Friday 12th of August 2022

coming back to bite him in the bum...

yes we can...

the smell of cordite...

Ahead of the 50-country Nuclear Security Summit that met in Washington DC this past week, President Obama publicly touted his administration’s alleged progress towards “a world without nuclear weapons”. In reality, his administration’s record on reducing nuclear weapons is largely a dismal failure.

Early in his presidency, Obama memorably gave a speech in Prague in which he described “America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons”. Not only has the administration barely made a dent in the gigantic nuclear arsenal the United States has, it has committed more than $1tn over the next several decades to further entrenching the system into permanence, potentially sparking a dangerous new arms race.

Obama at nuclear summit: 'madmen' threaten global security

“The United States and Russia remain on track to meet our New Start Treaty obligations so that by 2018 the number of deployed American and Russian nuclear warheads will be at their lowest levels since the 1950s,” the president wrote in a Washington Post op-ed this week, referring to the unwieldily named Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms.

The only reason he can claim that the number of weapons is as low as it’s been since the 1950s is because the number has been steadily dropping since the last throes of the cold war in the 1980s, when we had well over 23,000 active weapons. But the reduction has almost nothing to do with his administration.

According to the Federation of American Scientists, we’ve gone from 4,950 operational nuclear warheads in 2010, the year the New Start Treaty was signed, to 4,700 weapons in 2015. That’s a reduction of about 5%. By the way, 4,700 nuclear weapons are more than enough to destroy the planet several times over). Judging from the numbers collected by FAS, the US reduced our nuclear weapons stockpile at a much faster pace under George W Bush than under President Obama, where the US cut its active weapons from over 10,000 in 2000 to just over 5,000 by the time Bush left office.

So when Obama says, “I’ve reduced the number and role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy,” like he did in the Washington Post, he’s referring to a drop in the ocean.

It’s also curious that he’s claiming he reduced the “role” of nuclear weapons in the United States’s national security strategy, considering the administration has indicated that the US government would spend over $1tn over the next few decades to “modernize” our nuclear weapons program. Instead of retiring or destroying weapons that are out of date, they will be spending a huge amount of money to make sure the mass killing machines survive decades longer and that they are easier to use.

Many experts also think that, by “modernizing” these weapons of mass destruction – by making them smaller and more “targeted” (if that phrase can be used to describe weapons that can level entire cities) – they will be more tempting to use in future military conflicts. It’s also an underhanded way of violating the president’s vow not to build new warheads while still being able to technically claim that they are abiding by it.

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Read also: casually sitting on a plastic stool and sharing a meal of vietnamese noodles with bourdain...

when the punishment hurt the punishers...



Russia-UK $10bn trade loss due to sanctions

Published time: 26 May, 2016 15:02

The tit-for-tat sanctions between Russia and the European Union have nearly halved Russia-UK trade, according to the Russian Embassy in London.

“As for the total trade, last year it fell by almost 50 percent compared with 2014, and we estimate the loss at about $10 billion,” embassy spokesman Konstantin Shlikov told journalists.

Russia’s restrictions on food imports from the United Kingdom, which were imposed in response to Western sanctions, are a measure of the current level of trade and agricultural cooperation between the two countries, the official said, adding that Russia is not importing agricultural products from Britain at the moment.

The volume of annual exports of British goods (including alcohol and soft drinks) to Russia amounted to about £115 million ($168 million) in 2013, Shlikov said.

He also cited British cheese-maker Wyke Farms who claim losses from Russia’s food ban would lead to a decrease in their production for the next five-ten years.

Russia was the key and most promising market for Northern Irish cheese in 2012-2013, said Shlikov.  The region’s agricultural exports to Russia amounted to about £3 million ($4.4 million) before the sanctions.

“The fishing industry of Scotland was most affected by the imposition of restrictions as about 20 percent of all the mackerel was delivered to the Russian market,” Shlikov said.

The European Union has taken several rounds of restrictive economic measures against Russia starting from 2014, accusing Moscow of escalating the war in eastern Ukraine. In response, Moscow introduced a food embargo that includes a ban on European meat, poultry and fish, dairy, fruit and vegetable imports.

Since trade relations between Russia and the EU deteriorated, political figures and business leaders from France, Germany, Hungary, Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Slovakia have repeatedly called for the review of sanctions against Russia.

Meng Chih Yu
By means of the Russian boogeyman, the US regime weakened the EU economy and made the EU more dependent on the US regime's various cartels.
The US regime's foreign policy of explosive liberations and humanitarian shootouts in resource-rich regions and strategic locales creates a flood of incompatible immigrants to the EU.
The trend is clear. The US regime wants to use any pretext and any proxy to replace everyone's sovereignty with the US regime's rule. If the US regime cannot have it, then the US regime will ruin it. This is why Russia's and China's borders are top threats to the US regime's imperial ambitions.

These sanctions are idiotic and not worth the pain. But as Meng Chih Yu says the US empire is working ways to make Europe dependent of the US. Subtle like a pimple on your nose. And the Europeans bendzenees... They are idiots. They should tell the Yanks to go and yank themselves...


the experts in crappy zwietracht...


... But opposition to the Iraq intervention is not the only thing Trump and Sanders agree on: Both have questioned the effect of the US' free trade principles, blasted the North American Free Trade Agreement and rejected Barack Obama's Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

More crucially, Trump agrees with Sanders about the 2008 financial meltdown, which Sanders blames on the Republicans. "When the economy crashed so horribly under George Bush because of the mistakes they made with banking and lots of other things, I don't think the Democrats would have done that," Trump said in July 2015. It was a remarkable Sanders-like statement.

The foreign policy and financial "elites" have noticed these similarities. Trump's victory has scared the hell out of establishment Republicans, who are migrating to Clinton's campaign, while Republican neo-Conservatives see in Clinton a symbol of their unapologetic militarism.

The most prominent among them has been Max Boot, a self-described "American imperialist" who has never seen a war he wouldn't send someone else to fight. "For all her shortcomings ..." he recently wrote, "Clinton would be far preferable to Trump."

OPINION: What US elections should look like in a real democracy

The Democrats' Max Boot is economist Paul Krugman, a liberal free trader who says Sanders has adopted "easy slogans over hard thinking". Krugman's resume is not in question, but he's never had to live paycheck-to-paycheck like large numbers of Americans.

While it is unlikely that Sanders will beat Clinton for the Democratic nomination, that hasn't stopped Krugman from calling Sanders' supporters "idealists", "romantics" and "purists".

Neophytes vs elites

Boot and Krugman have this in common: they love experts. Boot recently complained that Obama's chief foreign policy adviser lacks an advanced degree in "international relations, defence, area studies, or any related field", while Krugman tells us that every "serious progressive policy expert on either healthcare of financial reform" supports Clinton.

The message is the same: instead of listening to neophytes such as Trump or Sanders, American voters should put their trust in the experts - that is, the same people who gave us Iraq and bankruptcy.

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the obama illusion trick...

Another day, another Trump delegate calling for the violent overthrow of the government.  This sort of thing used to be frowned upon, I believe, but now is simply par for the political course. The odd thing, of course, is that if Obama wasn't black, he would be a conservative's dream. He's opened up more offshore drilling than Bush, expanded fracking, deported more people than any president in history, killed thousands of Muslims (and is currently bombing seven Muslim countries), raised military budgets, cut federal taxes to their lowest levels in 60 years, cut social programs, spent almost 8 years trying to strike a "grand bargain" with Republicans to cut Social Security and Medicare (until this week when, in his last months in office, he's suddenly decided we should increase Social Security), worked hard to derail public healthcare in favor of a program drawn up by a conservative think-tank and first used by a Republican governor, put troops on the Russian border, beefed up US military presence in Asia to threaten China, supported right-wing coups in Latin America, gave Wall Street trillions of dollars in bailouts and credits, refused to prosecute any CIA officials for torture (despite admitting "we tortured some folks"), jailed more whistleblowers than any other president, pushed fanatically pro-business trade treaties, and so on.

Yet there is a mass delusion (carefully and methodically stoked by powerful interests) that he is some kind of socialist peacenik "surrendering to terrorists" and giving away "free stuff" to the lazy poor (when in fact the poor and the middle class are sinking, while the rich have never been richer), etc. Now Trump is deliberately drawing the most frenzied and violent of these delusionals into the center of American politics. The "respectable" bi-partisan establishment has already loosed many demons with its "Terror War" (torture, aggressive war, drones, assassination squads, covert ops, mass surveillance, etc.); now Trump is drawing even more evil from the depths. America has drifted deep into terra incognita -- and "here be dragons".


See toon at top...