The Disintegration of the American Body Politic 154

These are extremely dangerous times for the world. North Korea is exposing the futility of deterrence theory and causing nuclear weapons all over the world to be dusted down, at a time when a maverick outsider in the White House has been captured by a bunch of Generals who make Dr Strangelove look rational. Anybody who thinks sending occupying troops into Afghanistan is ever going to work is clearly certifiable.

The febrile state of the American political system has resulted in a peculiar McCarthyist witch-hunt against Russia, in which people who you would presume must have some capacity for rational thought, such as the editors of the Washington Post and New York Times, have abandoned that rationality in favour of anti-Russian hysteria.

As a British diplomat I cultivated contacts with Ken Saro Wiwa and his circle in Nigeria as they pushed against the tyrannical regime of President Abacha and the environmental destruction of their region, most notably by Shell. I cultivated Alexander Kwasniewski as a young opposition leader who eventually defeated the great Lech Walesa. I cultivated John Kufuor, opposition leader in Ghana, who like Kwasniewski went on to be President. I cultivated Mohammed Solih’s people in Uzbekistan. The later stages of all this are covered in my books The Catholic Orangemen of Togo and Murder in Samarkand.

As a diplomat it is your job to have relations not only with those in government, but to prepare in case the government changes. It is also your job, where you can get away with it, to push the political landscape in the direction your own government wishes. That is of the very essence of diplomacy.

If the Russians – and every other major government – had not been putting work into cultivating Trump and his circle, they would not have been carrying out the functions of diplomacy in the way they are carried on by every single country in the world – and by none more than the United States. For every contact between any Russian and anyone connected to Trump’s circle, now to be dredged up one after another and conflated into some master plot by Putin to take over the whole world, is complete nonsense. It is not just nonsense but dangerous nonsense because it is pumping up international tension between nuclear powers beyond cold war levels, and there is no shortage of potential flashpoints where things could go horribly wrong.

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump both reflected disillusionment at the massive exploitation of ordinary people by the ruling Establishment, though unfortunately the American people were cheated – most instrumentally by Clinton, the DNC and the rigged primary contest – into getting Trump rather than Sanders. The political system has still not adjusted to a new reality. Radical change is coming in both the US and the UK, but in both countries the Establishment for now still controls enough of the legislature and judiciary to hold the line. But I do not anticipate the demand for greater social justice will die down. The successful diversion of the revolutionary impulse by the Establishment media to the cause of the alt right in the United States and of racist Brexit in the UK, I believe will prove a temporary phenomenon.

But when so much bad blood is rushing around the body politic, the odd boil will erupt through the skin. One such boil is Louise Mensch, the former British Tory MP and multi-millionaire now recast as anti-Russian cheerleader in the United States, where she is given an astonishing amount of mainstream media space for her crazed theories.

Yesterday I got Louise Mensch all excited:

The tweet that made her say “On my God” was this one. We got not just an “Oh my God” out of Louise but also a “Christ!”:

Precisely what Mensch’s new God-fearing chums make of her choice of expletives I know not. But a rational person may wonder what about these tweets could cause such ecstasy in Ms Mensch.

Louise has taken up online with one of the crazed self-styled security experts who is jumping on the anti-Russian bandwagon in the United States, named Chris Nethery. Mr Nethery believes and has convinced Ms Mensch (so far as I can judge) that Sarah Kendzior, Uzbek opposition leader Mohammed Solih and I are members of a Russian intelligence cell which is undermining America. Those tweets appear to the rather strange mind of Ms Mensch to prove compelling evidence of this.

Ms Kendzior is a journalist. About seven or eight years ago she did some excellent academic work on Uzbekistan which I praised on this blog. I may have met her at that time but do not recall doing so. I have certainly not heard from her since. I have no emails from her. But still more hilarious is Nethery’s evidence that Mohammed Solih is a Russian agent. Mohammed is in exile in Turkey and like many opposition figures would be rather likely to be handed over for execution to the Uzbek regime should he come into Putin’s clutches. The Russian “expert” Nethery’s evidence of Solih being a Russian agent is that “Solih participated in the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968”.

It is not a secret that Uzbekistan was part of the Soviet Union. In 1968 Mohammed Solih was 18 years old and would have been compulsorily conscripted into the Soviet armed forces. Nethery’s accusation is ludicrous. It is like blaming the vets for the Vietnam war.

The Trump White House is dysfunctional and that clearly indicates the rottenness of the American political system. Xenophobia has become the rule. The anti-immigrant xenophobia of Trump’s supporters is mirrored by the equally irrational anti-Russian xenophobia of Trump’s opponents. Laughable figures like Mensch get to write columns in formerly great newspapers. I did not expect to see the United States decline so quickly.


I face a libel suit in the High Court in England brought by Jake Wallis Simons, Associate Editor of the Daily Mail Online, and his lawyer Mark Lewis. The judge has approved over £100,000 in costs for Mr Lewis and £40,000 damages are sought in addition. I have been directly threatened with bankruptcy. All help against England’s draconian anti-free speech laws is much appreciated.


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154 thoughts on “The Disintegration of the American Body Politic

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  • Ishmael

    If I may. It is unconscionable that American servicemen are sent to risk their lives or die in Afghanistan. People who are meant to be serving the American people, their safety and security. Donald Trump was must certainly correct in his initial opinion on this matter.

    With regard to immigration. America could and should be setting an example, being so wealthy and easily able to absorb and make use of people in need. Also the failure to act on climate chance puts more American lives at risk.

    ..All these things are a fundamental betrayal, and there is absolutely no need for them to be.

    • Loony

      If America “can easily absorb and make use of people in need” then how come there are 95 million Americans of working age who are not in the labor force?

      If America is so wealthy then how come US Federal government debt currently stands at $20.4 trillion and how come estimates for total unfunded liabilities range up to $100 trillion.

      • Ishmael

        It’s just a fact it is wealthy, regardless of dept.

        How wealth is distributed and work enabled is a matter of policy. That’s all.

        • Loony

          I note that you do not point out where all this wealth can be found.

          It certainly is not in the factories as most of those have been shipped out to China. It is not in the waddling obese citizenry either. Infrastructure does not seem to point toward wealth as something over 55,000 bridges are classified as being structurally deficient.

          Sure there are a lot of bartenders and waiting jobs going – but there is no evidence of any country anywhere ever having created wealth through drinking and eating to excess.

      • Ishmael

        They could also half their heath care costs and get better coverage and outcomes in the blink of an eye.

        Yet another betrayal of the American people.

        As things are I don’t see America lasting much longer TBH.

      • Tony_0pmoc


        As you are a clever bloke, look at the other side of the balance sheet.

        Who does America owe $100 trillion to?

        Who are these people who have lent $100 trillion to America?

        Are they about to ask for Repayment???

        Try The Australian economist Bill Mitchell. He makes even more sense than Joseph Stiglitz, though I usually fail his quiz.

        “Modern Monetary Theory … macroeconomic reality”


        • Loony


          The $100 trillion is an estimate for unfunded liabilities – it includes things like social security and pensions. You can get out of these debts by simply not paying the pensions and social security payments. That will create a lot of unhappy campers.

          Alternatively you can print up the money to meet these payments – presumably under cover of MMT. Does MMT work? My guess is we will find out. It certainly did not work for anyone else from the Romans right the way through to Zimbabwe.

          The other $20 trillion or so is government debt – debt raised to fund current expenditure, All those wars and things. Some of this has been funded via QE and some via bond sales to captive international buyers (Saudi, China, Russia et al) The Saudi’s are bonkers – the Russians and Chinese less so. The time may well come when they rush for the door and then it is goodnight Vienna for the US$ and the US economy.

          • Ishmael

            Loony, it’s the richest, most wealthy prosperous country on earth.

            Like humans influence climate change, your talk doesn’t get around the fact.

    • Deepthroat

      You will also notice them report extensively on “white hats” in Syria and also how Assad gassed his own people (also a lie and false flag attack)

    • Ba'al Zevul

      As a number of sites claiming to be independent have informed you, doubtless. Most of them producing eerily similar opinions to those of RT. But let’s look at that just a little more closely. First, the Washington Post is not owned by a shell company, but by a Jeff Bezos shell company, completely openly. Bezos owns the WP. He may be one of the most unpleasant corporate capitalists on the planet, but he has many other irons in the fire and no official position with the CIA. Now read on:
      Note the open discussion.

      Your statement is unprovable at best, plucked out of thin air at worst.

      • Loony

        Yeah it is hard to prove too much about Jeff Bezos – I do wonder why that might be.

        However you will have more luck with Carlos Slim the largest shareholder in the NYT.

        Slim has an estimated net worth of $67.9 billion making him the richest man on the planet. Most of these billions have been amassed through his ownership of Grupo Carso. Grupo Carso has investments in education, health care, manufacturing, real estate, transportation, financial services etc etc. His holdings account for about 40% of the total value of the Mexican stock market and his personal wealth is equivalent to about 6% of Mexican GDP.

        Just ask yourself whether or not Carlos Slim makes a lot of money out of Mexican immigration to the US. When you figure out that Mexican immigration to the US is in fact a giant subsidy to Sr. Slim then the editorial policy of the NYT suddenly makes a lot of sense.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          Wonder no more. And try to find out much about any obscenely wealthy player of the system. However he, not the CIA, owns the WP, and the statement to which I responded is still false.

          It’s one thing to make unprovable assertions about secretive businessmen, and quite another to expect me to believe them on your say-so, or anyone else’s. It may well be that the CIA has its tentacles in this or any other organisation, but the bulk of the visible evidence suggests that very rich Americans will back their perceived advantage regardless of who’s helping them, and that the advantage for very rich Americans lies with the American establishment. IOW if the CIA has any leverage over the WP, that’s dwarfed by the leverage very rich Americans have. And even that, given the US’s generally higher standards of journalism than ours, is not great.

      • lysias

        I suggest you do a google search on cloud, cia, and amazon, and tell us what you find about a certain $600 million contract.

  • nevermind

    Should any of you want to live in Norfolk, now is your chance as the cash strapped Tory administration, always the first to implement more cuts to our services, is selling of our public assets to the highest bidder.

    Despite Norfolk’s wet flooded future, not so far away, and the need for housing to be build for those who loose their abode, they are selling off farms, warehouses, schools and plots of land, to be able to achieve their cuts targets to services and keep themselves employed.

    Lickspittles and ….lickers, the lot of them.

    • Tony_0pmoc


      Norfolk has always been a bit soggy, which is why they built all those pretty windmills to drain it. The Dutch had much the same problem. To be fair we couldn’t get our boat through Potter Heigham Bridge this year, so maybe the sea level has risen about an inch since the 1950’s. Just build your sea walls a foot or two higher, and get those pretty windmills working again, and you should be O.K. for the next few hundred years.


    • Sharp Ears

      I like the inclusion of the site where they proposed to build an incinerator, against which proposal you fought.

      No irony.

      I assume it is a Tory outfit. I expect their pals in the estate agencies are salivating at the boon in prospect.

      Tories yes. 55/84

      ‘Following the last election in May 2017, Norfolk County Council is under Conservative control. The current political makeup of the Council is: 55 Conservative, 17 Labour, 11 Liberal Democrat, and 1 Independent.’

      The leader is Cliff Jordan from Dereham.

  • Republicofscotland

    Here a major donor to the Conservative party, puts the boot into the Prime Minister Theresa May’s somewhat lacklustre tenure. It does look increasingly likely that the British Prime Minister’s chances of remaining in office, after Brexit, are quickly evaporating.

    Lord Harris of Peckham, added that we would be better off with a Tony Blair administration.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      The only cheer I can find in that is that being lusted-after by the Tories can only damage Blair’s ‘centrist’ pretensions further.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      If May hadn’t screwed the pooch they’d automatically have a majority. Score 0 for strong and stable.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Trump has achieved the first objective of heating up Hurricane Irma, and crashing it into Cuba, creating vast destruction to the strongest communist state in the America;’s, better evidence of American disintegration.

  • Ishmael

    On a side note:

    I do wish people would stop persecuting Craig and Julian, I’v never met them but I do count them as friends.

    What have they ever done but hold a mirror up? …Myself I do think some of Craigs pronouncements are over simplistic. But like its intelligence agency’s “prerogative” (for want of a better word) to hack, it’s a politicians to generalise and simplify about vast swathes of people…Yet on the matter he has trouble over it seems quite specific and not without merit…

    Surely these people are also human. And it seems to me like a fundamentally morally wrong thing to do.

    • Ishmael

      Maybe friends is too strong a word. People who have done no wrong I can see and who’s welfare I care about..

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Its September 11th soon.

    Is God, not very happy with the Americans who claim to have gone to the moon?


  • Republicofscotland

    Spanish police enter premises in Catalonia looking to confiscate referendum materials.

    Could we be witnessing the beginning of putting down of the Catalonian people, just weeks before their independence referendum.

    It could in turn, lead to civil conflict within Spain. So far from what I can gather the Catalonia region, has failed to garner any international support, especially from Spain’s EU partners, for its possible secession from Spain.

    Still the right to self determination of peoples is a fundamental principle in international law.

    • Seydlitz

      The same as the anarchists who formed workers collectives during the civil war. The Franco, and communists did every thing to eliminate there existance.

  • SA

    So NATO is very worried about Russia amassing 100000 troops in …. er Russia, on the borders with er… Europe.
    Last year the war games called Anaconda was staged on Russia’s /Europe borders involving 14000 US troops and 800 British troops amongst 31000 from 24 countries:

    So let us see what would happen if Russia and Iran were to send troops to Venezuela or Mexico or Cuba for military ‘war games’ what would the outcry be like?

    • nevermind

      its thirteen thousand, less than 30 aircraft and few dozen Tanks and armoured personnel carriers and Jens Stoltenberg said last week that NATO was not worried about these long announced manoeuvres at all.
      There are ten times more US troops surrounding Russia’s interest sphere in over 35 bases around the world, than this manoeuvre.

      Full blown paranoia and fear mongering, and is it a surprise that the Guardian is part and parcel to this shit raking?

    • Ishmael

      I heard about the issue but didn’t know he went to jail, jeez….Good to read he’s out know though and has support.

      It’s the most important thing isn’t it, having friends and not abandoning them.

      My regards/prayer is sent.

    • Laguerre

      It seems to be an issue of family conflict, which Finkelstein is supporting. To judge by his previous blogs on the subject.

  • Sharp Ears

    To avoid damage to your health, avoid Marr this morning.

    The Andrew Marr Show

    Interviews with key newsmakers and cultural figures, including defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon, Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg and director Conor McPherson.

    Reviewing the papers are BBC Europe editor Katya Adler, talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer and deputy editor of the New Statesman Helen Lewis.’

    What will Marr have to say about the latest outpouring from his hero, Anthony Charles Lynton BLair?

    ‘Tony Blair has called for tough new immigration rules which would allow Britain to exercise more control over who comes into the country without leaving the European Union.

    ++++The former prime minister admitted the open borders he presided over are no longer appropriate and put his name to a report calling for tighter domestic controls and the negotiation of modified free movement rules with the EU.++++

    This would fulfil the will of the people expressed in last year’s Brexit vote while allowing Britain to stay in the EU, and Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour should back the approach, he said.’

    Brexit: Tony Blair calls for tough new immigration rules in bid to stay in EU
    ‘We can curtail the things that people feel are damaging about European immigration, both by domestic policy change and by agreeing change within Europe,’ Mr Blair says
    5 hours ago

    A hypocrite as well as a lying war criminal.

  • Sharp Ears

    Laughing on the Way to Armageddon
    Paul Craig Roberts
    September 9th, 2017

    The United States shows the world such a ridiculous face that the world laughs at us.

    The latest spin on “Russia stole the election” is that Russia used Facebook to influence the election. The NPR women yesterday were breathless about it.

    We have been subjected to ten months of propaganda about Trump/Putin election interference and still not a scrap of evidence. It is past time to ask an unasked question: If there were evidence, what is the big deal? All sorts of interest groups try to influence election outcomes including foreign governments. [b]Why is it OK for Israel to influence US elections but not for Russia to do so?[/b] Why do you think the armament industry, the energy industry, agribusiness, Wall Street and the banks, pharmaceutical companies, etc., etc., supply the huge sum of money to finance election campaigns if their intent is not to influence the election? Why do editorial boards write editorials endorsing one candidate and damning another if they are not influencing the election?

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      I have great support for Russia against the long-time. regime-changing Americans, but I still see an obvious connection between Trump et al. calling for all kinds of proof by especially the Russians that Hillary was a serious criminal, a liar, cheater, and likely pedophile who should be immediately locked up if he became POTUS and Russian hackers. Trump is the traitor who should be removed from office, and locked up since has never made any effort to make good on his claims and threats.

      The American political elite has no guts to do so, especially when they go along with having Robert Mueller, who covered up who was responsible for allowing 9/11 to happen when he was FBI Director. The guy is a fraud who is covering up Trump’s crimes.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        Sure Hillary is a known opponent of Russia, and Trump is just the unknown one. Anyone who thinks he is going to make peace with Putin, Xi, the Iranians. the Cubans and the North Koreans is just looney. He just got Moscow to do the dirty work for him to justify him as POTUS locking her up. Roberts is just a convenient troll.

        And Hillary seems really afraid of Trump. Wonder if she is worried about his grabbing her by the pussy while Bill is looking.

        She should stop blaming herself ffor losing the election, and state that The Donald, not just his associates, stole it. And she should stop blaming Comey for renewing the investigation Donald’s false claims as he just informed Congress of it, and his communication was leaked by it.

        Hillary really is gutless, and Putin must realize that.

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