My friend and former colleague, Phil Giraldi, just published a piece recounting his experience on a recent cruise through the Mediterranean at The UNZ and graciously granted me permission to re-post his experience. Spoiler alert–Phil was the victim of a pick pocket. Lest you think that Phil was at fault given his history as a CIA Master Spy, I told him about the experience of my former boss, Ambassador Morris “Buzz” Busby, who was in Italy in the summer of 1990 on official Counter Terrorism business. Buzz had his passport and wallet lifted by some enterprising gypsies. Buzz was not your typical testosterone deprived Foreign Service Officer. He was a U.S. Naval Officer prior to making the lateral transfer to the Foreign Service. Even with his advanced training, he couldn’t stop the gypsies.
Anyway, Phil’s account dovetails with the economic tales of woe reported by many of the readers of this blog. I think you will find his experience useful:
My wife and I completed a cruise recently that started in Venice, visited islands and historic sites in the Eastern Mediterranean, and concluded in Rome after stops in Valletta, Palermo and Naples. There were inevitably good things and bad things in terms of how the shore excursions were programmed, more bad than good unfortunately, and the costs of the extras provided by the carrier seem to have skyrocketed in the developing post COVID era, apparently making up for the losses sustained in dry dock over the past three years.
Most of the passengers on our ship were American or Canadian, but there were also large numbers of Europeans and residents of Australia and New Zealand. Being at close quarters with the Europeans in particular provided an interesting opportunity to learn what is driving the Old World to self-destruct like lemmings diving suicidally off the Norwegian cliffs. As both my wife and I are functional in a number of European languages, it also provided a good opportunity to exchange views in a non-threatening way and even to eavesdrop on those nearby in the ship’s bars and restaurants when they were discussing political and social developments in their homelands. It was also interesting nevertheless to note how politics intruded into an otherwise a deliberately apolitical experience, with the ship hosting a parade-around-the-deck march to raise money for and celebrate the Ukrainian refugees. My wife and I did not participate.
The days spent in Venice before the cruise began were enlightening, not to mention perilous when I had my pocket picked at a crowded vaporetto stop outside the Accademia Museum. The Filipino waiters in our ship’s bar were quite amused to learn that a former CIA officer, who regularly called for “gin martini shaken not stirred,” had had his wallet taken, with one bright spark asking “uh, how many people have you killed?” When I was explaining that I had not killed anyone he interrupted to say that “They probably deserved it.”
On our first day in Venice, my wife and I noted immediately the large number of formerly highly prestigious shops that were closed in Piazza San Marco, the tourist center of the city which normally attracts top level clients at top level prices. The signs of economic decline were even more visible the farther away one moved away from San Marco, to include the closure of many restaurants and bars. Italy is struggling, which has led a sharp shift to the right in the recent election. So too Britain, Germany and France are all in trouble and not finding any solutions coming from the hapless band of conniving politicians that have recently been elected. A few more steps downwards and the whole house of cards appears poised to collapse.
Of course, some European politicians are following the easy and approved course endorsed by President Joe Biden, blaming the continent’s energy crisis on Vladimir Putin instead of on their own bureaucratic fumbling and failure to protect the interests of their fellow citizens. No European that we met was willing to acknowledge the obvious truth, i.e. that the Ukraine crisis was based on issues that were fully negotiable and the Russian intervention was avoidable. One retired German official whom we met was particularly prone to never speaking ill of any politician. Unless they are Russian or Chinese, that is. He informed us that NATO should make clear its objective to remove Putin because “the man is a fascist” who “wants to recreate the Soviet Union.” I demurred that Putin is a nationalist who has been provoked deliberately and there is a difference, but our interlocutor was quickly off on another track, stating that Joe Biden has “done some really good things.” When we recovered from the shock of such a ridiculous assertion, I mentioned the arrival of 1.3 million illegal immigrants in the US on Honest Joe’s watch plus his toying with nuclear war in support of no known American interest apart from spreading something called “democracy,” which the United States no longer has, while also vilifying political opponents as “domestic terrorists.” And there is also that little matter of sending billions to Ukraine so it can “win,” whatever that means, in order to weaken Russia while also warning of an impending event called “Armageddon.”
I also spoke to a number of Italians about their recent election, in which conservative leader of the Fratelli d’Italia party Giorgia Meloni led a coalition that will likely make her the new Prime Minister by a comfortable margin. In the Western Media Meloni is regularly and inevitably linked to another former nationalist Italian leader, Benito Mussolini. The malaise of the people I spoke with over Italy’s decline was evident. They are watching everything move in the wrong direction, and, to their credit, few of them gave a rat’s ass over Ukraine. They did, however, react in their recent voting due to unelected European Union Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen, who, on the eve of the Italian elections, warned Italians that if they voted for the “wrong” i.e. conservative parties they would be punished. Asked about the surge of the right-wing political opposition, she threatened “we will see the result of the vote in Italy. If things go in a difficult direction — and I’ve spoken about Hungary and Poland — we have the tools.”
Beyond that, there did appear to be an age divide in terms of the Italian views relating to the voting and the likely new government. Younger voters several times said to me “It takes us back twenty years,” a reference to the more conservative politicians that prevailed at that time. Older voters, however, want the social disruption caused by the mass illegal immigration into the country and the accompanying Islamization to stop and they want protection for Italian jobs and businesses. Many of them mentioned the desire to preserve Italian and Catholic traditional culture. A retired school teacher also sagely observed that Italy should lead the charge in abolishing the European Parliament and getting rid of people like von der Leyen, as the European Union was designed as a free trade zone, not as a progressive dominated body empowered to pass laws and regulations impacting severely on the economies of member states.
Inevitably, Joe Biden denounced the Italian election results as a setback where “democracy is at stake” in order to convince US voter to cast their ballots for Democrats. He elaborated “You just saw what’s happened in Italy in that election. You’re seeing what’s happening around the world. And the reason I bother to say that is we can’t be sanguine about what’s happening here, either. I don’t want to exaggerate it, but I don’t want to understate it. And it’s the reason why I’m so concerned about and so interested in and so committed to seeing that the governors — Democratic governors — are elected.” The Biden comment, insulting to the Italians, was not much reported in the US media but was on the receiving end of a great deal of critical commentary in Italy. Several Italians I spoke to mentioned it disparagingly.
And given my own views on the usual very sensitive subject, I asked one Italian official with close ties to Fratelli d’Italia why Israel will be getting a pass from the new Prime Minister. Indeed, she, like her counterpart Liz Truss in Britain, embraces the close relationship with the Jewish state, forgiving its trespasses and crimes against humanity because it is expedient to do so. She also fully embraces the false narrative about Israel vs. the Palestinians. The official responded, with some candor, I thought, that Jews are not very numerous in modern Italy, but they tend to wield power considerably beyond their head count. They are very influential in the media and in some sectors of the economy, in particular, and it pays an ambitious politician to stay on their right side. I responded “Yes, it is the same everywhere, I am afraid.”
Shortly before our cruise ended, Joe Biden stuck his foot in his mouth yet again, and I was interested in hearing what the Europeans thought about the White House’s National Security Strategy – a congressionally mandated report supposedly outlining US security goals and foreign policy objectives, but which critic Jordan Schachtel describes as “…more unhinged than any of its predecessors. The NSS was once understood as a serious document compiling a list of actual threats to the nation. It now resembles a hyper-political Blue Anon fundraising mailer. Most of the items discussed in the supposed threat assessment have nothing to do with national security at all. And the things that are related to national security matters have major prioritization and politicization issues.”
In the document, the Biden administration has declared the intensifying competition with Beijing to be Washington’s biggest challenge and it boasts that “We must proactively shape the international order in line with our interests and values” before adding that “There is nothing beyond our capacity.” The document inevitably stressed the need for “constraining Russia,” and mentions that country 71 times. The Kremlin is described as an “immediate and persistent threat to international peace and stability… The United States will not allow Russia, or any power, to achieve its objectives through using, or threatening to use, nuclear weapons.” The US also has condemned Chinese business practices while simultaneously describing Russia as a “persistent threat” – can the US afford to have such adversaries turned into enemies, given its multiple domestic issues including out of control inflation and debt? Many Europeans are willing to let the US lead on such issues, but they also expressed concern that it would develop into a trade war at minimum and possibly much worse.
To our surprise, our German contact actually agreed that the President’s designation of not one but two major military and economic powers more-or-less as enemies is odd, not to mention seriously schizophrenic in that it contradicts other White House assertions about a global rules-based order based on cooperation. And Biden is taking no steps to mitigate his warlike talk, having already indicated that he will not meet with Putin in the upcoming G-20 summit in Indonesia in November. Can it be that because there is a US election coming up there will be another photo op of Joe flanked by Marines in front of Independence Hall bathed in red light and waving his tiny fist around?
I do not want to suggest that people who go on cruises are representative of anything beyond their demographic, i.e. moderately affluent and reasonably well educated by modern standards. But it is nevertheless interesting to observe how the Europeans generally are inclined to defer to what they know to be half-truths coming out of their governments. Europe will surely sink or swim in the upcoming year or two as soaring energy costs wreck economies and force major dislocations, a fate perhaps to be shared by a level of government debt and spending combined with a loss of any national purpose that will together initiate an irreversible decline in the United States.
Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The US-NATO-UK Ukrainian Proxy War on Russia is an existential war of survival, for Russia. The West as well. It is now a Zero Sum Game Conflict. American political and economic goals are to destroy the Russian state, apply regime change strategies and steal Russia’s vast natural resources. This campaign comes as the culmination of several hundred years of Western global dominance, not by the superiority of Western ideas and values, of which we hear much, but rather by The West’s superiority in applying organized violence, mass murder and resource theft, notably against technologically inferior states. It thus is a test of The West’s dominant Geo-Political and Geo-Economic Success Paradigm. Russia is not a technologically inferior state. The Ukrainian people are entirely expendable cannon fodder for this campaign and they are the modern equivalent of a Pyramid of Skulls.
It isn’t zero sum. There is a third option, albeit difficult to foresee right now: a peace built on mutual respect. That’s positive sum.
It is probably the best option for your lowly citizen who doesn’t want to end up in a situation of perpetual war or nuclear annihilation.
I would argue it’s the only sane path although who knows when sanity prevails.
It started back in 2012 with China and its Silk Road initiative. The evil GAE, who has killed more innocent people than the rest of the world combined since WWII, does not want a “collaborative” world with a win-win scenario. It wants to continue to be a hegemony governed by the satanic cabal Neo-Malthusian group of people who have survived for hundreds of years in London.
But every empire will fall. An average empire lasts about 250 years; the GAE is getting close. And it will take the rest of the world down as those bastards do not want to share its “world” with anyone else. You are a slave, and you will learn to like it. Unless the Europeans wake up, which I don’t foresee because they have been beaten down so badly. Europe will be a wasteland if its citizens choose it.
What the hell is the”GAE”?
Globalist American Empire?
Global American Empire = GAE (pronounced “gay”)
Have you been living in a cave for the past few years?
The [Holy] Roman Empire. In its latest incarnation is called the Globalist American Empire.
Incarnation 1: The Roman Empire.
27 BC–AD 395
AD 395–476/480 (Western)
Incarnation 2: The Holy Roman Empire.
Incarnation 3: Globalist American Empire / Pax Americana.
A collection of super-rich satanic pedophiles raping then sacrificing children for their demon lords since time immemorial.
Brian O. says
We can still hold out hope knowing that hundreds of incidents occurred at nuclear launch sites over the last decades. The missile control functions were altered by the UFO’s that parked overhead. Now what if both the US and Russia were contacted by the instigators of those blocking the function of the missiles. The visitors might look at the record and see which showed the bad behavior and mass murder by each contender. The visitors make their choice when the Russian’s ask them to cancel both nations ability to launch nuclear weapons. But the Russians asked; please don’t tell them. The beings on this planet need to understand what the organization waging endless war are really about.
Sad. Sad. Sad.
It’s like an invasion of not the body snatchers, but the brain snatchers.
First, the upside of EU going down the toilet: we don’t have to fly too many hours now to go to a 3rd world country for an exotic and slightly dangerous (exciting) vacation! No need to rough it in Mogadishu when next year you will be able to do it in Rome! No need to sit tete a tete to a thousand people/goats packed like sardines in a train coach that is 9 hours late (like in Bangladesh) when you can do it in Berlin and all that for next to nothing. Just make sure you are inoculated for everything before your flight over.
However, I think the window to do that will be small – maybe a year or two. It is basically the time where EUR will be toilet paper and it will take a year or two for the dollar catch “down” to it – then you will not need to fly across the ocean to have that Mogadishu/Rome experience, you will have it right here in the USA.
On a more serious note – it takes one to know one – this administration is so obsessed with finding fascism everywhere because it is projecting….
Finally, I was brought up in a very proud country (that doesn’t exist anymore) that beat the Germans in WW2 fair and square all by ourselves – they tried multiple offensives, were superior in every way but they still could not break us. We were probably the only country in Europe to do this (other than USSR). If my former country could disintegrate in literally a few years time a few decades later, well, nothing will shock me anymore….
One small correction : the US did not beat Germany in WW II all by itself. The credit for that should go to the USSR. If the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact had held, Germany would have become all-powerful in Europe, and the US wouldn’t have been able to land in Normandy, let alone defeat Germany. And the Nazis would be ruling Europe even to this day.
Read carefully. Yugoslav emigree to US I believe. Can be argued that Tito and his partisans beat the Germans in their own country, and thus Yugoslavia never ended up under Soviet control. The WWII German economy would have imploded in a few years had they not tried to grab resources from East. That was the original and only goal of Hitler’s war. Follow TIK on Youtube for enlightening deep dives into WWII beyond the clichés of Hollywood and History Channel.
You are correct. The even s*ittier part is how the West hangs on to their colonial past even when they lose. For example, Yugoslavia is one of the only countries to actually win the 2nd world war by themselves. France, on the other hand, was run over in a week, spent 4 years under occupation and had to be liberated by someone else. Yet the French ended up in the UN security council as “winners”.
Protip, almost the entire Eu and NATO bureaucracy (at least the German part) are all children of former party members and high ranking officials of the aforementioned regime, So Germany didn’t loose they won via the EU and NATO via a economic victory, its just taken a few extra steps.
But now it looks like they have agitated the Russians into taking it all away from them again.
Volker Schendel says
Yes – so true. But the American brainwashing works.
A song for you my friend :
Youth Day 1985 SFRJ
Синиша Стефановић says
I do understand, and appreciate, Yugonostalgia among Ex-YU expats and those Yugoslavs still hanging around in its fragments; also warm feelings towards Tito’s fiefdom from folks of non-aligned states origin. But it is not that simple. One has to take so many elements of 1941-1945 war – civil national/religious and ideological as well as part of global – and put it into proper foreign powers’ policies framework towards Balkans at that particular time and at least 2 previous centuries.
That’s what a historian might comment right here, avoiding to troll our kind host and his helper(s) in administration of our participation. (It is too much work for one person, I guess, even with his attention often confirmed by his own comments. No offense, that’s how public internet stuff works these days, and Mr. Johnson is “once pro always pro” person, to his credit.)
There are so many common, or similar processes and historical facts, between Galician origins of present civil war in Ukraine (put into proper 2+ centuries context) and two Ex-Yugoslavia(s). There are many sharp and clearly visible differences, of course, but … let me put it this way: it appeared that Croatian public by large margin support Ukrainians, while Serbian one by (repeatedly measured) 80% support Russyskies (I’ve coined that word to stress very important distinction between “of Russian Federation people” and “Russians”). Ain’t that interesting?
Let me stress my point, if I may. World known Mauthausen concentration camp (near Lintz, Austria) was not built up by Nazi regime for political oppression and Holocaust purposes: it was rejuvenated. The first camp had been built up, as a greenfield investment, by Serbian inmates’ hands and for themselves during WW1, as concentration camp for Austro-Hungarian very own citizens, well BEFORE Stalin. So he, under circumstances, avoided to pay intelectual/patent rights.
For Ex-Yu folks around here, and those conserving USSR sentiments: it hurts as hell, but no emotions, and no induced reactions. Just like Paul Atreides at his test by Reverend Mother in The Dune, book 1. That makes THE difference in any discussion. Mr. Johnson presents us valuable approach to the problem that we, Ex-Yu folks, in retro feel more than really understand. Dissolving imperial inheritance is much more complex job than dissolving great powers construct, twice in YU, and once in Czechoslovakia case.
By the way, I am kind of amused with Mr. Giraldi’s cautious, almost self censored, presentation of this particular subject. Probably, he couldn’t make a proper choice between three terms belonging to development psychology and psychiatric medicine to write just one word to describe all that he has heard, seen and learned. Exposition and conclusion in just one word or, might be more proper and all included, all of three.
No offense, everybody and anyone.
I still remember the Yugoslavian players in the 1990 mundobasket final chanting Yugoslavia, Yugoslavia after winning the cup… a fitting requiem for a great country.
Jim Christian says
DC is a small world, but the spook community? There are, were, thousands of you. Phil was badass, eh, Larry? Imagine having mastered multiple languages. Russian also? Hey, was Condoleezza Rice worth a shit as a Russian specialist, Larry?I’ll hang up and listen as they say in talk radio.
Larry Johnson says
Be serious. Phil was a solid professional. Don’t be an ass.
Jim Christian says
Larry, you cut me to the quick. I meant no offense to Phil. Or you. Or my Dad who was somewhat in your community. I hold you folks in the highest esteem. Cold war-era especially. I don’t know how I offended, but I meant none. Didn’t mean to be an ass. I’ll refrain in the future.
“… was Codoleezza Rice worth a s*** as a Russian specialist …”
Jim Christian says
Thanks. She seems to be a bit of a ghost. She disappeared after 9/11. But she’s a concert pianist, a decent golfer (she’s a member at Augusta National) and seemingly talented in the Russian/Soviet realm, the last of them. I’d love to know what SHE thinks of all this. Thanks again.
I posted the video not because I am fan of Ms Rice, but because that video shows her interacting with former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev when visiting Stanford University in summer 2010 (!)…
How time passes, and how good manners and something that resembles “diplomacy” have deteriorated…
Interesting snapshot of how things really are in Europe. Kudos to your friend for speaking out regarding some misconceptions that need to be corrected! Reminds me of a trip with my wife when I was traveling to my new duty Station in Southern Italy as a Navy Security Group Command tenant on an AFSS facility from my base in Scotland. Can’t remember the City, but can how narrow and well-trafficked the streets were, especially with bicycles. I just open the door of my VW Bug on the driver’s side and an Italian on a bike hit it square. He wasn’t hurt but cussed me out in Italian to be heard a couple of blocks down the road. They bystanders were laughing. They could see I didn’t understand a word the man was saying but I didn’t have too. Tried to apologize but Italians are hotheads. I know, I’m one of them!
Interesting to read about International perspectives on the shit show. Propaganda seems working per 1984. Of course, Philip should have known better about securing belongings. Front pockets!
During deployments, we used to give port call briefs describing what to do and where not to go. Of course, the crew (and occasionaly officers) would screw it up. I foraged around some seedy areas of the world without any negative experiences… lucky?
Anyway, that NSS is the worst POS I’ve read in a while. And now today, the criminals at the CDC voted 15-0 to add C19 vax and boosters to children’s vax repertoire. The quite obvious common solution now seems to be to entirely defund the majority of .gov. Enjoyed the read.
I submit that this audience on a cruise ship is not representative of the rapidly impoverishing European populations.
Mankind can only hope that the decision will not be sought militarily. Conventionally, the US and USNATO don’t stand a chance. So the temptation to use biological and nuclear weapons technologies is great. The window of opportunity is closing for the Western oligarchy, given the cyclical global monetary and debt crisis. Even more so, because the Eurasian adversaries are joining forces and coordinating.
BRICS+, SOC, OVKS, GUS, CICA, EAWU, OPEC+. They will need a few more years to gain acceptance. But it is unmistakable that a domino effect has already occurred. Color revolutions, state terrorism and blackmail are still slowing down this process. But the attraction of above-mentioned alternatives is growing for other nations and interest groups. Success will depend on whether the Eurasian powers involved can also act as a protective power for other nations.
Russia has also been exporting advanced weapons systems for years. For example, the S300 and S400. China also wants the S500. Ok, they probably won’t get them. But these systems are supposed to provide protection from the us air force and cruise missiles.
India and Russia are jointly developing supersonic cruise missiles through joint venture BrahMos Aerospace. These are directed against sea targets. They are also to be for export to numerous countries.
Two efficient defensive technologies against air and sea attacks. Looking at U.S. wars of the past, I see a pattern here. Away from Hollywood, anyway.
I’m not former military or intelligence. Just a thinking nobody in a declining Germany. So, of course, I may be wrong. But for me, I come to the conclusion that you want to make military action unaffordable for the US empire and otherwise defeat the empire on the field of economics.
Most people care about sports, sex, this evening, mortgages, stress at work, Instagram, vacations, puppies, and when things go bad, rely only on headlines for information. Few people even read the whole news itself. As for the number of views on YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter, makeup, dancing, singing, bragging about money, sex, and games record almost all views. Direct stakeholders or people who are unusually interested in politics do not know what the problem is and only follow what the mainstream media suggests. Of course, most people would think that only what the mainstream media in the country says is the truth. Even if the rest don’t believe the mainstream media, they’re likely not interested in it.
Pym of Nantucket says
Imagine being an atheist in the dark ages. I feel like that these days.
uncle tungsten says
So europe has just taken three hits.
one – covid
three- ns2 pipeline
that leaves three rounds in the usa pistol
three left for China
or are they out of ammo
I re-read your friend and former colleague’s article a few times. Even though he mentioned “demographic representation”, I think he did actually experience the wide range of this consensus type of “view” of the EU. Some would call it “brain washing”, or “hive-mind”. Maybe it’s “collective demoralization” or maybe it come down to plain being too lazy to care. I see the Mainstream Outlets and such as “Spellcasters”, lying, deceiving & casting spells on the masses, producing these responses.
Really, I don’t know. This is all much much bigger than “Ukraine”…I do appreciate your re-post of his article. He was descriptive & I felt I was right there talking & listening just like him. I could “see” it. And just like a previous post stated “…Sad…Sad…”
“There is nothing beyond our capacity.”
Hubris, meet Nemesis
My Comment says
I don’t know any Italians but know Germans, UKers, French and Swiss. Many who have lived outside their countries for years understand what is going on with immigration and the NATO war with Russia and hate it. They report that everyone back home loves immigration because it provides better food selections, fully support Ukraine and laugh at the idea that Russia can win. This matches the Europeans I met who are over in Asia on vacation.
may be says
Most of the people I know who live here in Germany expressly do not welcome mass immigration. A few lost kids who can’t think far enough and unfortunately many politicians who are either too cowardly or don’t want to grow up proclaim these messages from the many colorful foods.
The problem is the middle and upper class, educated people who don’t understand history and believe themselves and their system to be invincible. The majority of the real working class does not support mass immigration. However, they often do not dare to vote for anti-immigration parties because they are denigrated as Nazis in the media. Most people think and act conservatively. But they believe they are progressive and have to elect such woken politicians who in reality do not fit at all with the life they want to lead themselves.
Now over to Neil & Bob in London.
“I watched a Lettuce crawl along the edge of a straight razor. That’s my dream. That’s my nightmare. Crawling, slithering, along the edge of a straight… razor… and surviving”.
Thanks for that , next over to Olaf in Osnabrück and the problems with pickles!
HMS Terror says
As an ex-pat who’s lived and/or worked in a few countries, my own experience is that expat Europeans tend to be and remain brainwashed more often and more deeply than expat Americans. I’ve come to attribute that to the American alt-media’s higher profile than its European counterpart. The few Europeans I’ve encountered with an alternative view seem to have gotten it from America.
The bastard child of America’s Mighty Wurlitzer is maturing into a serious competitor, to the point where even those Americans reluctant to let go of the official narrative seem at least vaguely aware that there are coherent, if not compelling alternative views.
Of course, this is all anecdotal and indicative of almost nothing, but I have found it odd. Europeans tend to think themselves more worldly and knowledgable than everybody else, but my experience says the opposite.
The larger point is that Giraldi’s story fits with The Party’s formula in Orwell’s 1984. The more educated and successful one is within the system, the more one has invested in it and the more one has to lose by straying off its prescribed path. The truth/falsity of the narrative plays little role in its acceptance, it has only to bring security and comfort. In fact, the more absurd it is, the more one has to invest, and the more deeply one is entrained in its flow. That’s the magic behind Orwell’s “2+2=5”. By declaring it as true, one bets the farm on the narrative and can’t help but fight to keep it going.
Orwell’s Inner Party took great pains to make sure the Outer Party believed 2+2=5, but they didn’t care what the Proles thought. They had they’re own, often diametrically opposed narratives, but they had no power.
Those weren‘t likely gypsies – more than likely the pickpockets were Albanians.
V.V.Putin’s thinking after reading this text:
” Hmmm—they are not quite tender yet. Let them cook a tad longer.”
Hello, comrade Armagedon, please delay major offensive as long as you possibly can.
This is one of the most interesting phenomena of the Western proxy war against Russia. In Europe, the narrative of “stupid Americans” who have no idea what is happening outside the US has been running for generations. Today, although the US is paying a much smaller price for this proxy war, which is directed from Washington, I see many more voices opposing this madness in America than there are in Europe. Then I remember that in Europe, not in the USA, the highest positions in the two largest countries are held by Lizz Truss and Annalena Baerbock. No comment is needed.
” inevitably linked to another former nationalist Italian leader, Benito Mussolini.”
Finished reading at that point.
Really this guy worked for the USA inteligence community?. This explains a lot of things.
Only for the general knowledge, Mussolini was the head of the fascist party of italy. Drove it to the IIWW.
The linking of the likely new prime minister of Italy with Mussolini was by those trying to automatically discredit her through that association. It sounds as if you are just the sort of person to whom this tactic was addressed. Read more carefully; Mr. Giraldi was reporting what was said, and not stating his own, personal view.
Given her expressions of rabid, unqualified loyalty to Israel and Ukraine, I have already dismissed her as a mere stalking horse for the Neocon warmongers. If she really were looking out for the best interests of her nation, she should be expending her passion on defending Italy – its people and culture – first and foremost instead of bending the knee to the very ones who seek white Europe’s destruction, economically, culturally, morally, and spiritually. Striking a pose as a nationalist, but aligning with those who wish Europe harm.
Pick pockets LOL.
Couldn’t catch the Gypsies , best laugh l have had for a long time.
Not all Americans are evil and your old mate Phil looks in good shape as well. God bless him and his wife.
Happy memories get us all through the bad times.
Why isn’t America on the side of good? Like Families, a safe home, good food, well paying jobs and movies to take you to another place and time. Children safe at school with teachers they can trust like their mom and dad.
All gone, replaced by evil.
Art Thomas says
America is more than the woke left, the dip shit politicians and deep state bureaucrats in D.C. and elsewhere who have deep abandoned their humanity.
They are not America but a cancer in the body politic.
Henry Rech says
“On our first day in Venice, my wife and I noted immediately the large number of formerly highly prestigious shops that were closed in Piazza San Marco, the tourist center of the city which normally attracts top level clients at top level prices.”
When I was twelve, many years ago, I was inadvertently separated from my parents while nosing around the Piazza San Marco. I managed to communicate my predicament to a couple of Carabinieri who walked around the Piazza with me for half an hour until we ran into my father and sister who were trying to find me.
In those days, all you had to worry about were the pigeons pooping on the tourists.
Today, a lost twelve year old could easily end up in the white slave trade.
Today, also, the world is seemingly a more complex and confusing place.
We have ex-CIA operatives who say the Mossad was instrumental in the 9-11 attacks.
We have a highly animated group of Americans who want their country to return to the path of truth and justice but have as their leader a charlatan, cheat, liar and a fraud. This group of Americans seem to not care that their leader clearly supports the monied neocon elites they despise.
The same group of people admire another country’s autocrat, who has all the trappings of a fascist with imperialist ambitions yet see him as the saviour of the world.
At the same time, there are those on the left who gleefully look to the same autocrat, believing he conceals ambitions to remake his country into a socialist state.
Can there be a more ironic situation?
We also have a rich oil producing state, which owes it multi-decade secure existence to the US, spitting the face of the US and that same oil rich state joining its neighborhood mortal enemy to injure the interests of the US.
I wonder what all those pooping pigeons think of the state of world? I guess one target tourist’s head is the same as another.
A Boyles says
Larry this is a very interesting and, I hate to say, predictable experience that your friend encountered in Europe. I have friends in Europe who are very well educated and have Bachelors or Masters degrees in various engineering disciplines (like myself) or business grads with a lifetime of business experience. Yet it seems that a lifetime of MSM Orwellian doubletalk and truthspeak has eroded or attenuated their critical thinking abilities when it comes to understanding the current state of geopolitics. It’s stunningly obvious what the USA has done TO the Europeans – exactly what they accused Russia would do TO them – but at 4X the cost! Energy blackmail and they think it’s great because it “punishes Russia”. As educated as they are in their silos of knowledge they are painfully childlike in their naivete over the whole situation. And I am not convinced the younger generation is any better as those young people have bought the climate change nonsense hook line and sinker. The war, the pandemic, the Green Deal are all tools to control us and put us back in our place as a feudal society with no means and relying on our feudal Lords for a few crumbs. Society is sadly and possibly irrevocably brainwashed and content with their bread and circuses and their fatalistic acceptance of being trod on by their “betters”. It must be true – I saw it on TV & the Internet. 😉 Greetings from Halifax NS Canada.
Cynical Rex says
Greetings from Grande Cache, Alberta.
First, thank-you Larry as usual for your articles and fascinating insights.
“climate change nonsense”: weren’t you just recently hit on the East Coast by one of the most powerful hurricanes in Canada’s history (Fiona). Climate change basics are not rocket science: the carbon, methane from our industries, cities, farms acts as a blanket in the atmosphere deflecting heat back to earth instead of outer space. The geological record has different periods of warming, cooling as I’m sure you’re aware. I can see the effects of man-made climate change very clearly each year as smoke from fires in the Canadian Rockies darkens the skies and makes it more difficult to breath. Fires and smoke are a regular occurrence now.
It amazes me, as I’m sure it does for you, how people can rationalize anything, if they believe it’s in their interest, or to be fair, as an emotional reaction to something that is feared. Another commenter mentioned Orwell, and I appreciate how people can believe “2+2=5” if it is in their interest. Just because I believe I will live forever, like many ancient rulers sought, does not make it so.
Oblomovka daydream says
Mr. and Mrs Giraldi talked with ‘Europeans’ on a Venice-Valetta-Palermo-Rome cruise, and they found out that these well-to-do ‘Europeans’ were living inside a limbo of half-truths. Well, these cruise travelers are something special. They are affluent and they are typically trusting their cruise ship company to keep the cruise ship travelers healthy and free from any nasty disease. Very, very naïve indeed. No wonder that their naivity is being reflected in their life views and in their political opinions. These selected individuals are the people Mr. and Mrs. Giraldi talked with. They are not at all representative.
The pickpocket story is also typical. The route where the affluent naïve cruise travelers are following time and time again in Venice from their ship to the city centre is absolutely favourite among all the pickpockets of Venice. They follow the money. When we visit Venice, we avoid this route (as Covid) and we’ve never (up to now) encountered with the negative experience Mr. Giraldi is describing. So when you love Venice, do break away from the ‘safe’ herd of the meek sheep and you will have a great time.
another steve says
So very true. It’s so easy . Venice or Venice Beach.
“They are affluent and they are typically trusting their cruise ship company to keep the cruise ship travelers healthy and free from any nasty disease. Very, very naïve indeed. ”
Precisely. The “health” measures imposed by cruise lines since 2020 have changed the population their clientele self-selects from. My wife and I took European or Asian river cruises in ’17, ’18 and ’19 and found sensible people to talk to. We had booked Mediterranean cruises with the same company for ’21 and ’22, but cancelled when they imposed silly COVID restrictions. I imagine those sensible people did the same.
I’d love to hear Phil’s views on the US role in bringing about the economic woes in Europe, including actually physically sabotaging the energy infrastructure of it’s supposed allies as well as ensuring it’s European minions continue to pursue suicidal economic policies dressed up as Russian sanctions.
Interesting read. Your friend´s text quite accurately depicted a typical class of people here- I call them the fawning courtiers. Middle class, a little bit educated, but not too much (like a degree in whatever but no education beyond their actual degree), mediocre intellectual abilities. They are the profiteers of the current system as they have reached a career maximum they could never have reached in a meritocracy. Still well off enough to go on cruises or short week-end breaks while a substantial amount of what Orwell called the Proles already have started struggling with rent and heating costs. They typically have been Covid-maniacs, love Ukraine, hate Putin and used to be very fond of China but have become a little suspicious of Xi recently. This class feels enlightened but is in fact ill-informed and ignorant. Discussions with them typically end after the first controversial argument, they then change the topic to avoid any confrontation.
Tudo o que é bom faz bem. E inversamente tudo o que faz bem é bom.
Todos nos europeus , vimos durante anos, nossa qualidade de vida melhorar ano apos ano.
Conheço centenas de pessoas aqui e nunca conheci ninguem cuja qualidade de vida nao tenha melhorado ao longo dos anos.
Naturalmente as pessoas tendem a pensar que as receitas politicas que provocaram isso tendem a ter sucesso para sempre. Infelizmente essas politicas ( subordinaçao aos interesses norte americanos ) não terao mais sucesso. Agora elas mesmas vão desencadear o contrario. Simplesmente os cidadaos europeus normais ainda não se aperceberam do que esta a chegar. Continuam assim a defender a mesma formula, a acreditar na propaganda MSM.
Quando a qualidade de vida começar a despencar eles começarao a mudar de opiniao.
Obrigado Larry, por nos ajudar a compreender o que se passa actualmente no mundo.
another steve says
A pity Americans would ruin
a beautiful Mediterranean cruise
by projecting their neuroses onto others.
Forget about your narrow political concerns.
The world has and will turn without you.
You are not Rome but Carthage.
Enjoy the wine dark seas.
Finer souls than yours have done so
For thousands of years.
European visceral hatred/fear of the slav untermench only allows stupid decisions.
Corrective lesson on the way. Why do it the hard way?.
France, a young 12 years old girl named Lola has been raped, beheaded and stuffed into a trunk in order to sell her organs. The crime has been committed by 4 illegals from Algeria in Paris.
But the most tragic element of this nightmare is that the parents were willing to meet the president Macron and insisted on banning the politicians from surfing on this drama. One can see how the pol correctness has brainwashed a good chunk of the general population. In the meatspace, parents would have refused to meet this clown and would have retained lawyers to prosecute the State.
Curt Nichols says
Liz “Tank Gurl”Truss is gone today. Lizzie was going to show them Russkies something!! Biden is castrated on November 8th. Scholz gone in Germany before the end of winter. Macron in hiding as the Paris streets start to burn. And Putin stands. And the Russian economy thrives. How is that regime change in Russia going NeoCon’s? I have one question. When this shit sandwich blows up over all of us, devasting governments and economies alike? When will Victoria Nuland get the axe? If you want to identify one person that led us down this road of doom? She is it.
When I went to Europe, I was warned about pick-pocketing by various family members. I bought a neck wallet and didn’t have any problems.
Bert Huber says
What is your opinion about the current situation in Cherson ?
Will the Russians withdraw from there?
To the contrary, I think Kherson will become a hub of Russian military activity in south, for the cutting off of Ukraine from the Sea.
The current planetary constellation shows a strong connection of the center (Sun) with Venus (defense). Next week Mercury is completing them to a trio with Mars in his Twins.
That might add the defensive strength of the center with assaultive faculty.
This and some other aspects of the archetypal connection working timely in man’s unconscious streaming are to be found in my ( mundanomaniac’s)
42. Week 2022
Philip Giraldi always has great post over on Unz Review. I’d recommend Unz to anyone who wants to get a different (and perhaps more accurate) assessment on events past and present. For example Ron Unz’s American Pravda Series is very interesting. I especially like his installments about the Kennedy assassination, and on WW2.
Mike D. says
The future belongs to the countries and groups within countries that prioritize education, invention, entrepreneurship. Equity is BS.
The world does not move forward with that.
Black Cloud says
It is difficult to imagine what the US gains from destroying Europe. Clearly, it is not having the adverse effect on Russia that is the justification for all this nonsense.
Is the dying empire hoping that European industries relocate to the US to revitalize the industrial base it auctioned off to the lowest bidders? Even if this were to happen, where is the market for products – BRICS and the SCO are rapidly growing as many former US vassal states join them and turn there backs on the US. The collapsed economies of Europe (and the US) aren’t going to be buying anything, nor will the huge Asian markets as the new silk road grows and trade comes without military/political strings attached.
It’s all about the money of course. But beyond short term gains for the military/energy/financial oligarchies the future looks dim. Does that not matter to the powers behind the throne?
The only possibility that I see is global depopulation, which Schwab, Gates, and Co. seem to be actively seeking.
Somebody please tell me that I am wrong …
Since 45, the US fears that the whole Europe may become Russia. Till 89, West Germany was their fortress. Now, it is Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic States.
The rest of Europe is no longer within the military scope. That may explain some behaviour.
So what happened to the, “Land of Everything?”
Why isn’t America totally self-sufficient, happy with no enemies and loving it?
An oily question. The answer is greed and the power fantasy of Empire.
Empires all die busted arsed and broke. Welcome to America today.
Russia and China seem to have recognised the conundrum. Therefore enter stage right the The Nation State; connected by road, rail, boat and planes. Win win trade, Gold Standard, Commodities etc and peaceful coexistence.
War, occupation and foreign garrisons don’t produce long term profit they send a nation wokie-broke.
The US economy is based on global rent (the dollar carry) as it no longer makes much of anything, and its economy is not configured to make anything (fine for bartenders/waitresses).
Empire costs to maintain, and the slow but gaining speed removal of the global south from rent paying – the BRI shifts transactions outside the dollar.
Leaves the US three choices:
Belt tightening – shed the empire and global military
Tax the the uber-rich
Grab / steal all the wealth one can to keep the system floating longer
a fourth, print money no longer works – its been overused.
Choice 3 is the only one politically possible for our bought political system, and Europe is the rube.
Notably, Choice 3 is a typical end of empire strategy as the plutocrats expect to bail ship before the pitchforks come out and is a significant cause of downfall (typically through an ill conceived war).
To stoneage [verb]:
To permanently reduce economic activity and population in an area in order to preserve depleting resources, esp. oil for the core.
Apply first to oil producing countries to stop them consuming too much of their production themselves.
Your friend should not feel bad about the Gypsies pick-pocketing his passport, etc. My husband is from Romania. He says the Gypsies have extraordinary, almost supernatural tinkering abilities and can fixor build anything mechanical. Those Gypsies in the pick-pocketing business also have an uncanny ability to lift items from your person without causing the slightest awareness on your part.
I guess your husband probably feels Hitler should have killed more of them in concentration camps, given the way they are racially abused and treated like shit in countries like Romania. At least they haven’t stolen as much from the world as ethnic European whites. Who pick pocket whole countries.
Not at all. He admired their mechanical skills which he said were amazing. He also said that they worked magic with horses and were outstanding musicians. His best friend in boot camp was a Gypsy. They were very close and defended each other against all comers. Only some Gypsies are pick-pockets just as only some Italians are Mafia. But those who choose the pick-pocketing profession are highly skilled – not even CIA master spies are a match for them in the stealth department. In fact, the CIA should recruit some of them – they would be an asset on spy missions. They are a very interesting people with an unusual skill set.
Love your attitude baby, smooth as…!
Greg D says
He should have been warned. Italy is well known for pick pockets as far back as I can remember.
Great article. I have always admired Mr. Giraldi’s writing. Now if only the hapless Europeans can connect one more dot: the relationship between those unelected EU leaders and the unelected Davos WEF crowd who gives them their marching orders. They’re just loving this energy crisis because they delusionally think it will usher in their green reset agenda.
That money collected for Ukrainian refugees on the boat will in all 99.9% chances never reach any of them. Private monies for Ukrainians and Ukraine is as much a grift as the over $70 million collected by BLM which never saw its way to community projects, poverty relief, etc.
I’m curious what you think of Team Biden’s overall strategy in terms of alliances, institutions and political economy.
Team Biden seems to have doubled down on the discourse of collective security organizations and alliances (in contrast to Trump) but in practice this means putting up walls between US allies and the rest of the world; imposing burdens and costs; and extracting technologies and capital.
Europe in particular is being cannabalized by the Empire.
So, the rhetoric is one of alliances, multilateralism, democratic solidarity and the rules-based liberal order but the practise is a new imperial hub-and-spokes system, with the US as financial, military and technological hegemone, draining, not building, its dependencies. There is nothing new here but it is brazen and thuggish at the moment.
From the US view, there are many positives: Europe is divided from Russia and disciplined in NATO and buying US arms and NRG.
The playbook will be the same is Asia; incite and arm Taiwan, build military alliances and provoke China after cutting it off from US technology. The latter is a particularly ugly policy; it is a blatant attempt to arrest China’s, and in fact humanity’s, economic and social development. The entire Third World sees it for what it is; a strategy of imperial monopoly designed to perpetuate global inequality.
But, there are limitations to this strategy. World manufacturing can’t flee China without causing major problems for supply chains and thus inflation. Also, China is the number one trading partner for the majority of countries. The BRICS are expanding and working on a new currency and OPEC+ is creating a new power bloc in global oil supply and financing. The SCO is expanding as well toward’s Putin vision of a comprehensive security alliance. Furthermore, China has resources for Third World development that the US simply doesn’t have anymore. Moreover, the US model of neoliberal economics has been a recipe for social degradation and inequality at home and abroad, whereas China’s model, however unacceptable to Americans, has actually raised the standard of living and life expectancy for its people. Finally, in waging the new trade and tech wars, the US is actually undercutting and contradicting its own imperial ideology of the ‘open door’ and ‘comparative advantage’ etc.
So, in an attempt to fortify its allies and imperial system, the US seems to be creating a smaller, declining and poorer empire for itself, in effect, roping off the white European nations and their offshoots. In the short term, this looks like a strong position, but overtime it might be a recipe for disaster.
I don’t think Team Biden has the world knowledge necessary to steer US policy in this time of global upheaval.
Agree with this analysis in full, with one tiny caveat, I don’t believe Team Biden is the one “steering” policy per se. Although Team Biden probably is allowed major inputs, and perhaps has veto powers in certain situations, mostly its role is to provide the muscle for the ones that are calling the shots.
If fascism is the merger of corporation and state, then neo-liberalism is the subjugation of the state to the corporation.
And more imortantly, to the private Western banking cartel. This full spectrum global stand-off that we are witnessing at the moment between Zone A and Zone B, is really about who gets to enjoy the Ultimate Power that one can enjoy on this planet, and that is the power of money creation.
Will it continue to be private entities, or sovereign nations, that controls this God like power?
And that is the threat that China TRULY represents; central banks in China work for China, and no one else. Money creation is the sole purview of the Chinese state, and in my opinion, what China has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, is that when such power is wielded wisely and with a plan by a nation-state of such size and historical credentials, it can rise from literally nothing to being the greatest civilation this planet has seen bar none, in the span of less than 30 years.
China pours more concrete every 2 years and bends more steal every 5, than the US has in its entire existence. To think China doesn’t already bestride America like a colussus, with the gap between the two growing almost exponentially by the day, is to be blind to reality.
China is a nation-state functioning as a nation-state, and as patriotic American, I admire this greatly, because my country is doing no such thing, and outside of a few a brief moments in our history, ’33 to ’45 might be, perhaps, the only weak example I could give, where we gave it one lame-assed college try, but only because we were forced to by “circumstances,” my country never has.
I would never go to Western Europe or is it Eruabia? I went in the 1970s when still decent but never in post modern era. I travel to more traditional societies like Russia, Turkey, Indonesia, etc being a conservative person. But even better is my fishing holes and golf courses in the sticks of northern Florida.. think Geatz’s district and he’s too liberal IMO w/ talk of hurricane relief and such.
Jim Giles says
As the chess board develops let me share the following email I sent to Larry this evening:
Subject: Piglet Pervert Sting Operations
I am constantly targeted by piglets who are at their core perverts. Sting operations are constantly directed at me, e.g., piglet perverts approached me this afternoon as I was grading my road.
This is germane because I am starting to plan for guests on my RT one hour program which I am now considering calling ‘War’ instead of ‘Russian Rebel’ and having War as my theme song: https://youtu.be/dQHUAJTZqF0 All subject to further critical thinking.
My real question to you regards Scott Ritter: “Ritter was the subject in two law enforcement sting operations in 2001.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Ritter
Obviously they went after Ritter because of his views. But it seems inescapable that his conduct was improper. I would like for someone who knows one million times more than me to tell me the truth about Scott Ritter. He may very well be a good friend of yours. I like setting the record straight if it needs it.
Is Scott Ritter a good man? If he is I will seek him out and get him to appear on ‘War’ regularly along with you, Dr. Giraldi, et al.
Stephan Usedom says
Dear Mr Giraldi, dear Mr Johnson,
indeed an excellent piece, which I read with delight, since it also confirms my own observations in regards to Western Europeans and the way, they are almost completely trapped in their various bubbles (Putin is a monster! Trump is still bad! Biden is good! Climate change must be stopped! Refugees are welcome! We are an open society! Shut down the hatred of the extreme right! No tolerance for the intolerant! No discussion with Nazis! Support Ukraine! Etc.).
But why is this so?
Looking at Germany, my country, I see three longlasting, intertwined developments, which lead to the state we are in:
1. There has been a constant dumbing down of society at all levels since the 1980s – be it Curricula at schools and universities, the rise of leftwing movements and topics like Feminism, Wokeism, LGBTQ and all those Anti-movements – if you compare math or German tasks in a class of 6graders from 1980 with today – these are two different worlds. Also when you look at newspapers, TV stations, Radio, whatever – the explanations have become ever more simple and one-sided, while everybody or almost everybody swallowed it. Requirements at institutions have been lowered and lowered, yet the results get worse and worse. The smartphone epidemic has helped a lot in this dumbing down process. I would even argue, that the vaccines against Covid play a role here too (I noticed with some of the vaxxed, that their cognitive limits seem to have increased – but I may be wrong, it is just my personal observation).
2. It is now literally impossible to have a different opinion on certain subjects and utter this opinion without having some consequences. Should a journalist decide to offer a different view of certain things, he or she would immediately be labeled as a nutjob, an extremist, a hateful person, a Putin-friend, a racist, a mysoginist, a conspiracy theorist etc. This pressure has only increased point 1, for almost no-one dares speaking out publicly against the ever-growing-madness.
3. Since lies create new lies, it was possible since the 1980s to always put new falsehoods on top of the existing ones. So we now live in or are drowned in a sea of lies – I remember, David Icke once put it quite nicely, when he said that, when you are born in the madhouse, you consider the madhouse to be the norm. And that is where we now live – in a madhouse, where most people are not aware of their cognitive dissonance, because they have been educated from earliest childhood, that 2 and 2 equals 5 – and whoever says something differently is an enemy, a populist, a nazi, an evil person with whom one should have no contact. So it is like a self-reinforcing mechanism – lies on top of more lies and so on….until….
finally reality sets in and will deliver us some blows, and then harder ones, and then harder ones (just like Ayn Rand predicted – you can ignore reality, but you cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality).
So unfortunately there is no quick fix here – the madness is too deeply ingrained in too many minds…. it will need a situation resembling 1945 in Germany to turn around. (Un)fortunately we will get that – and then, with the grace of God, should there still be enough Germans around, some of the survivors might turn around whats left of the ship …. in a new direction and hopefully with a better captain at the wheel…
So – lets hope for the best – and prepare for the worst.