by Eric Zuesse
The tumultuous events that dominate international news today cannot be accurately understood outside of their underlying context, which connects them together, into a broader narrative — the actual history of our time. History makes sense, even if news-reports about these events don’t. Propagandistic motivations cause such essential facts to be reported little (if at all) in the news, so that the most important matters for the public to know, get left out of news-accounts about those international events.
The purpose here will be to provide that context, for our time.
First, this essential background will be summarized; then, it will be documented (via the links that will be provided here), up till the present moment — the current news:
America’s aristocracy controls both the U.S. federal government and press, but (as will be documented later here) is facing increasing resistance from its many vassal (subordinate) aristocracies around the world (popularly called “America’s allied nations”); and this growing international resistance presents a new challenge to the U.S. military-industrial complex (MIC), which is controlled by that same aristocracy and enforces their will worldwide. The MIC is responding to the demands of its aristocratic master. This response largely drives international events today (which countries get invaded, which ones get overthrown by coups, etc.), but the ultimate driving force behind today’s international news is the aristocracy that the MIC represents, the billionaires behind the MIC, because theirs is the collective will that drives the MIC. The MIC is their collective arm, and their collective fist. It is not the American public’s global enforcer; it is the American aristocracy’s fist, around the world.
The MIC (via its military contractors such as Lockheed Martin) also constitutes a core part of the U.S. aristocracy’s wealth (the part that’s extracted from the U.S. taxpaying public via the U.S. government), and also (by means of those privately-owned contractors, plus the taxpayer-funded U.S. armed forces) it protects these aristocrats’ wealth in foreign countries. Though paid by the U.S. government, the MIC does the protection-and-enforcement jobs for the nation’s super-rich. Furthermore, the MIC is crucial to them in other ways, serving not only directly as their “policeman to the world,” but also indirectly (by that means) as a global protection-racket that keeps their many subordinate aristocracies in line, under their control — and that threatens those foreign aristocrats with encroachments against their own territory, whenever a vassal aristocracy resists the master-aristocracy’s will. (International law is never enforced against the U.S., not even after it invaded Iraq in 2003.) So, the MIC is the global bully’s fist, and the global bully is the U.S. aristocracy — America’s billionaires, most especially the controlling stockholders in the U.S.-based international corporations. These are the people the U.S. government actually represents. The links document this, and it’s essential to know, if one is to understand current events.
For the first time ever, a global trend is emerging toward declining control of the world by America’s billionaire-class — into the direction of ultimately replacing the U.S. Empire, by increasingly independent trading-blocs: alliances between aristocracies, replacing this hierarchical control of one aristocracy over another. Ours is becoming a multi-polar world, and America’s aristocracy is struggling mightily against this trend, desperate to continue remaining the one global imperial power — or, as U.S. President Barack Obama often referred to the U.S. government, “The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. That has been true for the century passed and it will be true for the century to come.” To America’s aristocrats, all other nations than the U.S. are “dispensable.” All American allies have to accept it. This is the imperial mindset, both for the master, and for the vassal. The uni-polar world can’t function otherwise. Vassals must pay (extract from their nation’s public, and then transfer) protection-money, to the master, in order to be safe — to retain their existing power, to exploit their given nation’s public.
The recently growing role of economic sanctions (more accurately called “Weaponization of finance”) by the United States and its vassals, has been central to the operation of this hierarchical imperial system, but is now being increasingly challenged from below, by some of the vassals. Alliances are breaking up over America’s mounting use of sanctions, and new alliances are being formed and cemented to replace the imperial system — replace it by a system without any clear center of global power, in the world that we’re moving into. Economic sanctions have been the U.S. empire’s chief weapon to impose its will against any challengers to U.S. global control, and are thus becoming the chief locus of the old order’s fractures.
This global order cannot be maintained by the MIC alone; the more that the MIC fails (such as in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, …), the more that economic sanctions rise to become the essential tool of the imperial masters. We are increasingly in the era of economic sanctions. And, now, we’re entering the backlash-phase of it.
A turning-point in escalating the weaponization of finance was reached in February 2014 when a Ukrainian coup that the Obama Administration had started planning by no later than 2011, culminated successfully in installing a rabidly anti-Russian government on Russia’s border, and precipitated the breakaway from Ukraine of two regions (Crimea and Donbass) that had voted overwhelmingly for the man the U.S. regime had just overthrown. This coup in Ukraine was the most direct aggressive act against Russia since the Cold War had ‘ended’ (it had actually ended on the Russian side, but not on the American side, where it continues) in 1991. During this coup in Kiev, on February 20th of 2014, hundreds of Crimeans, who had been peacefully demonstrating there with placards against this coup (which coup itself was very violent — against the police, not by them — the exact opposite of the way that “the Maidan demonstrations” had been portrayed in the Western press at the time), were attacked by the U.S.-paid thugs and scrambled back into their buses to return home to Crimea but were stopped en-route in central Ukraine and an uncounted number of them were massacred in the Ukrainian town of Korsun by the same group of thugs who had chased them out of Kiev.
This massacre didn’t play well on local Crimean television. Immediately, a movement to secede and to again become a part of Russia started, and spread like wildfire in Crimea. (Crimea had been only involuntarily transferred from Russia to Ukraine by the Soviet dictator Khrushchev in 1954; it had been part of Russia for the hundreds of years prior to 1954. It was culturally Russian.) The residents of Crimea were terrified; they pleaded for protection by the Russian government. Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, said that if they’d vote for it in a referendum, then Russia would accept them back into the Russian Federation and provide them protection as Russian citizens. On 6 March 2014, U.S. President Obama issued “Executive Order — Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine”, and ignored the internationally recognized-in-law right of self-determination of peoples (though he recognized that right in Catalonia and in Scotland), and he instead simply declared that Ukraine’s “sovereignty” over Crimea was sacrosanct (even though it had been imposed upon Crimeans by the Soviet dictator — America’s enemy — in 1954, during the Soviet era, when America opposed, instead of favored and imposed, dictatorship around the world, except in Iran and Guatemala, where America imposed dictatorships even that early). Obama’s Executive Order was against unnamed “persons who have asserted governmental authority in the Crimean region without the authorization of the Government of Ukraine.” He insisted that the people who had just grabbed control of Ukraine and massacred Crimeans (his own Administration’s paid far-right Ukrainian thugs, who were racist anti-Russians), must be allowed to rule Crimea, regardless of what Crimeans (traditionally a part of Russia) might — and did — want.
America’s vassal aristocracies then imposed their own sanctions against Russia when on 16 March 2014 Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to rejoin the Russian Federation.
Thus started the successive rounds of economic sanctions against Russia, by the U.S. government and its vassal-nations. (As is shown by that link, they knew that this had been a coup and no authentic ‘democratic revolution’ such as the Western press was portraying it to have been, and yet they kept quiet about it — a secret their public would not be allowed to know.)
The latest round of these sanctions was imposed not by Executive Order from a U.S. President, but instead by a new U.S. law, “H.R.3364 — Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act”, which in July 2017 was passed by 98-2 in the Senate and 419-3 in the House, and which not only stated outright lies (endorsed there by virtually everyone in Congress), but which was backed up by lies from the U.S. Intelligence Community that were accepted and endorsed totally uncritically by 98 Senators and 419 Representatives. (One might simply assume that all of those Senators and Representatives were ignorant of the way things work and were not intentionally lying in order to vote for these lies from the Intelligence Community, but these people actually wouldn’t have wrangled their ways into Congress and gotten this far at the game if they hadn’t already known that the U.S. Intelligence Community is designed not only to inform the President but to help him to deceive the public and therefore can’t be trusted by anyone but the President. It’s basic knowledge about the U.S. government, and they know it, though the public don’t.)
The great independent columnist Paul Craig Roberts headlined on August 1st, “Trump’s Choices” and argued that President Donald Trump should veto the bill despite its overwhelming support in Washington, but instead Trump signed it into law on August 2nd and thus joined participation in the overt stage — the Obama stage — of the U.S. government’s continuation of the Cold War that U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush had secretly instituted against Russia on 24 February 1990, and that, under Obama, finally escalated into a hot war against Russia. The first phase of this hot war against Russia is via the “Weaponization of finance” (those sanctions). However, as usual, it’s also backed up by major increases in physical weaponry, and by the cooperation of America’s vassals in order to surround Russia with nuclear weapons near and on Russia’s borders, in preparation for a possible blitz first-strike nuclear attack upon Russia — preparations that the Russian people know about and greatly fear, but which are largely hidden by the Western press, and therefore only very few Westerners are aware that their own governments have become lying aggressors.
Some excellent news-commentaries have been published about this matter, online, by a few ‘alternative news’ sites (and that ‘alt-news’ group includes all of the reliably honest news-sites, but also includes unfortunately many sites that are as dishonest as the mainstream ones are — and that latter type aren’t being referred to here), such as (and only the best sites and articles will be linked-to on this):
“Moon of Alabama,” headlining on August 6th “New Sanctions Against Russia — A Failure Of U.S. Strategy”; and, the next day,
“Brandon Turbeville,” bannering “U.S. Sanctions Bill Adds More Targets To The List; U.S. Set To Sanction Itself Into Isolation”; and, on August 8th,
“Viable Opposition,” headlining “Who Is Being Hurt By America’s Anti-Iran Sanctions or How American Companies are Losing in Iran”.
All three of those articles discuss how these new sanctions are driving other nations to separate themselves, more and more, away from the economic grip of the U.S. aristocracy, and to form instead their own alliances with one-another, so as to defend themselves, collectively, from U.S. economic (if not also military) aggression.
Major recent news-developments on this, have included (all here from rt dot com):
July 29th, “Trade war? EU ready for economic counter-sanctions if US anti-Russia bill signed – top officials”.
July 31st, “Berlin calls for retaliation against ‘illegal’ US sanctions on Russia”.
August 3rd, “US sanctions won’t stop Russia’s pipeline project to Europe – analysts”.
August 8th, “Europe needs to fend off expensive American gas – German energy major”.
However, perhaps the best representative example of this phenomenon (the breaking-down of the U.S.-dominant system of alliances), is one of the long-time traditional U.S. allies, the Philippine aristocracy, now turning away from the U.S. aristocracy and rejecting the U.S. aristocracy’s control. On 22 May 2017, RT headlined “‘US, EU meddle in other countries & kill people under guise of human rights concerns’ – Duterte”, and presented Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte explaining why he rejects the U.S. aristocracy’s hypocritical pronouncements and condemnations regarding its vassals among the world’s poorer and struggling nations, such as his.
Of course, none of this information is publishable in the West — in the Western ‘democracies’. It’s ‘fake news’, as far as The Empire is concerned. So, if you’re in The (now declining) Empire, you’re not supposed to be reading this. That’s why the mainstream ‘news’ media (to all of which this article is being submitted for publication, without fee, for any of them that want to break their existing corrupt mold) don’t publish this sort of news — ‘fake news’ (that’s of the solidly documented type, such as this). You’ll see such news reported only in the few honest newsmedia.
The rule for the aristocracy’s ‘news’ media is: report what happened, only on the basis of the government’s lies as to why it happened — never expose such lies (the official lies). What’s official is ‘true’. That, too, is an essential part of the imperial system.
The front cover of the American aristocracy’s TIME magazine’s Asian edition, dated September 25, 2016, had been headlined “Night Falls on the Philippines: The tragic cost of President Duterte’s war on drugs”. The ‘news’-story, which was featured inside not just the Asian but all editions, was “Inside Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s War On Drugs”, and it portrayed Duterte as a far-right demagogue who was giving his nation’s police free reign to murder anyone they wished to, especially the poor. On 17 July 2017, China’s Xinhua News Agency bannered “Philippines’ Duterte enjoys high approval rating at 82 percent: poll”, and reported: “A survey by Pulse Asia Inc. conducted from June 24 to June 29 showed that 82 percent of the 1,200 people surveyed nationwide approved the way Duterte runs the country. Out of all the respondents, the poll said 13 percent were undecided about Duterte’s performance, while 5 percent disapproved Duterte’s performance. … Duterte, who assumed the presidency in June last year, ends his single, six-year term in 2022.” Obviously, it’s not likely that the TIME cover story had actually been honest.
But, of course, America’s billionaires are even more eager to overthrow Russia’s President, Putin.
Western polling firms can freely poll Russians, and do poll them on lots but not on approval or disapproval of President Putin, because he always scores above 80%, and America’s aristocrats also don’t like finding that confirmed, and certainly don’t want to report it. Polling is routinely done in Russia, by Russian pollsters, on voters’ ratings of approval/disapproval of Putin’s performance. Because America’s aristocrats don’t like the findings, they say that Russians are in such fear of Putin they don’t tell the truth about this, or else that Russia’s newsmedia constantly lie about him to cover up the ugly reality about him. However, the Western academic journal Post-Soviet Affairs (which is a mainstream Western publication) included in their January/February 2017 issue a study, “Is Putin’s Popularity Real?” and the investigators reported the results of their own poll of Russians, which was designed to tap into whether such fear exists and serves as a distorting factor in those Russian polls, but concluded that the findings in Russia’s polls could not be explained by any such factor; and that, yes, Putin’s popularity among Russians is real. The article’s closing words were: “Our results suggest that the main obstacle at present to the emergence of a widespread opposition movement to Putin is not that Russians are afraid to voice their disapproval of Putin, but that Putin is in fact quite popular.”
The U.S. aristocracy’s efforts to get resistant heads-of-state overthrown by ‘democratic revolutions’ (which usually is done by the U.S. government to overthrow democratically elected Presidents — such as Mossadegh, Arbenz, Allende, Zelaya, Yanukovych, and attempted against Assad, and wished against Putin, and against Duterte — not overthrowing dictators such as the U.S. government always claims) have almost consistently failed, and therefore coups and invasions have been used instead, but those techniques demand that certain realities be suppressed by their ‘news’ media in order to get the U.S. public to support what the government has done — the U.S. government’s international crime, which is never prosecuted. Lying ‘news’ media in order to ‘earn’ the American public’s support, does not produce enthusiastic support, but, at best, over the long term, it produces only tepid support (support that’s usually below the level of that of the governments the U.S. overthrows).
U.S. Presidents never score above 80% except when they order an invasion in response to a violent attack by foreigners, such as happened when George W. Bush attacked Afghanistan and Iraq in the wake of 9/11, but those 80%+ approval ratings fade quickly; and, after the 1960s, U.S. Presidential job-approvals have generally been below 60%. President Trump’s ratings are currently around 40%.
Although Trump is not as conservative — not as far-right — as the U.S. aristocracy wants him to be, he is fascist; just not enough to satisfy them (and their opposition isn’t because he’s unpopular among the public; it’s more the case that he’s unpopular largely because their ‘news’ media concentrate on his bads, and distort his goods to appear bad — e.g., suggesting that he’s not sufficiently aggressive against Russia). His fascism on domestic affairs is honestly reported in the aristocracy’s ‘news’ media, which appear to be doing all they can to get him replaced by his Vice President, Mike Pence. What’s not reported by their media is the fascism of the U.S. aristocracy itself, and of their international agenda (global conquest). That’s their secret, of which their public must be (and is) constantly kept ignorant.
America’s aristocracy has almost as much trouble controlling its domestic public as it has controlling its foreign vassals.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.