The Real War

https://www.theburningplatform.com/2018/04/23/the-real-war/

Advertisements

Stop and Assess, by James Howard Kunstler

Contraction is coming. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

America has become Alzheimer Nation. Nothing is remembered for more than a few minutes. The news media, which used to function as a sort of collective brain, is a memory hole that events are shoved down and extinguished in. An attack in Syria, you ask? What was that about? Facebook stole your…what? Four lives snuffed out in a… a what? Something about waffles? Trump said… what? Let’s pause today and make an assessment of where things stand in this country as Winter finally coils into Spring.

As you might expect, a nation overrun with lawyers has litigated itself into a cul-de-sac of charges, arrests, suits, countersuits, and allegations that will rack up billable hours until the Rockies tumble. The best outcome may be that half the lawyers in this land will put the other half in jail, and then, finally, there will be space for the rest of us to re-connect with reality.

What does that reality consist of? Troublingly, an economy that can’t go on as we would like it to: a machine that spews out ever more stuff for ever more people. We really have reached limits for an industrial economy based on cheap, potent energy supplies. The energy, oil especially, isn’t cheap anymore. The fantasy that we can easily replace it with wind turbines, solar panels, and as-yet-unseen science projects is going to leave a lot of people not just disappointed but bereft, floundering, and probably dead, unless we make some pretty severe readjustments in daily life.

We’ve been papering this problem over by borrowing so much money from the future to cover costs today that eventually it will lose its meaning as money — that is, faith that it is worth anything. That’s what happens when money is just a representation of debt that can’t be paid back. This habit of heedless borrowing has enabled the country to pretend that it is functioning effectively. Lately, this game of pretend has sent the financial corps into a rapture of jubilation. The market speed bumps of February are behind us and the road ahead looks like the highway to Vegas at dawn on a summer’s day.

To continue reading: Stop and Assess

This is Not a Market, by Raúl Ilargi Meijer

A supposed market in which the government intervenes to suppress price discovery is not a market. From Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:


René Magritte La trahison des images 1929“[Price discovery] is the process of determining the price of an asset in the marketplace through the interactions of buyers and sellers”, says Wikipedia. Perhaps not a perfect definition, but it’ll do. They add: “The futures and options market serve all important functions of price discovery.”

What follows from this is that markets need price discovery as much as price discovery needs markets. They are two sides of the same coin. Markets are the mechanism that makes price discovery possible, and vice versa. Functioning markets, that is.

Given the interdependence between the two, we must conclude that when there is no price discovery, there are no functioning markets. And a market that doesn’t function is not a market at all. Also, if you don’t have functioning markets, you have no investors. Who’s going to spend money purchasing things they can’t determine the value of? (I know: oh, wait..)

Ergo: we must wonder why everyone in the financial world, and the media, is still talking about ‘the markets’ (stocks, bonds et al) as if they still existed. Is it because they think there still is price discovery? Or do they think that even without price discovery, you can still have functioning markets? Or is their idea that a market is still a market even if it doesn’t function?

Or is it because they once started out as ‘investors’ or finance journalists, bankers or politicians, and wouldn’t know what to call themselves now, or simply can’t be bothered to think about such trivial matters?

Doesn’t a little warning voice pop up, somewhere in the back of their minds, in the middle of a sweaty sleepless night, that says perhaps they shouldn’t get this one wrong? Because if you think about, and treat, a ‘thing’, as something that it’s not at all, don’t you run the risk of getting it awfully wrong?

To continue reading: This is Not a Market

MSM Is Frantically Attacking Dissenting Syria Narratives, And It Looks Really Bad, by Caitlin Johnstone

The Bureau of Propaganda known as the mainstream media is perturbed that unauthorized people are asking unauthorized questions about the US’s latest Syrian misadventure. From Caitlin Johnstone at medium.com:

I write a lot about how, in a political environment that is saturated in disinformation and propaganda, it’s important to ignore people’s words and watch their actions instead to get a clear picture of what’s really happening. You could not ask for a better illustration of this than the recent behavior of the mass media with regard to Syria.

The always excellent Moon of Alabama put out a piece yesterday detailing the immense deluge of attack editorials disguised as information that have been churned out recently about anyone who questions the establishment Syria narrative, including a single day in which no less than seven smear pieces were issued by prominent publications. Seven. In one day.

If you look at the words within these smear pieces, you will gather that there has been a sudden disturbing emergence of evil bloggers, tweeters and activists who are hell bent on deceiving you into falling in love with Bashar al-Assad and pledging allegiance to the Russian flag. If you look at what these outlets are actually doing, however, you see a very different picture indeed: an aggressive, spurious campaign to inoculate the English-speaking world against the influence of anyone who disagrees with yet another war against yet another Middle Eastern country.

And people are noticing. It’s getting too blatantly obvious, like a stranger coming up to you and talking about climate change while openly masturbating; what he is doing would eclipse interest in whatever he is saying. The frenetic publication of hit pieces against anyone who fails to fall in line with the establishment Syria narrative is fast becoming the real story here.

In the span of a few days the UK government, using its media arm coordinated an attack on multiple anti-war activists, Journalists and Academics, including myself @partisangirl, @VanessaBeeley, @Ian56789, @sahouraxo, @Tim_Hayward_ and @PiersRobinson1. This IS A #FakeNewsStorm.

— @Partisangirl

To continue reading: MSM Is Frantically Attacking Dissenting Syria Narratives, And It Looks Really Bad

Korean Summit: It’s Not About Us, by Justin Raimondo

The real diplomatic story on the Korean Peninsula is this week’s summit between the North and South Korean leaders, not the summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. From Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com:

Yesterday they told us that President Trump was intent on war – he was about to invade Korea¸ unleash “fire and fury,” and millions would die.

Today many of these very same people are telling us that President Trump has been “snookered” by the wily Kim Jong-un, who doesn’t really mean all the pre-summit concessions he’s already made quite publicly. Trump, they say, is about to give away the farm to the North Koreans without getting anything in return.

The only constant note emitted by the Trump-hating chattering classes is their obsessive focus on That Man in the White House. Yet this development actually has little to do with Trump, at least in its origins: indeed, it’s not about us. The Korean summit came out of the election victory of President Moon Jai-in, whose signature campaign issue was reintroduction of the late lamented “Sunshine” policy of rapprochement with the North.

Moon and Kim will meet this week in a preliminary summit leading up to the supposedly bigger event, the Trump-Kim super-summit. Or so the conventional wisdom would have it: after all, isn’t everything in the world really about us?

Well, no, but you’ll have a hard time telling the pundits and policy wonks that. They don’t realize that the real summit is taking place this week in Korea, as the two leaders form a united front against Washington’s War Party – hoping to enlist Trump on their side.

As for the President, he’s optimistic but rightly says “we’ll see if it works out,” even as he lists the concessions already made by the North, which include:

  • A commitment to complete denuclearization
  • A pledge to end nuclear testing
  • A pledge to end ICBM tests.
  • A statement dropping their longtime demand for the withdrawal of US troops from South Korea.

Significantly, the office of President Moon and the North Koreans have jointly declared their intention to formally end the Korean war, presumably by signing a peace treaty, replacing the current armistice.

Prediction: Trump will make a big show of accepting it, and implicitly taking credit for it. But, hey, the Koreans don’t care who gets the credit, nor do they care about the vagaries of American politics except as they affect the ability of the Korean nation to reunite and recover from their national trauma.

To continue reading: Korean Summit: It’s Not About Us

No Official Intel Used To Launch Russia Probe According To Controversial DOJ Document: Nunes, by Tyler Durden

It looks more and more like the Russia probe was launched from documents supplied by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign, and nowhere else. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

After waiting eight months for the DOJ to turn over the “electronic communication” (EC) – the document which the FBI used to launch the original counterintelligence investigation against the Trump campaign, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) told Fox News that upon review – the EC reveals that no intelligence was used to launch the probe.

Nunes also touched on the fact that Hillary Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal pushed anti-Trump memos to the Obama State Department, written by Clinton “hatchet man” Cody Shearer and passed to Jonathan Winer, former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State.

We now know that there was no official intelligence that was used to start this investigation. We know that Sidney Blumenthal and others were pushing information into the State Department. So we’re trying to piece all that together and that’s why we continue to look at the State Department,” Nunes told Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures.”

Nunes noted that no intelligence was shared with the U.S. from any of the members of the “Five Eyes” agreement – that being Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and the USA.

We are not supposed to spy on each other’s citizens, and it’s worked well,” he said. “And it continues to work well. And we know it’s working well because there was no intelligence that passed through the Five Eyes channels to our government. And that’s why we had to see that original communication.”

This is relevant because the FBI says that the Trump investigation was kicked off after Australian diplomat Alexander Downer told the FBI that Trump campaign associate George Papadopoulos drunkenly admitted in a London pub that the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. The New York Times reported last December that “Australian officials passed the information about Mr. Papadopoulos to their American counterparts, according to four current and former American and foreign officials with direct knowledge of the Australians’ role.”

To continue reading: No Official Intel Used To Launch Russia Probe According To Controversial DOJ Document: Nunes

Lies and Deception in the Failed US Strike on Syria, by Federico Pieraccini

There are all sorts of holes in the US government’s official account of its most recent Syria bombing. From Federico Pieraccini at strategic-culture.org:

At 4am on April 14, the United States, France and the United Kingdom executed a strike on Syria. The Syrian Free Press reported:

US Navy warships in the Red Sea and Air Force B-1B bombers and F-15 and F-16 aircraft rained dozens of ship- and air-launched cruise missiles down on the Syrian capital of Damascus, an airbase outside the city, a so-called chemical weapons storage facility near Homs, and an equipment-storage facility and command post, also near Homs. B1-Bs are typically armed with JASSM cruise missiles, which have a 450 kg warhead and a range of 370 kms. US Navy warships launched Tomahawks, which have 450 kg warheads and an operational range of between 1,300 and 2,500 kms. The British Royal Air Force’s contingent for the assault consisted of four Tornado GR4 ground-attack aircraft armed with the Storm Shadow long-range air-to-ground missile, which the UK’s Defense Ministry said targeted ‘chemical weapons sites’ in Homs. These weapons have a range of 400 kms. Finally, France sent its Aquitaine frigate, armed with SCALP naval land-attack cruise missiles (SCALP is the French military’s name for the Storm Shadow), as well as several Dassault Rafale fighters, also typically armed with SCALP or Apache cruise missiles. According to the Russian defense ministry, the B-1Bs also fired GBU-38 guided air bombs. Undoubtedly weary of the prospect of having their aircraft shot down after Israel lost one of its F-16s over Syria in February, the Western powers presumably launched their weapons from well outside the range of Syrian air defenses, with all the targets located just 70-90 kms from the Mediterranean Sea, and having to fly through Lebanon first.

Recapping the information on the strike, the US and its allies used the following assets:

● 2 destroyers (USS Laboon, USS Higgins)

● 1 US cruiser (USS Monterey)

● 1 French frigate (Georges Leygues)

● 5 Rafale jets

● 4 Mirage 2000-5F

● 4 British Tornado fighter-bombers

● Virginia-class submarine USS John Warner

● 2 US B-1B bombers

Their ordnance brought to bear consisted of the following:

● The cruiser Monterey launched 30 Tomahawk missiles

● The destroyer Higgins 23 Tomahawks

● The destroyer Laboon 7 Tomahawks

● The submarine John Warner 6 Tomahawks

● 2 B-1 bombers 21 JASSM missiles

● 4 British Tornado GR4 fighter bombers 16 Storm-shadow missiles.

● The French Languedoc fired 3 MdCN land-attack missiles.

The US Pentagon reports the strike group targeted:

– 76 missiles at the Barzah research center in Damascus:

(Source)

– 22 missiles at an undefined “chemical” structure:

(Source)

– 7 missiles against an undefined “chemical bunker”:

(Source)

To continue reading: Lies and Deception in the Failed US Strike on Syria