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peterms last won the day on November 9 2017

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About peterms

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  1. U.S. Politics

    I don't see the inconsistency here. The argument is that there is a global financial elite (I'm not sure anyone actually disputes this any more) whose loyalty is not to countries but to themselves (this is less commonly remarked), which has reshaped the international financial and legal system for its own advantage (TTIP perhaps brought this more into the public gaze) and that countries which resist this are at risk of destabilisation and invasion, often led by the US. Perhaps the point he doesn't fully draw out is that the US in doing this is not following the interests of its own citizens but serving as the enforcer of the new global elite - though anyone from Trump leftwards will agree that the US state very often does not act in the interests of its own citizens. Well, among that list are examples that are not about ethnicity or desire for independence, but geopolitics with external actors playing a very large role (Ukraine, Syria, Yemen, Afganistan) - but his point is "But why is it that certain ‘regimes’ become ripe for imperial subversion or overthrow?". He is not addressing the wider question "Why is there war". We have neocon warmongering alongside liberal concern. We will for example fundraise for surgery for the children whose limbs have been blown off by the weapons we allow, in fact encourage, companies based here to sell. We are not consistent. Yes. But the point of the article, and why I found it interesting, is the discussion of the new ways in which this primitive urge now expresses itself, through an international finance and legal system. More effective than spears, or nukes. It's important because the enemy is no longer the other side of a border, and the defence is not a roll of barbed wire or a wall or something more powerful. The enemy now attacks us through contracts, PFI, privatisation. If we somehow manage to resist via the state, if it has not already been captured, the state will be subject to overthrow. Is our natural instinct to defend a territory rather than an interest? If so, then an attack that is not territorial in nature would be more effective. It's also why we should pay attention to who is doing what to whom, and why. Syria, for example, is not best understood when framed as "rebels seeking freedom from a dictator", more like "an engineered uprising, funded and trained from abroad, in pursuit of regional geopolitical power shifts, to seve a wider agenda".
  2. U.S. Politics

    I'm not sure what you mean by reserve currency, but I'm using the term in the context of the modern international banking system, not gold theft from Aztecs. But yes, in the modern system, it's an advantage to be defended. Where the article is interesting is in making the connections between this, and the extreme force used to do so. The connection between having oil priced in dollars and stopping countries having their own central banks and being invaded by the US is not commonly discussed.
  3. U.S. Politics

    Well, not quite. What I found interesting was drawing out the connections between countries seeking independence through monetary arrangements and central bank control, proposals for alternatives to pricing of oil in dollars, perceived consequential threats to the status of the dollar as the world reserve currency, and the ferocity of the subsequent US aggression and invasions. It's more than imperialism, it's as though these actions were seen as posing an existential threat to the US - which would not be how most people would see them.
  4. U.S. Politics

    A bit long, sorry. But a good overview and explanation of some of the rationale and motivation behind US foreign policy.
  5. U.S. Politics

    Can this be true? What a shithole.
  6. I expect some of our younger readers may not get it. So at the cost of tediously explaining a joke: Andrew Neil, right wing heavy, ex-Murdoch employee, was once laughably photographed in a nightclub with one Pamella Bordes, acting like a hip dude a third his age, and Private Eye ran this picture in every edition for several years thereafter. With captions that pretended not to reference the original photo, thereby extending the joke. Andrew Neil. What an arse.
  7. What's your address again? Come on, I need to get moving with this. This stuff has a shelf life, you know.
  8. U.S. Politics

    That's simply not true. I have an American friend who has explained that this is due to the pervasive influence of Obama's time as President.
  9. U.S. Politics

    To be fair, if anyone ever asks, for whatever reason, "should we investigate Goldman Sachs", the only reasonable answer is "yes".
  10. U.S. Politics

  11. Where does the idea of speed come from? For me, you seem to suggest it is a shift that is noticeable and significant, ie not imperceptible. Given the short fime since the rederendum, such a shift seems to me to be fairly speedy. You didn't discuss speed, but I find it hard to view your comment as anything other than suggesting opinions are changing fairly quickly. If you don't think that and don't want to be thought to imply it, apologies, but in that case, what do you think?