The Saker looks at the chances of the US military launching major wars on 7 target countries in 2018.
"Today I find myself inclined to think that psychologists are probably better suited to make predictions about the actions of the rulers of the AngloZionist Empire than military analysts. Furthermore, history shows us that the combination of delusional imbeciles and dishonorable cowards is what typically brings down empires, we saw a very good example of that with the collapse of the Soviet Empire."
The Next Empire: "China, Russia, and the rest of the world, when faced with American threats and bluster, will not simply fold their tents and accept that the US must be obeyed. They will, instead, create alternatives. And they are doing so exceedingly well and quickly. At this point, the overreach of the US is not only enabling other powers to rise, it is forcing their hand to literally create the next full-blown empire."
How does the Chief Strategist of The People's Liberation Army see the current global geopolitical battlefield? (He sees it as financial warfare.)
“Qiao goes so far to state that the most important event in the twentieth century was not the two world wars, but America’s abandonment of the gold standard in 1971. This is some statement”, exclaims Macleod... And here lies the crux of China’s strategy. It will be some years before the Yuan assumes the status of a major reserve currency (it had been planning a ‘harmonious’ ascent - in China’s non-assertive parlance), but China dominates world trade, and is in a position at any time henceforth to tie oil (and commodities) to gold – as they originally were.
The Great Dollar "Short-Squeeze" is coming. (This is how the dollar-loanng western investors extracted all of that wealth out of the "Asian Tigers" in the Asian Financial Crisis of the late 1990s. China had already protected herself from that attack. What is China's position when the same extraction phase of the pump-and-dump financial cycle comes around again? Are there white-knights?)
David Stockman points out that the US Treasury will be selling a whole lot of bonds at the same time that the Fed is shrinking it's massive bond holdings, by selling them. This should make the interest rates on US government debt more expensive, more politically painful. (Will the empire score own-goal?)
The CIA history of 60 years of paying for fake news and telling journalists that "they are helping their country":
The Israeli government tells Facebook what Palestinian accounts it finds offensive, and Facebook deletes them (well, 95% of them).
Israeli PM Netanyahu praises Iranan "freedom fighters", while claiming not to be funding them. Iran's Revolutionary Guards are having to reluctantly assume control of rioting in some cities, as police and citizens are getting killed (by somebody).
Moon Of Alabama has more information on US string-pulling and funding and media-repackaging of Iranian economic protests.
The "protesters burn government offices in the Ahvaz Province" video only shows the burning of a trashcan in front of a building. The only noise in the "police using live rounds on protesters" video are from the smashing of windows of an office container. A video promoted as "3 people were killed in police shooting of Lorestan" shows a small but loud group. Two people are carried away but it is unclear who they are or what, if anything, happened to them. No shooting is heard and no police can be seen. In other videos police is responding to stone throwing and vandalizing rioters.
"The vast majority of protesters are either not particularly partisan, or they are sympathetic to Ahmadinejad's criticisms of reformist economic and foreign policy, insofar as this is a policy which has favored an increased polarization of the distribution of wealth and opportunities in the Islamic Republic. So their chief issues are economic concerns, corruption, and distribution of wealth and human services. There is enough sophistication in Iran to understand that in terms of regional politics, everything Iran does in Syria and Iraq is an important move to counter and contain Israel. This is a 'popular militancy' that is carried on from the revolution of 1979 itself... In other words, there are at least two sets of protests going on, and while they are mirroring some similar talking points and general descriptions of grievances, their solutions are wildly at odds... With the more radical wing of the Green Movement (et al, and similar), we see them pulling off various stunts. These are stunts, and not protests as such, because they involve at most several dozen 'activists' using camera angles, and unpopular chants, to simulate a larger protest with, what we are told are, popular radical chants... These are astroturf, not grass-roots type demonstrations... Orders from central government have been clear - treat all of these with as light a hand as possible. If protesters seem to be irrationally targeting local police, there to generally maintain order, then its better to relocate or withdraw those police rather than have them actually employ their obviously superior force potential, and give reality and proof to, what are until now, imaginary accusations of a serious crack-down going on in Iran (there isn't one)... Astro-turfed demonstrations, placed explosives elsewhere, and perhaps next snipers creating chaos in one of the seven countries on the Pentagon's regime change list of 2001, have one thing in common: it's signature most likely being "CIA"...On the other hand, at least an equal number of people have turned out in today and yesterday's pro-government demonstrations... Finally to contextualize the reality of any Western media purported 'crackdown' - what we are seeing in Iran today is only a fraction of what we saw in terms of seriousness or size, in 2009. In 2009, about 200 protesters were ultimately arrested. We might compare this to the 'open' and 'pluralist' United States, were Occupy Wall Street protests saw a police-state figure of over 8,000 arrested. "
The US Empire is Running the Same Script With Iran That It Ran With Libya and Syria, Caitlin Johnstone, via The Ron Paul Institute:
"Among those killed were six protesters who had attempted to steal guns from a police station in the town of Qahdarijan, Iranian state TV said, as cited by AP. Another two people were killed in the town of Khomeinishahr, and the ninth fatality was a member of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard in the town of Najafabad. The overall death toll after six days of unrest has reached 20 people, according to state TV. About 450 people have been arrested in the last three days, security deputy governor of Tehran Ali Asghar Nasserbakht told ILNA news agency. About 100 of them were arrested on Monday, he added. Pro- and anti-government demonstrations have been taking place in Iran since Thursday. Economic hardship and alleged corruption mostly prompted the anti-government rallies. On Monday Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed to double efforts to resolve Iran’s economic problems, unemployment and inflation, Fars agency reported. Later on Monday Rouhani said that the protests may have been partially stirred up by external forces interested in destabilizing the country. “The enemies of the Islamic Republic of Iran are angry with the glory, success, and the progress of the Iranian nation; and they have vowed to bring the regional troubles to Iran,” he said... Earlier Rouhani stated that citizens are “absolutely free” to protest and criticize the government, but that vandalism was another matter. “Criticism is different from violence and damaging public property,” Rouhani warned."
The US "puts Pakistan on notice" as Pakistan considers trading with neighboring China in Yuan, instead of $US.
Vladimir Putin publicly assures Basher al Assad that Russia will defend Syrian sovereignty (and keep Russian bases there)
Why Are Trump's Troops Training ISIS Terrorists? Thanks Eleni:
"Slaughterbots", "as much death as you want": Cheap face-recognizing, swarming drones, with face-recognition software fly to your face and blow your head apart. Cost-effective.
Jim Kunstler reviews "The Year in Trump":
"Well, he made it through the year. I thought the fu**er would be sandbagged by a claque of Pentagon patriots inside of three months, but I was wrong, wrong, wrong."
"Shirtless Pundit," Zach Haller reports that "Hillary's Goose is Cooked", as Mueller-&-friends find mostly Uranium-One, Wasserman-Schultz, Huma Abedeen, secret-servers, and Awlaki brothers blackmailing Democratic congresspersons-of-interest.
"Huma Abedin forwarded a trove of sensitive emails to her personal Yahoo account, including passwords to government systems - before every single Yahoo account was affected by a massive hack conducted by a Russian security expert employed by the same Moscow bank former President Bill Clinton gave a $500,000 speech to in 2010, according to Luke Rosiak of the Daily Caller. "
The New Poverty (Well, it's the current poverty, and well established. Manufacturing got moved out of the US over the past 4 decades, and construction jobs I got as a college student are all done by my Mexican patients, now. There is a vast world of people who don't fit in our non-productive compliance economy. Burger King is fully staffed.}
Imagine "Community Subsistence" Economy"
"Imagine, for example, that every American citizen over the age of 16 can choose to earn a living-wage in exchange for providing a useful service to their local or regional community. Imagine that every local community has a free health and pharmacy clinic (in conjunction with a free methadone and counseling center)—where some of the employees are the living-wage earners. Imagine further that every local community has a housing co-op system (built in part by some of the living-wage earners) that makes available—to every family that needs it—a basic dwelling unit that is warm, dry, well-ventilated, and which provides for cooking, bathing, sleeping, and family gathering. Imagine that every local community has at least one community garden and rookery (managed by some of the living-wage earners) which grows, harvests, and processes vegetables, fruits, eggs, cheese—and perhaps fish—for local consumption. Imagine that every local community has at least one pre-school day-care (manned at least in part by some of the living-wage earners) which provides, free of charge, a safe, early child-hood learning environment between the hours of 6 A.M. and 6 P.M. Imagine that every local community has a system of retirement co-housing villages (built and staffed, in part, by the living-wage earners)."