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Afghanistan: The Graveyard of Materialism

flagsMake no mistake about it, President Biden’s humiliating Afghanistan scramble is one of the defining moments of the 21st century. The ramifications of this inevitable yet disastrously mismanaged climbdown will ripple across the globe for decades to come, reshaping the international order and ushering in as yet unknown alliances and rivalries.

As we approach the 20th anniversary of the World Trade Centre attacks, it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that the much-lauded War on Terror has been an ignominious failure for the West.

What has all this squandered blood and treasure really taught us?

For one, we really should have seen the warning signs long before now. The failures in Iraq, Syria and Libya were hardly subtle hints as to how this would all end, yet still the Western liberal democracies persisted. Just a little more money, just a little more freedom, just a few more rights enshrined in law and all would be well. Just one last push…

The sudden outpouring of introspection within our political class confirms that the jig is up and we can’t just return to business as usual. Even Tony Blair has been forced to admit that nation building with a bomb in one hand and a pallet of cash in the other has been an abject disaster. Such a naively reductionist view of our human world has left us poorer, at greater risk and more insecure than we were on that bright September morning two decades ago.

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Matches burning

America’s Maastricht Moment

Matches burningSo, it looks like Joe Biden’s Democratic Party have won everything. Despite innumerable questions over the integrity of the US election, he’s safely been confirmed as the 46th President of the United States. There are also the Georgia runoff elections where the Democrats seem to have squeaked by.

What a difference four years of populism makes. Back in 2016, the last vote had barely been counted before the steady media drumbeat of Russian collusion began rumbling across the airwaves. The whispering campaign eventually bore fruit in the form of not one, but four investigations to confirm whether the duly elected President of the United States was in fact beholden to a foreign and possibly hostile power.

The Mueller Report, the House Intelligence Committee, The Senate Intelligence Committee and the FBI all concluded there was no evidence supporting the claim that Donald Trump was compromised by the Russians or anyone else. We’ll leave Biden’s well documented links to Beijing for another time.

The scenes in Washington yesterday were not dissimilar to the outpouring of anger and disbelief that accompanied the 2016 result, except that the establishment is foursquare behind the successful candidate this time round. Therefore, it follows that anyone questioning sleepy Joe’s fitness for office has suddenly become a dangerous conspiracy theorist. Does anyone remember Gorilla TV from the Trump days? That was totally believable, apparently.

At the moment there are tens of millions of Americans who are extremely suspicious about the results of the 2020 election, and with the huge number of unanswered questions around electronic tallying, executive overreach and late night ballot dumps, we can hardly blame them.

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TV Interference

America’s Media Massacre

TV InterferenceThis is my first blog post in quite a while, for two main reasons. Firstly, because I’ve had some personal stuff to deal with; and secondly, because I’ve been waiting for the dust to settle around the US presidential election.

Despite what CNN or Fox News might say, it’s not at all clear who the rightful victor in the 2020 presidential election actually is. One thing we do know for sure is that anyone who still advocates voting by mail and electronic counting after this embarrassing goat rodeo is not to be trusted. With anything. Ever.

This situation is disturbing and depressing enough by itself, but the corporate media’s rigid denials that anything could possibly be amiss is nothing less than establishment propaganda. I wish I could say I was surprised about this startling lack of journalistic curiosity, but I’m not. Is anyone?

Despite the agreed media mantra of “no evidence”, the list of sworn affidavits, video footage, statistical anomalies and their resulting investigations is growing by the day. Something’s rotten in swing-state America and we all know it.

Corporate media’s refusal to even ask about this growing litany of electoral strangeness will not help it repair its already shredded reputation. I’m not sure if anything can do that now, but a good place to start would surely be debunking the outlandish conspiracy theories tweeted hourly by President Orange Man and his fascistic enablers. You’d think that CNN et al would be falling over themselves to make literally the worst person in the world look incredibly stupid, yet there is virtual silence from corporate America’s news rooms. Why is that, I wonder?

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Computer hdd

The Biden Emails are Part of a Pattern

Computer hddAs far as October surprises go, this is one for the history books. We can tell it’s a zinger because it’s set off a chain reaction that’s growing larger and harder to control by the hour, while dragging yet more politicians and organisations into its ever expanding field of influence.

Yesterday, the New York Post published what it claims to be emails from a Ukrainian businessman proving that, contrary to his claims, Joe Biden must have discussed the energy company Burisma with his son, and more than just in passing. Not only that, but he also met representatives for that corruption-ridden company in Washington. The fact that Hunter Biden was sitting on the board of Burisma at the time had already stretched the presidential candidate’s claims of ignorance well beyond breaking point. That was before the emails dropped.

What strikes me about this particular story is not the endemic corruption of American political dynasties, but their extraordinary complacency when it comes to data security.

No doubt the accusations and counter-claims will continue to fly across cyberspace, not least because the New York Post also alleges the published emails are just a small sample from many thousands of files copied from a forgotten laptop. You just couldn’t make it up.

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Empty Chairs

Will Biden Really Share a Stage with Trump?

Empty ChairsI don’t think he will.

With less than a week to go before the first presidential debate, speculation as to how it will turn out is rising to a fever pitch. This isn’t especially unusual as the debates have been the centrepiece of US campaigns for many decades. What makes this debate unusual is that the conversation isn’t about who might win, it’s all about whether Joe Biden can remain coherent throughout, or whether he’ll even turn up at all.

Although the Biden camp dismisses claims of his cognitive decline as conspiracy theories, the instances of verbal fumbles and garbled, meaningless sentences continue to stack up.

Whilst it’s true that a lack of eloquence alone is not evidence of dementia, it’s hard to avoid that conclusion when the Joe Biden from 2012 is compared with the version we have today. This is especially ironic as one of the early manifestations of Trump Derangement Syndrome was a whispering campaign surrounding the 25th Amendment and Trump’s mental fitness for office. It’s hard not to feel a frisson of schadenfreude as Biden’s problems pile up.

Any objective observation of Biden’s behaviour must lead to concerns over his mental health. The former Vice President is showing signs of dementia and everybody knows it, especially his campaign staff. Thus, it doesn’t take a tactical genius to figure out that he’ll be extremely vulnerable in a high-pressure debate environment. Why else would expectations about his performance be so low?

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