Essay by Putin Advisor Vladislav Surkov on Russia’s Eurasian Future: ‘We Began a New Era in 2014’ – By Vladislav Surkov Russia in Global Affairs (SOTT)

Comment: The following essay was recently published in Russia in Global Affairs, the Russian equivalent of Foreign Affairs in the US. We have translated it from the original at globalaffairs.ru, the cryptic title of which was: ‘Одиночество полукровки (14+)’ – The Solitude of a Half-Blood (14+).

Its author is Vladislav Surkov. If Russian philosopher Aleksandr Dugin is mischaracterized in the West as “Putin’s brain,” then Surkov is similarly mischaracterized “Putin’s éminence grise.” Surkov was Deputy Chief of the Russian Presidential Administration from 1999-2011, during which time he apparently played a role in the transition from Yeltsin to Putin and later developed the concept of sovereign democracy, which is arguably 21st century Russia’s ‘state ideology’.

Surkov also served as Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Modernisation from 2011-2013, and has since remained an aide to Putin, apparently with the specific brief of handling Russia’s relationships with Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Ukraine. When Western elites went apoplectic because Crimea joined the Russian Federation in 2014, Surkov was one of the first names on Obama’s sanctions list. Asked how he felt about no longer being able to travel to the US, Surkov responded:

“The only things that interest me in the US are Tupac Shakur, Allen Ginsberg, and Jackson Pollock. I don’t need a visa to access their work.”

As Western actors hurl invective, sanctions, cyberattacks, political subterfuge and proxy wars at Russia – all apparently with a view to ‘correcting’ its policy decisions in the short-term, and thus its developmental trajectory in the long-term – Surkov sweeps through Russian history to explain why he believes that the ‘civilizational crisis’ his country finds itself in today marks the beginning of a new era and new identity for Russia…

[Hyperlinks to Wikipedia and other sources concerning historical events/actors referenced by the author are ours]

Vladislav Surkov

Vladislav Surkov

There are all kinds of jobs. Some jobs can be tackled only in a state that differs somewhat from a normal one. For example, a proletary1 of the news industry, a garden variety news supplier, as a rule, is a person in a frenzied state, and with a somewhat feverish mind. Which isn’t surprising, since news business requires haste: the first to know, the first to report, the first to interpret.

The excitement of those who inform passes to those who are being informed. The excited ones often mistake their own excitement for a thinking process, and this excitement replaces the latter, which leads to long-term ‘convictions’ and ‘principles’ being replaced with one-shot ‘opinions’. It is also the source for incompetent assessments, which no one seems to mind. That’s the price for news being fresh and hot.

Few can hear the mocking silence of fate through the background media noise. Few are interested to know that there is slow and massive news that doesn’t come from shallow waters, but from the depth of life, where geopolitical structures and historical eras collide. It takes time before we can understand their full meaning, but it is never too late to do so.

The 14th year of our current century is marked with important and very important achievements which everybody knows about because everything has been said about them. But one of the most important events of that time is only now starting to reveal itself to us, and slow, deep news about it only now reaches our ears. This event was the end of Russia’s epic journey towards the West, the cessation of repeated and fruitless attempts to become part of Western civilization, to become a member of ‘a happy family of European nations’.

Starting from the 14th year [of our century, i.e. 2014], we began an indeterminably long new period, the so-called ’14+ epoch’, in which Russia faces 100 (200? 300?) years of geopolitical solitude.

Putin Crimea

Reunification of Crimea with Russia, March 2014, Year Zero of the New Era

Various methods of Russia’s ‘westernization’ were tried during 400 years since it was first foolheartedly initiated by False Dmitry and implemented with determination by Peter the Great. There were numerous attempts to become a country like Holland, France, USA, Portugal. All possible means were used in attempts to elbow into the West. All new ideas and shake-ups emanating from the West were received with huge enthusiasm (which was probably excessive) by Russia’s elite.

Autocrats willingly married German women, and imperial nobility and bureaucracy increased their numbers thanks to wandering uitlanders. But while Europeans quickly and en masse became ‘russified’, Russians still resisted the counter-process of ‘europeanization’.

The Russian army fought and sacrificed itself in all the major European wars. Based on its rich experience, Europe can be considered the bloodiest and most violent continent. Great victories and great sacrifices led to Russia gaining a lot of territories in the west, but to no new friends.

Saint Petersburg even initiated the creation of the Holy Alliance and become its guarantor for the sake of European religious-monarchic values, and diligently fulfilled its duty when it was necessary to save the House of Habsburg from the Hungarian rebellion. But when Russia found itself in a similarly difficult situation, not only did Austria not help, it turned against Russia.

Then Europe had a change of heart, and Marxist ideas became all the rage in Paris and Berlin. Some citizens of Simbirsk and Yanovka [SOTT.net: Small provincial cities] wanted to resemble Paris. As long as the West was in thrall to socialism, they were anxious not to lag behind Europe, greatly fearing that the world revolution, to be led apparently by European and American workers, would somehow pass by their ‘backwoods’.

They tried nonetheless. By the time the dust of class conflict had settled, it became clear that – despite the great efforts that went into the creation of the USSR – the world revolution wasn’t happening. The Western world, instead of becoming a workers’ and peasants’ system, became exactly the opposite – capitalistic. Additionally, it became necessary to thoroughly conceal the increasingly autistic symptoms of socialism behind the Iron Curtain.

By the end of the previous century Russia got tired of being ‘isolated’. It again set its eyes toward the West. But some thought that ‘size matters’: we don’t fit into Europe because we are too big and scarily wide. That’s why [if Russia were to be accepted] it had to lessen its territory, population, economy, and military, and to lower its ambitions to the size of an average European country. So we lessened. We worshiped Hayek just like we once worshiped Marx. Demographics, industry and military potentials were cut in half. Russia parted with all its constituent republics, and initiated the process of separation from its autonomous republics… But even this version of a belittled and degraded Russia didn’t fit into the West.

Finally it was decided to stop the process of humiliation and degradation. More so, it was decided to assert our rights. What happened in 2014 became inevitable.

Despite seeming similarities between Russian and European culture models, they have different ‘software’ and different ‘connectors’. It’s impossible to combine them into one system. Today, when this old suspicion has become an obvious fact, we hear suggestions from some that it’s time to shuffle in the other direction – towards Asia, the East.

There is no need for it. And this is why: Russia is already there.

Moscow’s proto-empire2 was created in the atmosphere of a complicated military-political ‘co-working’ with the Asian Horde. Some tend to see it as oppression by the Horde and others as a union. It’s hard to say whether it was a forceful oppression or a willful union. But in any event, Russia developed along an ‘eastern’ vector.

Even after the Great Stand on the Ugra River, Russian tsardom continued in fact to be part of Asia. It willingly annexed eastern territories and had a claim to heritage of the Byzantine Empire, the ‘Asian Rome’. It was also greatly influenced by noble families of the Golden Horde’s descent.

Simeon Bekbulatovich

Simeon Bekbulatovich

The height of Asian influence came when Simeon Bekbulatovich, the Muslim-born khan of the Khanate of Qasim3 was appointed Grand Prince of All Rus’ by Ivan the Formidable. Historians, accustomed to think of Ivan IV as a kind of court jester wearing Monomakh’s Cap, attribute this ‘trick’ solely to his ‘natural playfulness’. But the reality was much more serious.

When Ivan’s rule ended, there was solid support in the royal court for Simeon Bekbulatovich to inherit the Tsardom of Russia. This forced Ivan’s successor, Boris Godunov, to extract from the boyars [SOTT.net: Russian nobility], while swearing allegiance to him, a promise “to not want Bekbulatovich and his children to become rulers of the Tsardom.” This means that the Russian state came within an inch of transitioning to rule by baptized descendants of Genghis Khan and consolidating an ‘eastern’ paradigm of development.

In the end, neither Bekbulatovich nor other descendants of the Horde’s nobility had a future. Invasion from Poland brought new tsars to Moscow from the West. Despite the relatively tame impact of rulings by False Dmitry, long before Peter the Great distressed boyars with his European ambitions, and long before Polish prince Władysław IV Vasa, these ‘policy changes’ contained symbolic meaning. In hindsight, the disturbance appears to be not so much dynastic in nature, but rather a civilizational crisis – Rus’ broke away from Asia and began its ideological orientation toward Europe.

So for four centuries Russia’s direction was eastbound, and then for another four centuries it was westbound. Neither direction produced any roots. We’ve reached the end of the road in both directions. Now new third way ideologies will be required; civilizations of the third type, of the third world, of the third Rome…

But it’s doubtful that we are ‘the third civilization’ – rather, a bifold and dualistic one that incorporates both the East and the West. Both European and Asian, and therefore neither fully European nor fully Asian.

Our cultural and geopolitical affiliation resembles the fluid identity of a man born of mixed marriage. He is everyone’s relative, but nowhere is he a native. At home among strangers, a stranger at home. He understands everyone but is understood by no one. A half-blood, a half-breed, a strange one.

Russia is a western-eastern half-blood country, with its double-headed nationhood, hybrid mentality, intercontinental territory and bipolar history. And just like any half-breed, Russia is charismatic, talented, beautiful, and lonely.

Great words that were never actually said by Alexander III: “Russia has only two allies: the army and the navy.” It is probably the most intelligible metaphor of the geopolitical solitude that we should have by now already accepted as fate. We could of course extend our list of allies to include workers and teachers, oil and gas, the ‘creative class’ and patriots, General Frost and Archangel Michael… But the truth remains the same – we are our own allies.

What form will our isolation take? Will it be a lonely and wretched existence? Or will it be the happy isolation of a leader, of an alpha-nation, which took a leap forward, and which other countries and nations now ‘make way for’? It depends on our choice.

Solitude doesn’t mean complete isolation. But unlimited openness is also impossible. Both would be a repetition of past mistakes. The future carries its own mistakes, it doesn’t need mistakes of the past.

Russia without doubt will engage in trade, attract investments, exchange know-how, and fight wars (war is also a method of communication), collaborate, be part of various organizations, compete and cooperate, evoke fear and hatred, curiosity, sympathy, and admiration. But this time without false goals and self-denial.

It’s going to be tough. And more than once will we recall this piece of classical Russian poetry: “There is only suffering, suffering and suffering around… but when will we finally see the f*cking stars?!

It will be interesting. And there will be stars.

bridge Crimea

The new bridge network connecting with Crimea the Russian Motherland. Photo taken by Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov onboard the International Space Station, April 25th, 2018

Notes

1. ‘Proletary’ (The Proletarian) was an illegal Russian Bolshevik newspaper edited by Lenin; it was published from September 3, 1906 until December 11, 1909

2. Muscovy, or the Grand Principality of Moscow

3. Then a vassal state of Russia, today the Russian Republic of Tatarstan

Betraying the Bolivarian Revolution: Vichy Journalism at teleSUR English – By Jon Jeter (MINT PRESS)

QUITO, ECUADOR (Special Report) — Rita Anaya was a 25-year-old graduate student living in southern California when Venezuelan activists invited her to travel to their homeland for the first time in 2007. Her initial response, she freely acknowledges now, was one of ambivalence, but when you’re the daughter of a Chicano farmworker and a Jewish labor organizer (from Queens, no less), there’s a sort of Calvinist inevitability to these things: ”You are who you are before you’re born, player,” as Jay-Z might say. So not only did she make the trip, but she was accompanied by the whole of her immediate family — mother, father, and sister – in a kind of social-justice family vacation.

What beckoned the Anaya clan was, of course, Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution, which was, by that time, in its ninth year. And indeed, Rita found the experience exhilarating, if not downright transformative. It wasn’t just seeing the material impact of President Hugo Chavez’s socialist policies up-close – the nationalization of the oil industry, the ambitious land reform program, a steep reduction in the percentage of Venezuelans living in poverty, the sharp spike in the nation’s literacy rates or the health clinics that proliferated across the gorgeous Caribbean landscape like daffodils after a spring rain, each of which ran counter to global economic trends of that time.

All of those achievements were impressive, to be sure, but what really beguiled Rita was that in a corner of the New World that has for centuries been governed by the European settlers who own the country, the non-white workers who built it were beginning to demand their fair share with growing confidence. And in the process, they were not only improving their material reality, but raising their level of consciousness, and fulfilling Frantz Fanon’s prophetic vision of a new, post-colonial (Wo)Man.

 

A new media for a newly awakened people

The perfect manifestation of the Venezuelan people’s newfound faith were the grassroots community media outlets that began to sprout in the years following the 1989 Caracazo, when state security forces and military personnel roamed the streets of the capital city of Caracas, shooting indiscriminately at demonstrators protesting the government’s abrupt shift to neoliberal policies. The practice of pirating airwaves to broadcast the news from the barrios was done largely clandestinely for fear of reprisals from the state, until Chavez was first elected president in late 1998, and promptly deployed community assemblies throughout the country to rewrite the constitution.

The resulting 1999 constitution is one of the world’s most progressive and enshrines, as a human right, access to education, healthcare, housing, employment, political participation, and even the media. According to the news agency Venezuelanalysis, Article 58 of the constitution specifically states, “Communication is free and plural and must adhere to the obligations and responsibilities under the law. Every person has the right to objective, true and impartial information, without censorship…,” and goes on to assert that all communication media, public and private, must contribute to the social development of citizens. It further guarantees public access to radio, television, libraries and other information networks.

President Hugo Chavez smiles during his weekly radio show broadcast from San Sebastian de Los Reyes in the state of Aragua, Venezuela, June 10, 2001. Chavez's well publicized war with the news media is a staple of his "cadenas," or speeches, which by law must be broadcast by Venezuelan TV and radio, usually during prime time. (AP/Juan Carlos Solorzano)

In her 2007 junket and her subsequent trips to Venezuela as an intern for the human rights organization, School of the Americas Watch, Anaya found herself enthralled with citizens’ media —  its reimagining of the Fourth Estate as a kind of bulletin board for revolution, and of the journalist as a public servant, tasked with helping build a Beloved Community.

When provincial officials announced plans to privatize the local water supply, the alternative press didn’t just cover the subsequent protests; it helped organize them. Similarly, the citizens’ press led the peaceful takeover of a bullfighting ring that was converted into an arts and cultural center, and weekly radio shows allow high school students to combine hip-hop and politics. TV cameramen take great pains to photograph their subjects from below rather than from above — as the former camera angle tends to empower people and make them appear almost larger than life, while the latter is, quite literally, condescending.

Said one indigenous woman whose program was broadcast weekly on community radio:

Our children turn on the radio, and they hear their aunt, their friend’s mother, their older sister and her friends. They hear stories from the mouths of those who know the community and what we need. And they hear our language. All of this makes the children proud and eager to participate, and it gives our own community some of the power we lost to the lies of the media stations.”

It was almost as if the media collectives were riffing on the Marxist intellectual C.L.R. James’ famous supposition and asserting that if every cook can govern, surely every housemaid or gardener can report the news.

This democratization of the press was largely emblematic of a new political relationship in Venezuela, in which the unwashed passed an average of 200 handwritten messages a day to the head-of-state – “I need a bag of cement to fix my house,” or “I need a job as a teacher,” or simply “God Bless You, Hugo” – and Chavez reciprocated with the most extraordinary of gestures: he spoke back.

“When Chavez talks, it is like he is one of us,” Pablo Rosales, 53, a black cab driver told me when I visited Caracas in 2004. After returning from a state visit abroad, for example, Chavez would appear on his weekly television broadcast — Halo, Presidente — using a map and pointer.

“He will say this is where I was and it takes X number of hours to travel there by plane from Caracas,” an advisor, Maximilien Arvelaiz, told me, continuing:  

For the rich and the middle class, this is all quite boring because of course they know where Spain is on the map. They think it is stupid. But poor people love this. No one has ever taken the time to explain this to them. He is the first president I’ve seen who talks to the poor and not just the high class. He includes us when he talks.”

 

Grassroots media helps rescue Chavez, Venezuela in 2002

But alternative media really began to blossom after throngs of protesters managed to reverse a 2002 coup attempt orchestrated by Venezuela’s oligarchs. In the hours after Chavez was abducted at gunpoint from the presidential palace known as Miraflores, Venezuela’s major broadcasters and newspapers reported that he had simply resigned, and abandoned his presidency for Cuba, where presumably, he would live in comfort as a guest of his close friend, Fidel Castro.

Supporters of ousted president Hugo Chavez run towards Miraflores presidential palace during protests, Saturday, April 13, 2002. Pro-Chavez protests were reported in at least 20 neighborhoods throughout the capital, Caracas, as well as the cities of Los Teques, Guarenas, Maracay and Coro. (AP/Dario Lopez Mills)

But, knowing that the country’s media moguls were in league with the coup-plotters (indeed, four media channels had ties to Chavez’s conservative opposition), the Afro-Caribbeans and mixed-race mestizos who lived in the slums and the countryside refused to buy it, and took to pirated radio frequencies to rally the grassroots. Within hours, the barrios of Caracas rose up in unison, and tens of thousands of Chavistas streamed into the streets to assert their displeasure, louder than the proverbial bomb.

Armed mostly with pots-and-pans and white-hot indignation, the rainbow-colored phalanx marched on the military base where Chavez was held, Fuerte Tiuna — engaging well-armed soldiers who fired on them along the route — to arrive, finally, at their destination, and demand the release of their democratically-elected leader.

Outnumbered, and outmaneuvered in the court of public opinion, the shocked oligarchs had no choice but to relent; Chavez was restored to power a mere 48 hours after he was ousted, and went on to rule the coastal country of 31 million people for another 11 years until his death from cancer in 2013.

Despite his common touch and his sometimes coarse language, Chavez, who was himself of mestizo and African ancestry, was an avid reader and an intellectual whose political ideology was steeped in his interrogation of revolutionary texts. While he admired Bolivar tremendously for his emancipation of the continent’s northern rim, he fully understood that the Great Liberator would never have managed to loosen Spain’s colonial chokehold on the continent without adding 250 Haitian soldiers, a small fleet, 4,000 muskets, 15,000 pounds of gunpowder, money, food and a printing press from Haiti, which had waged the first successful slave revolt in the Western hemisphere.

Chavez saw, moreover, that while Bolivar had indeed honored his promise to the Haitians to abolish slavery in the liberated colonies, his Republic never formally recognized Haiti, and, in fact, excluded his benefactors from the inaugural meeting of the Americas’ newly independent states in 1826, while inviting one U.S. President James Madison, who supported both imperialism and the peculiar institution of slavery.

Once he had been extricated from the clutches of his own country’s plutocrats, the savvy Chavez realized that, like Bolivar, he was singularly indebted to the black and brown Venezuelans who mobilized on his behalf, and that an independent media was a predicate for insulating the revolution from the future attacks that were inevitable. In the months following the aborted coup, his government introduced a flurry of proclamations and legislation to “darken” the state, including the Presidential Commission for the Prevention and Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in the Venezuelan Educational System — requiring, among other things, that public schools teach the contributions of Afro-Venezuelans.

After the ravaging of Hurricane Katrina through the Gulf Coast in 2005, despite a strained political relationship with the United States government, Venezuela offered aid to the region through its Venezuelan Embassy in the form of mobile hospitals, medical workers, power plants, and food. (A humiliated President George W. Bush, however, wouldn’t even entertain the offer).

In the aftermath of a catastrophic earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010, Venezuela forgave Haiti’s over $395 million dollars in foreign debt, and pledged more financial support to the Caribbean nation than did either the United States or the European Union. In 2005 Venezuela began leading initiatives in Afro-descendant communities such as New Orleans and the South Bronx, providing discounted heating oil and free energy-saving light bulbs to low-income families during the winter months. Venezuela also provided grants to community-based organizations to build self-sustaining institutions, such as worker-owned cooperatives and holistic healthcare centers for women.

When the actor Danny Glover visited in early 2004 and attended a ceremony to name an elementary school for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., televised news accounts showed Chavez pointing to his curly hair and broad nose and saying that he, like Glover, was of African heritage. Simultaneously, community media was exploding, from 13 licensed radio, television and print outlets in 2002 to 193 licensed outlets by 2007, and another 300 or so unlicensed enterprises, according to Henry Fernandes, one of the founders of Radio Crepuscular, a popular station in Caracas.

 

The birth of teleSUR

In 2005, Chavez announced Venezuela’s high-profile collaboration with the leftist governments of Cuba, Argentina, and Uruguay (and later Bolivia and Ecuador) to launch the state-financed, independent network teleSUR, to counter the corporate media that monopolizes information across the Americas. The network’s first director general, Uruguayan journalist Aram Aharonian, described teleSUR’s objective as:

 . . . to see ourselves as we truly were. . . . We were presented through a colonial mentality as blond and tall and European, and some of us are, but we’re also short, dark, Zambo, Indian. We needed to shake off our inferiority complex and tell our own stories.”

Aram Aharonian, center, Director of Telesur, meets with the station's news director Jorge Botero, left, and news producer Isabel Rui in a hotel room in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, March 25, 2005, where the groundwork for teleSUR was laid. (AP/Leslie Mazoch)

Rita Anaya was working on her dissertation and teaching at a Nigerian university when she spotted an online ad calling for reporters and editors to work at teleSUR’s new English-language website in early 2014. She fired off her application immediately, and was among the first group of hires when teleSUR English began publishing from Ecuador’s capital city, Quito, in the spring of that year.

 

The top-down ethos of teleSUR English

But it became immediately apparent that teleSUR English couldn’t be more different from the grassroots media she’d observed in Venezuela. The citizen-journalists she saw at work on-the-ground in Venezuela were constantly out in the community, their reportage crackling with the energy, and chatter, of the streets. TeleSUR English is located in Quito’s toniest neighborhood and resembles an insurance office. Its reporters seldom venture outside, conduct phone interviews, or even discuss news stories at length.

They are, for the most part, not reporters at all, but aggregators, rewriting news stories published elsewhere, and churning out a daily requirement of five stories, all of which are reproductions, typically absent any original reporting. While the editorial structure of Venezuela’s community journalism was bottom-up, with reporters driving the coverage, top editors at teleSUR English exercised almost total control over coverage.

“What I saw in the community media was democratic, participatory and horizontal,” Rita told MintPress, “while teleSUR English was a top-down structure where we had to agree with the editorial line of the organization and we were never clear on where the line was. There was no transparency.”

About six weeks into the job, however, Rita pounced on an opening for the local correspondent’s job in the Quito office, which would afford her an opportunity to engage with the community and generate her own stories. She beat out another writer for the job — a blonde, blue-eyed American — and started her new assignment in early July of 2014.

But from the start, no one seemed invested in her success. She received no training on how to edit video, nor did she receive any instructions on what kind of stories to pursue. It was difficult to find a cameraman to accompany her and, flying blind, she typically worked 12-hour days.

After two weeks on the job, she was summoned to a video conference meeting with teleSUR’s top editors. The organization’s top editors in Caracas, and Quito — including Greg Wilpert, who is of German extraction and married to Venezuela’s ambassador to Ecuador — were unhappy with her work. Her Spanish wasn’t great, and she wasn’t as productive as they hoped. As evidence of her shortcomings, they cited a segment she’d reported on indigenous women organizing collectives and labor unions since the 2007 election of Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, whose liberal policies teleSUR supported.


Read more by Jon Jeter


What seemed particularly nettlesome was that she mentioned, even in passing, the patriarchal attitudes that were prevalent in Ecuadorian society. Rita exploded, noting that she’d received practically no training, no instruction and very little support. “Greg, whose side are you on?” she asked, singling out Wilpert, who had hired her. “You’re not a leader; you’re a ball-less piece of shit.”

But it was all to no avail. Management had already decided to replace Rita with the blue-eyed, blond-haired woman whom she’d just beat out for the correspondents’ job three weeks earlier. Rita returned to a desk rewrite job, and then, after a month in which she uttered not a single word to any of the top editors, quit and returned to the U.S. to finish her doctoral studies.

Four years in, teleSUR English is, by any critical measure — the size of its audience, the impact of its journalism, or its strengthening of democracy — an abysmal failure, and represents nothing less than a betrayal of the Bolivarian revolution.

The cause of this failure is clear: central to Venezuela’s socialist uprising are people of color and women who are, intent on finally slaying the white-settler colonial state that reduced them to guest workers in the country of their birth, while the editorial policies and reportage of teleSUR English have, since its birth, been decided unilaterally by a battery of white men from North America who seem intent on maintaining the status quo.

 

The dysfunction of teleSUR English’s reverse meritocracy

By the time I arrived in Quito in the summer of 2016 to start working for teleSUR English, Wilpert had been replaced as the newsroom’s top director by Pablo Vivanco, Chilean by birth but raised in Toronto; and his top deputy, Cyril Mychalejko, who is of Ukrainian descent but raised in Philadelphia. TeleSUR English, I quickly discovered, is an inverse meritocracy, where the two least qualified journalists in the newsroom were charged with managing some of the most talented, hungry, and committed young journalists I’ve met in nearly 30 years in-and-around the media.  

In interviews and conversations with more than a dozen staffers at teleSUR English, Pablo, Cyril, Greg Wilpert and most of the outlet’s top editors are consistently described in the most disparaging terms, and indeed it is hard to imagine that the hiring of such inept and morale-killing managers was an accident. Were teleSUR’s top newsroom managers hired to rewrite the history of the Bolivarian Revolution, to return the European settler to power, and to restore the white man’s unquestioned authority?

Telesur coordinator Luis Ramos directs news anchor Marcela Eredia at a rehearsal for a live news broadcast in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, Oct. 31, 2005. (AP/Leslie Mazoch)

“I call it white respectability politics,” said a young black woman who once worked as an editor at teleSUR. “Why else would you have white men who are anti-black and anti-woman in charge of telling the story of the New World?”

Without access to the organization’s top decision-makers, their motives can only be a matter of speculation. What’s hard to refute, however, is that under Vivanco and Mychalejko’s leadership, the newsroom was a hive of misogyny, racism and mediocrity.

For starters, neither had worked for any mainstream journalism outlet, but had instead spent much of their careers prior to teleSUR in the NGO world. Neither one ever demonstrated any profound understanding of journalism, nor did they seem even remotely interested in developing one.

At an editors’ meeting to discuss what we could do about teleSUR English’s plummeting numbers and dwindling audience, the social media editor deconstructed our readership and concluded that we had no foundational audience and were reliant almost solely on clickbait and other gimmicks.

Her prescription echoed the broad newsroom consensus: we needed to produce more original and compelling content. Cyril was unconvinced, however, and turned to the young editor after her presentation to ask rather sharply: “How do we know our numbers aren’t down because some of our writers aren’t producing their five stories a day?”

Pablo’s delayed response was even more bewildering. A week later he addressed the presentation in an email, writing: “How do we even know that our audience wants original content?”

 

A primer in how to stunt, thwart, and drive away talented journalists

In my four months at teleSUR, I don’t recall a single conversation with Pablo or Cyril about the quality of our reportage or writing. Their entire raison d’etre was disciplining the writing staff, which was comprised mostly of hard-working and gifted women and people of color. Once, the staff’s best writer, a young Canadian woman whose parents had fled Pakistan, reported for her Sunday morning shift nearly three hours late. I was the only editor working that morning, and because she was never late, typically skipped lunch, and brought boundless energy and enthusiasm to her job, the thought of writing her up never crossed my mind.

“Jon,” Cyril snarled hysterically in a meeting two days later, “when they’re late you have to get in their face!”

“For what?” I shot back dismissively. “You want to lose your best writer over a one-off?”

With Pablo’s blessing, Cyril fetishized authority, no matter how illegitimate. He once came into work two hours early to run the morning huddle to crack down on one enthusiastic copy editor who would pitch three or sometimes four stories, instead of the two that Cyril demanded, in a power move that was openly mocked by nearly the entire morning shift. Another time, the normally morose Cyril was almost giddy as he wrote up two women writers who had reported to work a few minutes late because of a parade near the office.

“Are you serious?” one of them asked in bewilderment. “We were like six minutes late.”

“Yeah, I know,” Cyril said, grinning awkwardly, “but you know the rules.”

Pablo and Cyril’s mismanagement had unmistakable racial and patriarchal overtones.  

The young woman who worked as the social media editor told me that Cyril and another top male editor had reprimanded her with such demonstrative hostility that she felt physically threatened. Paid op-ed articles were disproportionately commissioned to white writers, and writers of color like Matt Sedillo complained that their payments were routinely delayed for weeks, when white writers they’d befriended told them that they’d already received payment for articles published around the same time.

A young man of Mexican ancestry, who was the most fully-developed writer at teleSUR when I was there, was banished to the graveyard shift for no other reason than that he had complained about working six days a week. When teleSUR’s Venezuelan correspondent examined the country’s chronic food shortages, he did so by explaining how difficult it was for him, a white British expatriate, to find his favorite foods, rather than interviewing a Venezuelan family. A black woman from Washington, D.C., who had worked for teleSUR, told me that Pablo was dismissive of suggestions to aggressively cover the Black Lives Matter movement in 2014 until the story was too big to ignore.

“He said that Michael Brown was just another police shooting,” she recalled, “and it would soon blow over.”

The only writers spared Cyril and Pablo’s micro-aggressions were a young Arab man named Mohammed — who was the only Muslim Uncle Tom I’ve ever encountered and once publicly repeated the trope that Middle-Eastern men, including his own father, are more prone to commit violence against women than are other men — and a Canadian woman named Heather, who many of us had taken to calling “Cointelpro” because she tipped off Cyril and Pablo when a fellow writer either was late or pitched three stories instead of two at the morning huddle.

Heather was also the author of a profile of a blonde-haired Dutch woman who had joined the Marxist-influenced revolutionary militia known by its Spanish acronym, the FARC. The story was problematic for a couple of reasons.

Only weeks earlier, a young woman – who I thought was the most aggressive reporter on staff – had pitched a story about the organizing efforts of indigenous women working in Bolivia’s male-dominated mining industry. At an editor’s meeting one afternoon, Pablo had openly derided the story idea and the woman who’d proposed it, on the grounds that it might portray Bolivia’s first indigenous president — Evo Morales, a socialist and friend of the late Chavez — in a negative light.

“That’s not journalism,” I said to Pablo in the meeting. “That’s cheerleading.”

But both he and Cyril had championed Heather’s profile of the Dutch guerilla fighter, going so far as to publish it as the lead story, and allow it to remain in that position on the website for nearly twenty-four hours, when most stories remained in the top spot for no more than a few hours.

The entire staff ridiculed the profile as Orientalist dross. “There are enough n!@#$% in the FARC to make a Tarzan movie,” I said to my coworkers, paraphrasing an old joke told on the 70s television sitcom Sanford and Son, “and they find the one white girl to write a story on.”

 

Last straw — over and out

A week before the 2016 election, I discovered that the Content Management System (CMS) was once again on the fritz. It would not allow me to save my edits. This was a recurring problem and one that I had complained to both Cyril and Pablo about just five days earlier. The system went down at 9:21 a.m; I called tech services to report the problem at 9:37. When they told me it would be at least half an hour before the problem was fixed, I ran an errand to the bank.

I returned to find an email from Cyril reprimanding me for failing to alert CMS to the problem. I responded in an email, cc’ing Pablo:

Fuck you and your written warning, Cyril. I have been having problems with CMS since Thursday . . . both of you are well aware . . . and yet, those same problems have not only continued but gotten worse.”

Pablo wrote back that I should “stand down.” I responded:

Who is responsible for CMS not working, if not you two? It is wholly unprofessional to write someone up for something that is (a) your responsibility, and (b) I handled appropriately.

In 30 years in newsrooms, that is something else that I have never seen occur.

In my 4 months here, I have seen absolutely NO investment in producing quality journalism. But you and Pablo seem awfully invested in being the BOSS, except when something really needs to be done. Our numbers are falling through the fucking basement and the only idea that comes from you and Pablo is writing someone up.

It strikes me that you and Pablo are heavily invested in holding everyone accountable.

And yet, the only two people in the office who are not accountable are you two.”

Fearing that I would do time in an Ecuadorian jail if I saw Cyril or Pablo, I quit an hour later, and walked off the job.

Top Photo | Workers set up for the inauguration of TeleSur in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, July 24, 2005. (AP Photo/Leslie Mazoch)

Jon Jeter is a published book author and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist with more than 20 years of journalistic experience. He is a former Washington Post bureau chief and award-winning foreign correspondent on two continents, as well as a former radio and television producer for Chicago Public Media’s “This American Life.”

Republish our stories! MintPress News is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.

 

 
 

America is a System Not a Democracy – Chris Kanthan (Sott.net)

US democracy

Are you perturbed by what’s happening in America? Are you shocked by inequality, disappearing middle class, declining quality of health, police brutality, gun violence, ever-growing national debt, government’s Orwellian monitoring etc.? You are not alone, but all these are confusing only if you think in terms of an “American government” or “American corporations” or “American banks” that have, or should have, unique loyalty or consideration towards the American people.

But that’s the wrong way to think about American today. Everything becomes clear if you think of it as a “System”.

Why would we be surprised that there are millions of Americans who work full time and yet live in poverty, when the System exploits people in other countries for much, much lower wages? In the cost-savings Excel sheet of the System, a Walmart worker is still 10x more expensive than the worker from that ‘other’ country.

We cease to be surprised that Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase defraud American homeowners when we realize that the System brought down whole countries such as Greece, Spain, Italy, Ireland and Portugal using the same financial engineering schemes, lies and manipulations. Most of these countries are now being looted by the austerity programs demanded by the same System.

How can we be shocked by gun violence in America when the System is the #1 exporter of guns and weapons in the world? The System thrives on violence. The System loves perpetual wars – Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Niger … just to name a few countries the System has bombed in the last decade. The System is also planning for bigger wars with North Korea, Russia and China.

If police brutality and militarization of police is disturbing, we have to realize how the System supports, and has supported, dictators all over the world when it is/was profitable to do so. Many ruthless dictators in Latin American countries, Africa, Middle East and Asia were handpicked and put in power by the System. Some were even trained in a special school in the U.S. The system gladly funds and arms terrorists in Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. All that valuable experience can’t be wasted.

When it comes to child poverty, no one should be surprised that America ranks at the bottom among developed nations. From Apple to Calvin Klein to Hershey’s, many corporations depend on child labor for their stocks to outperform the expectations of Wall Street analysts. When the System profits from ten-year-olds working in toxic mines in third-world countries, American kids on food stamps look quite spoiled. The ‘poor’ in America don’t realize how good they have it.

For anyone who is enraged by our exploding national debt, don’t be. Debt is the ultimate tool for the System to enslave nations. The economic hit men of the World Bank and the IMF have, over the last 75 years, mastered this art of drowning nations in debt in order to control them. Does anyone think it’s a coincidence that Russia – the country the System loves to hate – has a debt-to-GDP ratio of 17%? Compare that to America’s 105% or Japan’s 250%. The System doesn’t like countries with low debt, just like it doesn’t appreciate people trying to go off-grid in America or people thinking for themselves. This is also the same reason that Americans save only 2.4% of their income while US households have a record debt of over $13 trillion. Credit cards, student loans, auto loans and mortgages are all different tools with the same purpose.

Once you understand the System, you can’t feign surprise that wages are stagnant while the cost of living keeps going up. With all the advancement in science, one would think that healthcare cost would go down every year, but that would be naive. Healthcare (“sickcare”) is the best extraction tool, since people will give up a kidney (sometimes literally) for medical care when they are sick. The only things that are cheap are processed food and mass entertainment that are toxic to your body and mind respectively. Does anyone ever wonder if that’s just a coincidence?

This is why America’s education ranks at the bottom of developed nations. As a Wikileaks email revealed, the elites “conspire to produce an unaware and compliant citizenry.” Translation: Dumb and Subservient.

Do you wonder why fracking and GMOs are allowed to destroy America’s environment? The System couldn’t care less about the environment. It has destroyed an unimaginable amount of rain forest all over the world, and couldn’t care less about the thousands of species that are going extinct every year. The System hates sustainability and freedom. Just like how the older version of the System wiped out the Native Americans, the current System despises tradition, culture, religion, spirituality, consciousness, holistic medicine, anything that involves people taking care of and responsibility for themselves.

By now, hopefully, you understand why lobbyists have taken over the American government and why we really don’t have a functional democracy. The System is not a fan of democracy. You really don’t think that the psychopathic elite would agree to run their lives and plan their grand strategies on the basis of the needs of millions of pesky little people, do you? Democracy and elections are just nice illusions so that we feel content, be passive, go to work, watch lots of TV, get into debt, spend our money on things we don’t need and, most importantly, believe in the righteousness of the System.

Are you mad? You should be. The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.

Avatar

Chris Kanthan (Profile)

Chris Kanthan is the author of a new book, Deconstructing the Syrian war.. Chris lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, has traveled to 35 countries, and writes about world affairs, politics, economy and health. His other book is Deconstructing Monsanto.. Follow him on Twitter: @GMOChannel

Imminent collapse of US dollar & other major currencies will push gold to $10,000 – bullion analyst – By RT

Imminent collapse of US dollar & other major currencies will push gold to $10,000 – bullion analyst
An ounce of gold will cost $10,000 as soon as global currencies crash and central banks have to appeal to a gold-backed monetary system, according to Byron King, editor of Jim Rickards’ Gold Speculator.

“If you take the global money supply, back it with 40 percent gold, you need $10,000 gold to make the math work, and that’s just using a 40 percent backing,” he said in an interview with Kitco News on the sidelines of the annual event set by Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC). “And it has to do with the eventual demise of modern currencies.”

The analyst didn’t specify the timeframe for the gold price surge from the current $1,325 per ounce, but stressed that it would have to happen, as the current cash bubble, consisting of dozens of trillions in USD, cannot exist forever.

“It’s kind of like a story about the man who went bankrupt, slowly at first and then all of a sudden. It’s the same thing with the US dollar, with the euro, with the yen. We’ve created trillions and trillions, dozens of trillions, almost hundreds of trillions of dollars, of obligations that simply can never be repaid. It will have to happen,” the analyst said.

King noted that gold stocks at current valuations are rather more attractive at the moment than they were two years ago. The expert also said that today’s miners are backed by “better numbers” and “smarter geologists.”

“We are in a new gold bull cycle, we’re in a blip of six- or eight-month downturn, but it will turn around. These are fundamentally good companies with great value behind them,” he said.

The PDAC International Convention, Trade Show and Investors Exchange is an annual event for investors, companies and organizations connected with mineral exploration. The event, carried out in Toronto, reportedly attracts 1,000 exhibitors, 3,800 investors and 24,000 attendees from 130 countries.

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Not so top secret: 4 times US military sites were exposed online – By RT

Not so top secret: 4 times US military sites were exposed online
Fitness tracking apps have inadvertently revealed the locations of secret US military sites in the world’s most remote locations. However, it isn’t the first time technological blunders have given away valuable American secrets.

In light of the embarrassing setback for US clandestine operations, RT.com looks back at some of the most unfortunate security breaches in recent times.

READ MORE: US military bases & patrol routes compromised by fitness tracker map

Saudi Arabia

In 2013, satellite images available on Bing Maps revealed a remote airstrip in the Saudi Arabian desert. Based on the design of the outbuildings, some reports suggested that it was a secret US drone base. The existence of such a facility was first reported in the New York Times earlier that year.

DigitalGlobe, the commercial imaging company, pictured that section of the Rub al Khali desert in 2010 and then again in 2012. The first image showed no sign of the airfield while the second showed clear signs of construction. This tallies with the timeline set out in the New York Times.

Described to Wired as a “major logistical feat” by a former intelligence officer, the base was reportedly the launch site for the controversial mission to assassinate Anwar al-Awlaki, a US citizen and radical cleric, in Yemen in September 2011.

Jordan

In July last year, the website War is Boring reported that a previously-unknown US drone base had been spotted by satellites over northern Jordan. At the time it was the second base pictured along the Syrian border after another site was uncovered in southern Jordan.

The website Already Happened, which describes itself as an independent media organization, published before and after satellite images of the sites to its Twitter account. The base in northern Jordan is thought to house Reaper drones used to launch strikes across Syria and Iraq. The base, known as the ‘Jordanian H4’ was first pictured in 2014, but pictures show further structures were added in 2015 and again in 2016.

Nevada Desert

Everyone is aware of the conspiracy theories around the US government’s super-secret Area 51 facility in the Nevada desert. However, even less is known about a base found just 12 miles away, Area 6. Well, that was until it appeared on images of the site Google Earth.

READ MORE: Breathtaking scale of Moscow radar station revealed in drone footage (VIDEO)

Consisting of a single runway and one large hangar, Area 6 is used by government agencies to test the sensors of its unmanned aircraft. It was even so low profile that many defense industry experts were not even aware it existed. “I had not heard about it,” John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

A spokesman for the National Nuclear Security Administration – the body that runs the secret site – told the Review-Journal that the controlled airspace gives them opportunities to run experiments on “various types of platforms.” Experts believe the climate in Nevada mirrors perfectly the conditions encountered by drones in the deserts of Libya, Syria and Iraq.

Nuclear newsletters

In 2009, the US government mistakenly published the locations of stockpiles of fuel for nuclear weapons, along with information about the nation’s nuclear sites and programs, in a federal secrecy newsletter.

READ MORE: Threat of terrorist drone attacks is real, says Russian military after assault on base in Syria

The president of the Institute for Science and International Security, David Albright hit out at officials who were trying to downplay the incident and warned that the information could “provide thieves or terrorists inside information that can help them seize the material, which is why that kind of data is not given out.”

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Americans ‘are hiding’ from us in this ‘little village’ of Davos, says Russia’s Deputy PM – By RT

Americans ‘are hiding’ from us in this ‘little village’ of Davos, says Russia’s Deputy PM
The American delegation at Davos seem to be avoiding any contact with their Russian counterparts. At least that’s the impression Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Arkady Dvorkovich, shared with journalists.

“It’s not Russia which is hiding from dialogue. And Russia isn’t closed. It’s the Americans who are hiding from us in Davos – it’s a small village – but they don’t want to talk. They’re hiding from a real discussion,” Dvorkovich said during a panel session at the annual forum at the Swiss Alpine ski resort.

The head of the Russian delegation in Davos did not pay much attention to the American sanctions against Russia, decrying them as “an insignificant issue.”

“We’re talking about the US sanctions, but these sanctions aren’t the most interesting thing in the world … We shouldn’t waste so much time on this – we just have to work more efficiently and work better, instead of discussing sanctions,” he said.

However, the Deputy PM said “the aim of the sanctions, which the US employs, isn’t just to punish Russia or send a signal to Russia, but to compete in Europe. The sanctions are definitely used to fulfil those tasks.”

The US has introduced several waves of sanctions, targeting Russian individuals, companies and whole branches of economy, since Moscow reunited with Crimea in 2014 following a referendum and the conflict in Ukraine broke out. The restrictions were further expanded after Donald Trump took office in early 2017.

Dvorkovich was asked if he was aiming to hold talks with the US President, who is expected to attend the Swiss event. “I’m not the president of Russia. I’m not in a position to ask for a meeting with Trump, but I’m ready to contact the representatives of the American delegation,” he replied.

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The good news about the Trump Presidency: stupid can be good! – By The Saker

January 11, 2018

The good news about the Trump Presidency: stupid can be good!

[Note: This column was written for the Unz Review]

Just a few days shy of the one year since the inauguration of Donalt Trump as President of the United States I think that it would be reasonable to say that pretty much everybody, besides the Neocons and a few unconditional supporters, is now feeling quite appalled at what the past year brought to the USA and the planet. Those who hated Trump don’t hate him any less, while those who had hopes for Trump, such as myself, now have to accept that these hopes never materialized. I think that if we imagine a Hillary Presidency then the word “evil” would be a good way to describe what such a Presidency would most likely have been like. Likewise, if I had to chose a single word to describe the Trump Presidency, at least so far, I think that this word should be “stupid”. I won’t even bother, as I had initially planned, to list all the stupid things Trump has said and done since his inauguration (those who think otherwise might as well stop reading here). I will say that it gives me no pleasure writing this because I also had hopes that Trump would fulfill at least some of his campaign promises (even though most of my support for him was based on the fact that he was not Hillary who, I still believe, would have brought the USA and Russia to war against each other). Furthermore, each time I recall Trump’s inauguration speech I have this painful sense of a most important and totally missed opportunity: to finally restore the sovereignty of the USA to the the people of the USA and to return to a civilized and rational international policy. Alas, this did not happen and that is a reality we have to accept and deal with.

I also want to clarify that when I say that the Trump Presidency can be best summed up with the word “stupid” I don’t just mean The Donald himself. I mean the entire Administration (I don’t mention Congress, as Congress as been about stupid for as long as I can recall it). If you wonder how I can call an entire administration “stupid” even though it is composed of often brilliant civil servants, lawyers, academic, technical specialists, etc I will simply reply that I don’t judge an administration by the resumes of those working for it, but simply by its output, what it actually does. If what this administration produces is a lot of stupid, then this is a stupid administration.

Stupid can mean a lot of different things. For example, it can mean stupid threats against North Korea. That is a very frightening kind of stupid. But there is also a very good kind of stupid. For example, I think that the decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a wonderful kind of stupid which I warmly welcome.

Why?

Because it is the kind of stupid which tremendously weakens the AngloZionist Empire!

Think of the damage this truly stupid move did to not only the US international reputation (which indeed was already pretty close to zero even before this latest move) but also to the US capability to get anything done at all the the Middle-East. The military defeat of the USA in Iraq and Afghanistan and the political defeat of the USA in Syria just needed a little something to truly make the USA irrelevant in the Middle-East and now, thanks to Donald Trump, this has now happened! Furthermore, there was a dirty little secret which everybody new about which has now become a public fact:

USA= ISRAEL & ISRAEL=USA

Again this is all very good. Even better is the fact that the only ones disagreeing with this would be Honduras, Guatemala, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Togo, Nauru and southern Sudan and, of course, Israel.

The US foreign policy has become so outlandishly stupid that even the most subservient US puppet regimes (say, the UK, Norway, ROK or Japan) or are now forced to condemn it, at least publicly. A lot of credit here goes to Nikki Haley who, following this catastrophic vote, decided to make things even worse by blackmailign the UN and all its member states. Finally, President Trump himself sealed it all by giving Nikki Haley’s speech a very public endorsement.

So stupid as this may have been, and stupid it really was, in this instance the results of this stupid were nothing short of a blessing for the Middle-East: even Hamas is now finally talking again with Hezbollah and Iran!

Just as we can sincerely thank President Obama for pushing Russia and China into each other’s arms, we can now all thank Nikki Haley and Trump for uniting the resistance to the state of Israel and the entire AngloZionist Empire. I can just about imagine the jubilation in Tehran when the Iranians heard the good news!

But good stupid does not stop here. The fact that the US elites are all involved in a giant shootout against each other by means of investigations, scandals, accusations, talks of impeachment, etc. is also a blessing because while they are busy fighting each other they are much less capable of focusing on their real opponents and enemies. For months now President Trump has mostly ruled the USA by means of “tweets” which, of course, and by definition, amounts to exactly nothing and there is nothing which could be seriously called a “US foreign policy” (with the exception of the neverending stream of accusations, threats and grandstanding, which don’t qualify). There are real risks and opportunities resulting from this situation

  1. Risks: when nobody is really in charge, each agency does pretty much what it wants. We saw that during the 2ndhalf of the Obama Presidency when State did one thing, the Pentagon another and the CIA yet another. This resulted in outright goofy situation with US allies attacking each other in Syria and Iraq because they all reported to different agencies. The risk here is obvious: for example, when US diplomats made an agreement with Russia in Syria, the Pentagon torpedoed the very next day by attacking Syrian forces. The recent attacks on the Russian Aerospace Forces base in Khmeimim (and the latest drone attack on that same base) would exactly fit that pattern. The Russians have been complaining for months now that the USA are “non-agreement capable” and this can clearly be a problem and a risk.
  2. Opportunities: when nobody is in charge then the AngloZionist Empire cannot really bring its full force against one specific target. This of a car or bus in which all the passengers are fighting each other for the control of the steering wheel. This is bad for them, but good for everybody else as the only place this car or bus is headed for is the ditch. Furthermore, since currently the US is, at various degrees, threatening no less than 9 countries (Afghanistan, Syria, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Turkey, Pakistan, China) these threats sound rather hollow. Not only that, but should the USA get seriously involved in any type of conflict with any one of these countries, this would open great opportunities for the others to take action. Considering how the US elites are busy fighting each other there and threatening everybody else there is very little change that the USA could focus enough to seriously threaten any of its opponents. But this goes much further than the countries I mentioned here. There is a French expression which goes “when the cat’s away, the mice will play” and this is what we might see next: more countries following the example of the Philippines, which used to be a subservient US colony and which now is ruled my a man who has no problems publicly insulting the US President, at least when Obama was President (Duterte seems to like Trump more than Obama). There have already been signs that the South Koreans are taking their first timid steps towards telling “no” to Uncle Sam.

I am not trying to paint a rosy picture of the situation which is bad, no doubt about that. Having ignorant fools in charge of nuclear weapons is not good, by definition. But I do want to suggest two things: first, that no matter stupid Trump is, Hillary would have been infinitely worse and, second, that there are also some good aspects to the current vacuum of power in Washington, DC.

If we can agree that anything that weakens the AngloZionist Empire is a good thing (including for the American people!), as is anything which brings its eventual demise closer, then there is a lot to be grateful for the past year. The Empire really began to crumble under George W. Bush (thanks Neocons!), and that process most definitely continued under Obama. However, Donald Trump is the one who truly given this process a tremendous acceleration which has, I think, brought it to a qualitatively new level. The risks ahead are still tremendous, but so far the Empire is losing and the Resistance to it is still winning. And that is a very good thing.

The Saker

Russia and China Challenge Dollar Domination – By F. William Engdahl

Author: F. William Engdahl

 

 

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The Russian government has recently announced it will issue nearly $1 billion equivalent in state bonds, but denominated not in US dollars as is mostly the case. Rather it will be the first sale of Russian bonds in China’s yuan. While $1 billion may not sound like much when compared with the Peoples’ Bank of China total holdings of US Government debt of more than $1 trillion or to the US Federal debt today of over $20 trillion, it’s significance lies beyond the nominal amount. It’s a test run by both governments of the potential for state financing of infrastructure and other projects independent of dollar risk from such events as US Treasury financial sanctions.

Russian Debt and China Yuan

Since the August 1998 sovereign default triggered by the West, Russian state finances have been prudent to almost a fault. The size of the national government debt is the lowest of any major industrial country, a mere 10.6% of GDP for the current year. This has enabled Russia to withstand the US financial warfare sanctions imposed since 2014, and forced the country to turn elsewhere for their financial stability. That “elsewhere” is increasingly called the Peoples’ Republic of China.

Now the Russian Ministry of Finance is reportedly planning the first sale of Russian debt in the form of bonds denominated in Chinese yuan currency. The size of the first offering, a testing of the market, will be 6 billion yuan or just under $1 billion. The sale is being organized by the state-owned Russian Gazprombank, the Bank of China Ltd., and China’s largest state bank, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China. The move is being accelerated by reports that the US Treasury is examining potential consequences of extending penalties, until now concentrated on Russian oil and gas projects, to include Russian sovereign debt in its sanctions warfare. The new yuan bond will be traded on the Moscow Exchange and will aim to sell to mainland Chinese investors as well as international and Russian borrowers at attractive interest rates.

Western sanctions or threats of sanctions are forcing Russia and China to cooperate more strategically on what is becoming the seed of a genuine alternative to the dollar system. The Russian yuan debt offerings will also give a significant boost to China’s desire to build the yuan as an accepted international currency.

China Petro-Yuan

The steps to begin issuing Russian state debt in yuan are paralleled by another major development towards broader international yuan acceptance vis a vis the US dollar. On December 13, Chinese regulators completed final testing in preparation for launch of not a dollar-backed, but rather, a yuan-backed oil futures contract to be traded on the Shanghai Futures Exchange. The implications are potentially large.

China is the world’s largest oil importing country. Control of financial oil futures markets until now has been the tightly-guarded province of Wall Street banks and the New York, London and other futures exchanges they control. Emergence of Shanghai as a major yuan-based oil futures center could significantly weaken dollar domination of oil trade.

Since the 1970’s oil shock and the 400% rise in the oil price from OPEC countries, Washington has maintained a strict regime in which the world’s most valuable commodity, oil, would be traded in US dollars alone. In December 1974, the US Treasury signed a secret agreement in Riyadh with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, “to establish a new relationship through the Federal Reserve Bank of New York with the US Treasury borrowing operation” to buy US government debt with surplus petrodollars.

The Saudis agreed to enforce OPEC dollar-only oil sales in return for US sales of advanced military equipment (purchased for dollars of course) and a guarantee of protection from possible Israeli attack. This was the beginning of what then-US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger called recycling the petro-dollar. To the present, only two oil export country leaders, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Libya’s Qaddafi, have tried to change the system and sell oil for euros or gold dinars. Now China is challenging the petro-dollar system in a different way with the petro-yuan.

The difference between Saddam Hussein or Qaddafi is that far more influential countries, Russia and now Iran, with China’s implicit support, are cooperating to avoid the dollar out of necessity forced by US pressure. That is a far stronger challenge to the US dollar than Iraq or Libya could ever manage.

The China yuan oil futures contract now will allow China’s trading partners to pay with gold or to convert yuan into gold without the necessity to keep money in Chinese assets or turn it into US dollars. Oil exporters such as Russia or Iran or Venezuela—all targets of US sanctions—can avoid those US sanctions by avoiding oil trades in dollars now. This past September Venezuela responded to US sanctions by ordering the state oil company and traders to make oil sale contracts into euro and not to pay or be paid in US dollars any longer.

Gold for oil?

The Shanghai International Energy Exchange will soon launch their crude-oil futures contract denominated in yuan. The Shanghai International Energy Exchange futures contract will streamline and solidify the process of selling oil to China for yuan that Russia began after sanctions in 2014. This will also allow other oil producers around the world to sell their oil for yuan instead of dollars. The crude oil futures contract will be the first commodity contract in China open to foreign investment funds, trading houses, and oil firms. The circumvention of US dollar trade could allow oil exporters such as Russia and Iran, for example, to bypass US sanctions.

To make the offer more attractive, China has linked the crude-oil futures contract with the option to efficiently convert yuan into physical gold through gold exchanges in Shanghai and Hong Kong. According to Wang Zhimin, director of the Center for Globalization and Modernization at China’s Institute of Foreign Economy and Trade, the possibility of converting the yuan oil futures into gold will give the Chinese futures a competitive advantage over Brent and West Texas Intermediate benchmarks.

Now Russia or Iran or other oil producers are in a position to sell oil to China for yuan or rubles, bypassing the dollar entirely. The shift is about to take place in the coming weeks as the yuan oil futures contract is officially launched. Further in October China and Russia launched what is called a payment versus payment (PVP) system for Chinese yuan and Russian ruble transactions that will reduce settlement risk for oil and other trades.

Already reportedly Russian oil and gas sales to China are being conducted in Ruble and Yuan and since the foolish US effort to isolate Qatar in the Persian Gulf, Qatar, a major LNG gas supplier to China has switched to pricing in yuan. Pressure is growing that at some point Saudi Arabia breaks its 1974 pact with Washington and sells its oil to China also for yuan.

Iran to Join EEU

A new element is about to be added to the growing cooperation across Eurasia centered around China and Russia, namely Iran. According to Behrouz Hassanolfat of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization, in a statement carried on Iranian state-owned Press-TV, as early as February, 2018 Iran is set to become a member of Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). Presently the EEU, created in 2015, includes Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan to create a large zone for free transit of goods, services, capital and workers among member states. Presently the EEU is a market of 183 million people. Addition of Iran with its more than 80 million citizens would give a major boost to the economies of the EEU and to its economic importance, creating a common market of more than 263 million, with skilled labor, engineers, scientists and industrial know-how.

Iran has already announced, in face of escalating threats from Washington, that it seeks ways to sell its oil for non-dollar currencies. Integration into the EEU could bring a solution to this as Iran, Russia and China inevitably draw closer in face of relentless US pressures on all three.

Increasingly in proportion to the pressure from the West the nations of Eurasia are developing modes of growing their economies independent of US Treasury financial sanctions. In retrospect, it’s likely that those US sanctions will be seen as one of the more stupid attempts of Washington to dominate the economies of Eurasia.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”
https://journal-neo.org/2017/12/20/russia-and-china-challenge-dollar-domination/

Pepe Escobar – Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) just became the world largest poSlitical organization – By Pepe Escobar ( Sputnik News )

© Russian Insider
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is reshaping Eurasia.

A tectonic geopolitical shift happened in Astana, Kazakhstan, only a few days ago, and yet barely a ripple registered in Atlanticist circles.

At the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), founded in 2001, both India and Pakistan were admitted as full members, alongside Russia, China and four Central Asian “stans” (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan).

So now the SCO not only qualifies as the largest political organization – by area and population – in the world; it also unites four nuclear powers. The G-7 is irrelevant, as the latest summit in Taormina made it clear. The real action now, apart from the G-20, also lays in this alternative G-8.

Permanently derided in the West for a decade and a half as a mere talk shop, the SCO, slowly but surely, keeps advancing a set up that Chinese President Xi Jinping qualifies, in a subdued manner, as “a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation.”

That’s the least one can say when you have China, India and Pakistan in the same group.

The SCO’s trademark, under the radar game is quite subtle. The initial emphasis, as we were entering the post-9/11 world, was to fight what the Chinese qualify as “the three evils” of terrorism, separatism and extremism. Beijing – and Moscow – from the beginning were thinking about the Taliban in Afghanistan, and their Central Asian connections, especially via the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU).

Now the SCO is actively warning about the security “deterioration” in Afghanistan and calling for all members to support the “peace and reconciliation” process. That’s code for the SCO from now on directly engaged in finding an “all-Asian” Afghan solution – with both India and Pakistan on board – that should transcend the failed Pentagon “remedy”; more troops.

NATO, by the way, miserably lost its war in Afghanistan. The Taliban control at least 60% of the country – and counting. And adding supreme insult to predictable injury, the Islamic State Khorasan (ISK) – Daesh’s branch in Afghanistan – has just captured Tora Bora, where way back in late 2001 the Pentagon’s B-52s were bombing already-escaped Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Make no mistake; there will be SCO action in Afghanistan. And that will include bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table. China has taken over the rotating presidency of the SCO and will be keen to show practical results in the next summit in June 2018.

Step on the gas, pay in yuan

The SCO has also steadily evolved in terms of economic cooperation. Last year Gu Xueming, head of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation at the Ministry of Commerce, proposed a SCO economic think tank alliance, also tasked to study the set up of SCO free trade zones.

This spells out further economic integration – already ongoing for scores of small-and medium-sized businesses. The trend is inevitable, in parallel to the interpenetration of the New Silk Roads, a.k.a. Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Russian-led Eurasia Economic Union (EEU).

So no wonder at their bilateral meeting in Astana, Xi and President Putin once again exhorted the merging of BRI and EEU. And we’re not talking only about the BRI, EEU and SCO trio; that also concerns the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the BRICS’s New Development Bank (NDB), the Chinese Silk Road Fund — a full array of politico-economic mechanisms.

Things are moving incredibly fast – on all fronts. At a recent “Future of Asia” conference in Tokyo, the supposedly rabid anti-Chinese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced, although subject to many conditions, that Japan is ready to cooperate with BRI, with its “potential to connect East and West as well as the diverse regions found in between.” A possible China-Japan reset would add the definitive momentum to the BRI, EEU and SCO interpenetration.

Crucially, both China and Russia are also on the same page in terms of fast-tracking Iran’s admission as a full SCO member.

Now compare it with US Secretary of State “T.Rex” Tillerson calling for regime change in Iran.

As Eurasia integration inexorably moves in leaps and bounds, the contrast with the proverbially swampy Atlanticist arrogance could not be more glaring.

When Moscow decided its game-changing intervention in the Syria tragedy, no analyst in the West apart from Alastair Crooke identified how that was configuring a sort of SCO-style operation; true, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah are not part of the SCO, but the way they coordinated with Russia spelled out a feasible alternative to unilateral NATO humanitarian imperialism and regime change-style adventures.

The “4+1” mechanism – Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah – quietly backed by China, was set up to fight all forms of Salafi-jihadi terrorism and at the same time to prevent regime change in Damascus, a NATO-GCC wet dream.

Now with shambolic Trump foreign policy hardly coordinating any policy at all apart from harassing Iran, both Russia and China understand how Iranian membership of the SCO should be key.

Beijing already understood the ultra high stakes ramifications via its relationship with Qatar – a key natural gas provider sooner or later to accept payment for energy in yuan.

Qatar’s quiet pivot towards Iran – the key reason that drove the cornered House of Saud absolutely bonkers – revolves around the common exploitation of the largest gas field in the world, North Dome/South Pars, which they share in the Persian Gulf.

It took a while for Doha to realize that after the “4+1” established facts on the ground a gas pipeline from Qatar to Turkey via Saudi Arabia and Syria for the European market will never happen. Ankara also knows it. But there might eventually be an Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline – even with a possible extension to Turkey — with gas jointly provided by North Dome/South Pars.

That would revolutionize the entire energy equation in Southwest Asia; and a key casualty might be petrodollar hegemony, to which Saudi Arabia and the UAE duly abide.

Imagine Qatar/Iran selling their future Europe-bound gas in euros, not in US dollars, just like the Chinese will adamantly move to pay Qatar – and Saudi Arabia – in yuan for their energy supplies.

Make no mistake; the – inexorable – future spells out trading energy not in petrodollars but in yuan, which is convertible to gold.

Long live the new Caliphate

It’s never enough to stress the importance of the Russia-China strategic partnership coordinating all their policies regarding Eurasia integration, including efforts by the usual suspects to thwart it.

During the first part of 2017, Moscow and Beijing’s working hypothesis was that the Trump administration was keen to engage Russia as a partner for new oil and gas projects in Eurasia. In a Kissingerian vein, suggested to Trump, the Russia-China strategic partnership would be weakened while Washington would increase pressure on Beijing in multiple fronts.

Well, that may not happen anytime soon – considering the pervasive, demented anti-Russia hysteria consuming the Beltway.

What does remain in place is the GWOT (global war on terror) corollary of Trump’s policy; to rollback – by all means necessary – increasing Iranian influence all across Southwest Asia. And that implies boosting the geopolitical power of the GCC – led by the noxious House of Saud.

That would explain Trump’s enthusiastic twitter boost of the House of Saud’s anti-Qatar blitzkrieg – which doubles as a move against Iran. Beijing for its part is watching closely, and has identified it for what it is; an attempt to disturb the progress of the New Silk Roads.

At the same time, Beijing and Moscow cannot help being amused by the glaring inconsistencies. The Pentagon does not seem inclined to annex the rest of Qatar; the Al Udeid air base and the HQ of Centcom are enough. Pentagon head “Mad Dog” Mattis was more than pleased to sell $12 billion in F-15s to “supporter of terrorism” Doha. Trump “supports” the House of Saud. Mattis “supports” Doha. Tillerson declines to take sides.

The GCC as we know it may be dead and buried – as well as the embryonic Arab NATO feted by Trump with that pathetic sword dance in Riyadh. And yet Moscow and Beijing – as well as Tehran – are fully aware how these setbacks will only exacerbate the Exceptionalistan environment, a.k.a. the swamp, a.k.a. the deep state, to double down, and continue to provoke havoc.

The Caliphate in the “Syraq” desert is now dead – especially if Russia confirms the Caliph himself has gone to meet his maker. Too bad – because a totally destabilized Syria would be perfect to destabilize Russia from the Caucasus to Central Asia; Russian intelligence has always been focused on those 900 km from Aleppo to Grozny.

Like Terminator, the US deep state will be back. An expanded wet dream remains to create the conditions for the destabilization of a vast stretch from the Levant to South Asia — with possible future terror waves expanding north to Russia and east to China. The target: the interpenetration of BRI, EEU and the SCO.

To compound it, the Pentagon will refuse to abandon Afghanistan – a bridgehead to wreaking havoc in Central Asia. What could possibly go wrong? After all, Daesh is now virtually positioned in Central Asia, not far from Xinjiang and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – a key node of BRI.

Still, the Saudi anti-Qatar blitzkrieg – as much as it’s already unraveling – may in the medium term precipitate a monumental seismic shift, accelerating Iran’s as well as Turkey’s entry into the SCO; consolidating Doha’s pivot towards an entente with both Russia and Iran; and anticipating a serious blow to petrodollar hegemony. All this must have been discussed in detail in Astana at the SCO summit – mostly at the Putin-Xi bilateral.

As Exceptionalistan grows increasingly erratic, all key strategic decisions ahead rest with Xi-Putin – and they know it. What’s certain is that the SCO is bound to get involved deeper and deeper in protecting the key project of the young 21st century; Eurasia integration.

Exposing the Real Deep State – By Tony Cartalucci

 

563234234Many both within and beyond America’s borders labor under the delusion that US policy is determined by the nation’s elected representatives amid a careful balancing act between the judicial, legislative, and executive branches of government. In reality, the inner workings of US policy resemble nothing of the sort.

In reality, an unelected deep state controls the United States, its resources, government, and people. However, the term “deep state” has been overused and intentionally abused, particularly since the election of US President Donald Trump in an effort to continue concealing the real deep state and divert public attention away from what is becoming an increasingly obvious continuity of agenda from one presidency to the next.

Uncovering and understanding the nature of the real deep state is in fact elementary, but essential in understanding the genesis and perpetuation of US policy. It is also essential in formulating solutions aimed at reining in the unwarranted power and influence wielded by this seemingly nebulous entity.

Identifying the Real Deep State is Easy

Despite the myth of “democracy,” real power is held by those who control the essentials of any given state, province, district, or community. Essentials include control over monetary instruments, essential infrastructure such as water, power, communication, and transportation, control over manufacturing, healthcare, and basic public services, as well as more obvious forms of power such as control over police and military forces.

In rare instances, such vital essentials are controlled by decentralized, grassroots organizations – and in these instances deep states are either weak or virtually nonexistent. However, more often than not, this is not the case – at least not yet.

Ordinarily, regardless of apparent, ongoing political processes, those who actually, truly control these essentials often exist well beyond but not out of reach of politics. They include large corporations and financial institutions. Organizations, lobbyists, media platforms, think tanks, and political parties are set up and controlled by these special interests to then project their power and influence into or entirely driving any given political process.

The concept of a “deep state” is not unique to only the US. Virtually every nation and throughout all of human history, regardless of a nation’s alleged political proclivities, has been ruled by wealthy and influential special interests either directly or by proxy.

Ignoring political rhetoric and charades, and focusing on where money, power, and influence truly resides, reveals the real deep state.

Unraveling the “Trump Vs Deep State” Narrative 

A cursory examination of President Trump’s administration reveals that he is but one of many extensions of the real deep state. Allegedly “alternative” Breitbart News mogul Stephen Bannon who functions as President Trump’s chief strategist is in fact a former Goldman Sachs banker. US Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, is also a former Goldman Sachs banker. Additionally, he managed funds for alleged “Trump archenemy,” George Soros, and had invested in the presidential campaigns of both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is a long-time ExxonMobil executive, and the list goes on.

If one were to map the flow of US power and influence globally, tracing it back to its source, they would find themselves on Wall Street and in the boardrooms of financial institutions and corporations like Goldman Sachs and ExxonMobil. They would also find, leading out from these boardrooms, proxy news platforms like Breitbart News aimed at manipulating, distracting, and preying on the emotions of the American public.

In other words, in reality, the Trump administration, like those of previous presidencies, is the embodiment of the deep state.

However, a narrative has emerged alleging that President Trump is actually at war with a shadowy “deep state” consisting of everything from the US intelligence community to career bureaucrats “resisting” the Trump administration and “its” policies from within the system.

To explain this contrived narrative to the American public, another one of the real deep state’s propaganda functionaries, TIME Magazine, punished an article titled, “President Trump’s Allies Keep Talking About the ‘Deep State.’ What’s That?

In it, it claims:

To allies of Trump in the conservative media and on Capitol Hill, it is an organized resistance within the government, working to subvert his presidency. They blame career bureaucrats, many of whom they see as loyal to former President Barack Obama, for leaking damaging information to the news media.

TIME also cites Freedom House, a US government-funded organization dedicated to regime change worldwide and chaired by the very same special interested centered upon Wall Street – again, the actual, real deep state – in an effort to downplay and dismiss the notion that the United States is actually run by just such an entity.

It claims:

“[The White House] is taking a sexy term that means something very real in an environment in which there has been a lot of violence associated with this term and we’re applying it to stuff that’s pretty normal in terms of a large bureaucracy,” said Schenkaan, the Freedom House project director. “These are state employees and they have been implementing their jobs faithfully for a long time.”

Back in reality, the American public is beginning to suspect in much larger numbers than ever before, that the US government is simply carrying out a singular agenda – regardless of election results and political affiliations – of  a permanent, deeply rooted conglomeration of special interests that transcend political parties, ideologies, presidential terms, as well as both domestic and international law.

The creation of an attractive, provocative, almost irresistible strategy of tension between various functionaries within the real deep state is intentionally designed to draw in and trap political discourse long before it reaches and reveals the true nature of both the real deep state and the solutions required to dismantle it.

America’s Deep State is the World’s Problem 

It is beyond obvious that America’s real deep state represents not only the usurpation of American sovereignty, but also a threat to global peace and stability. The wielding of America’s unwarranted power and influence manifests itself as regional wars, subsequent waves of refugees, socioeconomic exploitation and catastrophe within targeted states and across entire regions, as well as a general global malaise  resulting from a minute handful of special interests abusing and egregiously wasting the planet’s human and natural resources for its own petty, self-serving pursuits.

It is not, then, an American problem, because the consequences of America’s unchecked deep state stretch out across the entire globe.

Confronting this deep state, and all others like it regardless of size and reach, requires a careful transition pursued by lesser states – and more importantly – by modern, decentralized institutions and alternatives driven by individuals.

Confronting the real deep state at the very source of its power – its corporate and financial activities and the profits reaped from billions of people across the planet paying into them – is fundamental.

The effectiveness of doing so is already evident in such realms as information space where decentralized networks of genuine alternative news platforms have countered and overcome the real deep state’s information war capabilities. Adding leverage to this process are competing centers of global power in Eurasia who have created competing media platforms that have further diluted the US deep state’s grip on information.

A similar process – enabled by technology – is unfolding across all aspects of manufacturing and infrastructure. The emergence of aerospace industries across the developing world is beginning to challenge the US-European monopoly over both air and space. Chinese corporations building trains and aircraft – on the largest end of the spectrum – are diluting monopolies enjoyed for decades by corporations like Boeing and Airbus.

On the smaller end of the spectrum, localized manufacturing of simpler goods carried out by individuals or small businesses, both within formal and informal economies and markets, are chipping away at centralized manufacturing and retail monopolies.

Alternative energy such as solar power lends itself well to decentralized power production both for individuals and members of networks known as microgrids. As these microgrids proliferate, energy monopolies will inevitably whither.

And the organic food movement – a mesh network that continues to expand by leaps and bound in both size and capabilities – has challenged and in some instances, entirely replaced centralized agricultural and processing monopolies who also constitute the membership of the US deep state.

Solving the Deep State Problem 

Despite this, the deep state still poses a formidable and dangerous threat to both global and individual peace and prosperity.

The natural human inclination to create alternatives to compete with such a threat – but which simply resemble a mirrored version of the threat – means that a “Chinese” or “Russian” dominated deep state leading any given unipolar global order will simply replace America’s immense deep state and continue carrying on the abuses and destructive role Wall Street and Washington currently fulfill.

Talk of a multipolar world order in which nations balance themselves against one another rather than fall under a single, unipolar order dominated by a single deep state and the handful of interests that constitute it, forms a bridge between today’s current global order and a decentralized, balanced future.

A multipolar world order in which nations are balanced globally, then leads to an internal process of decentralization and balance, all of which is driven by technology and the opportunities in business and sociopolitical pursuits opened up by it which allow each individual to take a more proportional share of a nation’s or community’s resources.

While it may seem counterintiutive for nations like Russia, India, or China, or even smaller players like Iran, Thailand, or Brazil to invest in decentralization, national and local self-sufficiency, and even informal economies, currencies, and markets, by doing so, they help chip away at the current, dominate global deep state which through its media and consumerism still reaches into, threatens, and influences virtually every society on Earth.

Ultimately, sidestepping the crass, unsophisticated but highly provocative and alluring strategy of tension created around the Trump administration and the alleged “deep state” it is supposedly fighting, is essential in identifying and confronting the real deep state that is orchestrating both sides of this charade.

Placing stock in political functionaries of the deep state to solve the deep state problem is beyond futile – it is a rouse intentionally engineered to preserve and perpetuate the deep state. By identifying the true source of the real deep state’s power and influence – the wealth it derives from its corporate-financier monopolies, its control over national and international infrastructure, and its media – we can begin devising practical alternatives to dilute these monopolies and thus the power and influence they grant those who control them.

It requires a period of transition involving both state and individual efforts pursued by all who stand threatened by the deep state – and all those who are threatened by the deep state consist of anyone who resides outside the boardrooms from within which its agenda is devised and implemented.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook.”   
http://journal-neo.org/2017/03/13/exposing-the-real-deep-state/

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