Meet Hal Brands, “a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he studies US foreign policy and defense strategy.” Brands must be really smart because he has the platinum academic credentials:
Dr. Brands graduated from Yale University with a PhD, MA, and MPhil in history. He also received a BA in history and political science from Stanford University.https://www.aei.org/profile/hal-brands/
Wow. Stanford and Yale. If he had Harvard he would have a trifecta. So, why am I picking on Professor Brands? Because he wrote an obtuse opinion piece for Bloomberg with the catchy title, Ukraine’s Victories May Become a Problem for the US. Despite being loaded to the gills with advanced degrees, Brands apparently was too busy to actually do some research and critical thinking on the war in Ukraine. I am going to give you the Reader’s Digest version of his article. Brands wrote:
Ukraine has notched another big victory in its war against Russian aggression: the liberation of the Kherson without a grueling urban battle.
Huh? Russia withdraws to the other side of the river and is now shelling the Ukrainians troops with such ferocity that Ukraine is recommending people remaining in Kherson abandon the city. Doc Brands does not explain why this is a “big victory.” Russia did not lose thousands of soldiers or vehicles. And Ukraine is now stuck with a city virtually devoid of electricity. How many more “victories” like this can Ukraine endure?
How did Ukraine pull off this feat in Kherson? Brands has the answer:
The Ukrainians pounced, using US-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems and other weapons to isolate those forces, and then grinding them down with a methodical offensive.
No. Russia conducted an orderly withdrawal, having suffered few losses compared to the masive casualties sustained by Ukraine in trying to approach Kherson. Russia’s General Surovikin saw no value in hanging on to real estate on the wrong side of the Dnieper River without guaranteed lines of communication to keep the Russian forces fully supplied. Russia was doing the grinding by firing five times more shells at the Ukrainians than Zelensky’s troops could muster.
On the one hand, the liberation of Kherson has brought Ukrainian forces within HIMARS range of Russia’s remaining supply lines into Crimea, while troops freed up by this victory can prepare for new offensives elsewhere.
Hello!! Ukraine is running out of HIMARS, in part because Russia has destroyed many of the launchers, and because the United States only sent a limited number of the rockets and has dim prospects for producing new supplies anytime soon.
Putin has threatened to use nuclear weapons to hold five regions he has illegally annexed since 2014. Ukraine has walked right over those red lines in eastern Ukraine and Kherson.
You only need the reading ability of a fourth grader to read the transcripts of what Putin said about the use of “nuclear weapons.” He has not threatened to use nuclear weapons to hold the five regions that are now part of Russia. That is just a flat out lie. And Putin did act to give the people of the Donbas the chance to reunite with Russia prior to 2022.
WARNING — Please sit down and be sure you are not drinking coffee or an adult beverage. The next snippet from Brands ridiculous could cause you to choke (or retch):
Finally, does a protracted conflict help or hurt the US? If this war has imposed terrible costs on Ukraine, it has been a strategic windfall for Washington. Russia’s military is being reduced to rubble. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is expanding and strengthening its defenses.
A “strategic windfall” for Washington? Does he mean the fact that the United States is emptying its stores of weapons and has no immediate solution to produce more in the near term? Is it a “windfall” that the United States is virtually begging South Korea for ammunition that Washington cannot supply to Ukraine? Dr. Brands apparently did not get the word that Russian weapons industry is running 24/7 and, notwithstanding repeated claims by Western pundits and media that Russia is running out of precision missiles, the Russian military continues to hammer Ukraine’s critical infrastructure with an unrelenting barrage.
Does frayed relations with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States count as a “strategic windfall?” And exactly how is NATO “expanding and strengthening” its defenses. Turkey is blocking Sweden and Finland from joining and Turkey is excoriating the Biden Administration for supporting Kurdish terrorists. Brands comment about “windfall” reminds me of the Princess Bride:
To his credit, Dr. Brands concludes his article by acknowledging reality and letting the cat out of the bag:
A long war that exposes how pitifully inadequate the US defense industrial base has become could force the nation to get serious about rearmament. Still, if the situation in the Taiwan Strait is deteriorating as rapidly as American officials say, then the premium on ending the Ukraine conflict relatively soon may get higher.
In other words, the Russia/Ukraine war is a mere sideshow. The real threat is China. And if you are watching cable news in the United States tonight you are hearing very little about Russia and Ukraine and a flood of reporting about riots in China and the growing threat China poses to the world — at least that’s the meme now circulating in America.
After reading Dr. Brands schizophrenic op-ed, I wonder if he has considered changing his name to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? At least that would provide an alibi for the shallow, inconsistent analysis he provided to Bloomberg.
Brian O. says
There aren’t many options. He is either paid to write it, or put his name on it. Just another recycler that owed a favor to the government. There is no indication that his source material is anything but propaganda. He appears to inform the world that “American officials say” there’s trouble in the Taiwan Strait with a capital T and that rhymes with tea and me a deer, a female deer……..
As Bugs would say, “what a maroon”.
BabaClay Hathor says
Good one Brian O.
Heard today that Germany signed a 15yr deal w Qatar for lng. Would be curios to see how that plays out. I didn’t they they had capacity unless the price was great and they’re shifting from supplying the AP region. The chess board keeps moving.
“Heard today that Germany signed a 15yr deal w Qatar for lng. ”
According to “Die Zeit”, starting in 2026 …
Meanwhile Europe continues to import more LNG from Russia …
It ain't rocket science says
Qatar will just be redirecting its contracted exports to Germany while Russia will be supplying Qatar’s former customers.
> Qatar will just be redirecting its contracted exports to Germany while Russia will be supplying Qatar’s former customers.
LOL no. No “redirection”.
No swap of physical gas, only of legal claim rights.
RosNeft would send deliver LNG tankers to Germany to fulfill Qatari contracts, while Quatar would send their to fullfill Russian contracts in Indian Ocean. Allegedly their already did few years ago.
If Germany would be coerced into being an
…donkey about legalism, well, then Quatar would formally purchase Russian shio and gas before it docks in Germany, and vice versa.
No one would overload Suez channel with actual, physical back and forth.
The “redirection” would be as virtual, as EU supplies of pipe gas to Ukraine were.
This CEPA article that Naked Capitalism linked to and which Brian Berletic has commented on is of the same ilk.
Really an advertorial for the US war industry and, yes, various such concerns do fund CEPA. There is a list of sponsors on their site that includes Lockheed and BAe.
AEI’s funding is not so obvious from a quick glance at their website but would be surprised if major defence contractors and various investors in them were not part on the list. Dr Brands is actually super smart. He gets to have a nice career being paid to write this fiction.
the blame-e says
Recycling is a failure, in all its forms and various manifestations. A complete failure. It takes more energy to return manufactured items to their original state (if that is even possible), than it did to first produce them.
For example, I takes more energy to return propaganda to some semblance of the truth (or even the facts), than it does to produce propaganda. Just don’t lie about everything to begin with.
What are you supposed to do with “un-named government or Pentagon official?”
Woodward and Bernstein started this crap with un-named sources with Big Throat. They walked a very fine line. But they had excellent editors and fact checkers (how do you fact check somebody named “Deep Throat.” Look what the three of them did to mainstream media.
I indeed see what they did….they jumped on Assange like a ton of bricks.
U.N. OUT OF USA, USA OUT OF U.N. says
Maybe Uncle Sam agreed to forgive his massive student loan debts that he racked up attaining all those feel-good doctorates. LOL.
Casual Observer says
Does Micky McFaul fowl into this category?
Just wondering, because the Russians called him a real bozo when he became ambassador and so far as best I can tell, it looks like they were right on the money.
PS: I could tell you some stories from direct experience with Stamford, Yale and Ukraine, but then I ‘d have to shoot you. 😉
Hint: They’re both clearing houses for regime change operations.
Casual Observer says
Sorry…Stanford not Stamford. Typo or bozo? I’ll not say.
Let’s call it Stepford since it produces Dr. Brands of that Ilk.
Casual Observer says
Mike D. says
I can’t get out if my head what a Wall Street Journal reporter said about Russia’s withdrawal from Kherson. To paraphrase, the WSJ said Russia suffered continued staggering losses in Ukraine.
The staggering stayed
As an aside, I am keeping my mouth shut at Christmas parties about Ukraine. The news from WSJ, CNN, Fox, Newsmax is pretty much the same.
There are are outliers like Tucker Carlson bu it is not worth it to have any discussion.
Mondo Cane says
Good insights from Mercouris today on neoconthink web weaving classes towards the end.
The trend in the States for the last 5+ decades has been to make everyone complicit in the planetary exploitation driven by profit making state sponsored corporate capitalism.
Whether you are rich or poor, educated or not, by being born into the system, you start sucking on the colonial tit and the fact that the country has become increasingly dependent on everything produced outside of its borders, while the transnational corporations enslave people inside and outside of the country – inside you lose the job ’cause a slave in China can make the same thing for 100x less and outside, well the $1 slave in China lost too., the corporations make money on both “them” and “us”.
As Prophet Mohammad said “you can like something and it can be bad for you and you can dislike something and it can be good for you”.
You can be aware of the above facts and not like them but still be complicit by the fact that you buy avocados from Peru, tea from China, wheat from Ukraine and meat from Brazil – all brought to you by the corporations protected and enabled by the government they fund and use at the same time. It is a perfect system, no? They make money, they keep you morally/economically in check and when you say something – there are many ways to make you look bad. For example, “well, you drive a car and you need oil, right? this is why we went to Iraq”. So on and so on.
At the end of the day, it becomes a game of shades of gray but we are all gray. So, professor so and so is more gray, you and I are less gray but we are all in this together, right?
How dare those corporations move avacados and tea around the planet for profit! Did you read about that off your China manufactured iphone or some non-corporate manufacted device? Just remember: America’s fault! Because people have no agency.
You missed my point. This “moving avocados and teas around the planet” is done from a position of power, not from a position of fairness. That makes you complicit just by enjoying the fruits. This is what the “global south” has awaken to after Russia made a point of it, after it too experienced the same at the hands of the American state-corporation complex. By the way, you confirmed what I wrote in your attempt to be smart – I am complicit too by using a device that was manufactured somewhere else and that someone made a 6x profit by importing it here after it was made by a slave in Malaysia or wherever for peanuts.
Unfair! How dare China make iphones @ low low wages (and non-existant environmental regulations) and then let Apple sell them to anyone for high high prices! Those communists are complicit in unfair capitalism! Awaken global South!
What are they going to do when they wake up, go Galt?
Paulo Guerra says
The satellite in London also only broadcasts fantasies about Taiwan. And how China will deprive Japan and South Korea of power after taking Taiwan. For which he already has 500,000 men ready. The puppet’s electoral defeat in Taiwan left them in shock and they declared a state of siege on televisions. There was nothing left after being beaten in Ukraine and bombed in the Middle East where they should have left. A horribilis week! Maybe that’s what justifies Hal’s hallucinated state that he even saw the Ukrainian forces crushing the Russian forces in Kherson?! There are no words for so much madness anymore. They are completely out of control. At the end of the day Biden with Alzheimer’s is still the most normal!
The most frightening aspect of this op-ed is decision makers in DC believe these tall tales.
Rob Rhodes says
All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.
Chris McMorrow says
Well said. So true. The politicians who voted to wire $40 BILLION for the ongoing, continuous SLAUGHTER of the Ukrainian people are blind fools. (The only possible good to have come from that vote was that it clearly identified the RINOs — cold comfort to Republican voters who are stuck with them, and the tens of thousands of old people in Ukraine now freezing to death because of their arrogance and stupidity.)
Let’s all remember that the large majority of those billions does not go to “Ukraine,” but onto the pockets of oligarchs and war profiteers and dirty politicians and criminal enterprises like the CIA. An amazing victory for the propaganda corps, that anyone outside Ukraine still flies the Ukrainian flag and believes that the enterprise stood up by the US/UK has anything to do with freedom and democracy.
I wonder — does Russia have a propaganda arm like TIPSO that sends hateful messages and disinformation to the Polish and Rumanian and French and British and American mothers of Polish, etc. troops getting chewed up and spit out fighting on the Ukie side? Or is that not an indecency that Russia would stoop to?
I wonder whether the media and academia and the O-7 TSP accounts would be in such lockstep if the President was a Republican. My evidence? The reversal on all things vaccine once Biden took office. I see the incessant and over the top propaganda as an extension of supporting the democratic power structure rather than a belief in the neocon way.
Perhaps you have a point, Archie, but only as long as foreign/military/natsec affairs are held sacred. I think it’s more accurate to say that there are a bunch of issues that are bright shiny objects to dangle in front of us (vaxx, abortion, etc.) and about which the opinion-makers can hypocritically change their tune whenever the ruling party changes, and then there are the things that are really important to them : Notice that the few times CNN and MSNBC praised Trump was when he “acted tough” and did things like bomb Syria, and the few times they were down on Obama and Biden were when Obama backed away from his red line on Syria or when Biden withdrew from Afghanistan. To me, that gives the real game away about what’s really important to the powers that be.
Not a surprise as most US MSM / Social Media serves up the same garbage. The US has been in a devolved state since well before I retired some 30 years ago when many, many ordinary Americans wanted only to join the CIA.
Today the USA is weeks away from total economic collapse while the political apparatus has entered a global phase of Grifting anything that can be lifted. US Government cares nothing for the USA people, nor do their Generals / security forces. It is, to repeat, a total global grift (Theft for the uniformed).
Next comes social unrest as the US government has already revolted against its people as well as having outsourced all direction to a group of insane individuals that are not that which they claim to be, nor have succeeded in anything over the past 120 years.
The US will win no wars, will not recover and shall render to its people a legacy of shame, betrayal, and cowardice.
A nations Economy is its People; the more unified the nation, the stronger the economy: Biden and the ‘neocons’ are no unifiers, nor ‘leaders’..
The US is bankrupt and so at the hands of its own ‘elite leadership’ and that includes all of its Gold (mainly stolen in the first instance):
That which is unsustainable, cannot be sustained. From now on its all ‘Stupid’.
Say “Goodnight Dick”
Pym of Nantucket says
The US has been weeks away from collapse for 40 years. The frog gets boiled alive while quibbling about culture warz. When in another couple decades it looks like Somalia or Libya prognosticators of the End Times will continue foretelling an end that came and went years ago.
Here https://www.aei.org/multimedia/hal-brands-and-michael-beckley-on-china/ Brands argues for the US to defend Taiwan. He should work for the Pompeo campaign.
Brands argues for the US to defend Taiwan. — Sentient
With what…? Harsh language and mean tweets?
Bazza McKenzie says
Maybe they can send Nancy again. She’ll have time on her hands and it might stop her throttling Paul, or vice versa.
The gap between academic credentials and actual scholarship is immense. Hal Brands is a good example, riding on Daddy’s coattails into academic fame. The fact that he is a Kissinger Fellow and works at the American Enterprise Institute tells all. I should know. I had a Fulbright for PhD study at Harvard. I saw the error of my ways and ended up as a stringer during the Vietnam War. As John Boyd said, “You can be or you do”.
“If you go that way you can be somebody. You will have to make compromises and you will have to turn your back on your friends. But you will be a member of the club and you will get promoted and you will get good assignments.” Then Boyd raised his other hand and pointed in another direction. “Or you can go that way and you can do something- something for your country and for your Air Force and for yourself. If you decide you want to do something, you may not get promoted and you may not get the good assignments and you certainly will not be a favorite of your superiors. But you won’t have to compromise yourself. You will be true to your friends and to yourself. And your work might make a difference. To be somebody or to do something. In life there is often a roll call. That’s when you will have to make a decision. To be or to do? Which way will you go?
― John Boyd
Brands did as people do at Harvard. They choose to “be”; not to do. Sucking up to power.
another steve says
Yes, sounds like he is just earning Brownie points with the Democrats. There’s a lot of it around.
Can’t help but wonder if Taiwan is going to the next in a long line of US disasters.
Chicago Bob says
This is absolutely correct. A friend of mine was in the Navy(chief petty officer). He wrote and submitted a paper on changing a ridiculous rule regarding chief petty officers placement in job roles. I read it and it made perfect common sense to me. His superior said if this was implemented, it would piss off a lot of people and he would never be promoted ever, while he was in the navy. It was adopted and he was never promoted again and retired not too long after.
“Ukraine is running out of HIMARS, in part because Russia has destroyed many of the launchers, and because the United States only sent a limited number of the rockets and has dim prospects for producing new supplies anytime soon.”
To date Russia has claimed 21 HIMARS launchers destroyed, and a total of 27 “neutralised”, i.e., fired on, they stopped firing, but damage or destruction not confirmed. Many of those “neutralised” will have been destroyed.
On Nov 12, Russia claimed 2 batteries of HIMARS neutralised. Something happened for sure, because since then, they have only reported 46 HIMARS intercepts in total. They used to report this many a day.Taking reports of intercepts as a proxy for the level of HIMARS activity, HIMARS operation have been drastically reduced.
In addition, Russia claims to have destroyed well over 1,000 HIMARS missiles in warehouses, most recently on Nov 9:
“In the area Dnepropetrovsk, an ammunition depot of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with multiple rocket launchers HIMARS, Olkha, as well as artillery ammunition was eliminated.”
Agnieszka g. says
Yup. The Kherson withdrawal has been quite few days back. Where are those promised HIMARS’ barrages on Crimea?
Mondo Cane says
I suspect that what they have left (and I was told by someone with direct contacts with Kiev, that it’s all of them), they’re harboring for a direct shock and awe push on Crimea, which the little Ukrainian elves keep saying is in the works.
Hope springs eternal, I guess.
just saying says
They know that Steiner’s assault will bring it under control.
If he had any independent ability to think, and/or was not corrupt he would likely not have been “awarded” his current position – not his PhD for that matter.
Group think, and be servile to Empire. The two main qualifications.
… On the other hand, perhaps he is Putin’s puppet, a Russian asset. For surely this kind of cunningly bad analysis and advice from the hallowed halls of elite universities will bring the entire US enterprise crashing down.
Historically, to be accepted into a PhD program you needed to be a critical thinker, a researcher and have an idea or approach that had not been considered before to “make a contribution to the body of knowledge”.
It attracts a lot of extremely bright people with no social awareness chasing constrained funding. It would appear the rest of the world is not able to consider the value these people might have for creating a peaceful world.
I quit my PhD in the (civilian) application of SAR to sonar as the IT department was 90% military / surveillance. There were trancendent moments of introspection when all understanding of the corpus is fused in the reach for an answer.
Later, while working as a cameraman, I saw a young man receive the gong for a paper on his “growth as an artist”. Really? A diary? I felt sick.
Ouroboros is our spirit animal.
Biswapriya Purkayastha says
You remember the 2003 Iraq invasion marketing where people invited to speak on television were advised that they were “expected” to support the invasion and if they didn’t they weren’t allowed to appear on television?
Larry Johnson says
I know that first hand. I was fired as a Fox News analyst for stating in November 2002 that the US could not fight a two front war.
Isn’t that something… And they continually said, though I don’t know if they do any longer, “We report. You decide”… or some rot gut to that effect. Guess that was more smoke and mirrors.
Biswapriya Purkayastha says
Well, at least you were right.
In the ’90s I was a frequent guest commentator (unpaid) on CNBC (on finance). They stopped calling and booking me when I told them I couldn’t support a storyline they were pursuing.
The public (mostly) remains in the dark regarding this lack of transparency and media’s pursuit of agenda. The only accountability is ratings, which results in sensation and outrage used for chasing an audience.
I remember Ws speech when he said that the US would no longer waitas the danger builds…
“ Instead of drifting along toward tragedy, we will set a course toward safety. Before the day of horror can come, before it is too late to act, this danger will be removed.
The United States of America has the sovereign authority to use force in assuring its own national security.”
Beat me, Daddy, 8 to the bar says
I took an anti-emetic and then read Dr Brands’ piece in its entirety. Yes, it is pure propaganda and laden with a mixture of untruths, half-truths and wishful thinking. He even references that titan of prognostication, Francis Fukuyama – remember him? He predicted “the end of history” following the dissolution of the USSR. How’d that work out?
Nassim Taleb uses the term “intellectual yet idiot” (IYI) for people like Brands and Fukuyama. Importantly, they have no “skin in the game,” that is, take no personal responsibility for their advice and/or decisions (depending on the actual role).
In short Brands and company are despicable not because their views are incorrect but because they promote vile and oppressive policies for others (typically in other countries) that they neither have to implement themselves (ie get hands actually dirty) nor answer for.
BTW, I heartily recommend Taleb’s writings – IYI is well described at https://nassimtaleb.org/2016/09/intellectual-yet-idiot/
” Francis Fukuyama – remember him? He predicted “the end of history” following the dissolution of the USSR. How’d that work out?”
Mr. Fukuyama and the Bucks and Chucks who grunted “Full spectrum dominance” John Waynely, as useful fools were complicit in facilitating the ongoing transcendence of “The Soviet Union” by the Russian Federation”.
In some “offices”, when these parties intoned their nonsense there was a discussion on whether they should be proposed for the Nobel peace prize, but after extensive discussion on reflection this was held to be bad manners to do so, and different strategies were assessed as having continuing relevance and pursued instead.
Eric Newhill says
Having skin in the game does appear to be a critical component of stimulating true intelligence and having it come to the forefront. One wishes that love of truth, integrity, honor, duty and pride + a sense of humility would be sufficient to moderate intellectual exercises such that they are both thorough and bounded by realism. However, those characteristics are exceedingly rare in humans and even more so in those who seek affiliation with political power. So skin in the game, the threat of negative consequences (i.e. pain, punishment) become the driving regulator.
The problem we have today is that there are no negative consequences for the “intellectuals” and policy creators. The last bit of skin has been removed from the game. They live in insulated, protected, self-reinforcing bubbles. They can be blatantly as wrong as wrong can be and they keep their jobs, maybe even get promoted. They are largely unaffected by elections. The media puts a positive spin on whatever crap they drop on us and its resulting stench; or ignores the failures.
The only way for them to be dethroned is that they’re just going to have to create a disaster so massive that even their bubbles can’t protect them from the fallout (perhaps literally).
This is nothing new. Wendell Berry wrote about America’s destruction of the small farm in lieu of large agri-businesses in silent collusion with university agriculture professors back in the 1980s. He contended that every agriculture professor should only be paid 1/2 of their salary and made to derive the other half from their own farm – this way the “professors” would have skin in the game and be forced to take their own advice/science or go hungry.
Things have gotten worse since – the proliferation of “experts” with no skin in the game has made it so that policies at every level have increasingly been divorced from reality.
In fact, it is not just having no skin in the game, it is having major and often undisclosed conflicts of interest in the opposite game. Many times for the “experts” this comes down to basics like employment – the explosion of non-profits, NGOs, think-tanks etc. makes it so that you can derive a cushy living out of writing nonsense, being in meetings all day, flying across the country/globe and always being on the lookout for the new and better/higher paying opportunity.
I learned this on the question of CITES and protection of elephants in Africa. Many years ago two investigative British journalists wrote a book about the plight of the elephant in Africa, hunted for its tusks. The corruption was local (in Africa) but also global as the business is very profitable in China. At the end there was a historic vote to protect the elephant (CITES) where he representatives of the WWF watered down the vote/rules in collusion with the people who directly profited from the trade, despite the evidence against the same people.
Why? Because the NGOs reasons for existence and the attraction of funding depend on very gray measures of success (remember those cushy expert positions and living the wonderful life of a western expat in Nairobi?) and it is much better to get 50% of the success and keep attracting funding by presenting that as a win than to do the all or nothing game where you are only happy with a full outcome/win and risk losing funding and being out of the game fully if you lose.
In other words – most of these organizations (NGOs, non-profits, think-tanks) have found a way to exist on their own – they produce nothing, nobody holds them accountable, no boss breathing down their neck, no standards to be held against… – they are truly the parasitic/plague scourge on the planet.
martin mkultra7 says
Eric,it is patently obvious the situation is far worse than you describe.we do not ignore the failures,WE PROMOTE THE FAILURES!This is nothing new,I have been a victim of this group think for the last 50 years to one degree or another.
Eric Newhill says
Once upon a time I got my paycheck from Uncle Sugar, myself. I’ve also worked for a non-for-profit org. I’ve been in the employ of a for-profit Fortune 100 company for a while now and, while the work is not exciting, the pay is very good. Competence and achieving goals are recognized and rewarded. Unremediated failure is career ending. Best is that thinking outside the box is not only tolerated, but appreciated. They want creative problem solvers and visionaries. That is because there is a bottom line and the BoD is looking at it intensely. That is the big accountability. Staff retention is another facet of accountability. I manage people and processes. If I have good people that want to leave (I don’t, but if I did) that would reflect on me very badly.
Yes, there are stupid and crooked companies that we can point at, but there are also very good ones that have been around a long time. The blue chips tend to fall into that category. Profit, and knowing what it takes to achieve and maintain it, is very sobering. I always thought the government could benefit from successful corporate management practices. No profit centers, of course, but something like “success centers” could be created wherein the purpose of the department and its programatic goals are clearly described and independent analysists create metrics to assess progress toward goal achievement and efficiency in getting there. Reports would be readily available publicly. Departments that fail on the metrics would defunded and leadership fired, etc. That would be a real revolution in government in itself.
Paulo Guerra says
Even though this sounds like another Monty Python sketch, Washington is completely out of control. Especially looking at Russia – which they were going to destroy with the war in Ukraine – and it doesn’t stop technologically advancing completely immune to the conflict:
And Putin has just asked Glaziev to finally create a new system of international agreements, independent of banks and third parties, based on blockchain and digital currencies. The de-dollarization of the world economy has just entered the cruising phase.
It didn’t surprise me at all that the US in the next few days tried to create some diversionary maneuver off Taiwan to try to camouflage so many nightmares around the globe. That will result in another success for sure.
The problem throughout the dominion of the U.S. Empire is that intelligent, morally and ethically guided, charismatic, responsible people oriented toward the common good find it difficult to get into leadership positions. Such people are difficult to impossible to manipulate, corrupt and control. Personnel adverse selection in the West is its downfall. In Germany, this is abundantly clear.
Real estate prices in Germany are still decent, so better to get out now before everything collapses!
My suggestion would be Asia. Friendly people, good whether and good food!
If I were young and healthy, I would try to live in Russia. Common sense still lives there. Somewhere in southern Russia. Besides, there is beautiful nature there. In Europe there are also many beautiful places. But all of Europe has gone mad.
Gail Lindholm says
As someone who is NOT a freaking brain dead poli sci academic nor a headucated economist (as Andrei M would say), Tom Luongo quips frequently that the neocon ideologues are the useful idiots for the old European banking dynasties to keep control of their colonies.
“In other words, the Russia/Ukraine war is a mere sideshow. The real threat is China.”
At the start of this dainty, pussyfooting SMO – or the illegal and brutally unneccessary invasion of a helpless neighbor (!), depending on viewpoint – I decided I needed to learn more about China, because I figured that’s where the action was eventually headed.
Now I knew China through the analytics, and as such, going back more than ten years, I’ve been writing that if this were football game, China would be up 46 to 3 at the half, and have yet to put their first string in.
But after spending roughly 300 hours taking virtual YouTube tours throughout the nation these past 9 months, mostly by strolling along with the ubiquitous China walkers but also via car and drone flybys, to better get to know them, I realized I was way off. What the game would more resemble, is the Super Bowl champs taking the field against a last place pee wee team.
In other words, the game should not allowed to be played, or there is no telling what the score would be, or how many helpless little victims would litter the field by no later than the second series of downs.
It’s funny man, my YouTube feed keeps giving me San Francisco Golden Gate bridge videos, for balance I guess. To offset all the Chinese propoganda I’ve been absorbing. Like, China ain’t shit Max424, look what we can do!
Yeah, the Golden Gate bridge was surely something, but the hard truth is, China builds such simple bridges at a rate of about one per month, and the mega-bridges, the ones that span the un-spannable, they throw those babies up at a rate of about one per year.
And bridges were China’s weakness, believe it not, as far as infrastructure goes. But like everything else, through standardization, and determination, they got better at.
China speed. It’s not only real, it’s about 5 times faster than I thought it was, and I went into my project thinking China speed was unbelievably f*cking fast to begin with.
If we were a nation led by smart people, we would sign up for the Belt and Road. Seems like a pretty good deal to me. China builds you stuff and sends you presents all they ask in return, is that you be their friend.*
But we are not going to do that, are we? We are going take China on, because they are our mortal enemy (!), and as we have no real proxies in the region to do our fighting for us, you know that means.
The nukes are gonna fly.
As for the finish in the Ukraine, I wonder what our host thinks of this? Apparently, rumors are circulating that the Russians are going to cut Ukraine in two, with a 100 mile wide DMZ.
*Ok, I was laying it on a little thick there.
China does expect their low interest loans to be paid back at some point in the indeterminate future. If you are able. If you’re not, they will probably forgive you.
When you bestride the world like a colossus, it easy to show mercy, especially if that mercy can be made to be “mutually beneficial.”
“Too smart China!” The thought I have expressed most in my 18 years on the web.
China is one illustration of a short sighted American policy (which they all are because there is no such thing as national interest subjugated to the needs of the state, only corporate needs count). We exported jobs/tech to them (corporate lobby) but we also allowed their students to infiltrate labs at virtually every university – all computer science, math, STEM departments in USA are full of Chinese graduate students and professors, whom I suspect 90% of regularly “phone home” with everything they learn(ed). This was because the universities are another lobby out to make money (foreign students pay much more in tuition and they spend money in the economy too) – and making money is more important than the needs of the state or its long term security and competitiveness, right? The whole university thing was “sold” to the public as hope that these students would go back to China and “open” the country and bring fresh views – which only illustrates the severe lack of understanding of Chinese society – they will never trust the West and they will never “open” to us.
Eric Newhill says
Yep. The ideology is that people are all the same everywhere and that the natural state of man is as Homoamericanis.
The problem is that analysis that goes against the ideology is forbidden. So if you want to be a well paid professional intellectual, you must alter your analysis to fit the ideology. Then you will be well rewarded. Since you have no skin in the game and lack integrity and are protected by the ideologues, why not go for it?
I attended the University of Buffalo from ’78 to ’82, there were roughly 24,000 students there at the time, a few hundred of which were Chinese, all of them from Taiwan.
In the early 2000’s, the population of the university had swelled to 31,000, 10,000 of which hailed from mainland China.
I admit, the fact that my once proud alma mater is being used like dried old turd to fascilitate China’s 50 year plan (or is it part of their 100 year plan? Not sure.) pisses me off greatly.
But I also admire and respect them for it. We said, here are the rules, and they said, really? Those are the rules? Ok, we accept!!!
And for the most part, they’ve played by our rules, with one important catch, they did not, as was expected, hand over their sovereignty to private interests.
Instead, they kept it, and this means, and this is sentence I’ve written in one iteration or another, one thousand times on the web, that “sovereign China is to the neo-liberal, privatized Western nation-states, as a peregrine falcon is to a bunny rabbit with learning disabilities.”
Note: It cost me, on average, $375 a semester, and books were so cheap, even though I was dirt poor student, I couldn’t help but buy the shit of em. Started my first mini-library I did, at the age of 18.
Alex Thrace says
Stand outside the Engineering Bldg at the University of Florida and you’d think you were in Hong Kong, less then 10% white Americans. If you want to see white Americans stand in front of the Law School or the History department for all the smart young folks with degrees who don’t know who fought in WW2
Very interesting piece. These days, in the west, it’s only a small group of people who actually make critical decisions, that is in US-EU-Canada-Australia-NZ, all the other players from top political figures to so-called media specialists are paid front men or patsies in the ongoing game. This is the natural end result of an aggressive interference by private interest groups in the day-to-day functioning of western governments which are supposed to represent public interests.
Very interesting piece. These days, in the west, it’s only a small group of people who actually make critical decisions, that is in US-EU-Canada-Australia-NZ, all the other players from top political figures to so-called media specialists are paid front men or patsies in the ongoing game. This is the natural end result of aggressive interference by private interest groups in the day-to-day functioning of western governments which are supposed to represent public interests.
Wasn’t Dubya also a Yale graduate? Says it all.
Still, Dr Brands may be up on the subjects that really matter these days; the staggering plethora of genders, the correct use of pronouns and how evil whitey is. Who knows, he may even have an answer to the most baffling question in Western civilisation: What is a woman?
Once upon a time the United States had some of the world’s best universities. Sadly, Western academic standards progress in an inverse relation to the fees and the curricula is now polluted with post-modernist woke ideology. Those nations seeking a change in the world order have no such issues.
Clearly, Dr Brands’ article reflects the ‘current thing’ delusion required to tickle the ears of the financial and political interests of the funders of the American Enterprise Institute. He will not be up on charges of ThoughtCrime or speaking truth to power anytime soon.
And thanks for the spoiler alert re the windfall to Washington.
Siamese Street Urchin says
Wasn’t Dubya also a Yale graduate? Says it all.
Well, not really all. He was shoehorned in under the equal opportunity for eletes program.
What says it all to me is: If Bush is by its proper definition, an ‘elite’, then I’m the King of Siam.
“YOU CAN HAVE IMPECCABLE ACADEMIC CREDENTIALS AND STILL BE A DUMMY”
As an accelerating trend from 1970’s onwards the coercive social relations self-misrepresented as “The United States of America” has been sustained by various forms of fiat/beliefs including but not limited to, fiat currency, fiat democracy, and fiat “Academic Credentials” particularly in the “Humanities”- where in the practice of testing/validating hypotheses are limited – at the higher post-graduate levels, which in large part became acknowledgements of conformance/compliance, like Sunday school prizes based on attendance, whose recipients were offered access to prime positions in emulation of others elevated to the “Supreme Court”, but not yet in emulation of the Roman Empire elevating a horse to the Senate – although some may disagree.
This was facilitated by lateral processes from when bad navigators hit Plymouth Rock in 1620 through “We the people hold these truths to be self-evident” to the immaculate conceptions of Dr. Brand.
As Mr. Porter observed:
“In days of old a glimpse of stocking
Was looked on as something shocking
But today heaven knows
Since Plymouth Rock has landed on them.
Hold on just a minute there, bro. We will, indeed, have a horse elevated to the Senate in the person of John Fetterman, although truth be told, only the horse’s ass in this instance.
Kill me now…
You don’t need to “analyze” these “geniuses.” The GAE has been run by these “smarties” from the “prestigious” institutions. Look where the US is- it is becoming a third-world country sh**hole. And you are correct; losing to Russia, now turning to the other side of the world, and trying to create another “color” revolution in China. Another Tiananmen Square “moment,” lol. But the American people will buy into another BS narrative created by its government.
The weirdest thing about the Americans is- on the one hand, the people say they don’t trust their government, but when it comes to its foreign policy, then it is the “words” from the Bible. Btw, Tiananmen Square was another failed attempt at the color revolution, just like HK a few years back. China is collapsing AGAIN like the bank run a few months back.
“You don’t need to “analyze” these “geniuses.”
You are mistaken and projecting the “American” belief.
You need to analyse them to a degree sufficient to transcend them facilitated by their complicity as “force” multiplier to “share” the load – the genesis of the colleagues/partners routine.
The hypothes from 1969 were “How to drown a drowning man with the minimum of blowback ?”
Analyze and do what? Bitching at them like they’re fu*** care, lol.
“Analyze and do what? Bitching at them like they’re fu*** care, lol.”
Thank you for your projection.
Douglas Worthington says
Just when I thought my opinion of the Ivy League could go no lower, we have a fresh demonstration of GIGO (garbage in, garbage out). This entire subset of universities has become a laughingstock of the entire world, marking the final devolution of once-fine institutions into banal propaganda mills. It has been said that the true mark of the wealthy is the ability to freely and openly squander money in the search for external validation from equally garish peers; Ivy League tuition fits the bill perfectly, and one’s diploma is a permanent attestation of such.
Thankfully my company has had and continues to have a no-Ivy-League hiring policy in place. We’ve been the better for it.
America’s academia and “intelligentsia”??? Well, all you really need to see and consider is who sits atop the dean chairs at all of the hallowed Ivy League schools. Frankly, I know peasants, shepherds and brick-layers in my country who can out-think these twits in a nano-second.
Hal Brands is an intellectual moron. Prostituted himself out to money interests. Coming out of the Neocon wonk tank AEI explains why. “Educated” into oblivion while over one-hundred thousand Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and likely an equal number of wounded have been ground into the mud in eastern Ukraine.
Brands is also connected to the Brookings Institute. That wonk tank traces back to Israel. These wonk tanks are privately funded to intellectually war on people and countries who oppose the US empire. AEI argues “why the US needs Israel.” Israel needs America to pillage its technology. Note Brands background: School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University: Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor of Global Affairs.” It was Kissinger that was behind signing the Memorandum of Understanding between America and Israel in 1975 that provided the conveyor belt for Israel to pillage American technology.
Are you kidding me?! Brand the Neocon states “the Russian military is being ground to rubble.” When you read scribblings like this you just know this must be “American exceptionalism” at its finest in a “rules based international order.” US empire/Neocon rules only applicable.
Americans of superior talent, energy, determination and intellectual ability should seriously consider migrating to Russia and set up enclaves of culture there.
America is intellectually, morally and ethically bankrupt. It has nothing to offer the world. The place is so screwed up and dysfunctional there are American mercenaries in Ukraine now discovered by the Russians committing war crimes.
Who is that mental midget acting as a spokesperson at the Pentagon? John Kirby is it? Every time I listen to him on a news clip I want to punch him right in the face. Just knock him clean off that pedestal he stands on.
Anyone with a real education in America would never gravitate towards the the military or the government for a job or employment. Place emphasis on “education.” If anyone does not comprehend the significance of that you are not educated.
The problem is greed. They know they can be utterly lazy and worthless and yet make twice the money they could in the private sector. Government naturally attracts the immoral and unethical just like excrement attracts flies.
Please always keep in mind: For centuries, the majority of Europeans believed in the authority of the Pope!
So, humans are not taking care of data, but they are used to live in groups and check the order within the group.
What is authority? Authority is working fake. If I make people believe that I am the Pope/the Yale university expert in Russian military/the COVID doctor, or whatever, they will follow me, even when I tell them that in Russia, people don’t use toothpaste, but vodka instead.
Have authority, and you can fool people.
Remember that Neo-Cons were originally liberals.
Worse, actually. Their origins were largely as Trotskyites, the embittered losers of the struggle for dominance in Soviet communism, and adherents of the doctrine of continual revolution. I’ll grant them that they are continually revolting in their conduct, albeit with little in the way of consistent principles. First, they wear a skinsuit as Democrats, but when their pursuit of power and their unquenchable lust for vengeance dictates, they wear a skinsuit as Republicans. Lovely people, no?
Regardless of what paymaster Brand serves, he’s clearly been educated beyond his intelligence.
typical Western ‘intellectual’ – I have met many when I studied at Imperial College
What was his PhD in?
I’ll keep quiet about my qualies . . . however, I am a science oriented engineer down to my toes.
Facts speak for themselves. e.g. When designing say a bridge, it does not matter how much you want to believe such and such, the laws of material science may not let you.
So putting in a report saying we shall make this out of matchsticks or pipe cleaners, wont get past the peer review.
All Larry has done is taken a look, peer reviewed and found the report wanting. No, it is not going out for publication my man. You will get crucified.
At one university I attended, written on the toilet walls pointing to the toilet paper – BA degrees, help yourself.
the blame-e says
“A “strategic windfall” for Washington? Does he mean the fact that the United States is emptying its stores of weapons and has no immediate solution to produce more in the near term?”
Actually, I have been of the opinion, ever since the first $50-billion Ukrainian arms package became a done deal, that the United States government was just re-positioning its arms, ammunition, and material as close to the front lines of Russia’s borders as possible. [sarcasm I wish]
I mean just look how sophisticated the Ukrainian money laundering operation FTX was. Brilliant. Imagine the “Big Guy” getting his 10-percent anyway, and every way, he wants. And all our entrenched professional politicians, who always seem to get re-elected over and over and over again. They all were getting their “taste.” All while virtue signaling about all the help the brave Ukrainian Nazis need resisting the brutal Russian invaders. So many wet beaks in the US government. [Can’t be cynical or sarcastic about God’s honest truth.]
José Luis Montans says
The west is intellectualy over
the blame-e says
We shouldn’t be so hard on those with a college or university education.
A long time ago, we weaponized higher education. Former President Donald Trump, and his daughter Ivanka Trump went to the University of Pennsylvania. Former President Barack Obama went to Harvard. And look where he is today. These towers, these skyscrapers of excellence don’t graduate clowns. There are no clown schools in the Ivy League.
I mean, think about it. Some genius from one of these schools is going to weaponize the common cold one of these days, unleash it upon the world, kill millions of people, then offer a vaccine that doesn’t work, introduces a spike protein that comes back and kills millions more. And best of all, the disease, the cure, the government, the pharmaceutical companies, never go away. And here you thought paying your mandatory car insurance premium, and property taxes was a burden. None of these things takes your money and then kills you. Brillant. This tops the invention of the light bulb, the telephone, the automobile, the airplane, electricity and alternating current even.
It reminds of the Wizard of Oz handing out brains to the Scarecrow, or Courage to the Cowardly Lion, or a heart to the Tin Man. Of course, it took Glenda, the Good Witch of the North, to get Dorothy (who killed the first person she met when she arrived in the Land of Oz, and then went on to kill another), back to Kansas where she belonged, to the land of “milk and honey,” the land of killers, endless war, and endless warmongering. These were all serious, smart people, with gravitas.
Bill Gates? Mark Zuckerberg? Sam Bankman-Fried? Educated people? Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard. I don’t think Zuckerberg finished school either. And SBF? Have all these Ivy League schools shut down their character and gravitas departments? Serious people? No. Dangerous People? You bet.
Dave Huff says
Yeah, Right says
Some Idiot: “A long war that exposes how pitifully inadequate the US defense industrial base has become could force the nation to get serious about rearmament. ”
The USA has been spending more on its military than the next eight countries *combined* and yet it hasn’t been “serious” about arming its military?
What were all those $trillions spent on then?
And if the jokers that were spending $trillions did a “pitiful” job of “adequately” funding the “US defense industrial base” then why, exactly, do you think these same jokers are going to do a better job when you give them even more $trillions?
Because I’m telling you right now that this extra funding is just going to be flushed down the same plughole as all the previous “pitifully inadequate” – yet at the same time somehow utterly obscene – amounts of money.
Alex Thrace says
The US has already sent more than Russias annual defense budget to Ukraine and Russia has neutralized pretty much all of it with what, 10% or so of their military capacity?
Not only is Russia demilitarizing Ukraine, they are doing a grand job of demilitarizing NATO.
I notice no one seems to be advocating providing F35’s to Ukraine. I wonder why.
“I notice no one seems to be advocating providing F35’s to Ukraine. I wonder why.”
Lockheed has to produce -and test- the aircraft first …
Alex Thrace says
How many Trillions of dollars do we have sunk into that mess so far?
Yeah, Right says
The comparison of “annual defense budgets” is always highly misleading.
It involves taking the Russian defense budget (which is, obviously, in rubles) and converting that amount into US Dollars at the current exchange rate and then declaring that this wouldn’t buy a single F-35, or at best two-and-a-half Abrams tanks.
The flaw is obvious: the Russians DON’T spend dollars, and they DON’T order their military equipment from Lockheed or General Dynamics. The foreign exchange rate of their currency against US currency is therefore utterly irrelevant to any measure of the “cost” of the Russian defense budget.
A simple thought experiment: Putin could (he won’t, but he could) wake up tomorrow and decide to devalue the ruble against the US dollar by 50%.
The western media would instantly decide that the Russian defense budget has been halved, even though in reality it is completely unchanged.
Everyone should simply ignore these bogus measures of military “spending” and instead look at a much more meaningful metric: military “production”.
On that score the USA is not streets ahead of the Russians. No way.
Another thought experiment: Farmer Joe is able to produce far more crops that Farmer Smith but, by jolly, that Smith dude is spending vastly more to keep his farm running.
Q: who is sitting pretty in that comparison: Farmer Joe, or Farmer Smith?
A: Not. Farmer. Smith.
China has become the current thing. There are huge protests in Europe and the crowds in Brazil have not abated. Good luck finding a peep about any of that. Especially Brazil. People fighting back against election fraud. They do not want you to see that.
The joke of a China focus is that the Chinese are being made out to be baddies for doing many of the same exact things that the Beast wanted to do right here at home. Just because they didn’t get to open the camps doesn’t mean that it’s forgotten. They will welcome you at the front gate by telling you that you are so lucky not to be in a Chinese camp.
We have been in a state of war with China for years. It’s a sloppy war with peaceful interactions on the surface and the fighting turned a blind eye towards. Fentanyl. When you let them get away with this then assuredly they will take you down on account of your own stupidity.
It is the conflating of education with intelligence that leaves us susceptible to so much misinformation. Putting a few letters after one’s name makes such an illusion of competence. Job titles work the same miracle even when it’s a lot glitter and little substance. At least a sanitation engineer is able. He will be fired if this is not the case, but the lettered and titled elite stand above standards. The same people fucking this up now are the same people who fucked it up the last time and were served no consequences. We have institutionalized incompetence and it feels normal.
the blame-e says
It was Russia last week. This week it’s China. Next week it will be Iran. Eventually, even Saudi Arabia will become the Friday Night Fish Fry. Then Israel will go on the menu. Then Europe will wake up and ban the US from all of Europe, and then Europe will be on the US menu. Eventually, Germany will wake up to the fact that they have no friends and drop the US like a shit filled pair of men’s underwear. Then Germany will be on the menu. And on and on. All because a bunch of geeks didn’t get their asses kicked and told to sit down and STFU.
It’s not so much that you ‘can’ still be a dummy, it’s that it’s almost guaranteed. It’s a symptom of Institutional Capture. Education, like the infotainment industry, the political system and, of course, the war machine, have been captured by a certain class of people and those willing to represent their interests. Yale and Stanford are to higher education what the NYT and CNN are to the news. You don’t get a job at any of these places unless you have demonstrated that you are willing to support their narratives- or, unable to undermine them. It’s all organized by money, and it’s no more likely that a product of Yale will be a ‘rogue’ academic than it is that a CNN reporter will report on air that the Elensky Nazi gangster regime is shelling a nuclear power plant in the hopes of starting WWIII’s terminal phase (at least until the official narrative requires demonizing Elensky and co in order to change course). If you see that happen, and the reporter is still on air the next day, you know what the new party line is.
Once captured, institutions are very difficult to salvage. At some point, we will have to bring down the educational system and the media giants, and replace them with something new. If we can.
Alex Thrace says
PHD = Piled Higher & Deeper
bob sykes says
BS = bull shit; MS = more of same;
Likewise I am continually amazed how many commentators keep analyzing and predicting happenings on the ground using the western way of thinking: capturing territory.
Even when -for example- the Wagner group explicitly mentions that Bachmut (sp?) is a perfect meat grinder, they keep talking about how Russia can capture, is capturing, wil capture Bachmut. Every single movement is held up against this light. Completely missing the point of a “meat grinder”.
Another one of the cabal’s “court stenographers”, aka, a useful idiot / prostitute. They’ve been employed forever, especially those people with the 7 deadly sins letters after their names. We just never noticed it so much.
Related to this, I’m reading two books:
1. Real Anthony Fauci by RFK Jr. Fauci is the pimp paying the prostitute whores in media and medical “science”. What he did with the HIV/ AIDS/AZT thing was mass murder, which was the practice run for covid and vaccines.
2. “Winning Insurgent War” out of FMSO Fort Leavenworth. Best thesis on warfare I’ve ever read. Extremely abstract and practical. Reading a couple sections will clearly explain why Russia pulled out of Kherson. The book is not just about insurgent war!
Highly recommend both.
Bill Osborne Jr says
Brands is either a lying bull shitter or a moron. PhD – Piled higher and Deeper.
Re: Dr. Brands
Dave’s Law (which can be expressed in various ways) states “Oftentimes the most highly intelligent people are the most stupid.”
“You can be sincere and still be stupid”
Eric J says
Greed makes some people functionally stupid. Lots of such examples these days. Political corrrectness is a poison.
old coyote says
Samuel Clemens once noted that ‘there are some things so ridiculous only an intellectual can believe in them’.
Christian Chuba says
The only requirement for academics is to use their credentials to tell Neocons what they want to hear.
From what I can gather, Ukraine’s crowning “success” was the Kharkov offensive which saw 30k + Ukrainians seeing off 2000 Russian peacekeepers (who mainly survived) only to be decimated by the Russian maelstrom that followed.
This catastrophic annihilation of newly NATO trained and armed troops is still revered in our UK media as “our heroes taking over an area the size of England”. Of course they never mention the price paid for taking a bunch of farm land the Russians can easily take back at a later date.
Such is the loony tunes spin of the MSM.
just saying says
I think there are historical reasons for that love of UK for Charge of the Light Brigade onto Russian artillery.
James Cook says
A very good example of what the ELITE in the west have become!
It used to be that credibility & wisdom was everything and could only be gathered by years of dedicated and focused work.
Now the ELITE will sacrifice any hard earned credibility and wisdom in a second for printed paper Benjies.
Why should anyone be surprised at this when these accredited institutions who have endorsed the person have themselves become WOKE and destroyed their own credibility!!!!
The West is systematically destroying organizations it has spent countless amount of treasure building over decades of hard effort.
‘Fighting a war on 2 fronts?’ The US is destroying its’ core human resources in the name of PR to maintain the APPEARANCE of hegemony.
‘The Empire has No Clothes’ moment is near!
Thank you for clearing that up for me Larry. I see the zeitgeist shift to protests in China and know something is afoot. The US has become all too reliant on propaganda to do their dirty work. In the end this bullshit show won’t get it done.
About people like Brands I have to wonder is he really this clueless or another paid piece of disinformation? Maybe he knows if he wants to keep his preferred status best to write nice stories? That alone may keep people like him in check.
A very accurate assessment of the sad state of current affairs. Credentialism is more important than critical thought. Everything is about personal advancement and policy entrepreneurship. It isnt about how to think it is about what to think. So right school advance career by saying Russia and China are existential evils. A person’s position depends on that.
I took a rare glimpse at the UK Guardian and saw an article about Yale’s Timothy Snider and how important it is for Russia to lose those this war.
Mr. Johnson – another good article. It is hard to believe the stupidity that comes out of what they call academia today. When gonzalo lira talked about how guys like this have their positions because to get ahead in the western system you have to be a butt kisser with no independent thought; he is right about this guy. it would be fun if he did a video on this guy.
mr. johnson- am wondering what you think about this just posted on the sakar.Do yu think nato might start something there . All i know about this 1980`s event is from watching the hollywood movie heartbreak ridge with clint eastwood.
these are the 2 latest from the alabama guy.
Siamese Street Urchin says
Wasn’t Dubya also a Yale graduate? Says it all.
Well, not really all. He was shoehorned in under the equal opportunity for elites program.
What says it all to me is: If Bush is by its proper definition, an ‘elite’, then I’m the King of Siam.
Think tanks in the West and their “fellows” are fundamentally propagandists. They create BS which is cited as authoritative so their pronouncements can be used for propaganda. The Grey Zone documented how think tanks made up (“proved”) there was mass genocide in China. They looked at facts and bogus. But soon afterward media outlets used think tank claims and headlines.
Brian at TheNewAtlas has a video in part taking an article from the CEPA think tank entitled “It is costing peanuts for the US to defeat Russia”. In both the US and EU growing calls to use Ukraine monies for domestic use. So now guess what. Some intrepid intern reporter can post that the military aid to Ukraine is “peanuts–keep it going.”
Paulo Guerra says
The American people should also take to the streets to protest for something, maybe to stop the war in Ukraine, to see if the neocons make a mistake, hijack the protests and try a color revolution in the US. Against the neocons. They are so smart…
Olivier Sauvage says
Where are the American people? I haven’t seen them. Have you?? They’ve been reduced to “consumers” and as long as there are things to buy on the shelves, they don’t mind, whatever evil is being committed in their name by their leaders.
Bazza McKenzie says
Hmmm, perhaps you have forgotten about the large number of American people who exercised their constitutional right to protest at Congress over a fraudulent and stolen election and since spent years in jail without trial, under conditions far worse than at Gitmo.
Poison Frogs says
As usual, I enjoy your articles written with a healthy sense of humor. Could you please make 100 million copies of yourself and distribute them around the world? We could fix many things only by doing that.
For a reason that I can’t explain the ‘West’ stated believing in its own BS. That is a bad, bad, bad idea.
You BS others NOT yourself.
Going back to your article, that poor soul sold his integrity for few pieces of silver, which is sad. It’s also sad for the editor who approved it.
Poison Frogs says
Any of us can guesstimate about the life on Mars, it may be full of green people all hiding under Mars soil, or it may be flat like the Earth, and all of Martians stay on the edges to keep the planet in equilibrium, or …
Same with the Russian military. The only reliable info that we have is the daily updates from the Russian MOD, which are dryer than a 100-year old cat.
What we see is a non-stop grinding of means to life in military and now civil Ukraine. And that will NOT stop regardless of what Mars ‘specialists’ will tell you. Just useless loss of life, which should stop.
Sgt. Based says
It’s because all it takes to get a fancy degree in America is spending 100k dollars and memorizing a few lectures to pass a test. Not like the professors know what they’re teaching either, that’s why they’re teachers.
A A Ron says
American college graduates are now taught that men can have menstruation and get pregnant, and that transwomen are real women. And many of these graduates repeat that nonsense.
Right there you know that American education has lost any relation to reality, critical thinking and objectivity.
Olivier Sauvage says
Yes, Larry, one does not know whether one should laugh or cry. It seems that, nowadays, the more college education a dude gets, the dumber he becomes. It’s true in Europe, and it’s true in the US. No wonder why everything is going to s*it in these lands.
Putin said it all when he dubbed it “The Empire of lies”. That includes their diplomas. Everything swims in lies; they lie about everything. I would add to that “Everything is for sale in the Empire of lies”. It’s rotten to the core, beyond redemption. That’s why I believe the West is at the end of its tether and won’t stand for long.
Larry, let’s give the good doctor Brand the benefit of the doubt: instead of being schizophrenic he may just be a garden-variety liar, doing his “bit” for the Team that pays him Big Bucks for being just the sort of “intellectual” they deem useful to the Cause (i.e. helping Judy Woodruff every evening stay convincingly believable).
It reminds me of when Stephen Colbert used to be edgy. He had this over-the-top patriotic character who spoke – not truth – but “truthiness”. It’s not true but it “feels” true. I trust my “gut”. These academics are on par with that clown act.
Just my two drachmas here …
Some how the other day as I went about my usual business on YouTube following the alt-media reports, I saw one channel I’d never seen before. I opened it and took one look at the owner and his topic for the program, and realized I had entered an alternative universe! Alice in Wonderland.
This guy was saying the same stuff as Dr. Brand-on here and all his followers were eating it up. Asking for more bread to sop up the gravy. I had pity on these poor benighted souls and told them a few truths just for goodness’ sake. And then left. I may have saved one soul, who knows?
Then I took a look at all of the channels on the right side menu, and they were all on the same page as this guy – Ukraine is winning; Russia is losing, ad nauseum. They’re out there. Happy as barnacles believing that Putin is screwed, Kiev is a City of Light on a Hill, and Zelinsky is God (sorry Eric Clapton, you’ve been superseded).
It’s more than puzzling. It’s downright mind-altering. I closed down my internet and re-booted – thankfully my feeds were all back and all was again right with my world. There were Larry Johnson, Andrei Martyanov, the Duran, Col. Macgregor and other sane folks.
That was a nightmare for sure.
So when it comes to rearming my question is with what money? We’re already spending ~$800B/year and for that we can’t keep Ukraine supplied in artillery shells. Will there be deep cuts in other areas to offset this rearmament? If not, how big does the DoD budget get and is it sustainable?
From an industrial policy perspective it makes sense. It would be an investment in factories and workers, but there’s a lag time for that and a pretty significant cost that’s not directly tied to more tanks and shells. It also requires the assumption that we have ready access to the material and intellect to do all this. We’ll need a lot of engineers, machinists, welders, etc. Besides all that, our arms industry doesn’t have a great track record of meeting deadlines, budgets or specifications.
“Besides all that, our arms industry doesn’t have a great track record of meeting deadlines, budgets or specifications.”
Well they do enjoy a little help from their friends who regulary “adjust” the specifications. It is perhaps fortunate that the prime consideration is “profit” instead of delivery.
Eric Lamoski says
they say all this nonsense about Russia is running away so whenever they write history they will make it look like Russia lost. imagine all the books that will be out come next year. ” How a small country like Ukraine defeated Russia” “Zelensky, the hero that help won the war against Russia”
“they will make it look like Russia lost.”
Your belief in the sustainability of “The United States of America” is not unique, but then at one point people believed the world was flat – some were even worried that they would fall off the end if they went too far, although in regard to more modern illusions this still exists in more modified “forms”.
Or to quote some modified dialogue from Gone with the Wind – Frankly my dear, we don’t give a damn.
Erik T. says
I think many of these people like Brands get lazy. I can’t remember who said it but there are even highly regarded historians who don’t do much more than use the footnotes of the last book for the new one they write.
Imagine Bloomberg paid this guy for this shit.. hilarious!