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Deep History of America’s Deep State

The idea of an elitist Deep State – erasing a “mistake” by the people – pervades current efforts to remove buffoonish President Trump, but the concept has deep historical roots dating from the Founding.

by Jada Thacker

Consortium News (June 23 2017)

Everybody seems to be talking about the Deep State these days. Although the term appears to have entered the lexicon in the late 1990s, for years it referred only to shady foreign governments, certainly not to our own “indispensable nation”

Does the sudden presence of an American Deep State – loosely defined as an unelected elite that manipulates the elected government to serve its own interests – pose a novel, even existential, threat to democracy?

Not exactly. The threat seems real enough, but it’s nothing new. Consider these facts: 230 years ago, an unelected group of elite Americans held a secretive meeting with an undisclosed agenda. Their purpose was not merely to manipulate lawful government in their own interests, but to abolish it altogether. In its place, they would install a radically undemocratic government – a “more perfect” government, they said – better suited to their investment portfolios.

History does not identify these conspirators as the Deep State. It calls them the Founders. The Founders did not consider themselves conspirators, but “republicans” – not in reference to any political party, but rather to their economic station in society. But their devotion to “republicanism” was transparently self-serving. A current college text, The American Journey: A History of the United States (2017), explains though does not explicate “republican ideology”:
 

Their main bulwark against tyranny was civil liberty, or maintaining the right of the people to participate in government. The people who did so, however, had to demonstrate virtue. To eighteenth century republicans, virtuous citizens were those who were focused not on their private interests but rather on what was good for the public as a whole.

They were necessarily property holders, since only those individuals could exercise an independence of judgment impossible for those dependent upon employers, landlords, masters, or (in the case of women and children) husbands and fathers. [Emphasis supplied]

 

Republicanism was a handy idea if you happened to be a master or a landlord, who were the only persons this ideology considered “virtuous” enough to vote or hold political office. Thus, “republicanism” – virtually indistinguishable from today’s “neoliberalism” – created the original Deep State in the image of the economic system it was designed to perpetuate.

How this was accomplished is not a comforting tale. But it cannot be related nor understood without an appreciation of the historical context in which it occurred.

Masters and Servants

Post-colonial America was predominantly agrarian, and about 90 percent of the population was farmers. (The largest city in 1790 was New York, with a whopping population of 33,000 residents.) There was a small middle class of artisans, shopkeepers, and even a handful of industrial workers, but the politically and economically powerful people were the relatively few big-time merchants and landowners – who also fulfilled the function of bankers.

America was not quite a feudal society, but it resembled one. Commoners did not call at the front doors of the rich but were received around back. Most states had official religions, some with compulsory church attendance backed by fines. Commodity-barter was the currency of the day for the vast majority. Debtors were imprisoned. Parents sold their children into bondage. It wasn’t what most people think of when they hear “Yankee Doodle Dandy”.

All states restricted voting only to men who owned a requisite amount of property, while the majority: un-widowed women, servants, and tenants owned no property. Moreover, most states had property requirements for eligibility to elective office, some with the higher offices reserved for those with the most property. Such restrictions had discriminated against the urban underclass and farmers since the beginning of American colonization.

Nobody at the time characterized this land of masters and servants as a “democracy”. Indeed, the master class considered “democracy” synonymous with “mob rule”. But not everybody was happy with “republican virtue” in post-war America, least of all the slaves of the “virtuous”.

The Revolutionary War had stirred passions among the servant class for social and economic liberty, but when the war ended nothing much had changed. In fact, the war proved not to have been a revolution at all, but represented only a change from British overlords to American overlords. Edmund Morgan, considered the dean of American history in the colonial era, characterized the “non-Revolutionary War” this way:
 

The fact the lower ranks were involved in the contest should not obscure the fact that the contest itself was generally a struggle for office and power between members of an upper class: the new against the established.

 

About one percent of the American population had died in a war fought, they had been told, for “liberty”. (Compare: if the US lost the same proportion of its population in a war today, the result would be over three million dead Americans.) Yet after the war, economic liberty was nowhere in sight.

Moreover, the very concept of “liberty” meant one thing to a farmer and quite another to his rich landlord or merchant. Liberty for a common farmer – who was generally a subsistence farmer who did not farm to make money, but rather only to provide the necessities of life for his family – meant staying out of debt. Liberty for merchants and property owners – whose business it was to make monetary profits – meant retaining the ability to lend or rent to others and access to the power of government to enforce monetary repayment from debtors and tenants.

Much like the American Indians who had first communally owned the property now occupied by American subsistence farmers, agrarian debtors faced the unthinkable prospect of losing their ability to provide for their families (and their vote) if their land were confiscated for overdue taxes or debt. See https://consortiumnews.com/2016/01/08/how-debt-conquered-america/.

Loss of their land would doom a freeholder to a life of tenancy. And the servitude of tenants and slaves differed mainly as a function of iron and paper: slaves were shackled by iron, tenants were shackled by debt contracts. But iron and paper were both backed by law.

By the end of the Revolutionary War, as few as a third of American farmers owned their own land. When the urban elites began to foreclose on the debts and raise the taxes of subsistence farmers – many of whom had fought a long and excruciating war to secure their “liberty” – it amounted to a direct assault on the last bastion of Americans’ economic independence.

The Original Great Recession

After the war, British merchants and banks no longer extended credit to Americans. Moreover, Britain refused to allow Americans to trade with its West Indies possessions. And, to make matters worse, the British Navy no longer protected American ships from North African pirates, effectively closing off Mediterranean commerce. Meanwhile, the American navy could not protect American shipping, in the Mediterranean or elsewhere, because America did not happen to possess a navy.

In the past, American merchants had obtained trade goods from British suppliers by “putting it on a tab” and paying for the goods later, after they had been sold. Too many Americans had reneged on those tabs after the Revolution, and the British now demanded “cash on the barrelhead” in the form of gold and silver coin before they would ship their goods to America.

As always, Americans had limited coin with which to make purchases. As the credit crunch cascaded downwards, wholesalers demanded cash payment from retailers, retailers demanded cash from customers. Merchants “called in” loans they had made to farmers, payable in coin. Farmers without coin were forced to sell off their hard-earned possessions, livestock, or land to raise the money, or risk court-enforced debt collection, which included not only the seizure and sale of their property but also imprisonment for debt.

The most prominent result of Americans’ war for “liberty” turned out to be a full-blown economic recession that lasted a decade. Even so, the recession would not have posed a life-threatening problem for land-owning subsistence farmers, who lived in materially self-sufficient, rural, communal societies. But when state governments began to raise taxes on farmers, payable only in unavailable gold and silver coin, even “self-sufficient” farmers found themselves at risk of losing their ability to feed their families.

Debt, Speculation, and the Deep State

The Continental Congress had attempted to pay for its war with Britain by printing paper money. The British undermined these so-called “Continental” dollars, not only by enticing American merchants with gold and silver, but by counterfeiting untold millions of Continental dollars and spending them into circulation. The aggregate result was the catastrophic devaluation of the Continental dollar, which by war’s end was worthless.

In the meantime, both Congress and state governments had borrowed to pay for “liberty”. By war’s end, war debt stood at $73 million, $60 million of which was owed to domestic creditors. It was a staggering sum of money. In his now studiously ignored masterpiece, An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States (1913), historian Charles A Beard showed that domestically-held war debt was equivalent to ten percent of the value of all the surveyed land holdings (including houses) in the entire United States at the time.

The war debt carried interest, of course – which is a problem with debt if you owe it, but is a feature of debt if it is owed to you. Not only was “freedom not free” – it came with dividends attached for Deep State investors. This should sound at least vaguely familiar today.

As Continental paper money lost its value, Congress and state governments continued to pay for “liberty” with coin borrowed at interest. When that ran short, the government paid only with promises to pay at a later date – merely pieces of paper that promised to pay coin (or land) at some indeterminate time after the war was won.

This was how the government supplied the troops (whenever it managed to do so) and also how it paid its troops. In actual practice, however, Congress often did not pay the troops anything, not even with paper promises, offering only verbal promises to pay them at the end of the war.

But war is never a money-making enterprise for the government, and when it ended, the government was as broke as ever. So, it wrote its verbal promises on pieces of paper, and handed them to its discharged troops with a hearty Good Luck with That! Even so, Congress paid the soldiers in bonds worth only a fraction of the amount of time most had served, promising (again!) to pay the balance later – which it never did.

Thousands of steadfast, longsuffering troops were abandoned this way. Most had not been paid any money in years (if ever), and many were hundreds of miles from their homes – ill, injured, and starving – as they had been for months and years. Others literally were dressed only in rags or pieces of rags. Some carried paper promises of money; some carried paper promises of geographically distant land – none of which would be available until years in the future, if at all.

Seven-year Revolutionary War veteran Philip Mead described his plight in a bitter memoir entitled A Narrative of Some of the Adventures, Dangers and Sufferings of a Revolutionary Soldier (1830):
 

We were absolutely, literally starved. I do solemnly declare that I did not put a single morsel of victuals in my mouth for four days and as many nights, except a little black birch bark which I gnawed off a stick of wood, if that can be called victuals. I saw several of the men roast their old shoes and eat them …

When the country had drained the last drop of service it could screw out of the poor soldiers, they were turned adrift like old worn-out horses, and nothing said about land to pasture them on.

Was this liberty? To impoverished veterans, “liberty” looked bleak, indeed. To speculators in government bonds, liberty looked like a golden opportunity, quite literally so.

Vultures possessed of coin swooped in and bought a dollar’s worth of government promises for a dime, and sometimes for just a nickel. Speculators wheedled promises not only from desperate veterans (many of whom sold their promises merely to obtain food and clothes on their long trudge home) but from a host of people whose goods or services had been paid with IOUs.

Optimistic speculators cadged bonds from pessimistic speculators. The more desperate people became during the recession, the more cheaply they sold their promises to those who were not.

Speculators expected their investments, even those made with now-worthless paper money, to be paid in gold or silver coin. What’s more, “insiders” expected all those various government promises would eventually be converted – quietly, if possible – into interest-bearing bonds backed by a single, powerful taxing authority. All the Deep State needed now was a national government to secure the investment scheme. A man named Daniel Shays unwittingly helped to fulfill that need.

Rebellion and Backlash

Thomas Jefferson penned the famous sentence: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants”. He was not referring to heroic American Patriots charging up Bunker Hill against British bayonets. He was referring instead to American farmers – many of whom had been the starving soldiers in a war for forsaken liberty – taking their lives into their hands to oppose the tax policies of the government of Massachusetts in 1787. The principal leader of this revolt was a farmer and war veteran Daniel Shays.

In a sense, the most interesting thing about Shays’s Rebellion is that it was not a unique event.

The first notable example of agrarian revolt had been Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676 Virginia, when frontier farmers marched on the rich plantation owners of Jamestown, burned it to the ground, published their democratic “Declaration of the People”, and threatened to hang every elite “tyrant” on their list – which included some of the forefathers of America’s Patriot Founders.

Historian Gary Nash reminds us Bacon’s Rebellion had echoes across early American history: “Outbreaks of disorder punctuated the last quarter of the 17th century, toppling established governments in Massachusetts, New York, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina”. Jimmy Carter, in The Hornet’s Nest (2003), the only novel ever published by an American president, tells a similar story of the agony of dispossessed farmers in Georgia a century later.

Other farmers had rebelled in New Jersey in the 1740s; in the New York Hudson Valley rent wars in the 1750s and 1760s and concurrently in Vermont by Ethan Allen’s Green Mountain Boys; for a decade in North Carolina in the 1760s, where vigilantes called Regulators battled the government of the urban elite; and in Virginia in the 1770s. Likewise, American cities had been scenes of labor unrest, riots, and strikes for a century. American class rebellion, apparently unbeknownst to most history teachers in America, was closer to the rule than the exception.

Victory in the war against England only intensified the conflict between those who considered “liberty” as a necessary condition to live without debt, against those who considered “liberty” to be their class privilege to grow rich from the debts others owed them. Howard Zinn, in his A People’s History of the United States (1980~2009), describes the economic realities of Eighteenth Century America:
 

The colonies, it seems, were societies of contending classes – a fact obscured by the emphasis, in traditional histories, on the external struggle against England, the unity of colonists in the Revolution. The country therefore was not “born free” but born slave and free, servant and master, tenant and landlord, poor and rich.

 

Although Shays’s Rebellion was not unique, it was a huge event, coming at a time when the rich were owed a great deal of money by impoverished governments. Pressured by rich bondholders and speculators, the government of Massachusetts duly raised taxes on farmers. To make matters far worse, the taxes were to be paid only in gold or silver – which was completely out of the question for most western farmers, who had no way to obtain coined money.

When the farmers complained, their complaints were ignored. When farmers petitioned the government to issue paper money and accept it as payment of debts and taxes, the government refused their petitions. When the farmers pleaded for the passage of “legal tender laws” that would allow them to settle their debts or taxes with their labor, they were rebuffed.

But when farmers could not pay what they did not have, the Massachusetts’s courts ordered their land seized and auctioned. At last, the farmers understood the practical effect, if not the specific intent, of the tax: confiscation of their property and its transfer to the rich, to whom the government owed its interest-bearing debt. The government had become an armed collection agency.

To the utter dismay of the erstwhile proudly tax-rebellious Patriots, the farmers too rebelled. Shaysites forcibly shut down the tax courts that were condemning them to servitude. The rich responded by loaning the destitute government more money (at interest!) to pay a militia force to oppose Shays’s rebels.

At this point, tax rebels abandoned reform for radical revolution and – in a resounding echo of Nathaniel Bacon’s century-old Declaration of the People – pledged to march on Boston and burn it to the ground. This was no Tea Party vandalism, stage-managed by well-to-do Bostonians like Samuel Adams. It was a full-blown, grassroots agrarian revolution a century in the making.

The urban bond-holding merchant-class in Boston and elsewhere panicked. And none panicked more than bond speculators, who intimately understood the rebels threatened their “virtuous” republican “liberty” to extract profit from others. Historian Woody Holton exposes the astonishing callousness of one of America’s major bond speculators in his nationally acclaimed Unruly Americans and the Origin of the Constitution (2008):
 

As a bondholder, Abigail Adams would benefit immensely if her fellow Massachusetts citizens [paid the tax] levied by the legislature in March 1786, but she also saw compliance as a sacred duty. If Massachusetts taxpayers were “harder-prest by publick burdens than formerly”, she wrote, “they should consider it as the price of their freedom”.

 

Future First Lady Abigail Adams was not alone in thinking freedom came with dividends payable to her account. Historian David Szatmary reminds us in his Shays Rebellion; The Makings of an Agrarian Insurrection (1984) that the former Patriot leadership, especially those in the merchant class, were among the first to advocate violence against democratic rebellion.

Said a published opinion piece at the time:
 

When we had other rulers, committees and conventions of the people were lawful – they were then necessary; but since I myself became a ruler, they cease to be lawful – the people have no right to examine my conduct.

 

Showboat Patriot and bond speculator Samuel Adams – former mastermind of the Boston Tea Party and erstwhile propagandist against unfair British taxes (as well as cousin to Abigail’s husband John Adams) – sponsored a Massachusetts law that allowed sheriffs to kill tax protesters outright.

Another rich bondholder and speculator, ex-Revolutionary War General Henry Knox (the fitting namesake of Fort Knox, the famous repository of gold bullion) wrote an alarming letter to his former commander George Washington, accusing the Shays’s rebels of being “levelers” (which was the closest term to “communists” then in existence). He informed Washington that the country needed a much stronger government (and military) to prevent any riffraff challenge to the elite. His message was not wasted on General Washington, America’s richest slave owner.

In the end, the Congress, under the Articles of Confederation, could raise no money from the states to provide an army, but the privately-financed, for-profit Massachusetts militia successfully defeated Shays’s rebels. Still, the nearly hysterical fear of democratic economic revolution had been planted in the minds of the masters. Shays’s Rebellion proved to be the last straw for bond speculators whose profits were jeopardized by democracy.

Worse even, the governments of many other states were beginning to cave under intense democratic pressure from rebellious debtors. Some states were entertaining laws that prevented the seizure of property for debt; others were creating paper money in order to break the gold and silver monopoly. Rhode Island not only voted in a paper money system, but threatened to socialize all commercial business enterprises in the state.

In response to the threat of populism, the “virtuous” elite reacted decisively – not to remedy the plight of debtors, of course – but to secure their own profits from them. Accordingly, in 1786, five states sent delegates to meet at Annapolis, Maryland, just as Shays’s Rebellion veered into revolution. This unelected minority called for Congress to authorize a convention to be held in Philadelphia the next year “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”. The Articles were never to be “revised”. They were to be scrapped altogether by the Deep State.

The Deep State Conspires

Thanks to Charles A Beard’s An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States, we know quite a lot about the status of the 55 men who conspired to draft the Constitution. But the very first thing we need to know is that they were not authorized by “We the People” simply because nobody had voted for them; all were political appointees.

Nor were they even a representative sample of the people. Not a single person in the Convention hall “worked for a living”, nor was female, nor was a person of color. Only one claimed to be a “farmer”, the current occupation of about ninety percent of the population. Most were lawyers. Go figure.

If the delegates represented anybody at all, it was the economic elite: eighty percent were bondholders; 44 percent were money-lenders; 27 percent were slave owners; and 25 percent were real estate speculators. Demographically, the 39 who finally signed the final draft of the Constitution constituted .001 percent of the American population reported in the 1790 census. George Washington, who presided, was arguably the wealthiest man in the country. Deep State gamblers all.

And the stakes were high. Recall that the face value of outstanding domestic government bonds in 1787 was $60 million, equivalent to ten percent of the total improved land value of the country. But these bonds, for the most part, had been obtained by speculators at a fraction of face value. Beard very conservatively estimated the profit of speculators – if the bond were redeemed at face value – would have been some $40 million. Expressed as the same proportion of total improved land value at the time of the Founding, the expected profit from government bonds held then would equal at least $3 trillion today. Tax-free.

We still do not know everything that transpired at the convention. No one was assigned to keep a record of what was discussed. Reportedly, even the windows to the meeting hall were nailed shut to prevent eavesdropping – though there would be “leaks”. Because of its secrecy and its unauthorized nature, some historians have called the convention “the second American Revolution”. But revolutions are public, hugely participatory events. This was a coup d’état behind locked doors.

Most delegates presumably understood their undisclosed purpose was to dump the whole system of confederated government (which had cost 25,000 American lives to secure) into a dustbin. They evidently did not intend to obey their instructions “solely to revise” the Articles because a number of them showed up at the convention with drafts for a new constitution in hand.

The conspirators’ ultimate goal was to replace the Confederation with what they later euphemized as “a more perfect Union” – designed from the outset to protect their class interests and to ensure the new government possessed all the power necessary to perpetuate the existing oligarchy.

At the Convention, Alexander Hamilton captured the prevailing sentiment:
 

All communities divide themselves into the few and the many. The first are the rich and well-born; the other the mass of the people … turbulent and changing, they seldom judge or determine right. Give therefore to the first class a distinct, permanent share in the Government … Nothing but a permanent body can check the imprudence of democracy.

 

Hamilton further proposed that both the President and the Senate be appointed (not elected) for life. His vision was but half a step removed from monarchy. Though not a Convention delegate, John Jay, Hamilton’s political ally, slaveowner, and the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, stated the purpose of “republicanism” with brutal brevity:
 

The people who own the country ought to govern it.

 

The Founders never once envisioned any such a thing as “limited government” – unless perhaps in the sense that the power of government was to be limited to their own economic class. See https://consortiumnews.com/2015/07/01/the-rights-made-up-constitution-3/.

In Towards an American Revolution: Exposing the Constitution & Other Illusions (1999), historian Jerry Fresia sums the Founders’ views succinctly:
 

The vision of the Framers, even for Franklin and Jefferson who were less fearful of the politics of the common people than most, was that of a strong centralized state, a nation whose commerce and trade stretched around the world. In a word, the vision was one of empire where property owners would govern themselves. [Emphasis supplied]

 

Self-government by the people was to remain permanently out of the question. The Deep State was to govern itself. “We the People”, a phrase hypocritically coined by the ultra-aristocrat Gouverneur Morris, would stand forever after as an Orwellian hoax.

The tricky task of the hand-picked delegates was to hammer out a radical new system of government that would superficially resemble a democratic republic, but function as an oligarchy.

William Hogeland’s excellent Founding Finance (2012), recounts the anti-democratic vehemence expressed at the Convention:
 

On the first day of the meeting that would become known as the United States Constitutional Convention, Edmund Randolph of Virginia kicked off the proceedings [ … ] “Our chief danger”, Randolph announced, “arises from the democratic parts of our constitutions … None of the constitutions” – he meant those of the states’ governments – “have provided sufficient checks against the democracy”.

 

No wonder they nailed the windows shut. It should be no surprise that the word “democracy” does not appear once in the entire US Constitution, or any of its Amendments, including the Bill of Rights. Accordingly, the Constitution does not once refer to the popular vote, and it did not guarantee a single person or group suffrage until the adoption of the 15th Amendment in 1870, over eighty years after ratification. The Preamble aside, the Founders used the phrase “the People” only a single time (Article I, Section 2).

It has been suggested the word “democracy” had a different meaning then than it has now. It did not. “Democracy” to the Convention delegates meant the same thing as it does today: “rule by the people”. That’s why they detested it. The delegates considered themselves the patriarchs of “republicanism”, the ideology that rejected participation in government by people like their wives, servants, tenants, slaves, and other non-propertied inferiors. No doubt, the delegates passionately disagreed on many things, but the “fear and loathing” of democracy was not one of them. Then or now.

The Deep State’s Specific Goals

Embedded within the Founders’ broadly anti-democratic agenda were four specific goals. These were not a list of items jotted down in advance, but were derived by group consensus as the minimum requirements necessary to achieve the Deep State’s ultimate agenda.

To camouflage the stark oligarchic nationalism the measures intended, the Founders disingenuously styled themselves “Federalists”. But nothing about these measures concerned a “federation” of sovereign states; taken together, they were intended to demolish the existing “perpetual” confederation, not to re-create it more effectively.

National government with limited citizen participation. Of all the measures required to achieve a national oligarchy, this was the most daunting. It was achieved by a wide array of provisions.

The Electoral College. The President and Vice President are not elected by popular vote, but by electors – then and now. For example, when George Washington was first elected President, the American population was 3.9 million. How many of those folks voted for George? Exactly 69 persons – which was the total number of electors voting at the time. (Article I, Section 3)

Bi-Cameral Congress. Congress is bicameral, composed of two “houses” – the House of Representatives and the Senate. Under the original Constitution, the House members represented the people who vote for them, while the Senate represented states, not persons, and was therefore not a democratic body, at all. It was generally expected that the Senate would “check” the democratic House. Indeed, this was the entire purpose of bicameralism wherever it has existed. (Article I, Sections 1 and 2)

State Appointment of Senators. Senators were originally appointed by state legislatures (until the 17th Amendment in 1913). It was expected that the Senate would function in Congress as the House of Lords functioned in Parliament: the voice of the aristocracy. Even though Senators are now popularly elected, it is far more difficult to challenge an incumbent because of the prohibitive expense of running a state-wide campaign. (Article I, Section 3)

Appointment of the Judiciary. All federal judges are appointed for life terms by the President and confirmed by the (originally undemocratic) Senate. (Article III, Section 1)

Paucity of Representation. Most undemocratic of all was the extreme paucity of the total number of House members. The House originally was composed of only 65 members, or one member per 60,000 persons. Today, there are 435 members, each representing about 700,000 persons. Thus, current House representation of the public is twelve times less democratic than when the Constitution was written – and it was poor (at best) then.

Compare: The day before the Constitution was ratified, the people of the thirteen United States were represented by about 2,000 democratically elected representatives in their various state legislatures (1:1950 ratio); the day after ratification, the same number of people were to be represented by only 65 representatives in the national government (1:60000). In quantitative terms, this represents more than a 3,000 percent reduction of democratic representation for the American people. (Article I, Section 2)

Absence of Congressional Districts. Although House members now run for election in equal-populated districts, the districts were created by Congress, not the Constitution. Until the 1960s, some House members were elected at-large (like Senators). This disadvantaged all but the richest and best-known candidates from winning. (Not referenced in Constitution)

Absence of Recall, Initiative, and Referendum. The Constitution does not allow the people to vote to recall (un-elect) a Congress member, demand a Congressional vote on any issue (propose an initiative) or vote directly in a referendum on any issue (direct democracy). (Not referenced in Constitution)

Absence of Independent Amendment Process. One of the reasons Americans now have professional politicians is that the Constitution does not provide a way for “the people” to amend it without the required cooperation of a sitting Congress. At the Constitutional Convention, Edmund Randolph of Virginia (surprisingly) proposed that the people be afforded a way to amend the Constitution without the participation of Congress. This excellent idea, however, was not adopted. (Article V)

National authority to tax citizens directly. (Article I, Section 8; 16th Amendment)

National monopolization of military power. (Article I, Section 8, Clauses 12, 13, 14, 15, 16)

Denial of states’ power to issue paper money or provide debtor relief. (Article I, Section 10; Article I Section 8, Clause 4)

All of these provisions were completely new in the American experience. For 150 years or more, citizen participation in government, independent militias, and the issuance of paper money had been the prerogative of the several, independent colonies/states – while direct external taxation had been universally and strenuously resisted. When the British Crown had threatened to curtail colonial prerogatives, the very men who now conspired for national power had risen in armed rebellion. The hypocrisy was stunning. And people took note of the fact.

Consent of the Minority

One of the note-takers was Robert Yates, a New York delegate to the Convention, who had walked out in protest. Not long afterward, Yates (who owned no government bonds) stated his objection to the new Constitution:
 

This government is to possess absolute and uncontrollable power, legislative, executive and judicial, with respect to every object to which it extends …

The government then, so far as it extends, is a complete one … It has the authority to make laws which will affect the lives, the liberty, and the property of every man in the United States; nor can the constitution or the laws of any state, in any way prevent or impede the full and complete execution of every power given.

 

At least half of the American population (collectively called “Anti-federalists”) thought the Constitution was a terrible idea. To be sure, well-to-do Anti-federalists like Yates were not overtaxed farmers, and their objections were often based upon the defense of states’ rights, not peoples’ economic rights. Most Anti-federalists, however, seemed alarmed that the Constitution contained no guarantee of the basic political rights they had enjoyed under the British Empire, such as freedom of speech or trial by jury.

The debate between supporters and critics of the Constitution raged for a year, while partisan newspapers published articles both pro and con. A collection of 85 “pro” articles is known now as The Federalist Papers, which were written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay. Although these articles have been studied almost as religious relics by historians, they do not tell us “what the Constitution really means”

The Constitution means what it says. The Federalist Papers are sales brochures, written by lawyers trying to get others to “buy” the Constitution. The same can be said about a similar collection of “Anti-federalist Papers”, from which Yates’s quote above was taken. In any event, it is up to the courts to interpret the Constitution, not lawyers with vested interests.

In due course, the Anti-federalists put their collective foot down. There would be no hope of ratification without amendments guaranteeing fundamental political – but not economic – rights. Although Hamilton argued a guarantee of rights would be “dangerous”, James Madison convinced the Federalists that agreeing to guarantee a future Bill of Rights would be much safer that meddling with the text of the current document, which might entail unraveling its core nationalist, anti-democratic agenda. And so, a deal was struck.

Even so, the battle over the ratification of the Constitution was not ultimately decided by the people of the nation. Although the people of the several states had not voted to authorize the Convention or the document it had produced, the Founders had been incredibly arrogant, not to mention sly. Not only had they presented the unauthorized document to the states as a take-it-or-leave-it proposition (no changes allowed), but the document itself demanded that only special state “conventions” could ratify it – not the majority popular vote of the people.

Specifying ratification by conventions meant the people would be voting for convention delegates, who would in turn vote for ratification. This was tantamount to turning ratification into a popularity contest between convention delegates, rather than a democratically direct vote on the document, itself. Moreover, ratification by convention would present the possibility that a minority of the people in a state (those in favor of the Constitution) might “pack” a convention with delegates, who would then approve of a document establishing a government for all.

Electoral shenanigans were not just hypothetical possibilities. In Philadelphia, for example, a mob kidnapped elected legislators who were boycotting a convention vote, physically dragged them into the state house, and tied them to their chairs in order to force a convention vote. Other, more subtle methods of manipulation occurred elsewhere, notably the disenfranchisement of voters through property qualifications.

Over a hundred years ago, Charles A Beard completed his exhaustive study of the Constitution and confirmed that it most likely was ratified by a majority – of a minority of the people.

Among Beard’s final conclusions were these:
 

The Constitution was ratified by a vote of probably not more than one-sixth of the adult males … The leaders who supported the Constitution in the ratifying conventions represented the same economic groups as the members of the Philadelphia Convention … The Constitution was not created by “the whole people” as the jurists [judges] have said; neither was it created by “the states” as Southern nullifiers long contended; but it was the work of a consolidated group whose interests knew no state boundaries and were truly national in their scope.

 

The Deep State, in other words. It was darkly appropriate that a document whose primary purpose was to defeat democratic rule was, itself, brought into force without a majoritarian vote.

In 1788, nine of the thirteen states’ conventions ratified the Constitution (as specified in the Constitution’s own Article VII) and the document became the supreme law of the land for those nine states. By 1789, even the democratic holdout Rhode Island had followed suit. And America’s schoolchildren have been led to believe ever since that the Constitution is a sacred document, inspired and ordained by the public-spirited benevolence of Founding Fathers.

But this had been predicted. It had seemed painfully obvious to Eighteenth Century Genevan political philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau that constitutional government was the invention of the Deep State, its designated beneficiary.

Dripping with sarcasm, his virtuoso Discourse on Inequality (1754) explained the process:
 

The rich man … at last conceived the deepest project that ever entered the human mind: this was to employ in his favour the very forces that attacked him, to make allies of his enemies …

In a word, instead of turning our forces against ourselves, let us collect them into a sovereign power, which may govern us by wise laws, may protect and defend all the members of the association, repel common enemies, and maintain a perpetual concord and harmony among us.

 

Rousseau penned these words in 1754, 33 years before Gouverneur Morris oversaw the drafting of the identical sales pitch that constitutes the Preamble to the United States Constitution:
 

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

 

Rousseau concludes:
 

All offered their necks to the yoke in hopes of securing their liberty; for though they had sense enough to perceive the advantages of a political constitution, they had not experience enough to see beforehand the dangers of it; those among them, who were best qualified to foresee abuses, were precisely those who expected to benefit by them … [Emphasis added]

 

Does the Deep State pose an existential threat to American democracy today? Move along, folks – nothing new to see here.

_____

Jada Thacker, EdD, is the author of Dissecting American History: A Theme-Based Narrative (2012). He teaches History and Government at a college in Texas. Contact: jadathacker@sbcglobal.net

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/06/23/deep-history-of-americas-deep-state/

Categories: Uncategorized

The Government’s Plan …

… to Survive Nuclear War Doesn’t Include You

by Mac Slavo

via SHTFplan.com (June 20 2017)

Zero Hedge (June 24 2017)

Once again this week, the United States teetered a little closer towards war with the Russians. On Sunday, the US military shot down a Syrian jet that was allegedly targeting US-backed forces. The Russians have since claimed that the aircraft was engaging ISIS, and have revealed that their air defense systems will now track any of our aircraft {1} that happen to fly over Western Syria. They also suspended a hotline between the US and Russia that was in place to prevent mid-air collisions over the crowded skies of Syria.

Amid incidents like this, you have to wonder what our government is thinking. For most Americans, Syria must seem inconsequential. Why is our military involved in a country, where we are brushing shoulders with a nuclear-armed nation? If it’s to fight ISIS, then we could easily sit back and let Russian and Syrian forces wipe them out. If it’s to affect regime change, then clearly our government hasn’t learned anything from Iraq or Afghanistan. Why are we risking a war with the Russians just to influence the outcome of a regional civil war that has little bearing on the daily lives of most Americans?

The answer to that question could probably fill a novel, but there is one reason that the elites in Washington will never admit to. They can afford to make careless decisions because they are insulated from the results. If there is a war with Russia, which could easily turn into a nuclear war, they’ll have plenty of spacious bunkers to hide out in while the rest of America burns. And that’s been our government’s plan in regards to nuclear war since the beginning of the Cold War.

That’s the main takeaway from a new book called Raven Rock: The Story of the US Government’s Plan to Save Itself {2}. Our government has spent decades building sprawling bunkers, like Raven Rock, that high ranking officials can flee to in the event of a nuclear war.

 

The idea for Raven Rock was to have a military base that would function as an alternative to the Pentagon and would be dug out of a mountain and deep enough to survive any Russian attack.

A site was chosen six miles from Camp David, the Presidential retreat in Maryland, and work began in 1951 on the $17 million project

Some 300 men worked round the clock in three shifts to carve a 3,100-foot tunnel out of the granite; engineers invented technology as they went along including blast doors and blast valves.

Inside the facility, there was 100,000 square feet of office space in five parallel caverns big enough to hold a three-story building in each.

The entire facility could fit 1,400 people and was placed on giant springs to reduce the impact of a blast. {3}

Meanwhile, as they were building these bunkers and trying to convince Americans that nuclear war could be easily survivable, behind the scenes they knew it would be a bloodbath for civilians.

At the end of the 1950s, the Federal Civil Defense Administration created “Battleground USA”, a grim 120-page report on how cities should manage civil defense operations in the event of an attack.

It said that the area should be divided into “mortuary zones” with “collection teams” in charge of identifying bodies.

Post Office mail trucks would ferry the wounded to one of 900 improvised hospitals set up near attack sites in places like federal prisons.

In Kansas, officials planned to confiscate household vitamins for use by the general population.

Planners estimated they could assemble two million pounds of food after an attack from their own reserves and from stores.

They could also find eleven million “man-days” of food in the forests and plains in rabbit meat, ten million “man-days” of wild birds and five million “man-days” of fish.

Most chillingly they budgeted nearly twenty million “man-days” of meat in residential pets.

It was disturbing reading and a view of the world that summed up by Eisenhower in one meeting: “The destruction might be such that we might ultimately have to go back to bows and arrows”.

During another meeting, Eisenhower admitted that nation didn’t have “enough bulldozers to scrape the bodies off the street in the event of a nuclear strike”. {3}

 

And as we all know, our government didn’t take many measures to protect civilians from the potential carnage that would be inflicted by a nuclear war. They didn’t build many bunkers for the rest of us.

At first glance that may sound like an impossible task, but it’s not. Take Switzerland for instance. Despite not having any nuclear weapons, they’ve built enough fallout shelters to house every Swiss citizen {4}. You might say that we could never afford that many shelters, but it’s not a question of cost. Switzerland’s GDP per capita is similar to America’s.

The truth of the matter is that our leaders don’t give a damn about what happens to American civilians. As long as they have their bunkers, they feel safe while antagonizing nuclear-armed nations like Russia. They know that if there’s a war, they’ll survive while the rest of us burn and starve.

Make no mistake, if there’s ever a war with Russia, you’ll be on your own. Whether or not you survive {5} depends entirely on your willingness and ability to prepare now {6}.

Links:

{1} http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/russia-shoot-down-all-flying-objects-in-syria-us-regime-warplane-isis-terror-a7797101.html

{2} http://amzn.to/2rBIFjJ

{3} http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4618354/How-government-elites-plan-survive-nuclear-attack.html

{4} https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/prepared-for-anything_bunkers-for-all/995134

{5} http://amzn.to/TwaloQ

{6} https://toptiergearusa.com/

http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/there-wont-be-enough-bulldozers-to-scrape-the-bodies-off-the-street-heres-how-the-us-government-plans-to-survive-a-nuclear-war_06202017

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-24/governments-plan-survive-nuclear-war-doesnt-include-you

Categories: Uncategorized

Fear and Loathing …

… on the Afghan Silk Road

by Pepe Escobar

CounterPunch (June 23 2017)

Will the New Silk Roads, aka Belt and Road Initiative (“BRI”) ever manage to cross the Hindu Kush?

Temerity is the name of the game. Even though strategically located astride the Ancient Silk Road, and virtually contiguous to the US$50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (“CPEC”) – a key BRI node – Afghanistan is still mired in war.

It’s easy to forget that way back in 2011 – even before President Xi Jinping announced BRI, in Kazakhstan and Indonesia, in 2013 – the then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton touted her own Silk Road, in Chennai. No wonder the State Department’s vision bit Hindu Kush dust – because it assumed war-torn Afghanistan as the plan’s linchpin.

The state of play in Afghanistan in 2017 is even more depressing. Dysfunctional does not even begin to describe the administration that emerged out of the fractious 2014 presidential election and which passes for a government.

Since 2002 Washington has spent a mind-boggling US$780 billion on its (unfinished) Operation Enduring Freedom. It has absolutely nothing to show for it – apart from over 100,000 dead Afghans.

President Obama’s much-touted 2009 nation-building-cum-counterinsurgency surge was, predictably, a disaster. Aside from reframing the global war on terror (“GWOT”) as Overseas Contingency Operations (“OCO”) it achieved nothing. There was no “clear, hold, and build”; the Taliban are back virtually everywhere.

Washington has spent around US$110 billion in Afghan “reconstruction”. Adjusted for inflation that’s roughly equivalent to the full cost of the Marshall Plan. Yet no gleaming Afghan Frankfurt sprang up around the Ghazni minaret; over US$70 billion went to the Afghan military and police, and waste and corruption were always pervasive. Afghanistan’s GDP last year was still a paltry US$17 billion, or US$525 per capita.

The new Afghan “policy” under the Trump administration has consisted in dropping a MOAB (Mother of All Bombs) in the east, to no effect, coupled with the Pentagon demanding more troops. Enduring Freedom forever, indeed.

Wanna Go Mining? Ask the Taliban

It should not come as a surprise that, under the radar and without most Atlanticist circles even noticing, Chinese government researchers recently met with foreigners in Beijing for a discussion billed as “Afghanistan Reconnected”.

Sun Yuxi, the first Chinese ambassador to Kabul after the Taliban were bombed out of power in late 2001, correctly summed up the stakes as follows: “If the way and connectivity through Afghanistan is not open, it would be like an important vein being blocked on the Belt and Road, which leads to many diseases to this organ”.

How to reconnect/ reconstruct/ rebuild Afghanistan is the substance of sleepless nights in places such as the Beijing-based Centre for China & Globalization think tank.

Everyone knows about the projections Afghanistan may be sitting on at least US$1 trillion in mineral wealth from copper, gold, iron ore, uranium, and precious stones. But how to safely extract it?

Beijing’s security dilemma about protecting its investments is spectacularly illustrated by the ongoing Mes Aynak copper mine saga. The Chinese Metallurgical Group Corporation bought the mine – forty kilometers southeast of Kabul – in 2008. Theirs was the largest foreign investment project in Afghanistan. It took the Taliban another eight years to pledge its resolve not to attack it.

Meanwhile, on the railway front – which is key to BRI – in September 2016 the first ever freight train from China arrived in Hairatan, in Afghanistan, via Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The trade flow is still negligible, though, so no regular service for now.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (“SCO”), led by Russia and China, is finally stepping in. At its latest summit, while warning about the security “deterioration”, the SCO pledged to be directly engaged in finding an “all-Asian” solution for Afghanistan, with both India and Pakistan, now full SCO members, on board.

The “Syraq” Connection

Afghanistan is a close neighbor to the Xinjiang autonomous region – and some of its most inaccessible parts host the odd member of the Uyghur separatist East Turkestan Islamic Movement (“ETIM”), which is closely linked to al-Qaeda (while being dismissed by Islamic State).

To compound the problem, any possible New Silk Road eventually traversing the Hindu Kush must consider the direct connection with what’s happening with the phony caliphate in “Syraq”.

The Syrian Arab Army (“SAA”) is moving inexorably towards the Iraq border. At the same time, the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units have reached the Syrian border in Al-Waleed. Between them we happen to find US forces – which are occupying al-Tanaf in Syria. Damascus and Baghdad have agreed, however, to close the al-Tanaf crossing from the Iraqi side of the border. This means the US forces have nowhere to go, except back to Jordan.

Bets can be made that the Pentagon won’t take this lightly. The Ministry of Defense in Moscow is convinced these US forces will use High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (“HIMARS”) to eventually prevent the meeting of the Iraqi units and the Syrian army, whose mission is to pursue Daesh remnants inside Syrian territory.

This “Syraq” meeting of the armies is so important because it heralds in effect the realignment of a key nexus in the New Silk Roads: Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut.

It is a categorical imperative for Beijing to expand BRI across the Levant, linking China to the Mediterranean overland just like the Ancient Silk Road did. And yet that clashes frontally with the crucial fact admitted on record by Lieutenant General Michael Flynn himself: that the Obama administration made a “willful decision” to let Islamic State fester, with the objective of arriving at a “Sunnistan” across “Syraq” as a means to accelerate regime change in Damascus. Translation: let ISIS break up the BRI in the Levant.

There’s no question influential sectors of the US deep state have not abandoned the project. At the same time President Trump has declared unwavering war on ISIS. The fundamental question is whether the “House of Saud policy” – striking against Damascus and its supporters in Iran – will prevail in Washington.

When the Taliban went after Afghan warlords across Pashtun lands in the mid-1990s, the local population supported them because they brought safety to roads and villages. They were widely regarded as angels fallen from heaven to help the Prophet against his enemies in Mecca.

In my travels across “Talibanistan”, some of them documented at Asia Times, I found the Taliban to be stone-cold pious and moralistic, enveloped in a sort of heavily-weighted obscurity, virtually inaccessible.

But the main actors in this renewed Great Game in the Hindu Kush are far from being the Taliban. It’s all about the jihadi diaspora after the collapse of the caliphate in “Syraq”.

ISIS is already shipping out jihadis in retreat in both Iraq and Syria to the Hindu Kush. At the same time, it is actively enrolling scores of Pashtuns with lots of cash and weapons – a workforce including tens of thousands of potential suicide bombers.

Besides Afghans, a new batch of recruits includes Chechens, Uzbeks, and Uyghurs, all of them quite capable of blending in with the scenery in a mountainous region inaccessible even to the Pentagon’s MOABs.

It’s no wonder secularized Afghans in Kabul already fear that Afghanistan is the new citadel of a re-morphed caliphate. Against the self-declared Islamic State Khorasan (“ISK”), it’s up to the SCO – primarily China, Russia, India, Pakistan – to come up with a rescue brigade. Otherwise, Eurasian integration will be in mortal danger all across the intersection of Central and South Asia.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/06/23/fear-and-loathing-on-the-afghan-silk-road/

Categories: Uncategorized

Putin Tries to Avoid …

… a Wider War With the US

by Mike Whitney

CounterPunch (June 23 2017)
 

The shooting down of the Syrian SU-22 is another demonstration that the US is prepared to resort to the most reckless means to defend its footholds in Syria and lay the basis for the broader war that is being prepared.

– Peter Symonds, https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/06/19/syri-j19.html

 

The downing of a Syrian warplane by a US F-18 Super Hornet on Sunday proves that Washington’s real objective in Syria is not to defeat ISIS but to topple the government, carve up the country and install a puppet who will follow Washington’s directives. ISIS doesn’t have an airforce nor is there any chance that the lumbering Soviet-era SU-22 was mistaken by the American pilot before it was shot down. No, the Syrian plane was positively identified on a clear day flying over Syrian territory. The US ignored the normal protocols, failed to communicate their activities on the “de-confliction” hotline (as per their agreement with Moscow) and – BAM – the Syrian warplane was taken out with two missiles over Ja’Din in the western part of Raqqah province. The attack was a clear provocation.

The downing comes on the heels of three other similar incidents in which Syrian troops were attacked by US-coalition forces in the area around Al Tanf near the Jordanian border. All four of these provocations have taken place within the last month suggesting that Washington intends to prevent the Syrian army from liberating its cities and territory in the east where US-proxy militias are operating.

In late May, the Syrian Arab Army (“SAA”) launched Operation “Grand Dawn” which combined the 800th Battalion of the Republican Guards, Hezbollah, Iranian combat troops, and Russian Special Forces (to assist in an advisory capacity.) Grand Dawn, which is the biggest operation of the war, is aimed at clearing the eastern border, liberating ISIS-held cities and territory east of the Euphrates, and reopening the corridor between Damascus to Baghdad. The campaign is an attempt to reestablish the central government’s control over its land, its resources and its population centers in the East.

So far, the operation has made great strides as two main Syrian armies have pressed ahead on parallel tracks killing or routing jihadist fighters on the way. Sunday’s attack (on the Syrian warplane) may have been a desperate attempt to slow the forward progress of loyalist troops rapidly advancing on the cities of Raqqa, Deir Ezzor and Abu Kamal, all located on the banks of the Euphrates.

The surge of Syrian troops poses a clear threat to Washington’s operational strategy called Plan B which is aimed at (a) splintering the state into smaller, US-controlled enclaves, (b) blocking the critical land bridge between Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad and Tehran, and (c) establishing a secure base for training Sunni militants to reenter Syria-proper and engage in future regime destabilizing operations. Seen in this light, the downing of a Syrian SU-22 might have been an attempt by coalition leaders to wave off the Syrian assault which is undermining Washington’s fallback strategy.

The Russian response to the attack was fast and ferocious. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov condemned the action as “a massive violation of international law and military aggression”.

He said: “This strike has to be seen as a continuation of America’s line to disregard the norms of international law … (It is) an act of aggression … designed to help to the very terrorists the US says it is fighting”.

Not surprisingly, the Russian Defense Ministry (“MoD”) announced it would end its cooperation with the US military under the terms of the Memorandum on the Prevention of Incidents and Ensuring Air Safety in Syria. In practical terms, that means that Moscow will terminate the use of a military hotline for preventing accidents in Syrian airspace. So while media giants like The Wall Street Journal applaud the reckless attack as “signaling an increased willingness by the Trump administration to directly challenge President Bashar al-Assad and his allies”, more sober analysts anticipate that the move will only ratchet up the tensions increasing the probability of a clash between the two nuclear-armed superpowers.

The Russian MoD statement added that “any airborne objects, including aircraft and unmanned vehicles of the [US-led] international coalition, located to the west of the Euphrates River, will be tracked by Russian ground and air defense forces as air targets”.

If the attack was intended to provoke a response, then it appears to have succeeded. If another Syrian warplane is shot down, Moscow will have to retaliate. Was that the intention?

Russia does not want to deepen its involvement in Syria. Its primary goal is to defeat ISIS, preserve the elected government, and prevent the country from disintegrating into failed state anarchy. Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed this topic recently in an interview where he was asked: “Can you explain why you sent troops to Syria and what your objective was?”

Putin answered:
 

It’s very easy to explain. We saw what was happening to other countries in the region, particularly Iraq and Libya … due to the forceful ousting of their governments. The governments were destroyed, not simply ousted from power, and their leaders were killed. We don’t want to see the same thing happen in Syria or the whole region will be plunged into chaos.

 

There it is in black and white. Russia has no territorial ambitions in Syria nor does it have any designs on Syria’s resources, industry or pipelines. This isn’t about money, oil or land. It’s about Russia’s national security which has been greatly impacted by the scourge of terrorism. It’s also about defending “sovereignty”, which is the bedrock principle upon which global security rests. This is why Russia is in Syria.

That said, it’s not in Russia’s interest to shoot down American aircraft, intensify the war on coalition-proxies or take any action that would lead to a military escalation. Putin does not want to prolong or expand the war, he wants to end it.

Unfortunately, there are so many players sharing the same, crowded battlespace that even the slightest miscalculation could lead to a serious conflagration. It’s going to take enormous restraint to tip-toe through the Syrian minefield without triggering a Third World War. We’ll have to see if Putin is up to the task or not.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/06/23/putin-tries-to-avoid-a-wider-war-with-the-us/

Categories: Uncategorized

The Final Government Objective

Enslave or Kill Us All

by Jeremiah Johnson (Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces)

via SHTFplan.com (June 21 2017)

Zero Hedge (June 23 2017)

In the world situation, we are all aware of the “hot spots”, such as North Korea, Syria, and Ukraine that could escalate into a full-blown regional war and then expand even further, either on their own or with “assistance” from governments and oligarchs alike. We also have seen a rekindling of the tensions that existed during the first Cold War and the shaping of a new Cold War with Russia. Meanwhile, with all foreign policy in shambles and diplomatic ties in a limbo-vacuum, the US government has adjusted its pace domestically. The President was sworn in with a tide of almost “messianic” fervor; however, six months have elapsed with little change evident and many of his reforms stopped dead in the water for the time being.

Domestically the US government was instituting and initiating “reforms” at a running pace under Obama. The reforms were actually removals of more and more of our liberties. This pace has slowed down, but has not ceased. Read the article “Senate Bill: Travelers Must Register Cash and Digital Amounts Over $10K or Face 10 Years in Prison and Full Asset Seizure# {1}. Labeled Senate Bill 1241, this nefarious totalitarian measure also contains provisions for wiretapping anyone suspected of “drug trafficking or money laundering” to fit the bill for asset seizure and further torment by the government.

They want to know everything you have, everything you’re doing, everywhere you’re going, and track you in real time with your happy cellular telephone.

We may appear to digress, now, but this next item is chillingly interrelated to the information previously mentioned. Another article by a neuroscientist, a Miss Shelly Fan. The government has been working on technologies such as this one for some time. Here is the first step, in Miss Fan’s article “Forget Police Sketches: Researchers Perfectly Reconstruct Faces by Reading Brainwaves” {2}.

There you have it, straight out of George Orwell’s 1984 (1949), where Winston Smith was confronted and tortured by O’Brien. The latter informed Smith there were two problems for the State (Oceania) to overcome: How to kill off hundreds of millions in an instant, and how to know exactly what a human being is thinking. Well, here we are. If they can pattern facial recognition technology to create sketches of people from the human mind, how long will it be before they can take your thoughts and formulate words or other images … even place them on a screen and store them for later use? Will such a thing hold up in a court? Probably not. Nowadays, they don’t need probable cause to snag you … only “reasonable suspicion”, and they can doggedly pursue you across the ends of the earth.

Each week or even more often, we are seeing more technological advances, along with more Draconian, totalitarian edicts termed “legislation”. Here we see the enemy of the people in the form of a tyrannical state that has abused its powers and privileges afforded it by the Constitution and the vote of the people. Here we see an almost bankrupted government, running on the fumes of Fiat currency and the treaties made in the birthing of the vampiric Petrodollar … a medium created with the Saudis that (as evidenced by Qatar) they may very well be the ones to plunge the stake through the heart of the vampire. Here we see the last stages of a Republic’s collapse into totalitarianism.

The almost omnipresent police state … the federalization local and state police departments and Sheriff’s departments, the fusion centers, the data collection facility in Utah, the steadily-hatching CCTV “chickadees” popping up on every corner, in every gas station, public building, and convenience store. It is a well-known fact that before an empire slips completely into tyranny, it enslaves, torments, brutalizes, and kills its citizens. Foreigners come and go, illegally and with a passport, carte blanche: Americans are the ones subjected to the scrutiny when they travel. An empire can’t have its subjects … taxpaying, system-supporting subjects … going “off” the reservation, now, can they?

If there is a war, I have stated (and stand by the assertion) in previous articles that the war will be initiated with an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack. Stefan Stanford penned a brilliant article entitled, “This ‘Game Changer’ Could Lead to 270 Million Dead Americans and Foreshadows a Massive False Flag on the Horizon” {3}. Stefan’s belief is that an EMP may be too severe for the powers that be to recover from without losing a great deal of their assets. He expostulates an excellent theory that it will be a controlled cyber attack that accomplishes exactly what the EMP attack would, minus the recovery time.

He also mentioned the show “Revolution” that had a couple of seasons and then was discontinued abruptly and for no reason when the ratings were good … a show that had a cyberattack that brought down the whole shooting match as its theme. Readers also undoubtedly recall the “Jericho” series that lasted only two seasons that had nuclear devices exploded in 23 American cities to collapse the country and usher in a new era of chaos and “warlord” type engagements between factions claiming to be “the” legitimate government. Stefan and I are in complete agreement with the fact that these cancellations are way too obvious when you consider the predictive programming policies carried out by the US government and Hollywood, the puppet-lackey of the State. The scenarios are too feasible to be discounted.

In the meantime, the public plods through the day, dulled to the everyday events that lead us closer to the corral, and eventually into the cages. We need to focus on these changes as they are made and keep abreast of what is happening. Such measures are neither “cheap”, nor are they instituted by our wonderful Congressional members for no reason. It would be a lack of reason to discount such actions as anything other than plans for the future … their plans to rule it, as well as their plans to “deal” with us.

Links:

{1} http://www.activistpost.com/2017/06/senate-bill-force-travelers-register-cash-cash-cryptocurrency-assets.html

{2} https://singularityhub.com/2017/06/14/forget-police-sketches-researchers-perfectly-reconstruct-faces-by-reading-brainwaves/

{3} http://allnewspipeline.com/False_Flag_Electrical_Grid_Warning.php

http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/the-final-government-objective-enslave-or-kill-us-all_06212017

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-23/retired-green-beret-fears-final-government-objective-enslave-or-kill-us-all

Categories: Uncategorized

Government Arms Race Kicks into High Gear …

… as DHS buys 2,700 Armored Vehicles for Streets of America

by Mike Adams

Natural News (March 05 2013)

Infowars (March 05 2013)

When the US Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) purchased 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition {1}to be used domestically, inside the USA, and I said this looks like a government agency preparing for war with the American people, I was told, “That’s crazy. The government would never do that.”

When DHS purchased 7,000 full-auto assault rifles {2} to be used inside the United States, calling them “personal defense weapons” that could be used in urban warfare, I was once again told I was crazy for suggesting the government was arming up for war with the American people.

Now DHS has retrofitted 2,717 “Navistar Defense” armored vehicles for service on the streets of America. Click {3} to see pictures and specs for this vehicle from the manufacturer’s website.

These vehicles, which people who don’t know any better might call “light tanks”, are specifically designed to resist mines and ambush attacks. They use bulletproof windows and are designed to withstand small arms fire, including smaller-caliber rifles such as .223 Remington.

The retrofit was completed in May 2012, and these 2,700+ armored vehicles are now ready to deploy across the streets of America, reports Modern Survival Blog {4}, the primary source for this story.

A Domestic Arms Race

Importantly, none of these armaments – billions of bullets, thousands of full-auto assault rifles and thousands of armored assault vehicles – are being purchased by the Pentagon for use in wars overseas. Instead, these are being purchased by DHS for use inside the United States … on the streets of America.

This is a domestic department of the federal government that is clearly and unambiguously arming for war against the American people.

This war will also involve the use of armed military drones attacking American citizens, which is exactly why the Obama administration now claims the legal authority to assassinate Americans on US soil {5} using militarized drones.

This is at the same time the American people are arming up like never before as well. US ammunition manufacturers are currently producing over one billion rounds per week. All that ammo is flying off the shelves, with virtually nothing remaining in stock anywhere.

Magazine manufacturers like ProMag Industries are backordered for over a year, and gun manufacturers are anywhere from six months to eighteen months behind schedule, desperately trying to keep up with customer demand that continues to grow. I called Desert Tactical Arms {6} today and confirmed their guns are running six months behind schedule. This is the company that makes the portable .338 Lapua and .50 BMG rifles favored by US troops in activities such as so-called “hard target interdiction” (that is, killing vehicles).

As the government arms race continues to stockpile weapons and ammo in the hands of DHS, the American people are increasingly turning to large-caliber weapons for their own stockpiles. Just last week, I recently went shooting here in Texas where we had three .50 caliber Barrett BMG rifles, plus two .338 Lapua Magnum sniper rifles, all firing on some thick steel targets. The targets were decimated, and every single shooter in our group was able to put lead on target, even from long-range distances.

Holocaust Deniers and DHS Deniers

Of course, there are people who deny DHS is engaged in an arms race, just as there are Holocaust deniers who deny Hitler ever took guns away from the Jews (before committing mass murder). Those deniers either claim that these purchases are not happening (but they are), or that the government is only buying such large quantities “to save money”.

This is a distraction, of course. You don’t “save money” buying things you don’t need. Clearly, someone at the top of DHS believes the government needs these armored vehicles and full-auto assault rifles deployed on the streets of America.

But the bigger question – and this is the question the mainstream media refuses to even ask – is WHY does DHS need:

* 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition

* 7,000+ assault rifles

* 2,700+ armored assault vehicles

Unless you’re insane or a denier, the answer is clear: DHS is expecting a large-scale domestic conflict.

Why is DHS Expecting a Domestic War?

So then, the commonsense question becomes: Why is DHS expecting a domestic war?

I’ve asked this question of many of my contacts, and what I keep hearing is that an economic collapse is fast approaching, and DHS is likely going to use all this equipment to try to maintain government power during the chaos and riots that are sure to follow the economic collapse. This equipment will all be needed to “maintain order on the streets”, I’m told.

But that’s only one possible scenario. Another scenario involves the criminally-run government announcing a nationwide gun confiscation scheme (just as Senator Feinstein says she wants), then attempting to defend itself against the inevitable civil war that will result. The most likely outcome here is that DHS will only be able to control the areas that have been forcibly disarmed such as Chicago and New York City. They will be utterly unable to hold rural territories where freedom-loving Americans have already decided to fight back against tyranny no matter what the cost.

Yet a third scenario could involve government anticipation of a nuclear attack from North Korea followed by a “Red Dawn” land invasion from China or Korea. And DHS is here to fight for freedom and defeat the communists. (And if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell ya … far more likely is that DHS wants to welcome in the communists!)

This Domestic War Machine was Built by Claiming it was for Terrorists

Keep in mind that DHS was created by President Bush in response to the 9/11 terror attacks. In fact, since 2001, the US federal government has built a domestic war infrastructure by claiming it was all being constructed to protect us from the terrorists.

Now, in 2013, the government has “flipped the script” on who the threat is. According to Janet Napolitano, head of DHS, the real threat to America is now returning veterans and gun owners. So the feds have this massive armament infrastructure and spy grid lockdown over the entire population, and it turns out it was all built not for terrorists but for YOU.

The terrorists are nowhere to be found in all this, by the way. Every single terror plot halted by the FBI is a terror plot that was literally dreamed up, planned and nearly carried out by the FBI. {7}

The DSA’s Transportation Security Administration (“TSA”) has caught exactly zero terrorists trying to sneak through airport security.

The “war on terror” is and always has been a complete hoax {8}. The purpose of the hoax was to provide a cover story for the building up of a massive domestic military force to be used against the American people when the time comes.

That’s what we are really seeing with the purchase of ammo, automatic weapons, and armored assault vehicles. This is why cable barriers are being erected on highways across the country. And this is why DHS has recently begun redacting the requested quantities from its public bid documents {9} … in order to make sure the public can no longer learn how much it’s stockpiling weapons and ammo.

But None of This is Real, Right?

Astonishingly, the vast majority of Americans remain completely unaware of any of this. For those mainstream sheeple, anything that doesn’t appear on CNN must not be real.

So DHS really isn’t buying 1.6 billion rounds of ammo, 7,000+ assault rifles, or 2,700+ armored mine-resistant assault vehicles. All of us who are reporting these purchases are “conspiracy theorists”, we’re all told, even though what we’re reporting on is absolutely true.

Remember this: Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs has now publicly admitted he was ordered by the White House to deny the existence of the US militarized drone program [10} even while the program existed and was known to be real. Denial has always been a key tactic for any government preparing to do something unethical or criminal.

But I’ve been told by some seemingly convincing people that none of this is real. It’s all just a bad dream, you see, and soon you will wake up and find yourself in the land of the free, where there isn’t poison in the crops and there isn’t mercury in the vaccines. The President loves you, and corporations are all ethical. Senators are humanitarians who put the good of the country ahead of their own selfish greed. The FDA stops censoring the truth about nutritional therapies and the USDA outlaws GMOs.

That’s the delusional world that ninety percent of Americans believe they live in, and they even believe that as long as they just “believe” something, then reality doesn’t even matter. Belief IS reality, according to the “Law of Attraction” followers, and if you just believe the government is good, then your belief will make it so.

That’s a fascinating bit of self-hypnosis because DHS doesn’t care what you believe. It is stockpiling guns, ammo and armored vehicles for some very real reason. This isn’t their imagination: it’s hardware.

And hardware is rarely accumulated in such large quantities unless it is deemed necessary for some specific purpose. It seems that the American people – delusional or otherwise – may soon discover what purpose DHS has in mind.

Links:

{1} http://www.naturalnews.com/038407_ammunition_homeland_security_civil_war.html

{2} http://www.naturalnews.com/038844_DHS_assault_weapons_documents.html

{3} http://www.navistardefense.com/NavistarDefense/vehicles/maxxpromrap/maxxpro_mrap

{4} http://modernsurvivalblog.com/government-gone-wild/latest-homeland-security-vehicle-street-sweeper/

{5} http://www.naturalnews.com/039046_military_drones_American_citizens_murder.html

{6} http://www.deserttacticalarms.com/

{7} http://www.naturalnews.com/035849_domestic_terror_plots_FBI.html

{8} http://www.naturalnews.com/034321_war_on_terror_paranoia_hoax.html

{9} https://www.infowars.com/dhs-censors-information-about-firearms-purchase/

{10} http://www.disinfo.com/2013/03/former-white-house-press-secretary-robert-gibbs-says-he-was-told-not-to-acknowledge-existence-of-drones-program/?utm_source=NaturalNews

 

http://www.naturalnews.com/039345_DHS_arms_race_armored_vehicles.html

https://www.infowars.com/government-arms-race-kicks-into-high-gear-as-dhs-buys-2700-armored-vehicles-for-streets-of-america/

Categories: Uncategorized

Is Trump Launching a New World Order?

The Petro-Powers vs the Greens

by Michael T Klare

TomDispatch (June 11 2017)

That Donald Trump is a grand disruptor when it comes to international affairs is now a commonplace observation in the establishment media. By snubbing Nato and withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, we’ve been told, President Trump is dismantling the liberal world order created by Franklin D Roosevelt at the end of World War Two. “Present at the Destruction” {1} is the way Foreign Affairs magazine, the flagship publication of the Council on Foreign Relations, put it on its latest cover. Similar headlines can be found on the editorial pages of The New York Times and The Washington Post. But these prophecies of impending global disorder miss a crucial point: in his own quixotic way, Donald Trump is not only trying to obliterate the existing world order but also attempting to lay the foundations for a new one, a world in which fossil-fuel powers will contend for supremacy with post-carbon, green-energy states.

This grand strategic design is evident in virtually everything Trump has done at home and abroad. Domestically {2}, he’s pulled out all the stops in attempting to cripple the rise of alternative energy and ensure the perpetuation of a carbon-dominated economy. Abroad, he is seeking the formation of an alliance of fossil-fuel states led by the United States, Russia, and Saudi Arabia, while attempting to isolate emerging renewable-energy powers like Germany and China. If his project of global realignment proceeds as imagined, the world will soon enough be divided into two camps, each competing for power, wealth, and influence: the carbonites on one side and the post-carbon greens on the other.

As noted in Foreign Affairs, this is a very different perception of the international system than that of the Wilsonian internationalists {3}, who still see a world divided between liberal democracies (led by the US and its European allies) and illiberal autocracies (led today by Vladimir Putin’s Russia). Surprisingly, it is no less distinct from the disjointed global system portrayed by disciples of the late Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington {4}, author of The Clash of Civilizations (1997), who portrayed a world divided along “civilizational” lines principally distinguished by a clash between Islam and the Judeo-Christian West. Trump clearly has no patience with the first of these models and while he’s certainly exploited {5} anti-Islamic sentiment during the election campaign and in his first months {6} in office, he does not appear wedded to the Huntington thesis either. His loyalty seems to be reserved solely for states that produce fossil fuels, while his disdain is largely directed at countries that favor green energy.

How you view the world – which of these visions you embrace – truly matters when it comes to shaping American foreign policy. If you favor a Wilsonian view (as do most American diplomats {7}), your primary objective will be to bolster ties with Great Britain, France, Germany, and other like-minded democracies while seeking to limit the influence of illiberal autocracies like Russia, Turkey, and China. If you uphold a Huntingtonian outlook (as do {8} many of Trump’s followers, advisers, and appointees), your goal will be to resist the spread of Islamist movements, whether they are backed by Shiite-majority Iran or Sunni-majority Saudi Arabia. But if, like Trump, your view of the world is largely governed by {9} energy preferences, none of these other considerations matter; instead, you will lend your support to nations that embrace fossil fuels and punish those that favor the alternatives.

Laying the Groundwork for a New World Order

The vigor with which Trump is pursuing this grand scheme was on full display during his recent visit to the Middle East and Europe, as well as in his decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. In Saudi Arabia, he danced and dined {10} with oil-drenched kings, emirs, and princes; in Europe, he dismissed and disrespected Nato and the green-leaning European Union; at home, he promised to eliminate any impediment to the expanded exploitation of fossil fuels, the planet be damned. To critics, these all appeared as separate manifestations of Trump’s destructive personality; but viewed another way, they can be seen as calculated steps aimed at bolstering the prospects of the carbonites in the forthcoming struggle for global mastery.

Step one in this process was to revitalize the historic US alliance with Saudi Arabia, the world’s leading oil producer. For decades, it was the cornerstone {11} of American policy in the Middle East, aimed at preserving a conservative political order in the region and ensuring American access to Persian Gulf oil. President Obama had allowed the alliance to fray by raising the unwelcome issue of human rights and negotiating with Iran over its nuclear enrichment program. Trump journeyed to Riyadh in May to assure {12} the Saudi royals that human rights concerns would no longer be an irritant in their relations and that Washington would join them in their drive to combat Iranian influence in the region.

“We are not here to lecture”, Trump insisted {13}. “We are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship. Instead, we are here to offer partnership.” As part of this “partnership”, he signed {14} a $110 billion arms sales agreement with the Saudis. Expected additional sales over the coming decade could bring the total to $350 billion. Many of these arms, once delivered, will be used by the Saudis in their brutal air campaign against rebel factions in Yemen. The Saudis claim the rebels (mostly Houthis from the country’s barren north) are receiving weapons from Iran, thereby justifying their own attacks, but most observers agree {15} that such Iranian aid is limited at best. In the meantime, the Saudi strikes are taking a heavy toll {16} on civilians and helping to create a humanitarian crisis that has contributed to a severe outbreak {17} of cholera and threatens {18} famine on a massive scale.

While in Riyadh, Trump also discussed closer ties between American energy firms and the Saudi oil industry, largely controlled by that country’s royal family. “The two leaders stressed the importance of investment in energy by companies in both countries, and the importance of coordinating policies that ensure the stability of markets and an abundance of supplies”, Trump noted {19} in a joint statement with Saudi King Salman.

Step two in this process was the enfeeblement of the Nato alliance and the European Union (“EU”) – most of whose members are strong supporters of the Paris climate agreement – and the improvement of US relations with Russia, the world’s number two oil producer. So far, President Trump has been unable to make much progress on the second of these goals, thanks to the ongoing uproar in Washington over allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, but he achieved spectacular success in the first during his May 25th visit to Nato headquarters in Brussels. He even crossed up {20} his own advisers by switching speeches at the last moment and refusing to commit himself to Nato’s mutual defense agreement. He refused to reassure {21} its members of Washington’s commitment to the “one-for-all, all-for-one” principle embedded in Article 5 of the Nato Treaty, obliging all member states to come to the aid of any member under attack (although he would later make an explicit commitment {22} to that article during a White House press conference). In addition, he hectored {23} them about their failure to devote adequate resources to the common defense. Other American presidents have offered similar complaints, but never in such a disdainful and dismissive manner, guaranteed to alienate key allies. On top of this, he appeared to differ {24} with senior Nato officials over the threat posed to the alliance’s solidarity by Russian cyber attacks and political meddling, downplaying their significance.

Trump then proceeded to further alienate {25} Europe’s leaders at the final stop on his trip in Taormina, Sicily, for a meeting of the G-7 top economies. According to news reports, the Europeans, led by newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, sought to convince him of the urgency of remaining in the Paris climate accord, stressing its importance to Euro-Atlantic solidarity. “If the world’s largest economic power were to pull out, the field would be left to the Chinese”, Merkel warned {26}. But Trump proved unyielding, claiming job promotion at home outweighed environmental considerations. “Now China leads”, said a dejected Macron, a comment that may prove prophetic.

Step three was President Trump’s formal announcement of a US withdrawal from the Paris agreement in a Rose Garden ceremony on his return to the White House. As it currently stands, that agreement would require significant reductions in US emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (“GHGs”), principally through curbs on the combustion of fossil fuels. To fulfill such obligations, President Obama pledged to constrain GHG emissions from electrical power generation through his Clean Power Plan {27} that, if fully implemented, would have severely diminished the domestic use of coal. He also mandated improvements in the efficiency of petroleum-fueled vehicles. In repudiating the pact, Trump hopes, against all odds {28}, to breathe new life into the domestic coal industry (currently suffering from intensified competition from natural gas, wind, and solar power) and reverse the trend {29} toward more fuel-efficient cars and trucks, thereby increasing the demand for oil.

In announcing his decision, the president claimed, however inaccurately {30}, that the Paris accord would allow other countries, including China and India, to continue building coal plants while preventing the US from exploiting its own fossil-fuel assets, and so would benefit their economies at America’s expense. “We have among the most abundant energy reserves on the planet, sufficient to lift millions of America’s poorest workers out of poverty”, he declared {31}. “Yet, under this agreement, we are effectively putting these reserves under lock and key, taking away the great wealth of our nation”.

When speaking of the abundant energy reserves he seeks to develop, Trump was not, of course, referring to the nation’s limitless wind and solar potential, but rather to its oil, coal, and natural gas supplies. He bragged about how coal mines were already “starting to open up” again and emphasized his plans to eliminate all restrictions on drilling for oil and natural gas on federal lands.

It will undoubtedly take years of rule-writing, judicial maneuvering, and negotiations with Congress and the international community before the White House can fully achieve such pro-carbon objectives. Still, the steps already announced ensure that regulatory impediments to increased fossil fuel consumption will be lifted and incentives of all sorts for the installation of renewable energy obliterated.

The New Trilateral Axis

And keep in mind that these are only the first steps the president is considering. Ultimately, he seems to be aiming at the creation of a new world order governed largely by energy preferences. From this perspective, an alliance of Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the United States makes perfect sense. As a start, authoritarian-minded leaders who detest liberal ideas and seek to perpetuate the Age of Carbon now run all three countries. They, in turn, exercise a commanding role in the global production of energy. As the world’s three leading producers of petroleum, they account {32} for about 38% of total global oil output. The US and Russia are also the world’s top two producers of natural gas. Along with Saudi Arabia, they jointly account for 41% of global gas output.

In addition, each of the three is closely linked to other major oil and gas producers: in the case of the US, Canada; for Saudi Arabia, the Persian Gulf sheikhdoms (including tiny Qatar with its giant natural gas fields which, at this very moment, the Saudi royals are trying in a draconian fashion {33} to dominate and subjugate); and for Russia, the former Soviet republics of Central Asia. All of this only adds heft to the hydrocarbon dominance of this potential trilateral alliance. When oil and gas output from all of these countries, including Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Turkmenistan, and the United Arab Emirates, is added to that of the Big Three, the resulting combine controls approximately 57% {34} of world oil output and 59% of its natural gas production. Given that petroleum is still the world’s most valuable trade commodity and that oil and gas together account for sixty percent {35} of the world’s combined energy supply, this represents a stupendous concentration of economic and geopolitical power.

To the degree that Trump and his top aides have articulated a grand strategic vision, it is to bolster US ties with these other petro-powers in the energy, diplomatic, and military realm. This means strengthening links between American energy companies and those of the other potential alliance members, increasing diplomatic coordination, and enhancing military ties. It also means aligning with them against their sworn enemies, as Trump has pledged to do in the case of Saudi Arabia’s feud with Iran. (Trump had hoped to collaborate with Russia in a similar manner in the war against ISIS in Syria, but political circumstances in Washington have made that untenable for now.)

The US-Saudi arm of this alliance is already strikingly in play. Trump had clearly expected to make equal progress on Russia on entering the White House, though his own missteps {36} (and those of his close associates, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner) have impeded that effort. Soon after taking office, members of his staff instructed {37} the State Department to begin exploring ways to lift economic sanctions on Russia (originally imposed after that country’s annexation of Crimea) that have prevented greater cooperation between US and Russian energy companies. “There was serious consideration by the White House to unilaterally rescind the sanctions”, Dan Fried, chief American coordinator for sanctions policy until late February, told {38} Yahoo News.

These efforts were stymied when it became known that Trump’s newly appointed national security advisor, Michael Flynn, had spoken privately with Russia’s US ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, about sanctions relief during the campaign, and lied about it in conversations with Vice President Mike Pence and others. Nevertheless, Trump has made no secret of his belief that the furor over Russian links to his campaign organization is unwarranted {39} and that the country’s interests would be best served by significantly improved ties with Moscow.

And lest there be any question about the triangular nature of this incipient alliance, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi deputy crown prince, in Moscow just a few days after Prince Mohammed met with Trump in Riyadh. “Relations between Saudi Arabia and Russia are seeing one of their best stages at the moment”, said {40} the prince, reported Tass, Russia’s state-run news agency. As with Trump’s visit to Riyadh, energy cooperation was a key feature of the Russo-Saudi dialogue. “Agreements in the energy sphere are of high importance for our nations”, Putin declared.

There are, of course, many obstacles to Trump’s plan for a petroleum-based trilateral alliance. Although Russia and Saudi Arabia share many interests in common – particularly in the energy field where both seek to constrain {41} production in order to boost prices – they also differ on many issues. For example, Russia supports the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria, while the Saudis want to see him ousted; likewise, the Russians are major arms suppliers {42} to Iran, a country the Saudis seek to isolate. Nevertheless, Putin’s meeting with Prince Mohammed in the wake of Trump’s visit to Riyadh suggests that these are impediments that might be overcome.

The Outlines of a Potential New Global Order

In his famed 1993 “Clash of Civilizations” {43} essay, Samuel Huntington wrote that “the fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future”, with the divide between Islam and the West the most conspicuous among them. Many of Donald Trump’s supporters rabidly adhere to just this view, but not Trump himself (though he is obviously no friend {44} to Muslims).

By building an alliance of fossil-fueled states, Islamic countries included, Trump hopes to bolster the strength of pro-carbon forces globally. Ironically, his antics aimed at weakening the power of any incipient future green alliance have so far had a boomerang effect {45}, encouraging potential future green powers to bolster their collaborative linkages and forge ahead more forcefully in dominating the planet’s alternative energy future. In this sense, he seems to be creating a self-fulfilling prophecy by pushing the green states closer together.

Recall Merkel’s comment to Trump at the G-7 summit. If the US were to pull out of the Paris accord, she said, “the field would be left to the Chinese”. Trump did indeed pull out, and Merkel wasted no time in turning her sights on China. Five days later, she hosted {46} the Chinese prime minister, Li Keqiang, for talks in Berlin. He then flew on to Brussels to confer with leaders of the EU. Mutual pledges to uphold the Paris climate accord were said to be a prominent feature of these discussions.

“Possibly we will see an important shift in the China-US-EU triangular relations, with China and the EU moving closer while the US and EU drift apart”, commented {47} Wang Dong, assistant professor at the School of International Studies at Peking University. “Premier Li and Chancellor Merkel will likely reaffirm their commitments to upholding the Paris agreements”.

Keen to assume world leadership in the production of renewable energy, China has been making enormous strides in the development and installation of wind and solar power. As Keith Bradsher of The New York Times wrote {48} in a recent report on China’s progress in creating large-scale floating solar panels (a technology likely to prove widely adaptable by other countries seeking to increase their reliance on renewable energy),

The project reflects China’s effort to reshape the world order in renewable energy as the United States retreats. Such technological expertise will form the infrastructure backbone needed for countries to meet their climate goals, making China the energy partner of choice for many nations.

 

India is also seeking to join the A-team of leading green powers. Once considered a stumbling block to any Paris agreement thanks to its partiality for coal-fired power plants, India is now making giant strides in the development of renewable energy. According to the respected environmental website Carbon Tracker, India is now expected {49} to obtain forty percent of its electricity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2022, eight years ahead of schedule. In the process, it is already canceling many of its plans for new coal-fired plants.

That India is moving rapidly to assert leadership in the development of green energy has also caught the attention of Germany’s Angela Merkel, who invited {50} Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Berlin in late May for two days of talks on enhanced economic cooperation.

It is still early days, but the outlines of a potential new global order seem to be emerging, with the fossil-fuel states battling to preserve their dominance in an era in which an ever-increasing share of the world’s population is clearly going to embrace green energy technology (and the massive job-creation machine {51} that will go with it). The events of just the first few months of Donald Trump’s presidency already give us ample food for thought on the emergence of a new bipolar energy planet, including a willful attempt to cripple Nato; a so-far-abortive effort to forge a US-Russian alliance; Washington’s embrace of Saudi regional hegemony; and the emergence of a possible Chinese-German alliance. Keep your eyes open for further developments along these lines.

One thing is clear: everyone on the planet will be affected by the ways in which such reshuffled alliances and rivalries will play out. A world dominated {52} by petro-powers will be one in which oil is plentiful, the skies hidden by smog, weather patterns unpredictable, coastlines receding, and drought a recurring peril. The possibility of warfare is only likely to increase {53} on such a planet, as nations and peoples fight over ever-diminishing supplies of vital resources, especially food, water, and arable land.

A world dominated by green powers, on the other hand, is likely to be less ravaged by war and the depredations of extreme climate change as renewable energy becomes more affordable and available to all. Those, like Trump, who prefer an oil-drenched planet will fight to achieve their hellish vision, while those committed to a green future will work to reach and even exceed the goals of the Paris agreement. Even within the United States, an impressive lineup of cities, states, and corporations (including Apple, Google, Tesla, Target, eBay, Adidas, Facebook, and Nike) have banded together {54}, in an effort dubbed “We Are Still In”, to implement America’s commitment to the climate accord independently of what Washington says or does. The choice is ours: allow the dystopian vision of Donald Trump to prevail or join with those seeking a decent future for this and future generations.

Links:

{1} https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2017-04-17/present-destruction

{2} https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/23/climate/trump-budget-energy.html

{3} https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2017-04-17/plot-against-american-foreign-policy

{4} https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_P._Huntington

{5} https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/09/trump-muslims-islamophobia-hate-crime/500840/

{6} http://www.newyorker.com/news/amy-davidson/trumps-travel-ban-tweets-show-his-disdain-for-the-law

{7} https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/05/us/politics/diplomats-quiet-revolt-donald-trump-tensions.html

{8} http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176239/tomgram%3A_ira_chernus%2C_now_who%27s_the_enemy/

{9} http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176222/

{10} http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-gulf-arrival-idUSKCN18G06K

{11} https://www.amazon.com/dp/0805079386/ref=nosim/?tag=tomdispatch-20

{12} https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-gets-elaborate-welcome-in-saudi-arabia-embarking-on-first-foreign-trip/2017/05/20/679f2766-3d1d-11e7-a058-ddbb23c75d82_story.html

{13} https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/20/world/middleeast/rex-w-tillerson-saudi-arabia-human-rights.html

{14} http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/20/us-saudi-arabia-seal-weapons-deal-worth-nearly-110-billion-as-trump-begins-visit.html

{15} https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/05/16/contrary-to-popular-belief-houthis-arent-iranian-proxies/

{16} https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/16/third-of-saudi-airstrikes-on-yemen-have-hit-civilian-sites-data-shows

{17} https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/02/world/middleeast/unicef-yemen-cholera-saudi-war.html

{18} https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/mar/16/yemen-conflict-7-million-close-to-famine

{19} https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/05/23/joint-statement-between-kingdom-saudi-arabia-and-united-states-america

{20} https://www.thenation.com/article/rather-russia-america-fear/

{21} https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-told-in-brussels-that-west-should-focus-on-values-not-only-interests/2017/05/25/7aa1865c-40cd-11e7-9869-bac8b446820a_story.html

{22} http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-essential-washington-updates-trump-commits-to-nato-s-article-5-1497037705-htmlstory.html

{23} https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/25/world/europe/donald-trump-eu-nato.html

{24} https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/25/world/europe/donald-trump-eu-nato.html

{25} https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/27/world/europe/trump-paris-climate-accords-g7.html

{26} http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/trump-pulls-out-of-climate-deal-western-rift-deepens-a-1150486.html

{27} http://www.ucsusa.org/our-work/global-warming/reduce-emissions/what-is-the-clean-power-plan#.WTV3G2jyuUk

{28} https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/26/business/energy-environment/coal-power-renewable-energy.html

{29} http://www.nbcnews.com/business/autos/trump-rolls-back-obama-era-fuel-economy-standards-n734256

{30} https://nonprofitquarterly.org/2017/05/17/china-india-make-progress-climate-us-efforts-judged-inadequate/

{31} https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/06/01/statement-president-trump-paris-climate-accord

{32} http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy.html

{33} https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/05/world/middleeast/qatar-saudi-arabia-egypt-bahrain-united-arab-emirates.html

{34} http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy.html

{35} http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy.html

{36} https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/03/world/europe/trump-putin-russia-relations.html

{37} http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/donald-trump-russia-criminal-probe-paul-manafort-campaign-links-a7771386.html

{38} https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-administrations-secret-efforts-ease-russia-sanctions-fell-short-231301145.html

{39} http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-updates-everything-president-trump-says-russia-talk-fake-news-as-1488138553-htmlstory.html

{40} http://www.thenational.ae/world/europe/saudi-arabias-mohammed-bin-salman-meets-putin-in-moscow

{41} http://www.thenational.ae/world/europe/saudi-arabias-mohammed-bin-salman-meets-putin-in-moscowhttp://www.reuters.com/article/us-g20-china-saudi-russia-oil-idUSKCN11B0UF

{42} http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/11/14/russia-may-sell-iran-10-billion-worth-of-tanks-and-jets-in-new-a/

{43} https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/1993-06-01/clash-civilizations

{44} http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/27/politics/donald-trump-refugees-executive-order/index.html

{45} https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/01/us/politics/climate-accord-trump-china-global-leadership.html

{46} https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/31/world/europe/china-sees-an-opening-in-rift-between-trump-and-germany.html

{47} https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/31/world/europe/china-sees-an-opening-in-rift-between-trump-and-germany.html

{48} https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/05/business/energy-environment/china-clean-energy-coal-pollution.html

{49} http://climateactiontracker.org/countries/india.html

{50} https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/31/world/europe/china-sees-an-opening-in-rift-between-trump-and-germany.html

{51} http://fortune.com/2017/01/27/solar-wind-renewable-jobs/

{52} https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2012/11/19/were-on-pace-for-4c-of-global-warming-heres-why-the-world-bank-is-terrified/

{53} http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change-war-risk-increase-syria-isis-heatwave-drought-a7155401.html

{54} http://www.businessinsider.com/we-are-still-in-group-represents-62-trillion-of-the-us-economy-plans-to-stay-in-paris-agreement-2017-6

_____

Michael T Klare, a TomDispatch regular, is a professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College and the author, most recently, of The Race for What’s Left (2012). A documentary movie version of his book Blood and Oil (2005) is available from the Media Education Foundation. Follow him on Twitter at @mklare1.

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, John Dower’s The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War II (2017), as well as John Feffer’s dystopian novel Splinterlands (2016), Nick Turse’s Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead (2016), and Tom Engelhardt’s Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World (2014).

Copyright 2017 Michael T Klare

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