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05 June 2017


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English Outsider

Most economists see it your way too. Using the cheapest labour going must mean prices go down, which is good for all of us. Particularly for those of us who've already made it and have houses and savings and all the rest of it, or who have safe jobs.

When considering a first world economy such as the US that's only half the story though. How do you feed the resultant unemployed? Where's your purchasing power when most consumers have less money? What about the resultant social unrest as those at the bottom lose out?

Using local workers and paying them fairly is of course far more expensive than using cheap foreign labour so prices will rise. Not in proportion, for obvious reasons, but they will rise substantially. Therefore the workers at the bottom must be paid more.

Maybe as the local economy grows the cake will get bigger to accommodate that pay increase, but that's most unlikely and even if the cake does get bigger it won't get big enough. So as the workers at the bottom get more those at the top get less. A lot less. Doesn't work else.

Better do it quick, because there's automation to be factored in very soon, if not now. Good luck.

As for the economists, put them to digging holes somewhere out of the way and filling them in again. They understand that sort of thinking.



"even if they are diametrically opposed" What are "diametrically opposed?" My opinions and analysis? Or is it your opinion which are opposed to mine? pl



You wrote:

"Correct me if I am wrong." Some of you think that the US has never acted from anything other than selfishness and rapacity. You are enemies of the US through and through. Therefore you simply see this revolutionary statement of policy as a confession of an eternal truth."

As a southern sympathizer and a secessionist, I think you are tying people who think the US lost course long ago with "enemies of the US through and through". It was Lincoln, the Freemasons, and the War of Northern Aggression that killed the Republic. They were the enemy of everyone who still believed in the Constitution in 1860 and we cannot undo what they have done.

No one knows for sure who is in charge of the deep state and the empire since then, but it is manifestly clear than it isn't Trump now. If we are to regain a sustainable path forward, we have to get to the truth about the past and the present. The US deep state, and the US puppet show state, are both impediments to finding out what the truth is. So yes, the US government and its plenipotentiaries are the enemy of the truth and hence the people.

That the state hates people who seek the truth is clear from the Clinton Body Count.


Dear Colonel, Wow, an adult viewpoint in the house. Never thought I would live to see the day. Is it too much to hope for internal-consistency.



"As a southern sympathizer and a secessionist," I presume you are describing yourself. pl


I bet you Pat that for any event where you can point to some non-selfish act of the U.S. (in international policy) I can find at least three that were driven completely by presumed U.S. selfishness (and also catastrophic for the other side).

It is simple historic fact that applies to all empires.

(You, as a life long soldier who thought of himself as working for the "good cause" will naturally have a different view on this.)

The U.S. is still a quite revolutionary country that often sees its task as remaking the world in its own image. As long as it does it will create huge damage to the world and the people who live in it. If Trump can change that a bit it is fine with me. (I do not have to live with the internal damage he will create within the U.S.)


Alliances control action only when they embody a nation's vital interests. The Italians had been a member of the Triple Alliance with Germany and Austro-Hungary when their territorial interests lay in southern France, however when the Germans started WWI their interests lay in Austro-Hungarian territory and aligned themselves accordingly.

Nations enter into alliances and understandings because they see mutual advantages and interests are served by them. For NATO these have ceased to exist, Trump is just crystallising this reality. Ironically these divergent interest are centered upon recent US actions in MENA and rivalry with Russia, something Trump has opposed alongside many Europeans. However inarticulately Trump might express it but the 'Independent America' option for US foreign policy as enunciated by Ian Bremmer is right choice.


I think De Gaulle was also irritated that elements in NATO and the CIA had far too many links with the OAS and their many attempts to murder him.

As for South Korea it makes no sense for the US to pay to protect them at the same time allowing them to undercut the US on trade.



Many past Presidents (including the last one) clearly felt their role was to provide moral leadership to the World & directed the US to act selflessly to promote what they considered to be the summum bonum. Humanity has undoubtedly been the better for it in aggregate, despite the somewhat schizophrenic nature of US foreign policy.

Elements in the USG clearly are selfish & rapacious, but when these elements took over foreign policy in 2003 everything changed. Iraq destroyed so much of the goodwill the US had previously enjoyed that it is natural that some view US history through this lens. Many of America's "enemies" just feel let down and want their great friend back. I count myself among these.

But for now the moral high ground is vacant and the current Administration seems even to deny it's very existence.


"I value both your efforts to dissect current situations and their background and the way you offer your point of view (even if they are diametrically opposed) for about ten years plus."

"your point of view", which should have been "both your points of view", as plural for yours and b's opinion and/or analysis which are sometimes but not always opposite to each other. The latter especially in framing the workings of the United States government, military and intelligence communities.



"b" is an excellent analyst of military affairs but with regard to US government, the US military and US intelligence he knows nothing that you cannot learn in a library in Belgium. His opinions on these subjects are informed by nothing but anti-American literature and prejudice against the US. pl



"when these elements took over foreign policy in 2003 everything changed." I am well known for agreeing with that. IMO the accession to power of the neocon cabal (including Cheney) and their tool, GW Bush marked the great change. the neocons had worked for many years to attain that power and they finally achieved it. pl



I am sure you will choose to interpret anything we have done to be selfish and evil actions, but:

1. What was the selfish motivation for the US Declaration of war in WW1? We were already producing at maximum industrial capacity supporting the war against the Axis Powers. We had very little reserve industrial capacity, and could not build our own tanks, airplanes or artillery.

2. What was the evil motive for our entry into WW2 Japan attacked us in the midst of negotiations over supplies of scrap metal, rubber and oil and Germany foolishly honored its treaty obligation to the Japanese and declared war on us.

3. The US fostered creation of the European Coal and Steel community after WW2 In so doing we created competitors for ourselves.

4. How did the Marshall Plan benefit the US rather than the Europeans? More competitors in manufacturing and trade.

5. What was the selfish US motive for joining the UN operation in Korea in 1950? Did we desire a dependable supply of kimche or did we wish to control the Korean patrimony of agriculture that extensively employed human excrement for fertilizer? Was American agriculture failing at that point?

6. the same thing is true of Vietnam. We wanted their rubber plantations? They all had French owners and we never interfered with their ownership. Maybe we wanted a dependable supply of nuoo mam?

I am curious to know if you think the formation of NATO in the late 40's was a selfish American grab for power. In other words do you think the USSR was not a threat to Western Europe/ pl

Seamus Padraig

Putin has sure won my heart and mind.

Swamp Yankee

I'm not sure my of verdict on the Trump doctrine yet; that said, I wanted to echo the domestic, as it were, side of your comments, Colonel.

First off, I really love the northeast corner of Connecticut. Beautiful country. Very similar to my own SE Mass.

Here, too, the divide between the Hillaryista Summer People* and/or other invasive metropolitan conspicuous consumption types vs. more or less everyone else is stark. The thing is, "flyover country" (hate that term), places of poverty, deindustrialization, agriculture and fishing, etc, occur often right next to, or across the bay, from some of the wealthiest ZIP codes in the nation.

The inhabitants of these latter really don't seem to know, at all, the rest of us. I've been working on some town committees with them (volunteer), and though I've known it all my life, the automatic quality of the contempt for those of us who aren't on the right side of the tracks, or the bay, or the river, etc., has only gotten starker after 2016. I do fear for the long-term viability of our society in a number of ways. People are dropping like flies left and right from heroin while across the bay some of the richest people on Earth sip champagne and laugh. This cannot go on forever.

As you, Col. Lang, and others have said on this blog -- a new civil war would take place as much within states as between them. The good people of Plainfield, CT, see how Fairfield County hedge-fund people regard them, and they don't like it.

I'm still hoping it doesn't come to that.

Thanks as always to the members of the committee for all your work and comments.

* "Summer People -- some are not." Graffito on the drawbridge at Woods Hole, Falmouth, MA.

Mark Logan

Sam Peralta,

I believe the main issue is the Saudis are cracking the whip now that their leadership of the ME has been formally approved by Trump. Qatar, it has been reported, has a reputation of not quite viewing Iran as the root of all evil. It appears the Saudis will be highly intolerant of such fence-straddling.


Lawfare is a conservative source.



"..they compete for the right to con and to steal from whoever that is gullible enough to leave valuable assets exposed, and often, it is us..."

The same thing applies to the millions now bearing the noble title of "immigrant" and "refugee". Let them build their own civilizations on their own continents.



"The Germans make damn fine cars and people will buy them...."
VW spent a decade committing fraud on a global scale. " I was taught by an American businessman that pollution is wasted money. The least polluting company is the most profitable. "
It was damned profitable fraud:

If I recall recent events correctly Australia no longer builds automobiles, including electric ones.


Swamp Yankee,

I believe big blue CT finally taxed one of Hartford's biggest employers enough to leave the state, that won't help the city budget any. Trump didn't have anything to do with this one but I think the opposition to tax and spend government is coming to a head one more time.


I don't disagree with that statement at all. Why do you presume that you need to make that statement?

Babak Makkinejad

Also Somalia - under GHWB



You're a prophet. ISIS,MEK or both attacked Iran today.


Re the Trump doctrine. There was no billion $ deal with the Saudi leadership. Trump is visiting every former ally to tell them them they must pay more, to MAGA of course. The Saudis presented what amounts to a wish list of weapons systems and letters of intent. But the Saudis are near broke by their standards. The Oil price war against Russia and Frackers has left them with budget deficits requiring deep cuts. The Jihadism in Syria and Yemen is not going well. Thus, the Saudis have engaged in their blockade of Qatar with an ultimate attempt to raid its coffers. Same thing happened to Saddam. After waging war against Iran on behalf of the Saudis, Israel and USA, Saddam thought he had a US nod to invade Kuwait and make them pay more of their share. Big mistake. History repeats itself. The Saudis are trying to do the same to Qatar. It stands to be seen if they would be allowed in the end.



"letters of intent" As an international "business developer" I can tell you that "letters of intent" is what you get until individual contracts are signed. pl


Mr. Lang,

It feels like we are at the moment where "the broken clock" is right. If only because President Trump views the world as the "economic determinists" do...even if he acts on that analysis differently.

I know you previously dismissed the "economic determinists", because your experience revealed the cultural/emotional/ideological basis for the actions of politicians. But you also warned that President Trump has no precedent. He views governing as a cold & voracious CEO.

In the piece above, you describe how he has ushered in an age of "competitive mercantilism". I suppose the Saudi's are an example of this. He & his minions insinuate things about Saudi financing...until the Saudi's agree to finance their economic plans.

But a more worrying example is dawning on me. I looked into "b" out of curiosity. In a month-old post about Al-Tanf, he considers:
"A U.S. move from the south up towards the Euphrates would cut off the Syrian government from the whole south-east of the country and from its people in Deir Ezzor. While that area is sparsely populated it also has medium size oil and gas fields and is the land connection to the Syrian allies in Iraq."

People did not take candidate Trump seriously, and lived to regret it. Well, candidate Trump promised to seize Syrian oil to recoup U.S. "costs" associated with fighting ISIS.

Should we not take him seriously? He would view the Al-Tanf situation as a "twofer":
1) Satisfy Israel for domestic political benefit, by blocking the Damascus-Iraq road link to frustrate the Shia.
2) Move north and seize Syrian oil/gas fields, so as to claim proceeds for domestic economic benefit.

Honestly, I am worried he sleep-walking into a World War 3 scenario. As I don't foresee the Iranians or Russians absorbing this kind of humiliation.

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