Iran on the brink…

Uprisings in Iran have become routine occurrences, albeit without much success. Why? Because Iran is ruled by a totalitarian Islamic ideology like Nazism and communism. In Iran, there is no sovereignty of the people. Instead, there is a perception of the Ummah in Shia theology “rule of Mahdi”, guardianship over the people. In other words, Iran belongs to “Imam Zaman” (the Hidden Imam) and in his absence, a supreme leader is in charge. In this case, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Any revolt against the State is considered a direct attack against the upcoming “Lord of the Age.”

Hence, at the slightest signs of protests, the regime unleashes its wild dogs (soldiers of Mahdi) on a killing spree.  Iranians partook in many protests across the country amidst a failing economic situation, systematic government corruption, and widespread frustration over the lack of political and social freedoms. As always, the regime’s security apparatus reacted to these protests with mass arrests and severe due process abuses. Pundits and experts believe “Khamenei’s tough response could just invite more anger.”

Since the Islamic invasion of 1979, the Mullahs have ruled over the unarmed Iranian people with an iron fist and absolute power while draining the nation’s treasury. As a result, millions of Iranians had no choice but to flee their homes to the four corners of the globe. In these recent protests, Iran’s rulers once again revealed their real identity to the world that they don’t value human life. They are simply vicious killers.

U.S. Sanctions

After the U.S. withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA or Iran nuclear deal on May 18, 2018, the US almost immediately imposed several new sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI).

The U.S. followed up with further sanctions on the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, his office, and those who were closely tied to him with access to major financial resources. In July 2019, the United States placed sanctions on the regime’s Foreign Minister Mohammad, Javad Zarif.

The U.S. also placed sanctions on eight senior commanders of the navy, aerospace, and ground forces components of the IRGC. In April of 2019, President Donald Trump designated Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a foreign “terrorist” organization.

Results

Within a few months, Iran’s crude oil exports were slashed by almost 80%. Despite massive propaganda from President Rouhani’s office claiming these sanctions did not phase them and they had gotten used to them. However, this dosage of reality hit the regime hard. The regime is out of money and unable to pay the salaries of their military apparatus as well as its terrorist proxies such as Hezb’allah, Hamas, the Houthi insurgency in Yemen, Bashar al-Assad of Syria and other hired thugs. By November 2019, the regime was completely broke and needed to come up with a solution to save itself.

Out of desperation, the supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei took a gamble and raised the price of gasoline by 50% (some say by 300%) in order to consolidate the budget deficit. That was precisely what prompted protests in at least five cities almost simultaneously and brought millions of people into the streets. Almost all the slogans were against the Ayatollah Khamenei himself.

Death Toll

On November 15, 2019, over 100 protesters were killed and over a 1000 arrested in just one day. The exact total of casualties since the protests began are unknown, but unofficial reports from inside Iran indicate that around 1000 people died and close to 10,000 were injured or arrested. Out of fear, the regime immediately cut off all communications, including the internet, to the outside world. They feared of the watchful eyes of the people around the world witnessing yet again the mullahs’ atrocities against the Iranian people, who are barely surviving in a country that spends 80% of its oil revenue on terrorism worldwide.

Business as Usual

Without any question, the civilized world is aware that the Islamic Republic is immensely despised by its people. Yet they ignore this and continue doing business as usual. Political analysts and pundits know that neither the mullahs nor the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) are going away peacefully. They have no intention of handing over the country to the people anytime soon. Why? Three reasons. First, Iran is a rich country and the mullahs are naturally greedy thieves. They cannot be reconciled with allowing it to slip away. Second, they know that Shia Islam would most likely cease to exist. Third, they are mortally afraid that if they let Iran become free, the Iranian people would take their revenge without any mercy upon them. After all, for the past forty years they have committed every crime and atrocity known to man against the Iranian people. The late Ayatollah Khomeini warned them about this before his death.

Now What?

The regime is aware that it can neither go back nor forward. It is stuck between a rock and hard place. The only reason they are still in power is because there are greedy and money hungry politicians who will do anything for cheap oil and bribery. I remember the Ayatollah Khamenei’s words on his Friday sermons during the Green Revolution in 2009. He directly ordered his Bassij, plainclothes thugs and IRGC forces to shoot and kill indiscriminately anyone who challenged his Ummah (community of Shia Islam).

In another speech, he openly stated that he had learned a valuable lesson from the late Shah of Iran. He said, “He would never relinquish power as easily as the Shah did.” In 1978, I was still in Iran and I know the Shah never personally ordered soldiers to kill people at point-blank range. In fact, he never ordered anyone to be killed.

The Shah was a very kind and sensitive man, despite all the allegations the leftist media have conjured up about him. That is precisely why he departed his beloved country rather than remain and face a bloodbath.

Forty Years of Islamic Terror

For the past forty-years, thousands of dissidents, students, intellectuals, and journalists have been systematically arrested, imprisoned and tortured for the sole crime of speaking up against the oppressive rule of the mullahs. Many are still languishing in prisons, some have died, and some have simply vanished with no trace. Not only has the regime terrorized its own people, they have also demonstrated a high priority for supporting global terrorism.

Many Iranians are following the events in Iran carefully. Despite an unprecedented internet shutdown by the regime, the Iranian people have succeeded in providing the world with video evidence of the Mullahs’ brutality. “We see you, we hear you, & as Secretary of State Michael Pompeo stated, the U.S. is with you.”

The legitimacy of the Islamic Republic is now under serious question. The protests that began two weeks ago in Iran are different from most previous protests. These protesters have covered more area, overwhelming small and midsize cities across the country. They also have reportedly drawn more than 16 million participants in over 100 cities, much more than did the 2009 Green Revolution protests in Tehran.

Are we finally witnessing the end of the Islamic Republic? Yes. It is only a matter of time — and probably a short one.

 

[From an article by Amil Imani, written for American Thinker]

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

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Paranoid Neocon Morons, Part 2

NORM ‘n’ AL Note:  We apologize profusely for our inability to hold to our promise of posting this on November 27th. We hope you will read it…it’s well worth your time.

 

In Part 1 we dispatched UkraineGater Tim Morrison’s preposterous suggestion that Washington is helping Kiev subdue the Donbas so we won’t have Russkies coming up the East River.

His related claim that Ukraine is a victim of Russian aggression is even more ludicrous. The actual aggression in that godforsaken corner of the planet came from Washington when it instigated, funded, engineered and recognized the putsch on the streets of Kiev during February 2014, which illegally overthrew the duly elected President of Ukraine on the grounds that he was too friendly with Moscow.

Thus, Morrison risibly asserted Support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty has been a bipartisan objective since Russia’s military invasion in 2014. It must continue to be.

The fact is, when the Maidan uprising occurred in February that year there were no uninvited Russian troops anywhere in Ukraine. Putin was actually sitting in his box on the viewing stand, presiding over the Winter Olympics in Sochi and basking in the limelight of global attention that they commanded.

It was only weeks later – when the Washington-installed ultra-nationalist government with its neo-Nazi vanguard threatened the Russian-speaking populations of Crimea and the Donbas – that Putin moved to defend Russian interests on his own doorstep. And those interests included Russia’s primary national security asset – the naval base at Sevastopol in Crimea which had been the homeport of the Russian Black Sea Fleet for centuries under czars and commissars alike, and on which Russia had a long-term lease.

We untangle the truth of the crucial events which surrounded the Kiev putsch in greater detail below, but suffice it here to note the whole gang of neocon apparatchiks which have been paraded before the Schiff Show have proffered the same Big Lie as did Morrison in the “invasion” quote cited above.

As the ever perspicacious Robert Merry observed regarding the previous testimony of Ambassador Bill Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, the Washington rendition of the Maidan coup and its aftermath amounts to a blatant falsehood:

The Taylor/Kent outlook stems from the widespread demonization of Russia that dominates thinking within elite circles. Taylor’s rendition of recent events in Ukraine was so one-sided and selective as to amount to a falsehood.

As he had it, Ukraine’s turn to the West after 2009 (when he left the country after his first diplomatic tour there) threatened Russia’s Vladimir Putin to such an extent that he tried to “bribe” Ukraine’s president with inducements to resist Western influence, whereupon protests emerged in Kyiv that drove the Ukrainian president to flee the country in 2014. Then Putin invaded Crimea, holding a “sham referendum at the point of Russian army rifles.” Putin sent military forces into eastern Ukraine “to generate illegal armed formations and puppet governments.” And so the West extended military assistance to Ukraine.

“It is this security assistance,” he said, “that is at the heart of the [impeachment] controversy that we are discussing today.”

Taylor’s right that this narrative is at the center of UkraineGate, but there is not a shred of truth to it. Nevertheless, defense of this false narrative, and the inappropriate military and economic aid to Ukraine which flowed from it, is the real reason this posse of neocon stooges took exception to the Donald’s legitimate interest in investigating the Bidens and the events of 2016.

As Morrison put it Tuesday and Vindman said last week, their interest was in protecting not the constitution and the rule of law, but the bipartisan political consensus on Capitol Hill in favor of their proxy war on Putin and the Ukraine aid package through which it was being prosecuted.

As I stated during my deposition, I feared at the time of the call on July 25 how its disclosure would play in Washington’s political climate. My fears have been realized.

Not surprisingly, the entire Washington establishment has been sucked into this scam. For instance, the insufferably sanctimonious Peggy Noonan used her Wall Street Journal platform to idolize these liars.

As she portrayed it, bow-tie bedecked George P. Kent appeared to be the very picture of the old-school American foreign service official. And West Pointer Bill Taylor – with a military career going back to (dubious) Vietnam heroism – was redolent of the blunt-spoken American military men who won WW II and the cold war which followed.

As Robert Merry further noted, She saw them as “the old America reasserting itself.” They demonstrated “stature and command of their subject matter.” They evinced “capability and integrity.”

Oh, puleeze!

What they evinced was nothing more than the self-serving groupthink that has turned Ukraine into a beltway goldmine. That is, a cornucopia of funding for all the think tanks, NGOs, foreign policy experts, national security contractors and Warfare State agencies – from DOD through the State Department, AID, the National Endowment for Democracy, the Board for International Broadcasting and countless more – which ply their trade in the Imperial City.

But Robert Merry got it right. These cats are not noble public servants and heroes; they’re apparatchiks and payrollers aggrandizing their own power and pelf – even as they lead the nation to the brink of disaster:

But these men embrace a geopolitical outlook that is simplistic, foolhardy, and dangerous. Perhaps no serious blame should accrue to them, since it is the same geopolitical outlook embraced and enforced by pretty much the entire foreign policy establishment, of which these men are mere loyal apparatchiks. And yet they are playing their part in pushing a foreign policy that is directing America towards a very possible disaster.

Neither man manifested even an inkling of an understanding of what kind of game the United States in playing with Ukraine. Neither gave even a nod to the long, complex relationship between Ukraine and Russia. Neither seemed to understand either the substance or the intensity of Russia’s geopolitical interests along its own borders or the likely consequences of increasing U.S. meddling in what for centuries has been part of Russia’s sphere of influence.

They obviously didn’t get it, but we must. So let us summarize the true Ukraine story, starting with the utterly stupid and historically ignorant reason for Washington’s February 2014 coup.

Namely, it objected to the decision of Ukraine’s prior government in late 2013 to align itself economically and politically with its historic hegemon in Moscow rather than the European Union and NATO. Yet the fairly elected and constitutionally legitimate government of Ukraine then led by Viktor Yanukovych had gone that route mainly because it got a better deal from Moscow than was being demanded by the fiscal torture artists of the IMF.

Needless to say, the ensuing US sponsored putsch arising from the mobs on the street of Kiev reopened deep national wounds. Ukraine’s bitter divide between Russian-speakers in the east and Ukrainian nationalists elsewhere dates back to Stalin’s brutal rein in Ukraine during the 1930s and Ukrainian collusion with Hitler’s Wehrmacht on its way to Stalingrad and back during the 1940s.

It was the memory of the latter nightmare, in fact, which triggered the fear-driven outbreak of Russian separatism in the Donbas and the 96% referendum vote in Crimea in March 2014 to formally re-affiliate with Mother Russia.

In this context, even a passing familiarity with Russian history and geography would remind that Ukraine and Crimea are Moscow’s business, not Washington’s.

In the first place, there is nothing at stake in the Ukraine that matters. During the last 800 years it has been a meandering set of borders in search of a country.

In fact, the intervals in which the Ukraine existed as an independent nation have been few and far between. Invariably, its rulers, petty potentates and corrupt politicians made deals with or surrendered to every outside power that came along.

These included the Lithuanians, Poles, Ruthenians (eastern Slavs), Tartars, Turks, Muscovites, Austrians and Czars, among manifold others.

At the beginning of the 16th century, for instance, the territory of today’s Ukraine was scattered largely among the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Ruthenia (light brown area), the Kingdom of Poland (dark brown area), Muscovy (bright yellow area) the Crimean Khanate (light yellow area).

The latter was the entity which emerged when some clans of the Golden Horde (Tartars) ceased their nomadic life on the Asian steppes and occupied the light yellow stripped areas of the map north of the Black Sea as their Yurt (homeland).

From that cold start, the tiny Cossack principality of Ukraine (blue area below), which had emerged by 1654, grew significantly over the subsequent three centuries. But as the map also makes clear, this did not reflect the organic congealment of a nation of kindred volk sharing common linguistic and ethnic roots, but the machinations of Czars and Commissars for the administrative convenience of efficiently ruling their conquests and vassals.

Thus, much of modern Ukraine was incorporated by the Russian Czars between 1654 and 1917 per the yellow area of the map and functioned as vassal states. These territories were amalgamated by absolute monarchs who ruled by the mandate of God and the often brutal sword of their own armies.

In particular, much of the purple area was known as “Novo Russia” (Novorossiya) during the 18th and 19th century owing to the Czarist policy of relocating Russian populations to the north of the Black Sea as a bulwark against the Ottomans. But after Lenin seized power in St. Petersburg in November 1917 amidst the wreckage of Czarist Russia, an ensuing civil war between the so-called White Russians and the Red Bolsheviks raged for several years in these territories and elsewhere in the chaotic regions of the former western Russian Empire.

At length, Lenin won the civil war as the French, British, Polish and American contingents vacated the postwar struggle for power in Russia. Accordingly, in 1922 the new Communist rulers proclaimed the Union of Soviet Social Republics (USSR) and incorporated Novo Russia into one of its four constituent units as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) – along with the Russian, Belarus and Transcaucasian SSRs.

Thereafter the border and political status of Ukraine remained unchanged until the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939 between the USSR and Nazi Germany. Pursuant thereto the Red Army and Nazi Germany invaded and dismembered Poland, with Stalin getting the blue areas (Volhynia and parts of Galicia) as consolation prizes, which where then incorporated into the Ukrainian SSR.

Finally, when Uncle Joe Stalin died and Nikita Khrushchev won the bloody succession struggle in 1954, he transferred Crimea (red area) to the Ukraine SSR as a reward to his supporters in Kiev. That, of course, was the arbitrary writ of the Soviet Presidium, given that precious few Ukrainians actually lived in what had been a integral part of Czarist Russia after it was purchased by Catherine the Great from the Turks in 1783.

In a word, the borders of modern Ukraine are the handiwork of Czarist emperors and Communist butchers. The so-called international rule of law had absolutely nothing to do with its gestation and upbringing.

It’s a pity, therefore, that none of the so-called conservative Republicans attending Adam’s Schiff Show saw fit to ask young Tim Morrison the obvious question.

To wit, exactly why is he (and most of the Washington foreign policy establishment) so keen on expending American treasure, weapons and even blood in behalf of the “territorial integrity and sovereignty” of this happenstance amalgamation of people subdued by some of history’s most despicable tyrants?

Needless to say, owing to this very history, the linguistic/ethnic composition of today’s Ukraine does not reflect the congealment of a “nation” in the historic sense.

To the contrary, central and western Ukraine is populated by ethnic Ukrainians who speak Ukrainian (dark red area), whereas the two parts of the country allegedly the victim of Russian aggression and occupation – Crimea (brown area) and the eastern Donbas region (yellow area with brown strips) – are comprised of ethnic Russians who speak Russian and ethnic Ukrainians who predominately speak-Russian, respectively.

And much of the rest of the territory consists of admixtures and various Romanian, Moldovan, Hungarian and Bulgarian minorities.

Did the Washington neocons – led by Senator McCain and Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland – who triggered the Ukrainian civil war with their coup on the streets of Kiev in February 2014 consider the implications of the map below and its embedded, and often bloody, history?

Quite surely, they did not.

Nor did they consider the rest of the map. That is, the enveloping Russian state all around to which the parts and pieces of Ukraine – especially the Donbas and Crimea – have been intimately connected for centuries. Robert Merry thus further noted,

As Nikolas K. Gvosdev of the US Naval War College has written, Russia and Ukraine share a 1,500-mile border where Ukraine “nestles up against the soft underbelly of the Russian Federation.” Gvosdev elaborates: “The worst nightmare of the Russian General Staff would be NATO forces deployed all along this frontier, which would put the core of Russia’s population and industrial capacity at risk of being quickly and suddenly overrun in the event of any conflict.” Beyond that crucial strategic concern, the two countries share strong economic, trade, cultural, ethnic, and language ties going back centuries. No Russian leader of any stripe would survive as leader if he or she were to allow Ukraine to be wrested fully from Russia’s sphere of influence.

And yet America, in furtherance of the ultimate aim of pulling Ukraine away from Russia, spent some $5 billion in a campaign to gin up pro-Western sentiment there, according to former assistant secretary of state for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who spearheaded much of this effort during the Obama administration. It was clearly a blatant effort to interfere in the domestic politics of a foreign nation – and a nation residing in a delicate and easily inflamed part of the world.

Indeed, Ukraine is a tragically divided country and fissured simulacrum of a nation. Professor Samuel Huntington of Harvard called Ukraine “a cleft country, with two distinct cultures” causing Robert Merry to rightly observe that,

Contrary to Taylor’s false portrayal of an aggressive Russia trampling on eastern Ukrainians by setting up puppet governments and manufacturing a bogus referendum in Crimea, the reality is that large numbers of Ukrainians there favor Russia and feel loyalty to what they consider their Russian heritage. The Crimean public is 70 percent Russian, and its Parliament in 1992 actually voted to declare independence from Ukraine for fear that the national leadership would nudge the country toward the West. (The vote was later rescinded to avoid a violent national confrontation.) In 1994, Crimea elected a president who had campaigned on a platform of “unity with Russia.”

In short, in modern times Ukraine largely functioned as an integral part of Mother Russia, serving as its breadbasket and iron and steel crucible under czars and commissars alike. Given this history, the idea that Ukraine should be actively and aggressively induced to join NATO was just plain nuts.

 

[From an article published by LEW ROCKWELL]

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Empowering a Pack of Paranoid Neocon Morons”

Sometimes you need to call a spade a spade, and Tuesday’s testimony before the Adam Schiff Show by former NSC official Tim Morrison is just such an occasion. In spades!

In his opening statement, this paranoid moron uttered the following lunacy, and it’s all you need to know about what is really going on down in the Imperial City.

“I continue to believe Ukraine is on the front lines of a strategic competition between the West and Vladimir Putin’s revanchist Russia. Russia is a failing power, but it is still a dangerous one. The United States aids Ukraine and her people so they can fight Russia over there and we don’t have to fight Russia here.”

Folks, that is just plain whacko. The Trump-hating Democrats are so feverishly set on a POTUS kill that they have enlisted a veritable posse of Russophobic, right-wing neocon cretins – Morrison, Taylor, Kent, Vindman, among others – to finish off the president.

But in so doing they have made official Washington’s real beef against Trump crystal clear; and it’s not about the rule of law or abuse of presidential power or an impeachable dereliction of duty.

To be sure, foolish politicians like Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler and the Clintonista apparatus at the center of the Dem party are so overcome with inconsolable grief and anger about losing the 2016 election to Trump that their sole purpose in life is to drive the president from office. But that just makes them “useful idiots” or compliant handmaids of the Deep State, which has a far more encompassing and consequential motivation.

To wit, whether out of naiveté, contrariness or just plain common sense, Mr. Trump has declined to embrace the War Party’s Russian bogeyman and demonization of Putin. He thereby threatens the Empire’s raison d’être to the very core.

Indeed, that’s the real reason for the whole concerted attack on Trump from the Russian Collusion hoax, through the Mueller Investigation farce to the present UkraineGate and impeachment inquisition. The Deep State deeply and profoundly fears that if Trump remains in office – and especially if he is elected with a new mandate in 2020 – he might actually make peace with Russia and Putin.

So in Part 1 we revert to the basics. Without the demonization of Russia, Ukraine would be the no-account failed state and cesspool of corruption it actually is, and not a purported “front line” buffer against Russian aggression.

Likewise, it would not have been a recipient of vast US and western military and economic aid – a condition that turned it into a honeypot for the kind of Washington influence peddling which ensnared the Bidens, induced its officials to meddle in the 2016 US election, and, in return, incited Trump’s justifiable quest to get to the bottom of the malignancy that has ensued.

So the starting point is to identify Russia for what it actually is: Namely, a kleptocratic state sitting atop an aging, vodka-chugging population and third-rate economy with virtually zero capacity to project 21st century offensive military power beyond its own borders.

That truth, of course, shatters the whole foundation of the Warfare State. It renders NATO an obsolete relic and eviscerates the case for America’s absurd $900 billion defense and national security budget. And with the latter’s demise, the fairest part of Washington’s imperial self-importance and unseemly national security spending-based prosperity would also crumble.

But in their frenzied pursuit of Trump’s political scalp, the Dems may be inadvertently sabotaging their Deep State masters. That’s because the neocon knuckleheads they are dragging out of the NSC and State Department woodwork are such bellicose simpletons – just maybe their utterly preposterous testimony about the Russkie threat and Ukrainian “front line” will wake up the somnolent American public to the absurdity of the entire Cold War 2.0 campaign.

Indeed, you almost have to ask whether the bit about fighting the Russkies in the Donbas rather than on the shores of New Jersey from Morrison’s opening statement quoted above was reprinted in the New York Times or The Onion.

The fact is, the fearsome Russian bogeyman cited by Morrison yesterday – and Ambassador Taylor, George Kent and Lt. Colonel Vindman previously – is a complete chimera; and the notion that the cesspool of corruption in Ukraine is a strategic buffer against Russian aggression is just plain idiocy.

Russia is actually an economic and industrial midget transformed beyond recognition by relentless Warfare State propaganda. It is actually no more threatening to America’s homeland security than the Siberian land mass that Sarah Palin once espied from her front porch in Alaska a decade ago.

After all, how could it be? The GDP of the New York City metro area alone is about $1.8 trillion, which is well more than Russia’s 2018 GDP of $1.66 trillion. And that, in turn, is just 8% of America’s total GDP of $21.5 trillion.

Moreover, Russia’s dwarf economy is composed largely of a vast oil and gas patch; a multitude of nickel, copper, bauxite and vanadium mines; and some very large swatches of wheat fields. That’s not exactly the kind of high tech industrial platform on which a war machine capable of threatening the good folks in Lincoln NE or Worchester MA is likely to be erected.

And especially not when the Russian economy has been heading sharply south in dollar purchasing terms for several years running.

Russia's failing economy

Indeed, in terms of manufacturing output, the comparison is just as stark. Russia’s annual manufacturing value added is currently about $200 billion compared to $2.2 trillion for the US economy.

And that’s not the half of it. Not only are Russia’s vast hydrocarbon deposits and mines likely to give out in the years ahead, but so are the livers of its vodka-chugging work force. That’s a problem because according to a recent Brookings study, Russia’s working age population – even supplemented by substantial in-migration and guest worker programs – is heading south as far into the future as the eye can see.

Even in the Brookings medium case projection shown below, Russia’s working age population will be nearly 20% smaller than today by 2050. Yet today’s figure of about 85 million is already just a fraction of the US working age population of 255 million.

Russia’s Shrinking Work Force

Not surprisingly, Russia’s pint-sized economy can not support a military establishment anywhere near to that of the US.  To wit, its $61 billion of military outlays in 2018 amounted to less than 32 days of Washington’s current $750 billion of expenditures for defense.

Indeed, it might well be asked how Russia could remotely threaten homeland security in America short of what would be a suicidal nuclear first strike.

That’s because the 1,600 deployed nuclear weapons on each side represent a continuation of mutual deterrence (MAD) – the arrangement by which we we got through 45-years of cold war when the Kremlin was run by a totalitarian oligarchy committed to a hostile ideology; and during which time it had been armed to the teeth via a forced-draft allocation of upwards of 40% of the GDP of the Soviet empire to the military.

By comparison, the Russian defense budget currently amounts to less than 4% of the country’s anemic present day economy – one shorn of the vast territories and populations of Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and all the Asian “stans” among others. Yet given those realities we are supposed to believe that the self-evidently calculating and cautious kleptomaniac who runs the Kremlin is going to go mad, defy MAD and trigger a nuclear Armageddon?

Indeed, the idea that Russia presents a national security threat to America is laughable. Not only would Putin never risk nuclear suicide, but even that fantasy is the extent of what he’s got. That is, Russia’s conventional capacity to project force to the North American continent is nonexistent – or at best, lies somewhere between nichts and nothing.

For example, in today’s world you do not invade any foreign continent without massive sea power projection capacity in the form of aircraft carrier strike groups. These units consist of an armada of lethal escort ships, a fleet of aircraft, massive suites of electronics warfare capability and the ability to launch hundreds of cruise missiles and other smart weapons.

Each US aircraft carrier based strike group, in fact, is composed of roughly 7,500 personnel, at least one cruiser, a squadron of destroyers and/or frigates, and a carrier air wing of 65 to 70 aircraft. A carrier strike group also sometimes includes submarines and attached logistics ships.

The US has eleven such carrier strike groups. Russia has zero modern carrier strike groups and one beat-up, smoky old (diesel) aircraft carrier that the Israeli paper, Haaretz, described as follows when it recently entered the Mediterranean:

Russia’s only aircraft carrier, a leftover from the days of Soviet power, carries a long history of mishaps, at sea and in port, and diesel engines which were built for Russia’s cold waters – as shown by the column of black smoke raising above it. It needs frequent refueling and resupplies and has never been operationally tested.

Indeed, from our 19th floor apartment on the East River in NYC, even we could see this smoke belcher coming up Long Island Sound with an unaided eye – with no help needed at all from the high tech spyware of the nation’s $80 billion intelligence apparatus.

Yet Morrison had the audacity to say before a committee of the U.S. House that we are aiding Ukraine so we don’t have to fight Russians on the banks of the East River or the Potomac!

The US Navy’s new $13 billion aircraft carrier (the Gerald R. Ford CVN 48) is the most technologically advanced warship ever built, and is an extreme contrast with the vastly inferior capability of the limited number of ships and planes in Russia’s conventional force. What Russia does have numerical superiority in is tanks – but alas they are not amphibious nor ocean-capable!

Nobody invades anybody without massive airpower and the ability to project it across thousands of miles of oceans via vast logistics and air-refueling capabilities.  On that score, the US has 6,100 helicopters to Russia’s 1,200 and 6,000 fixed wing fighter and attack aircraft versus Russia’s 2,100. More importantly, the US has 5,700 transport and airlift aircraft compared to just 1,100 for Russia.

In short, the idea that Russia is a military threat to the US homeland is ludicrous. Russia is essentially a landlocked military shadow of the former Soviet war machine. Indeed, for the world’s only globe-spanning imperial power to remonstrate about an aggressive threat from Moscow is a prime facie case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Moreover, the canard that Washington’s massive conventional armada is needed to defend Europe is risible nonsense. Europe can and should take care of its own security and relationship with its neighbor on the Eurasian continent.

After all, the GDP of NATO Europe is $18 trillion or 12X greater than that of Russia, and the current military budgets of European NATO members total about $280 billion or 4X more than that of Russia.

More importantly, the European nations and people really do not have any quarrel with Putin’s Russia, nor is their security and safety threatened by it.  All of the tensions that do exist and have come to a head since the illegal coup in Kiev in February 2014 were fomented by Imperial Washington and its European subalterns in the NATO machinery.

Then again, the latter is absolutely the most useless, obsolete, wasteful and dangerous multilateral institution in the present world. But like the proverbial clothes-less emperor, NATO doesn’t dare risk having the purportedly “uninformed” amateur in the Oval Office pointing out its buck naked behind.

So the NATO subservient think tanks and establishment policy apparatchiks are harrumphing up a storm, but for crying out loud, most of Europe’s elected politicians are in on the joke. They are fiscally swamped paying for their Welfare States and are not about to squeeze their budgets or taxpayers to fund military muscle against a nonexistent threat.

As the late, great Justin Raimondo aptly noted, Finally an American president has woken up to the fact that World War II, not to mention the cold war, is over: there’s no need for US troops to occupy Germany.  Vladimir Putin isn’t going to march into Berlin in a reenactment of the Red Army taking the Fuehrer-bunker – but even if he were so inclined, why won’t Germany defend itself?

Exactly. If their history proves anything, Germans are not a nation of pacifists, meekly willing to bend-over in the face of real aggressors. Yet they spent the paltry sum of $43 billion on defense during 2018, or barely 1.1% of Germany’s $4.0 trillion GDP, which happens to be roughly three times bigger than Russia’s.

In short, the policy action of the German government tells you they don’t think Putin is about to invade the Rhineland or retake the Brandenburg Gate.

And this live action testimonial also trumps, as it were, all of the risible alarms that have emanated from the beltway think tanks and the 4,000 NATO bureaucrats talking their own book in behalf of their plush Brussels sinecures.

And as we will outline in Part 2, that’s what Washington’s Ukraine intervention is all about, and why Mr. Trump’s efforts to get to the bottom of that cesspool has brought on the final Deep State assault against his presidency.

 

[From an article published by LewRockwell.com]

 

NORM ‘n’ AL Note: Part 2 of this article will be posted here on Wed. Nov. 27th.

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Democrat “impeachment inquiry” witness Dr. Fiona Hill tells Democrats they don’t understand how Russia plays the diplomacy game

“This is exactly what the Russian government was hoping for.”

Dems do not begin to understand how Russia plays the game...

The star witness of Thursday’s public impeachment hearings was Dr. Fiona Hill, a former official with the National Security Council who is an expert on Russia and European affairs.

Democrats and the media initially seized on Hill’s testimony, particularly her prepared opening statement, as they believed it was a direct rebuke to what Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have been bringing up repeatedly: that Ukraine worked to interfere in the 2016 election on behalf of Democrats against then-candidate Donald Trump, a claim borne out by the facts as reported by Politico in January 2017.

House Democrats have long claimed that the Russians interfered in order to help Trump. Hill completely undermined their narrative that the interference was solely in support of the president.

Speaking about Russian attacks on America’s “democratic institutions” in 2016, Hill said that “the impact of the successful 2016 Russian campaign remains evident today. Our nation is being torn apart. Truth is questioned. Our highly professional and expert career foreign service is being undermined.”

She went on to explain that Russia’s primary goal was, and always has been, to weaken America on the global stage in order to protect its own interests. And then she dropped a bomb on the Democratic narrative by revealing that Russia doesn’t choose sides in that continuing effort but seeks to sabotage the U.S. with whatever opportunity is presented, no matter which Americans it may help or hurt.

“President Putin and the Russian security services operate like a Super PAC,” Hill said. “They deploy millions of dollars to weaponize our own political opposition research and false narratives.

“When we are consumed by partisan rancor, we cannot combat these external forces as they seek to divide us against each other, degrade our institutions, and destroy the faith of the American people in our democracy.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, the ringleader of the impeachment circus, tried to tease out the Democratic narrative of Trump-Russia collusion in his questioning of Hill, but she essentially killed it right off the bat.

“The Russians’ interests [were], frankly, to delegitimize our entire presidency. … The goal of the Russians was really to put whoever became the president — by trying to tip their hands on one side of the scale — under a cloud,” Hill said.

“So if Secretary, former first lady, former Sen. Clinton had been elected as president — as indeed many expected in the run-up prior to the election in 2016 — she, too, would have had major questions about her legitimacy,” she added.

“This is exactly what the Russian government was hoping for. If they seed misinformation, they seed doubt, they have everybody questioning the legitimacy of a presidential candidate, be it President Trump or potentially a President Clinton, that they would pit one side of our electorate against the other, that they would pit one party against the other.”

That strikes to the heart of the matter, a basic truth that far too many Democrats and media figures refuse to acknowledge: Russia didn’t side with Trump or Clinton in 2016 but attempted to harm and smear both so that whichever one ultimately prevailed would, theoretically, be weakened upon assuming the Oval Office.  (NORM ‘n’ AL emphasis.)

Indeed, Russia played both sides of the field in 2016, and Russian actions both helped and hurt each candidate. Russia hurt Clinton by hacking her emails, but also helped her with the anti-Trump Steele Dossier.

Russia doesn’t really care whether a Democrat or a Republican is in office. The sooner Democrats realize that and quit playing into Russian hands with their incessant anti-Trump divisiveness, the better off this whole country will be.

 

[From an article published by the WESTERN JOURNAL]

 

NORM ‘n’ AL Note:  The Democrats are looking “dumb and dumber” every day with their impeachment charade…but they are too dumb to realize just how dumb they look to the folks in the country’s heartland who can only wish they would shut up and go home.  Wishing the Dems would actually accomplish something in Washington has proven to be a completely futile hope.

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

 

 

 

 

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In thousands of pages of impeachment inquiry testimony, the only bribery reference is to Biden, not Trump

It’s a very telling thing that the most successful hearings the Democrats have held during the “impeachment inquiry” thus far have taken place behind closed doors.

If you can control who testifies, what questions get asked and what information gets released, things seem to work out as desired. You can’t do that when the hearings are public, however, no matter how few people are watching.

The Comey hearing was a disaster. The Mueller hearing was even worse because at least Comey didn’t seem like he was the victim of mentally diminishing returns. And while the Trump impeachment inquiry hearings have just begun, let’s face some facts: The way this is going, the streak is intact.

“Opening Day of the impeachment hearings hardly hit blockbuster status, generating middling viewer interest compared with other Trump-era political hearings,” Neil Rothschild and Sara Fischer wrote for Axios.

Michael Goodwin from the New York Post was more critical: “Tuesday wasn’t much help. As they did in the first hearings last week, Dems again failed to make the Ukraine ­issue the crime of the century or even of the Trump presidency. Their hyperbolic descriptions are not even close to the pedestrian evidence they’re producing.”

 

[From an article published by the WESTERN JOURNAL]

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
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Democrats admitting that impeachment furor is really all about preventing Trump’s second term

It has become apparent that a substantial portion of those on the left simply can’t abide the thought of President Donald Trump serving a second term in the White House, and they are prepared to do whatever is necessary to prevent that from happening.

It would seem, by virtue of commentary offered up in a recent CNN interview by New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, that the purpose of the current ongoing impeachment inquiry against the president is one such example of “whatever is necessary.”

The freshman congresswoman spoke with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in the aftermath of the day’s first public impeachment hearings in the House, which didn’t go quite as well as Democrats had probably hoped.

Following some nonsensical remarks that blamed Trump for starting the whole discussion around “quid pro quos” with regard to his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Ocasio-Cortez said, “What we’re centrally focused on is, really, him using the power of the United States government to engage in extortion of a foreign government in order to intervene in our elections.”

“And so I think that’s our message, the fact that he undermined national security, that he is trying to undermine our elections, that he is engaged in flagrant abuse of power, should be a concern to all Americans who believe in the rule of law in the United States of America,” she added.

Blitzer noted that Ocasio-Cortez had been in support of impeaching Trump since before she even took office and pointed out that her prior reasoning for such had been Trump’s alleged profiting off the presidency and supposed misconduct during the Robert Mueller-led special counsel investigation. He asked what it would mean if those allegations, among others, were not incorporated into a broad set of articles of impeachment that went beyond just the Ukraine issue.

“Well, I think many of those considerations will be taken up by the Judiciary Committee when all of this evidence is brought forth, so we’ll see,” she replied. “I personally do believe that the president has engaged in flagrant violations of the emoluments clause. I’m concerned that we would allow this corruption to continue.”  [NORM ‘n’ AL Note: The emoluments clause is a provision of the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 9, Paragraph 8) that generally prohibits federal officeholders from receiving any gift, payment, or other thing of value.  It applies both to foreign and domestic sources, and is intended to prevent corruption of US officeholders.]

“But at the end of the day, we have to be able to come together as a caucus, and if it is this Ukrainian allegation that is what brings the caucus together, then I think we have to run with however we unify the House,” the congresswoman added.

Ocasio-Cortez stated that she believed there needed to be congressional investigations into the president’s purported violations of the emoluments clause, particularly with respect to allegations of his alleged enrichment by “suspicious stops” that had been made at his properties around the globe by government officials and employees on foreign trips.

“But we also need to move quite quickly because we’re talking about the potential compromise of the 2020 elections,” the congresswoman said, alluding to the allegation that Trump had sought Ukraine’s help in “interfering” in the upcoming election by way of investigating allegations of corruption involving former Vice President — and 2020 candidate — Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

“This is not just about something that has occurred, this is about preventing a potentially disastrous outcome from occurring next year,” she said.

That last remark from Ocasio-Cortez about “preventing a potentially disastrous outcome” from happening in 2020 could be taken in two different ways. The first involves the accusation that Trump had encouraged Ukraine to meddle in the elections with the requested Biden investigations, foreign election interference that must be prevented from occurring.

While that may be exactly what she was inferring in her remark, it is far more probable that the “potentially disastrous outcome” she hoped to prevent was President Trump’s re-election, which the left would undoubtedly view as an unmitigated disaster if he were to have another four years in office to continue implementing his own agenda while undoing and blocking their own.

In May of this year, Democrat Texas Rep. Al Green bluntly told an MSNBC host that “I’m concerned that if we don’t impeach this president, he will get re-elected.” That line of thinking aligns remarkably well with what Ocasio-Cortez had to say.

It would seem that the Democrats are willing to use the sacred and scarcely-used power of impeachment as nothing more than a partisan tool to interject some “interference” of the domestic variety into the 2020 election for the sole purpose of overriding and subjugating the political will of the American people — a dangerous precedent that must not be allowed to happen.

 

NORM ‘n’ AL Note:  “If we don’t impeach this president, he will get re-elected.” (Al Green)  “We have to pass this (Obamacare) bill so you can find out what’s in it.” (Nancy Pelosi)  “Obama is the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.” (Joe Biden)  “I’ve now been in 57 states. I think there’s one left to go.” (Barack Obama)  “Cigarette smoking is a significant contributor to global warming.” (Al Gore)  “I personally do believe that the president has engaged in flagrant violations of the emoluments clause. I’m concerned that we would allow this corruption to continue.” (AOC)  Bottom line: “We have no proof whatsoever that there has been anything done by our president that violates the law.  We think, or maybe we even believe, that some legal violations have occurred, but we don’t know that to be true.  Nor do we know what they are, or might be.  But because we think, or believe, that such violations did, or might have, occurred, we are moving forward with an impeachment inquiry which is going to cost a LOT of money, and waste a LOT of time, before it’s all over.  And when it is all over, we are going to look a lot more stupid than people think we already are.”

 

[From an article published by WESTERN JOURNAL.com]

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

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Donald Trump and the art of political warfare

Over the past three decades far too many Republicans and establishment conservatives have acquiesced to the conventional wisdom that the American Left (i.e. the Democrat Party), are superior tacticians in the arena of political warfare.  This hypothesis took hold as spineless Republicans and the Washington-based conservative intelligentsia were willingly intimidated by the Left and their allies in the mainstream media.  But is this cabal really nonpareil political tacticians or just the overconfident beneficiary of decades of feckless and near non-existent opposition?

The election of Donald Trump in 2016, the subsequent reaction and the repeated failed attempts to intimidate, remove or effectively castrate him by the Democrats and the mainstream media graphically illustrates that this leftist crew may well be the Keystone Kops of political warfare.

2,500 years ago, a Chinese philosopher, general and military strategist, Sun Tzu, wrote The Art of War, the most influential work of military strategy and philosophy ever.  Throughout the centuries this treatise not only influenced military thinking but culture, politics and sports.  Two of his most notable admonitions for defeating one’s enemy are:

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.  If know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.  If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in battle every time.

It is the unemotional, reserved, calm warrior who wins, not the hothead seeking vengeance and not the ambitious seeker of fortune.

The past three years of fabricated Russia accusations as well as almost daily contrived and fake news allegations culminating in a farce of an impeachment proceeding have revealed that not only does the Left and the media not know their declared enemy, but they do not know who they are or what they truly stand for.  At its core their motivation is centered solely upon vengeance.

The American Left has openly declared Trump the enemy and by extension those who voted for him or support his policies.  But they have no clue as to who he is and why he appeals to such a vast cross section of the American populace.

Despite his seemingly elite upbringing and inheritance of a fortune and the sheer determination and hard work by which he transformed himself into an iconic international brand, he remains the “everyman billionaire.”   Donald Trump uniquely can relate to and communicate with those in flyover country regardless of race or ethnicity.  He is able to do this because he is incapable of being anyone other than himself, and he cannot hide his affection for this nation and its people.  A majority of Americans who recognize that they have been forsaken by the self-absorbed Ruling Class see in Donald Trump someone who genuinely cares and will without hesitation take up the cudgel and wade into the fray on their behalf.

On the other hand, the cabal that is the American Left, the Democratic Party, and the mainstream media are a hodge-podge of dedicated Marxists, bureaucrats, academics, pundits, politicians and elite wannabes who have but one thing in common: a crippling and overweening self-absorption.  The majority do not favor outright Socialism or radical environmentalism but cynically ally with those that do as a means to an end: their permanent control and individual involvement in operating levers of ever-expanding governmental power.

Thus, there is no coherent and consistent philosophy or guiding political principle undergirding this army of egotists.  They do not now nor have they ever known who they are.  Thus, if they ever succeeded in achieving their goal of permanent control of the levers of power, this nation would descend into unbridled and violent chaos.

Over the past 30 years the Left and the Democratic Party have utilized a dog-eared playbook whose only strategy encompasses the personal destruction of any opponent by any means possible.  Just the threat of or the opening salvo of this tactic has been successful as innumerable Republican and conservative leaders surrendered virtually without a fight.  The Left knew its enemy but its enemy did not know the Left.  Accordingly, the Left calmly and unemotionally went about forcing Republicans out of office or dramatically changing their positions on an issue.

That is until Donald Trump burst upon the scene and vengeance for being Donald Trump and defeating the crown princess, Hillary Clinton, became the overriding emotion of the anti-Trump crew.  However, they still relied on the same 30-year old dog-eared playbook as they stumbled and fumbled amid the pratfalls of “getting” Trump.

No easily disproven lie about Trump, his family or his supporters was too outrageous to splash across the front pages of the New York Times or the Washington Post.  The preposterous and fanciful accusation that Trump was a traitor colluding with Russia became the drumbeat of 24-hour television news coverage for over two years.  Every salacious rumor or innuendo regarding Trump’s personal life became fodder for hours of cable news coverage.  The comedic and daily threat to initiate the impeachment process over any accusation promoted by the liberal Left since the day after the election in 2016 was reminiscent of a screenplay for a slapstick comedy. And now the nation is being held captive in the kabuki theater that is impeachment staged on Capitol Hill by the Three Stooges: Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler.

Succumbing to vengeance and not knowing who they were dealing with is evolving into a disaster for the Left, the Democratic Party and the mainstream media, as Donald Trump, per Sun Tzu, knew who his enemies were and calmly and unemotionally chose to stand his ground and to aggressively confront all accusations and those promoting them.  Meanwhile the reporting and investigations undertaken by the alternative media exposed the myriad of falsehoods and set-ups.

Donald Trump has been vindicated in the Russia matter, the vast litany of lies and fake news has been dispatched and shown to be false and the partisan impeachment process will only destroy the candidacy of Joe Biden.  After three years of this reckless and baseless inquisition, many Americans grasp that this rotting corpse of vengeance reeks of frame-ups and mendacity.  Having gone through and survived the gauntlet foolishly planted by the Left, Donald Trump is now a more popular and stronger candidate for re-election.

The time has come to stop attributing invincibility to the Left and the Democrats.  The rest of the Republican Party and conservative movers and shakers need to recognize that their adversary has but one tactic, and Donald Trump and his army of supporters have exposed their opponent’s vulnerable underbelly along with how to soundly defeat them on the political warfare battleground.

 

[From an article by Steve McCann, published by AMERICAN THINKER]

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

 

 

 

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