Friday, December 01, 2017


"North Korea: "The Missile Program Is Now Complete"" (Moon).  The Americans think the North Koreans should be happy as long as they are not being nuked, but the North Koreans aren't happy as long as negotiations leading to a withdrawal of the threat of nuclear annihilation have not started.  That gap in understanding means that the North Koreans have to continually prod the US.  Only the Americans can solve this problem, by agreeing to negotiate.  Unfortunately, Trump takes every prod as a personal insult, or at least pretends to, leading to another threat to nuke, leading to more NK prodding, and so on.  Only the Americans can break this cycle.  There is some serious game theory shit going on here.

Tillerson isn't going anywhere, it was another Trump media-manipulation trick:  "Those Publications Need to Clean This Up" (Marshall).  Moving the US embassy to Jerusalem?  Another trick:  "U.S. embassy to stay in Tel Aviv as White House shuts down rumors of imminent Jerusalem move".  In order to manage pressures from his right flank (Khazars and Christian Zionists), Trump feints from time to time.  It is the art of the deal.  Trump actually regards the promise of something not as part of the preparation for doing it, but just part of the confusion in negotiation leading to not doing it.  Promises are in lieu of performance. We've seen enough of this that people should stop falling for it (even Marshall seems to be tired of it).

Think about it.  A little over a year ago, Tillerson was one of the most powerful men in the world, orders of magnitude more important and powerful than Trump.  The one thing these wolves understand is pack status.  Now Tillerson is being treated by the media as some sort of placeholder functionary who can be moved around at will.  Does that seem likely?

"What If Trump Dismantled the State Department, and It Didn’t Matter?" (Van Buren).  It all goes back to the fact that the Americans can no longer do diplomacy, as negotiation implies the Americans might give something up, and the Essential Empire can never admit to such weakness.  The irony is that the Empire declines as it is afraid of being seen as declining.

"Progress Report on the US-Russian War" (The Saker).  To be fair, there are indications that Trump is aware that his job is to wind down the Empire in an orderly manner, and, as mentioned above, the bellicose rhetoric is chosen to avoid doing something stupid.  If you take what Trump says at face value, problems will arise.  The Russians and Chinese know the score, but I worry when somebody like Salman gets taken in and is cut off at the knees when Trump fails to follow through.

The downside to this Empire-by-bloviation is that it leaves the Empire flat-footed in doing positive things, leaving others to take up the slack:  "From the Caucasus to the Balkans, China’s Silk Roads are rising" (Escobar).  The contrast between China's massive money-making development initiatives, and the American wars and, more often now, threats of wars, remains the most striking thing in the world.
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