far away — and the Iranians, whom many senior Iraqis do not like but believe they have to live with because they are neighbors.

“Iraq cannot be a victim of the Iranian-U.S. conflict, because that would end up going in favor of Iran,” said Karim al-Nuri, a senior figure in the Badr Organization, an Iranian-backed militia, meaning that it would force Iraq closer to Iran.

Iran has long used Shiite militia groups in Iraq as proxy forces both to battle American and Iraqi troops and to exert political influence inside the government. Like Lebanese Hezbollah, Kataib Hezbollah has both military components and political operations, and links to Iraq politicians, businesses, charities and a web of other networks, several regional specialists said.

“It’s like a shadow state,” said Michael Knights, an analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, who has studied the group for more than a decade.
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As a result, carrying out any large-scale plan to destroy Kataib Hezbollah poses huge political and security risks for the Trump administration, and practical challenges for the military.

It would also strain already frayed relations with Iraq’s weak central government. In January, members of Iraq’s Parliament called for the ouster of all U.S. troops in the country after the American drone strike at Baghdad’s international airport that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, a top Iranian commander, as well as Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the de facto leader of Iraq’s militia groups.

Several top American officials, including Mr. Pompeo and General Milley, have urged the Iraqi security forces to crack down on rogue Shiite militia groups that are attacking American troops, or else the United States will be forced to retaliate.

The Pentagon directive ordered planners at the military’s Central Command and in Iraq to draw up a strategy to dismantle the militia group’s operations, according to several American officials who saw the order or were briefed on it. The directive said that Iranian paramilitary forces — members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps — could be legitimate targets if they are located with the Kataib Hezbollah fighters.

Kataib Hezbollah rocket attacks killed two American troops and one British soldier at a military base this month — prompting a reprisal strike by American warplanes one day later.

Even so, American officials said there was no firm evidence that Iran ordered the attack by the militia group. But Mr. Pompeo and other senior officials in recent weeks have argued for aggressive military action not only against Kataib Hezbollah but also against Iranian military forces.

During a White House meeting on March 12, Mr. Esper and General Milley argued for a more limited response to the rocket attacks — a view that prevailed on Mr. Trump, who ordered nighttime raids on five suspected weapons depots in Iraq used by Kataib Hezbollah.

Several American officials said there was an increased urgency in planning attack options against Kataib Hezbollah as the group, perhaps along with other Shiite militias, has threatened to ramp up strikes against U.S. troops stationed on Iraqi bases after the celebrations for Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, end soon. American military intelligence agencies have detected signs that big attacks could be in the works, according to a senior U.S. military official who has been briefed on some of the contingency planning in Iraq.

Kataib Hezbollah, in a statement on Wednesday, warned its fighters to prepare for possible attacks from the United States, and threatened to retaliate against Americans and any Iraqis who help them. “We will respond with full force to all their military, security, and economic facilities,” said the statement, according to SITE, a private company that monitors jihadists’ websites and postings.

The immediate targets of a Pentagon campaign against Kataib Hezbollah most likely would be the group’s leadership, bases and weapons depots, Mr. Knights said. In addition to a vast array of rockets, the group is believed to have access to a hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles funneled into Iraq by Iran over the past several months, according to American intelligence and military officials.

An extended campaign could hit militia targets across a wide swath of Iraq and Syria, and possibly other Shiite militias in Iraq that are loosely aligned with Kataib Hezbollah. “You can’t just hit rank-and-file fighters, you’d have to hit leadership, most of whom have probably dispersed,” Mr. Knights said.

A funeral procession for members of Kataib Hezbollah who were killed in American airstrikes in Iraq last December.
Credit…Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters 

At the same time, American officials said the risks laid out in General White’s memo are genuine, and some military planners believe it would be foolish for the Trump administration to escalate military operations inside Iraq anytime soon.

More than 5,000 American troops are currently stationed in Iraq, most of them part of the mission to train and advise Iraqi security forces in the mission against the Islamic State. Pentagon officials had been seeking to reduce that presence to about 2,500 troops in the coming months.

Any campaign against Kataib Hezbollah is likely to draw from the roughly 70,000 American military personnel currently deployed around the Middle East, including in Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf nations. More than 14,000 of those troops have moved into the region since last May amid rising tensions with Iran.

The Pentagon has also sent Patriot air and missile defense batteries, B-52 bombers, a carrier strike group, armed Reaper drones and other engineering and support personnel.

Commanders are still rushing more Patriot antimissile batteries and other weaponry into Iraq, but are still a week or two away from having the additional defensive systems in place there, a senior U.S. military official said.

In recent weeks, as the threat from militia attacks and exposure to the coronavirus has increased, the United States and its European allies have been turning over smaller coalition bases to their Iraqi counterparts, and either moving to a handful of larger Iraqi bases or leaving the country altogether.

Speaking to reporters the day after the United States hit the five Khatib Hezbollah weapons depots this month, Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., the head of Central Command, said that the threat from Iran and its proxies remained “very high” and added that tensions “have actually not gone down” since the United States killed General Suleimani.

While American officials say they have no clear evidence that Iran specifically directed the deadly attack on Camp Taji on March 11, they say that Kataib Hezbollah and the Iranian Quds Force coordinate closely.

General McKenzie said the United States was poised to strike additional militia weapons storage sites and other targets should attacks against American forces continue. He blamed Kataib Hezbollah for about a dozen rocket attacks against American troops based in Iraq in the past six months.

Mr. Esper suggested on Wednesday that the United States could respond further to the militia’s rocket attacks, but offered no details.

“You don’t get to kill or wound Americans and get away with it,” Mr. Esper said in an interview with NPR. “We will respond at the time, place and manner of our choosing. We will hold them accountable.”

Alissa J. Rubin contributed reporting from Baghdad.

Mark Mazzetti is a Washington investigative correspondent, a job he assumed after covering national security from the Washington bureau for 10 years. He was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for reporting on Donald Trump’s advisers and their connections to Russia. @MarkMazzettiNYT

Eric Schmitt is a senior writer who has traveled the world covering terrorism and national security. He was also the Pentagon correspondent. A member of the Times staff since 1983, he has shared three Pulitzer Prizes. @EricSchmittNYT

America’s Last Revolution Coming or Renaissance

America’s Last Revolution or Renaissance

The corona virus phenomenon will define Donald Trump either as the greatest American President in history, or the worst. It all depends on him; and it especially depends on his ability to listen to the American people, not his advisors. Here’s why.

Authored by Scott Bennett, via Shellgame Whistleblower…

SITUATION ANALYSIS:

The American situation is this.  Social unrest and civil war in America are weeks away.  Anyone who denies this is a coward, a fool, or a liar; and certainly not aware of American’s sense of identity and destiny.  Let us remember the California Rodney King riots which occurred in the 1990’s when a group of police officers were videotaped beating-up a black man who refused to submit to orders.  This very same scenario could easily unfold if the police forget this lesson and are recorded physically harassing or abusing or arresting citizens who refuse to “stay at home” or are caught sitting outside a coffee shop or are seen playing with their kids at a park.  This would be a disaster for the police, spark an uprising, and quite possibly create a civil war unlike anything America has ever seen.  In fact it could change America forever.  Here’s how.

The moment Americans begin to feel their personal suffering and loss is no longer tolerable, is the moment they will no longer tolerate any police officer, national guardsman, or government bureaucrat ordering them to stay home, stagnate, and die of hunger or boredom.  It is the moment citizens begin to push back; and if the police rise-up or flex their muscle to intimidate, bully or crackdown on this impulse in citizens to liberate themselves, the citizens will enter a frame of mind not seen since 1776, and revolution and civil war will result.  This means the deaths of hundreds of police, military personnel, and actors turned politicians trying to oppress them.  Anyone who doesn’t believe this, doesn’t understand the true nature of the American mind and soul.  Statecraft is not stagecraft.  Governor Newsom would be well advised to silence himself about his new “nation-state” and temper his reliance on disordered advice from Mr. Perez and Ms. Pelosi.

Essentially there are only two paths for Trump to follow: 1) empower and strengthen every aspect of American life while defeating his political enemies; or 2) empower and strengthen his political enemies by increasing the absolute power and control of the American government.

Either by design or accident, the Corona virus outbreak and economic domino effect has essentially branded China a diseased danger to the rest of the world and dishonest business partner.  However, this does not translate into American domestic tranquility. As much as Americans may quietly like the idea of China being severely punished and defeated for its decades of intellectual property theft, slave labor, sex slavery and organ harvesting of religious minorities like Falun Gong or Falun Dafa, Christians, Uyghurs, fentanyl invasions of the United States, and as much as Americans want to see their manufacturing industry jobs return to the United States, the only thing that will pacify Americans is the immediate return of all their liberties, rights, and personal freedoms to travel, work, assemble, and worship.

Historically the self-imposed authoritarian police-state is fueled by uncertainty which gradually sours and grows into fear, and then like a cancer, eventually—sometimes taking many decades—kills the entire body politic and the police-state itself—which is essentially what happened to the Soviet Union in 1989, albeit a quiet death for communism.

Americans are becoming increasingly aware of the fact that the closure of businesses and restriction of their Constitutional rights and movement and assembly is absolutely unconstitutional, and that no “State of Emergency” avoids and evades the Constitution.  They are simply tolerating it for a short time, but this time is ending quickly with each passing day.

THE HONEYMOON OF PUBLIC OPINION:

A recent poll indicated the majority of Americans approved and supported President Trump’s management of the United States in response to the alleged Corona Virus infection crisis.  But make no mistake, this will change, and it will change quickly, radically, and explosively the moment people’s emotions, spirits, and bodies feel real hunger pangs, and then view the police and government as preventing them from nourishing themselves.  This is the “fight or flight” moment, the “rebel or submit” moment, and the moment of choice when pride, adrenaline, fears, and desires all mix, combine, complement, and then combust into action—and this action could be deadly for the police and others perceived as trying to deny citizens their right to live, move, and assemble.   This is called a “flashpoint”, and it is unpredictable and often revolutionary, and it is violent, which is why many political manipulators take advantage and manipulate this flashpoint to create a domino effect in other areas of society.  This moment, this day of reckoning is coming, and President Trump needs to understand this.

He also must understand that his political honeymoon will end soon, most likely in less than 2-4 weeks, and his window of transforming this into a political victory is rapidly closing.

The Democrats and Leftists and the media have known this since the outbreak, and have been trying to drag it out and endlessly extend this crisis in order to grow a cancer of fear that will trigger the erection of a police state to brand Trump a tyrant and blame the consequent anger, resentment, and violence in American society entirely on Trump and the republicans.  Watch this script unfold at the Democrat National Convention like a stew or a dish for disaster, scripted no less by the machinations of Tom Perez, an ardent adherent of labor, humming a march with Pelosi appearing to be in the lead acting in her role as his front man.

Additionally, the Democrats and their minions like the Macbeth witches of ABC’s The View, and HBO political talk show host Bill Maher have shamelessly admitted that they want an economic downturn in order to create public suffering that they can then blame on Trump, and manipulate public aggression against him.  As narcissistic, reprehensible and vicious as this is, make no mistake, the Democrats and media mean what they say and say what they mean.  As former Obama Chief of Staff and Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel said, “Never let a crisis go to waste.”  What Rahm was really saying was use a crisis to usher in changes—such as gun laws—that can radically change society by using the violence and force inherent in government and law.  So Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats and the mainstream media will be trying to exploit and pervert this Corona virus situation into a state of socio-political schizophrenia, and use it to trigger an  economic downturn or depression.  Make no mistake, Democrats and the media are inveterate and shameless liars, frauds and backstabbers, and like the Aesop’s fable of the scorpion riding the frog across the river, they will politely clap and smile if the President follows their advice, but then stick the blade into him in an effort to cripple his re-election.  The only thing Democrats may have that President Trump should use are the “fireside chats” which President Franklin D. Roosevelt utilized to calm and encourage the American people during the 1930’s economic depression. Trump needs to use this Corona virus situation as an opportunity to deliver his own personalized “fireside chats” to reassure Americans and the world; and to reinvent the American economy in ways that ostracize the unions for being filled with fraud and crime, taking worker’s wages for their own profit, cigars, and prostitutes.

For this reason, as soon as possible, Trump needs to open and unleash the floodgates of the American economy and by executive order establish long term tax cuts and financial incentives—economically and efficiently trimming the fraud and waste in our military budget—and finance and invest in an American Renaissance while also initiating an economic jubilee year, where debts of all kinds are forgiven.  The amazing ingenuity of Americans has made them competitive on the shale oil industry, and America no longer needs Saudi Arabia, as it is oil independent.  America also does not need Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi fanaticism that fuels endless hatred and terrorism, but that’s another story.

PRESIDENTIAL SUCCESSES:

The best thing the President has done so far is taking the time to give long press conferences and, for the first time, even sitting behind his desk in the oval office.  He should get a new speech writer as well.  Instead of standing at a podium deflecting darts of antagonistic journalists, or bellowing loudly against the wind as he prepares to board his presidential helicopter, President Trump is calming fears and promising to end the siege and shutdown of American life.   Indeed this was the reason many people for the first time, saw him as Presidential.  Remember, like it or not, he is perceived by most peoples to be the leader of the Free World, and he is the President of our Nation.

In a White House Press Conference on March 23, 2020, Trump described how he was intending to re-open the American economy sooner than previously reported, most likely in a matter of weeks.  Trump stated:

“We have to get our country back to work… Our country wants to go back to work. Suicides from depression will be ‘FAR GREATER’ than coronavirus deaths unless America reopens for business ‘soon’… We’ll be doing something relatively quickly… we have to do things to get our country open…people are suffering fantastic depression because they had a fantastic job and now they don’t know what’s happening…”, and, “I’d like to be able to bounce back to where we were…We can’t let this continue to go on… this two week period has been good….it has been this incredible learning process, this will go into the future, we are going to be watching New York, CA, Washington…We may quarantine, we will be quarantining many people in these areas.  Why would we shut down 100 % of the country?  To close the New York stock exchange and NASDAQ, we don’t want to be doing that.  We can do two things simultaneously… I think they (the American people) are ok with it, and I am ok with it…Because of the magnitude of our economy.  You have 160 million jobs in this country.  So we can’t turn that off and think that it is going to be wonderful.  There will be tremendous death because of turning off the economy.”

Additionally, President Trump has promised the American people that he will not “make the cure worse than the problem itself”—which is ironically the very same phrase I’ve been using for the past several weeks on our radio shows.  Interesting.

CONCLUSION

The government has essentially turned off the power and shut down the entire economic and social life of Americans, while allowing the government sectors—the police, the post office, the military, the emergency services—to continue.  Americans instinctively resent this because to them it feels like regular, working class Americans are being disrespected and dominated and put under the control of police and government types.  In other words, average Americans are beginning to feel like they are being treated like criminals and prisoners.

This is extremely dangerous because it smacks of fascism, and nowhere is fascism more hated than in suburbs, rural areas and in our small towns.  Just remember the patriotic feelings and clamoring for battle instincts that arose when you first saw the 1980’s film “Red Dawn.”  This could very easily be re-discovered in real life if flyers and leaflets with the words “WOLVERINE” on them are advertised around every major and minor town and city in America.  Life sometimes imitates fiction.

President Trump has some very bad advisors around him that justify their position with campaign contributions or legacies of mediocrity.  He needs new ones. I know, I saw them all the time when I worked in Washington for 15 years.  Dismiss the timid, embrace visionaries.  They are not hard to find.  Trump needs to remember he’s the Commander-in-Chief, not a whiteboard for political advisors or cabinet members to draw their own careers on.  Trump must remember that political advisors are interested only in capitalizing on socio-political events, trends, fads, and issues in order to grow their influence, careers, and wealth.  Contrary to their advice, political advisors are not looking to serve, but rather are parasites looking for opportunities. Trump should also remember that the vast majority of the American people, especially women who are wives and mothers—or desire to be wives and mothers—ignore politics for the most part and pay attention to their families—or their ability to form future families—and defend their ability to flourish and prosper.  It is natural, it is instinctive, it is the American way.

Trump should also remember that because of the past four years of the Democrat media’s shameless propaganda about Russian election meddling, the Mueller Investigation and political prosecution of Trump volunteers, the Ukraine-Biden bribery, and political hypocrisy, the American people—and indeed most of the truth seeking world—have become sensitive to lies; and subsequently developed a healthy distrust and scorn for the mainstream media (excluding channels like Russia Today, Sputnik, Press TV, Al Jazeera, and others outside the CIA-MI6-Mossad influence).  Trump needs to weaponize this distrust for the media and pre-emptively communicate to the American people and the world that despite the fear-porn the media will try and sell, they should ignore them, go back to work, exercise caution, take health supplements and immune boosting nutrients, and resurrect their lives and America.  They will follow his advice, and remember it come election day in November.

In the horror film, A Quiet Place we see a story which has similarities to our national story today.  The film is the story of an American family living isolated in the country in a lonely farmhouse, surrounded by wilderness, and who speak only in sign language and make no sounds.  Soon we discover it’s because of man-eating aliens who track humans by their sounds.  Aside from being similar to the many other science fiction and horror films and television such as the Walking Dead, or The Happening, or Cloverfield, or War of the Worlds, depicting human society being hunted, eaten, or under siege from invading monsters, this film is a kind of similar glimpse in to the current life Americans may be feeling under siege of the corona virus, with Americans being ordered to “shelter at home”—which is a polite way fascists say you are confined to home imprisonment.  This social isolation of Americans is more dangerous than Democrat socialists and the media think, because often when civilized behavior and altruism is forced out of the human social language in preference for survival, civilization is not easily re-learned, and the media and government bureaucrats are seen for what they are…discarded relics of a lost world.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Scott Bennett is am author and former U.S. Army Special Operations Officer (11th Psychological Operations Battalion, Civil Affairs-Psychological Operations Command), and a global psychological warfare-counterterrorism analyst, formerly with defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. His website is:  www.shellgamewhistleblower.com

He held a Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmentalized Information (TS/SCI) security clearance, and worked with Edward Snowden in the highest levels of international counterterrorism and developed and managed psychological warfare theories, products, and operations for U.S. Special Operations Command, U.S. Central Command, the State Department Coordinator for Counterterrorism, and other government agencies.

US Preparing Panama-Style Invasion of Venezuela?

[In a replay of history, Venezuelan Pres. Maduro marked by Trump/CIA to receive the same treatment allotted to Manuel Noreiga and Panama (SEE: The Panama Deception).]

Feds charge Venezuelan President Maduro, other top officials with narco-terrorism

In a stunning announcement amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Justice Department announced Thursday that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and several other government officials have been charged with turning Venezuela into a narco-state by collaborating with a leftist Colombian guerrilla group that exported tons of cocaine to the United States.

An indictment, unveiled at a “virtual” news conference in Washington, D.C., accuses Maduro and other top officials in his socialist regime of conspiring with the U.S.-designated terrorist group known as the FARC so that Venezuela could be used for narcotics shipments to finance a long-running civil war against the Colombian government.

Charged along with Maduro are Diosdado Cabello, a former speaker of the National Assembly who is considered the second most powerful political figure in Venezuela, and Vladimir Padrino Lopez, the country’s minister of defense. All three Venezuelan officials face allegations of narco-terrorism, drug trafficking and weapons violations in a scheme initiated in the mid-2000s that was meant to help the Colombian rebel group while enriching themselves with cocaine-tainted bribes, according to federal authorities.

Maduro’s indictment marks the second time that the U.S. government has brought criminal charges against a foreign head of state. The last time was in 1989, when federal prosecutors in Miami indicted Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega on drug-trafficking charges. and U.S. military forces seized him late that year. Noriega was convicted at trial, imprisoned in the Miami area and died in 2017.

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In announcing Maduro’s indictment, Attorney General William Barr said that the U.S. government will offer a $15 million reward to anyone who provides information on when Maduro leaves Venezuela that assists in his capture.

Barr said at the virtual news conference that Maduro and several other high-ranking officials betrayed the Venezuelan people by offering a “safe haven” in their country for the “extremely violent” Colombian rebel group, so the president and his allies could profit off the drug trade and “flood the United States with cocaine.”

The extraordinary criminal case, which was filed in the Southern District of New York, is undoubtedly meant to put even greater pressure on Maduro, who took over the reins of Venezuela’s government from the late Hugo Chávez after his death in 2013. While the once-prosperous country began its decline under Chávez, Venezuela’s economy has crashed during Maduro’s tenure — leading to the exodus of millions of Venezuelans, including some who resettled in South Florida over the past decade.

The federal targeting of Maduro and several other Venezuelan officials follows last year’s U.S. government threat to sanction any company that does business with his oil-rich country. The Trump administration has rejected Maduro as the president of Venezuela and formally recognized the opposition leader, Juan Guaido, as the nation’s rightful leader.

At the same time, the Justice Department has already brought several multibillion-dollar corruption cases against senior Venezuelan government officials, including Chávez’s former national treasurer, Alejandro Andrade (now imprisoned), executives in the state-owned oil company, PDVSA, and politically connected businessmen with luxury homes and bank accounts in the United States. These prosecutions have been under way for years in New York, Miami and Houston and more corruption cases are expected to be filed.

On Thursday, a corruption case was also unsealed in Miami charging Miakel Moreno, the president of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice in Venezuela, with accepting bribes in connection with PDVSA corruption and contract schemes. Moreno, the nation’s top judicial figure, is the fifth target of the widening Miami case that has implicated both national oil company officials and contractors.

As part of Thursday’s live-streamed news conference in Washington, the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey Berman, and the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Florida, Ariana Fajardo Orshan, participated from Manhattan and Miami, respectively, because of concerns about gatherings of more than 10 during the coronavirus outbreak.

The most notable Venezuelan political figure charged Thursday is of course Maduro, the president. But the senior official who allegedly orchestrated the country’s drug-trafficking enterprises is Cabello, a prominent politician who was close to Chávez and has exerted tremendous influence over Venezuela’s military.

The Drug Enforcement Administration has been investigating Cabello for years, claiming he is the leader of the so-called Cartel de los Soles — Cartel of the Suns — a powerful criminal organization consisting of military officers and officials of the Maduro regime that controls most drug-trafficking operations in Venezuela.

U.S. investigators have been collecting evidence and testimony from former regime and Venezuelan military officials about Cabello’s involvement in the cartel, which began by providing protection to Colombian drug traffickers but ended up shoving them aside to take over the illicit trade in partnership with Colombian guerrillas, the FARC.

(In 2016, the FARC signed a peace deal with the Colombian government that led to the demobilization of most of their fighting force and brought then-President Juan Manuel Santos a Nobel Prize. But a number of guerrilla holdouts, or FARC dissidents, continue to operate in the country and neighboring Venezuela.)

Cabello’s alleged role in drug trafficking was first mentioned officially by the U.S. government in May 2018, when the Department of Treasury sanctioned him. “Cabello organizes drug shipments being moved from Venezuela through the Dominican Republic, and onw:ards to Europe,” the Treasury Department said in a press release at the time.

Cabello, who also heads the regime’s National Constituent Assembly, a controversial body used by Maduro as a parallel Congress, collaborated with other senior officials in Maduro’s government. His principal partner: former Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami.

FROM REVOLUTIONARY DREAMS TO A CARTEL

Cabello and El Aissami are both founding members of the Cartel de los Soles that ended up turning Venezuela into a springboard for the Colombian drug shipments to the United States and Europe, U.S. investigators say.

According to cooperating witnesses who spoke to the DEA, both officials participated in a crucial meeting held in 2005 with then-President Chávez, who allegedly ordered his trusted lieutenants to take over the drug trade in Venezuela.

The former head of state argued the regime’s incursion in drug trafficking was necessary to help the leftist Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) take power in the neighboring country and also to hurt the United States. Chávez deemed the U.S. as the main obstacle to his socialist movement in Venezuela, according to DEA documents obtained by el Nuevo Herald.

Besides Cabello and El Aissami, the meeting was also attended by then-head of military intelligence, Hugo Carvajal, general Henry Rangel Silva, who later became defense minister, and a high-ranking judge who later became a DEA informant and was identified in the documents as “Witness 1.”

“During the meeting, Chávez urged the group, in substance and in part, to promote its political objectives, including fighting the United States by ‘flooding’ the country with cocaine,” said Witness-1, whose statement is quoted in the DEA documents.

“Chávez ordered Carvajal, Cabello, Rangel Silva, and others to coordinate [the drug shipments] with the FARC, and Chávez assigned Witness-1, among others, to make sure that law enforcement officials did not interfere with these activities,” according to the DEA informant’s statement.

In one of the monthly meetings that followed, Cabello described the land and sea routes of drug trafficking through Venezuela, and Carvajal explained that the FARC would supply the cocaine loads in exchange for weapons, according to the DEA documents.

DRUG POWER

While Chávez may have approved the free transit of drugs in Venezuela as a way to hurt the United States and help the FARC to take power in Colombia, the decision seems to have had a more lasting impact in Venezuela, where drug trafficking dominated the state and corrupted its government, experts say.

A recent report by the American Enterprise Institute in Washington revealed that Chávez’s revolutionary mission was eventually upended by the regime’s move into drug trafficking, with top lieutenants eventually tossing aside their socialist agenda to concentrate on the narcotics trade.

“Chávez’s motive was primarily political, but assuming a direct role in marketing FARC cocaine converted his government into a criminal enterprise,” the report said. “In this period, senior Chavista leaders became more interested in sustaining this lucrative corruption than in governing or managing the economy.”

Ever since, Cabello has been at the center of it all, using his political power to direct criminal enterprises in Venezuela and beyond, according to U.S. officials.

“Cabello has abused these influential positions [within the regime] in furtherance of his illicit and corrupt activities to control and direct government agencies and military officials in Venezuela,” the U.S. Department of Treasury said when it announced the sanctions against him in 2018.

“Cabello has entrenched a network of supporters by deciding who gets promoted within agencies such as the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Public Works ,” the Treasury Department said. “Cabello in turn used that sphere of influence to personally profit from extortion, money laundering, and embezzlement.”

RISE TO THE TOP

Cabello played a leading role in Chávez’s political movement from the beginning, as one of the military officers who accompanied him in his 1992 failed coup attempt.

Cabello was expelled from the Venezuelan army after the failed coup attempt, putting an end to his military career. But he found himself in government less than a decade later after the leaders of the coup attempt were pardoned and Chávez won the 1998 presidential election.

Since then, Cabello has occupied a series of key positions inside the Venezuelan government. U.S. officials believe Cabello, who today is one of Venezuela’s richest men, used his influence and position to advance in the drug trade.

Cabello consolidated his power within the Cartel de los Soles following the death of Chávez in 2013.

While the cocaine shipments were supplied by the FARC, Cabello used his official power to get rid of smaller competitors in the drug trade by arresting them and confiscating their stashes, according to U.S. investigators.

While often being referred to as a cartel, the drug-trafficking structure operating under the shadows of the Maduro regime is in reality made up of different networks, at times hostile to each other, that operate under the sponsorship of key Chavista figures, including Cabello and El Aissami.

“The Cartel of the Suns today is a disparate network of traffickers, including both state and non-state actors, but all operating with the blessing and protection of senior figures in the Venezuelan government,” said a 2018 report published by InSight Crime, an NGO that studies organized crime throughout Latin America. “Without such political top cover, and paying off the correct people, drug smuggling operations are shut down.”

“Drug trafficking is one of the main lubricants for corruption in Venezuela today,” the report said, “and this troubled Andean nation is becoming one of the world’s major cocaine trafficking hubs.”

A report by the Washington Office on Latin America, an advocacy group for human rights, echoed that view to a degree, but also offered a different assessment of Venezuela’s role in the international narcotics trade.

“Venezuela’s state institutions have deteriorated and the country lacks an impartial, transparent, or even functional justice system. In this environment, armed groups and organized criminal structures, including drug trafficking groups, have thrived,” the March 2020 report said. But U.S government data suggests that, despite these challenges, Venezuela is not a primary transit country for U.S.-bound cocaine. U.S. policy toward Venezuela should be predicated on a realistic understanding of the transnational drug trade.

Recent data from the U.S. interagency Consolidated Counterdrug Database (CCDB) indicates that 210 metric tons of cocaine passed through Venezuela in 2018. By comparison, the State Department reports that over six times as much cocaine (1,400 metric tons) passed through Guatemala the same year.”

Miami Herald Latin American correspondent Jim Wyss contributed to this report.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro GETTY IMAGES

Coronavirus Panic–The United States Government Must Be Stopped Now

Coronavirus Panic: The United States Government Must Be Stopped Now

Any country that seeks to control others is a country that seeks aggression. Any country that seeks aggression is a country that seeks war. Any country that seeks war is a country that seeks domination. Therefore, any country that seeks control, aggression, war, and domination is a country that must enslave its people in order to advance this agenda of imperialism. This is a description of the United States of America today. It has become a nation based on control, aggression, war, and domination, and only a totalitarian regime can achieve and hold empire.

Watch closely what is hidden from view. While there is an enormous amount of speculation and studied hypotheses concerning this coronavirus, do not allow the virus hype to cause blindness to the government’s hidden agendas and methods of achieving dominance over the populace. Things are moving very quickly, and every single piece of new legislation, every executive order, and all mandated tyrannical measures instituted at any level of government could have very dangerous underlying consequences, and these will most likely not see the light of day in any mainstream media. That is why it is so important to seek out those that are researching these documents and tyrannical measures, and reporting on them outside the mainstream. In addition, the asinine social changes are not going away anytime soon, so get prepared for normal life in this new surveillance state of America to be one giant TSA center intent on inspecting and controlling all movement and action of the public. In other words, life in this country could become one big airport security line, and pat downs and the metaphorical equivalent (or not) of body cavity searches could become the norm.

What has happened so far is almost beyond the realm of imagination, but more tyranny at the hands of government is on the horizon. Whether this coronavirus is a real threat or not, the authoritarian measures now in place will remain. That alone is reason for worry. Considering renewed surveillance, forced quarantine, mandated isolation, high unemployment, forced business closure, medical martial law, economic destruction, ludicrous monetary policy, forced vaccinations to come, travel bans, and highly increased poverty, all due to measures instituted so far, where will it end? The sad truth is that this assault on Americans will not end, and in fact will worsen in the future.

Economically speaking, the damage already evident will cause an undetermined amount of harm to all of us. Some of course, many in fact, will face extreme hardship due to job loss, business closure, loss of income, and inflation pressures bound to show up due to massive money printing and distribution. The Federal Reserve Bank has been given an unlimited ability to print money out of thin air. Attempts are being made after passage of the largest bailout package in history, to fund corporations, big business, some small business, and even individuals, and all this fake money flooding into the public and private sectors will lead to much higher prices just as people have lost everything and do not have the ability to even pay their bills.

One of the provisions in this massive bailout bill (full text not available at this writing) coming from government is the creation of a digital currency, which if implemented could turn into a way to eliminate cash, and also to possibly in the future control the entire monetary processes. If China’s model were followed, this type of overreach could lead to social scoring and restrictions on movement, travel, credit, and even life sustaining needs should one not comply with government orders.

Unemployment is skyrocketing, and do not forget that this is forced unemployment, and unemployment websites are crashing. Many states and cities are completely quarantined, “locked-down” as the new coronavirus terminology would indicate, “social distancing” is becoming a pandemic on its own, and “shaming” others for not being sheep is increasing exponentially. Bankruptcies will abound, and suicide numbers in my opinion will outpace death from any coronavirus. For those in certain areas that refuse to comply, basic life-sustaining services such as power and water will be cut off, as threats have already been made. Food shortages are almost certain now, just as things worsen and distribution lines are closing. All this and very much more will certainly lead to riots and chaos at some point.

Pompeo, the current self-professed lying cretin who is Secretary of State, announced a few days ago that this so-called pandemic response is a “live exercise,” so active military war games are already taking place, which means preparations are being made to implement national martial law if considered necessary. Remember, 28 states have already called out National Guard units. No one really knows what is being discussed at the top, as anything of importance discussed by government is kept secret, and the cattle are only told what they want to hear, or at least not told of secret plans that might have horrible consequences to the populace at large.

One of the worst possible mandates that I think likely to come out of this fraudulent pandemic scare is forced vaccination of all. The first vaccination that will be mandated will probably be a fast-tracked and untested coronavirus vaccination. I believe that this will be extremely dangerous, and could cause mass illness and death. Barbara Loe Fisher explains this national plan here. Be very aware of any fast-tracked coronavirus vaccine that the government approves whether it is forcibly required at first or not.

The hype is actually worsening, even as so many questions are being asked and not answered, and even as the numbers of deaths are but a tiny fraction of the normal flu. Governors of many if not most states are now drunk with power, and explosive and unverified headlines are gaining in number. It is time to slow down and review things thoroughly before drastic measures are taken.

We are headed into unknown territory, and once this government gains complete and total control over the population due to this or any other claimed emergency, all freedom will disappear, and what will remain will be a helpless people trapped in a totalitarian state intent on global domination.

“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” 
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities