YOU CANNOT MAKE THIS TYPE OF STUFF UP…pt.3

Figure 1A: A great example of the pure and unadulterated Anglosphere Islam

Again, we have another perfect example of of British Islam (the illegitimate daughter of that harlot, American Islam) and its utter remoteness from Muslim Orthodoxy worldwide and how it has nothing to do with the Muslim heartlands. In the video below, you have a Christian preacher at Speaker’s Corner (on a Sunday after his church services) encountering and challenging “da`awah movement” Muslims to answer fundamental questions about their faith.

Keep in mind, these “da`awah movement” evangelists are calling people towards Islam and not away, yet on basic fundamentals of the Religion they utterly collapse. One of these is the doctrine of the Qur’an being uncreated. This argument was theologically waged by the laity and scholar alike of Muslim Orthodoxy (with Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, the Imam of Muslim Orthodoxy, at its helm) against all the cults of the time and firmly re-iterated the doctrines of salvation and the like as given in the first and second age and into that age (the third and final of the best generations).

Yet look at the flawless display of “da`awa movement” pamphleteers and their utter inability to explain one of the most fundamental doctrines that makes the clear difference between Muslim Orthodoxy and the cults. It is not only  interesting watching but should tell you how to not get sucked into a group on a Sunday afternoon (when you should be at home making your salah with family and having a BBQ) while out debating and not knowing your Ali `Imran from your `Ankabut. Enjoy!

YOU CANNOT MAKE THIS TYPE OF STUFF UP…pt.2

Figure 1A: Is this blame culture rooted in a wider problem?

This is fast becoming a series. The more stories I encounter like this, the more I feel the burden upon my heart to print them. Please just take a look at this article below and think about the type of individuals in the human experience. We have someone blaming someone else for his smoking – while he is a full grown adult male – and then plotting out a day and killing him. Just think…you might have a neighbour like this in the Anglosphere.

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Man with throat cancer ‘shoots dead the colleague who introduced him to smoking’

 Ross McGuinness, Yahoo News UK 4 hours ago

DHUL HIJJAH 10: YAWM UN-NAHR (THE DAY OF SACRIFICE)

Figure 1A: The plain of `Arafah.

It is strongly recommended to fast 9 Dhul Hijjah, known as Yawm `Arafah. The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said of this day, “The fast on the Day of `Arafah in the sight of Allah is such that He expiates the sins that came before the year of sins that come after.” Collected by Imam Muslim in Al-Jami` us-Sahih.

The day immediately after is 10 Dhul Hijjah, also known as Yawm un-Nahr (eng. the Day of Sacrifice). This is the second of the two yearly Eids and it is called Eid ul-Adha (eng. the Eid of the Sacrifice) and lasts three days (the opposite of `Eid ul-Fitr which is only one day). This commemorates the willingness of the Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him, to dedicate everything to Allah, even his very own life and that of his son, the Prophet Isma`il, peace be upon him.

This has been mentioned in Surat us-Saffat (37), ayat 83-119, Surat ul-Baqarah (2), ayat 127-141 and a passing reference in Surat ul-Kawthar (108), ayah 3. Let us try to obtain the reward for the fasting on 9 Dhul Hijjah and also make du`aa for those on Hajj recounting all the events of the Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him, some 4,000 years ago.

We would like to leave you with a quote from Imam Musa Al-Qaddumi (d. 1336 AH), may Allah have mercy upon him, who said the following of the sacrifice done on 10 Dhul Hijjah in his Mukhtasar Dalil it-Talib, pp. 301-302:

The sacrifice of `Eid is an emphasised sunnah [1] and it is permissible to sacrifice a goat that is one year old. It is also valid to have the sheep sacrificed that is half a year old.
It is allowed to sacrifice the cow as well as the buffalo that is two years old. You may sacrifice the camel that is five years old. [2] The time for slaughtering is after the`Eid prayer up until the end of the second day of Tashriq. [3]
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ANGLOSPHERE ISSUES: WHAT RALLIES DO…

Figure 1A: AD 1931 Communist Party rally in Madison Square Garden in New York, United States. Where is this party today?

The article below discusses the type of things that occur at rallies in general and the Berkeley rally in specifics. Please have a look at this interesting article.

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Turmoil Erupts at Berkeley Rally After Civil Start

Donald Trump supporter Arthur Schaper, center, argues against opposing views during a free speech rally Sunday in Berkeley, Calif. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP)
Paul Elias / AP

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include new details from AP that emerged after the original piece was posted.

2:15 p.m.

More than 100 protesters dressed in black have pushed their way past police barricades and into a Berkeley park.

They assaulted at least three people by punching and kicking them.

At least one of those attacked was a right-wing male protester who showed up for a “Rally Against Hate” event where anti-rally protesters vastly outnumbered the rally’s supporters.

Police broke up the fights, using what appeared to be a smoke grenade to stop one scuffle.

The three people who were attacked ran behind police lines to escape.

The black clad protesters carried a large banner that identified them as anarchists.

*  *  *

SAN FRANCISCO—Hundreds of protesters gathered in Berkeley on Sunday for a “Rally Against Hate” in response to a planned right-wing protest that raised concerns of clashes and prompted a large police presence.

Police set up barricades around a city park where the right-wing rally billed “No to Marxism in America” and a counter protest were underway, with officers checking bags of people and warning them that a long list of items were banned — including baseball bats, dogs and skateboards and scarves or bandanas to cover their faces.

Counter protesters largely outnumbered right-wing supporters as the dueling protests began, with participants on both sides engaged in peaceful but tense exchanges.

Karla Fonseca, holding a sign that said “Together We Stand” yelled at Latino man holding a “God Bless Donald Trump” sign.

“You are an immigrant,” she said. “You should be ashamed of yourself.”

Several others also yelled at the man, who said he was born in Mexico but supports Trump’s proposal to build a wall along the southern border.

Another counter protest called the “Bay Area Rally Against Hate” took place Sunday on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, despite calls by university police for demonstrators to stay away.

The Berkeley rallies happened a day after a rally planned by a right-wing group fizzled amid throngs of counter-protesters in San Francisco. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee declared victory over a group he branded as inviting hate.

Berkeley is the city that gave birth to the 1960s Free Speech Movement but authorities refused to issue a permit allowing Sunday’s event. The city and campus have been the site of political clashes and violence over the past year.

Sunday’s organizer Amber Cummings, a transgender woman who is a supporter of President Donald Trump, has repeatedly denounced racism. Cummings canceled her event — saying that demonization by mayors in both cities and left-wing extremists made it impossible to speak out.

Cummings said she would be the sole attendee — but several supporters turned up anyway.

Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin urged counter-protesters to stay away.

Cummings has said on social media and in media interviews that Marxism is the real evil and that members of the anti-fascist movement are terrorists.

“I’m not safe to walk down the road with an American flag in this country,” she said to reporters in Berkeley last week.

Saturday’s event was organized by a group known as Patriot Prayer. Its leader Joey Gibson has also repeatedly disavowed racism. Asked Saturday whether he had any plans to go to Berkeley, Gibson, the leader of Patriot Prayer, said he would “analyze the situation.”

Student activism was born during the 1960s free-speech movement at Berkeley, when thousands of students at the university mobilized to demand that the school drop its ban on political activism.

However, the deadly confrontation in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Aug. 12 during a rally of white supremacists led San Francisco police and civil leaders to rethink their response to protests.

ANGLOSPHERE: LEFT AND RIGHT IS A CIRCLE

Figure 1A: Many people argue left right politics, but Democrats and Republicans (and their myriad of sects) all originate from the Democratic-Republican Party.

The article below has an interesting take on what is known as the alt-right, alt-lite and alt left and their long term game plans. Although I disagree with the article in some places, the propensity for violence is the same. People continually forget that both the GOP and Democratic party came out of the dustcloud made by the implosion of the Domocratic-Republican party. The Demo-Reps were as violent as anything and are the origin of the US’s current two parties. Please see the article below.

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How ‘Antifa’ Mirrors the ‘Alt-Right’

By Chris Hedges

Editor’s note: A Berkeley, Calif., rally organized by a right-wing group turned violent Sunday after arrival of a group that carried an anarchist banner.

Behind the rhetoric of the “alt-right” about white nativism and protecting American traditions, history and Christian values is the lust for violence. Behind the rhetoric of antifa, the Black Bloc and the so-called “alt-left” about capitalism, racism, state repression and corporate power is the same lust for violence.

The two opposing groups, largely made up of people who have been cast aside by the cruelty of corporate capitalism, have embraced holy war. Their lives, battered by economic misery and social marginalization, have suddenly been filled with meaning. They hold themselves up as the vanguard of the oppressed. They arrogate to themselves the right to use force to silence those they define as the enemy. They sanctify anger. They are infected with the dark, adrenaline-driven urge for confrontation that arises among the disenfranchised when a democracy ceases to function. They are separated, as Sigmund Freud wrote of those who engage in fratricide, by the “narcissism of minor differences.” They mirror each other, not only ideologically but also physically—armed and dressed in black, the color of fascism and the color of death.

It was inevitable that we would reach this point. The corporate state has seized and corrupted all democratic institutions, including the two main political parties, to serve the interests of corporate power and maximize global corporate profits. There is no justice in the courts. There is no possibility for reform in the legislative bodies. The executive branch is a dysfunctional mess headed by a narcissistic kleptocrat, con artist and pathological liar. Money has replaced the vote. The consent of the governed is a joke. Our most basic constitutional rights, including the rights to privacy and due process, have been taken from us by judicial fiat. The economically marginalized, now a majority of the country, have been rendered invisible by a corporate media dominated by highly paid courtiers spewing out meaningless political and celebrity gossip and trivia as if it were news. The corporate state, unimpeded, is pillaging and looting the carcass of the country and government, along with the natural world, for the personal gain of the 1 percent. It daily locks away in cages the poor, especially poor people of color, discarding the vulnerable as human refuse.

A government that is paralyzed and unable and unwilling to address the rudimentary needs of its citizens, as I saw in the former Yugoslavia and as history has shown with the Weimar Republic and czarist Russia, eventually empowers violent extremists. Economic and social marginalization is the lifeblood of extremist groups. Without it they wither and die. Extremism, as the social critic Christopher Lasch wrote, is “a refuge from the terrors of inner life.”

Germany’s Nazi stormtroopers had their counterparts in that nation’s communist Alliance of Red Front Fighters. The far-right anti-communist death squad Alliance of Argentina had its counterpart in the guerrilla group the People’s Revolutionary Army during the “Dirty War.” The Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) rebels during the war I covered in El Salvador had their counterparts in the right-wing death squads, whose eventual demise seriously impeded the FMLN’s ability to recruit. The Serbian nationalists, or Chetniks, in Yugoslavia had their counterparts in the Croatian nationalists, or Ustaše. The killing by one side justifies the killing by the other. And the killing is always sanctified in the name of each side’s martyrs.

The violence by antifa—short for anti-fascist or anti-fascist action—in Charlottesville, Va., saw a surge in interest and support for the movement, especially after the murder of Heather Heyer. The Black Bloc was applauded by some of the counterprotesters in Boston during an alt-right rally thereAug. 19. In Charlottesville, antifa activists filled the vacuum left by a passive police force, holding off neo-Nazi thugs who threatened Cornel West and clergy who were protesting against the white nationalist event. This was a propaganda coup for antifa, which seeks to portray its use of violence as legitimate self-defense. Protecting West and the clergy members from physical assault was admirable. But this single act no more legitimizes antifa violence than the turkeys, Christmas gifts and Fourth of July fireworks that John Gotti gave to his neighbors legitimized the violence of the Gambino crime family. Antifa, like the alt-right, is the product of a diseased society.

The white racists and neo-Nazis may be unsavory, but they too are victims. They too lost jobs and often live in poverty in deindustrialized wastelands. They too often are plagued by debt, foreclosures, bank repossessions and inability to repay student loans. They too often suffer from evictions, opioid addictions, domestic violence and despair. They too sometimes face bankruptcy because of medical bills. They too have seen social services gutted, public education degraded and privatized and the infrastructure around them decay. They too often suffer from police abuse and mass incarceration. They too are often in despair and suffer from hopelessness. And they too have the right to free speech, however repugnant their views.

Street clashes do not distress the ruling elites. These clashes divide the underclass. They divert activists from threatening the actual structures of power. They give the corporate state the ammunition to impose harsher forms of control and expand the powers of internal security. When antifa assumes the right to curtail free speech it becomes a weapon in the hands of its enemies to take that freedom away from everyone, especially the anti-capitalists.

The focus on street violence diverts activists from the far less glamorous building of relationships and alternative institutions and community organizing that alone will make effective resistance possible. We will defeat the corporate state only when we take back and empower our communities, as is happening with Cooperation Jackson, a grass-roots cooperative movement in Jackson, Miss. As long as acts of resistance are forms of personal catharsis, the corporate state is secure. Indeed, the corporate state welcomes this violence because violence is a language it can speak with a proficiency and ruthlessness that none of these groups can match.

“Politics isn’t made of individuals,” Sophia Burns writes in “Catharsis Is Counter-Revolutionary.” “It’s made of classes. Political change doesn’t come from feeling individually validated. It comes from collective action and organization within the working class. That means creating new institutions that meet our needs and defend against oppression.”

The protests by the radical left now sweeping America, as Aviva Chomskypoints out, are too often little more than self-advertisements for moral purity. They are products of a social media culture in which each of us is the star of his or her own life movie. They are infected with the American belief in regeneration through violence and the cult of the gun. They represent a clash between the bankruptcy of identity politics, which produced, as Dr. West has said, a president who was “a black mascot for Wall Street,” and the bankruptcy of a white, Christianized fascism that produced Donald Trump, Steve Bannon and Jefferson Beauregard Sessions.

“Rather than organizing for change, individuals seek to enact a statement about their own righteousness,” Chomsky writes in “How (Not) to Challenge Racist Violence.” “They may boycott certain products, refuse to eat certain foods, or they may show up to marches or rallies whose only purpose is to demonstrate the moral superiority of the participants. White people may loudly claim that they recognize their privilege or declare themselves allies of people of color or other marginalized groups. People may declare their communities ‘no place for hate.’ Or they may show up at counter-marches to ‘stand up’ to white nationalists or neo-Nazis. All of these types of ‘activism’ emphasize self-improvement or self-expression rather than seeking concrete change in society or policy. They are deeply, and deliberately, apolitical in the sense that they do not seek to address issues of power, resources, decision making, or how to bring about change.”

The corporate state seeks to discredit and shut down the anti-capitalist left. Its natural allies are the neo-Nazis and the Christian fascists. The alt-right is bankrolled, after all, by the most retrograde forces in American capitalism. It has huge media platforms. It has placed its ideologues and sympathizers in positions of power, including in law enforcement and the military. And it has carried out acts of domestic terrorism that dwarf anything carried out by the left. White supremacists were responsible for 49 homicides in 26 attacks in the United States from 2006 to 2016, far more than those committed by members of any other extremist group, according to a report issued in May by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. There is no moral equivalency between antifa and the alt-right. But by brawling in the streets antifa allows the corporate state, which is terrified of a popular anti-capitalist uprising, to use the false argument of moral equivalency to criminalize the work of all anti-capitalists.

As the Southern Poverty Law Center states categorically in its pamphlet “Ten Ways to Fight Hate,” “Do not attend a hate rally.”

“Find another outlet for anger and frustration and for people’s desire to do something,” it recommends. “Hold a unity rally or parade to draw media attention away from hate. Hate has a First Amendment right. Courts have routinely upheld the constitutional right of the Ku Klux Klan and other hate groups to hold rallies and say whatever they want. Communities can restrict group movements to avoid conflicts with other citizens, but hate rallies will continue. Your efforts should focus on channeling people away from hate rallies.”

The Nazis were as unsavory to the German political and economic elites as Donald Trump is to most Americans who hold power or influence. But the German elites chose to work with the fascists, whom they naively thought they could control, rather than risk a destruction of capitalism. Street brawls, actively sought out by the Nazis, always furthered the interests of the fascists, who promised to restore law and order and protect traditional values. The violence contributed to their mystique and the yearning among the public for a strongman who would impose stability.

Historian Laurie Marhoefer writes:

Violent confrontations with antifascists gave the Nazis a chance to paint themselves as the victims of a pugnacious, lawless left. They seized it.

It worked. We know now that many Germans supported the fascists because they were terrified of leftist violence in the streets. Germans opened their morning newspapers and saw reports of clashes like the one in Wedding [a Berlin neighborhood]. It looked like a bloody tide of civil war was rising in their cities. Voters and opposition politicians alike came to believe the government needed special police powers to stop violent leftists. Dictatorship grew attractive. The fact that the Nazis themselves were fomenting the violence didn’t seem to matter.

One of Hitler’s biggest steps to dictatorial power was to gain emergency police powers, which he claimed he needed to suppress leftist violence.

What took place in Charlottesville, like what took place in February when antifa and Black Bloc protesters thwarted UC Berkeley’s attempt to host the crypto-fascist Milo Yiannopoulos, was political theater. It was about giving self-styled radicals a stage. It was about elevating their self-image. It was about appearing heroic. It was about replacing personal alienation with comradeship and solidarity. Most important, it was about the ability to project fear. This newfound power is exciting and intoxicating. It is also very dangerous. Many of those in Charlottesville on the left and the right were carrying weapons. A neo-Nazi fired a round from a pistol in the direction of a counterprotester. The neo-Nazis often carried AR-15 rifles and wore quasi-military uniforms and helmets that made them blend in with police and state security. There could easily have been a bloodbath. A march held in Sacramento, Calif., in June 2016 by the neo-Nazi Traditionalist Worker Party to protest attacks at Trump rallies ended with a number of people stabbed. Police accused counterprotesters of initiating the violence. It is a short series of steps from bats and ax handles to knives to guns.

The conflict will not end until the followers of the alt-right and the anti-capitalist left are given a living wage and a voice in how we are governed. Take away a person’s dignity, agency and self-esteem and this is what you get. As political power devolves into a more naked form of corporate totalitarianism, as unemployment and underemployment expand, so will extremist groups. They will attract more sympathy and support as the wider population realizes, correctly, that Americans have been stripped of all ability to influence the decisions that affect their lives, lives that are getting steadily worse.

The ecocide by the fossil fuel and animal agriculture industries alone makes revolt a moral imperative. The question is how to make it succeed. Taking to the street to fight fascists ensures our defeat. Antifa violence, as Noam Chomsky has pointed out, is a “major gift to the right, including the militant right.” It fuels the right wing’s paranoid rants about the white race being persecuted and under attack. And it strips anti-capitalists of their moral capital.

Many in the feckless and bankrupt liberal class, deeply complicit in the corporate assault on the country and embracing the dead end of identity politics, will seek to regain credibility by defending the violence by groups such as antifa. Natasha Lennard, for example, in The Nation calls the “video of neo-Nazi Richard Spencer getting punched in the face” an act of “kinetic beauty.” She writes “if we recognize fascism in Trump’s ascendance, our response must be anti-fascist in nature. The history of anti-fascist action is not one of polite protest, nor failed appeals to reasoned debate with racists, but direct, aggressive confrontation.”

This violence-as-beauty rhetoric is at the core of these movements. It saturates the vocabulary of the right-wing corporate oligarchs, including Donald Trump. Talk like this poisons national discourse. It dehumanizes whole segments of the population. It shuts out those who speak with nuance and compassion, especially when they attempt to explain the motives and conditions of opponents. It thrusts the society into a binary and demented universe of them and us. It elevates violence to the highest aesthetic. It eschews self-criticism and self-reflection. It is the prelude to widespread suffering and death. And that, I fear, is where we are headed.

ANGLOSPHERE ISSUES: OPPOSING INNOVATION WILL NOT BE EASY

Some sections of the Muslim community have allowed innovations among them and they have become so ingrained that they leave a stain of plaque on the hearts and minds of the people. This has ranged from everything from careers, age of marriage, sexuality, learning the religion all the way up to hating complexion and wasteful, abysmal wedding celebrations.

Please see the article below about someone attempting to resist one of these horrific innovations. On her OWN wedding day, family members have shunned her for her decision. This then leads to the question: Are we marrying as a sacrament to Allah or as a sacrament to YOU? Perhaps we are facing the wrong direction by facing Makkah five times a day. Maybe time to face family members since they demand something similar to worship in many cases.

This is a small step but acts of bravery like this give other people courage to stand up against other despicable tragedies that plague segments of the Muslim community.

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Bride shunned by her family for not wearing make-up on her wedding day

Tasnim Jara decided not to wear make-up on her wedding day [Photo: Facebook]

Your wedding day should be something to look forward to but, it can be a major source of stress for brides-to-be.

Aside from the venue, reception and dress, there’s your beauty look to think about. What make-up route do you go down? Should you hire a professional make-up artist or simply do it yourself?

One bride decided to completely shun make-up, going for a natural look instead.

However, her story wasn’t the uplifting one you’d expect.

Tasnim Jara shared a photo from her Muslim wedding that has gone viral for its story of unrealistic expectations placed on brides (and women in general).

“I walked into my wedding reception wearing grandmother’s white cotton saree with zero make-up and no jewellery. Many asked me why. So here is my reason,” she wrote in the caption.

“I was troubled by the singular image of a bride that our society has – with tons of make-up, a weighty dress and mounds of jewellery weighing her down,” Tasnim continued.

She went on to explain how her childhood involved hearing people gossiping about brides, saying: ““Is the bride pretty enough?” “How much gold does she have on?” “How much did her dress cost?”

“Growing up listening to these questions, a bride feels pressured to look for the best make-up artist in town, pays a hefty amount in time, money and energy, and ends up looking nothing like herself; because the society constantly reminds her that her actual skin colour isn’t good enough for her own wedding.”

Tasnim also stated that she had grown up to feel like a bride was “incomplete without ornaments; that her and her families’ status depends on how much gold she puts on on the day.”

She wrote a viral Facebook post, explaining why brides should be entitled to look how they want on their wedding day [Photo: Facebook]

Shockingly, she also revealed that certain members of her family refused to take photos with her on her wedding day because she didn’t look like their image of a ‘typical bride’.

Tasnim finished with a powerful statement in which she explained that young women shouldn’t feel the need to bend to stereotypes. “If a girl wants to use make-up, jewellery and expensive clothes for herself, I am all in for that. But it is a problem when she loses her agency in deciding what she would like to wear on her wedding day,” she wrote.

“When society forces her to doll up and look like a different person, it gives a message that the authentic look of a girl isn’t good enough for her own wedding.”

“We need to change this mindset.”

Too right.

ANGLOSPHERE ISSUES: WE SERVE A HOLY LORD WHO DOES NOT COUNTENANCE SIN pt. 2

We serve a righteous and Holy God. This same righteous and Holy God has handed down laws that are clear and are not just designed to lower crime; rather they are there as for His Holy Will, Might and Right. These laws show people that the said acts are wrong, whether they lower the crime rate or not. The point is this should not be done and society has to see open rejection of sin and that the Holy, Righteous God is to be respected.

The article below should give us reason to reflect. How many people in the Anglosphere are never told the word “No”? How many are never told, “You cannot do that.” ? There are large segments of people who transgress the bounds and are never told no by parents, teachers or society at large that is heading for a more matriarchal mould (which will certainly end in the destruction of the Anglosphere).

There are people that are even given leniency on account of being wealthy as they “don’t understand their actions constitute criminal behaviour.” We have to return to a standard. When we see things like the article below, ask yourself: Do the people in the street know that certain things are wrong? If not, is it due to the fact that the laws do not reflect it?

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The paedophile was hung from a crane after he was shot in the back (Rex/stock photo)

Paedophile is shot dead and hung from a crane in brutal public execution

14 August 2017

A convicted paedophile was shot dead and hung from a crane in front of a crowd of people for the rape and murder of a four-year-old girl.

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

Hussein al-Saket, 22, was surrounded by crowds in Yemen who were there to witness the shocking public execution.

Judge Rajeh Ezzedine, who witnessed the execution, told AFP that Saket had been found guilty of abducting, raping and murdering the child.

Her uncle, Ali Ayedh, said Saket “took part in the search for the girl before being unmasked” during the police investigation.

He said Saket’s public execution would act as a “deterrent for criminals”.

The execution took place in Tahrir Square, Sana’a in Yemen (Wikipedia/stock photo)

Saket was placed face down on Tahrir square in Sanaa, before he was shot five times in the back by a policeman.

His lifeless body was then strung up on the end of a crane and put on display to the watching crowds.

It was the second such public execution in weeks after another man was executed in the same square for raping and murdering a three-year-old girl.

ANGLOSPHERE ISSUES: WE SERVE A HOLY LORD WHO DOES NOT COUNTENANCE SIN

Figure 1A: A picture of Bedouin children playing on a swing. The dress of Muslims,our wedding traditions and children are seen as weird by many; but the institution of marriage is protected by a Holy God.

عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قالمن وجدتموه وقع على بهيمة فاقتلوه واقتلوا البهيمةرواه أبو داود والترمذي وابن ماجه وأحمد

It is narrated that the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Whoever you find committing sex acts with an animal, kill both him and the animal as well.” Collected by Imams Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Ahmad ibn Hanbal.

I recently came across a new story that really made me think. When you do not accurately punish sin…when you tolerate it…make excuses for it…even downplay the severity of certain things…others will transgress when left to themselves.

This is one of the wisdoms in having the Revealed Law. This Revealed Law not only gives us structure but teaches society at large to apply the necessary social pressure and to excise sinful lesions from its midst. Those who may hide these things remain hidden but none are bold enough to try to come out with it…none are so bold to actually be proud or even openly stand forth.

This article below is a great example of what happens when man’s most base emotions are told to run riot without any filter, check, balance, structure or second thoughts. Only service to a Holy, Righteous, Blesmishless, Flawless Lord, King and Master can give one the ability to overcome such outrages. Only the Lord can give salvation and we ask that He protect us and those under our care from being tempted, pushed and invited to transgress His Holy Sanctity.

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Man Accused of Performing Sex Acts on Dogs Leaves Judge Speechless

A Virginia judge was left speechless after he heard the case of a man accused of performing sex acts on one of eight dogs.

“I just don’t have words,” Judge James Stephen Yoffy said, according to the New York Post. “This is disgusting.”

Stephen Matthew Taylor, 31, was convicted of two different animal cruelty charges at Tuesday’s hearing in Henrico County, Virginia, after he reportedly told police he performed oral sex on a Rottweiler, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

Taylor entered a guilty plea to the misdemeanor animal cruelty charge and an Alford plea to the felony charge of inflicting pain on an animal and causing its death. An Alford plea means the defendant does not admit guilt but recognizes that the prosecution has enough evidence to prove guilt.

According to the Times-Dispatch, Taylor said the allegations against him are “lies” but entered pleas because he was not confident he could get a fair trial.

Investigators say a search of Taylor’s hard drive brought up 171 images of bestiality, including ten pictures of a man performing oral sex on a dog.

Taylor’s lawyer, however, argued that his client was not the man in those images.

Authorities say officials seized the eight dogs and added that two of them had to be put down.

Judge Yoffy ordered that Taylor undergo a psychosexual evaluation and not have any contact with pets while he is out on bond before his sentencing hearing.

Taylor is scheduled to be sentenced November 14. He faces up to five years behind bars.

Instances of people accused of bestiality are commonplace in the news.

A Minnesota mail carrier was accused of bestiality in March after prosecutors say he broke into someone’s garage to have sex with a dog.

In February, a Georgia man accused of having sex with a dog turned himself into police.

New Study Shows Mass Surveillance Breeds Meekness, Fear and Self-Censorship

Please take a look at the following article below on mass-surveillance and some of the outcomes that come from it. I found it an interesting read and perhaps you as readers will too. There is also a podcast that goes with it and other linked articles.

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April 28 2016, 4:03 p.m.

A NEWLY PUBLISHED study from Oxford’s Jon Penney provides empirical evidence for a key argument long made by privacy advocates: that the mere existence of a surveillance state breeds fear and conformity and stifles free expression. Reporting on the study, the Washington Post this morning described this phenomenon: “If we think that authorities are watching our online actions, we might stop visiting certain websites or not say certain things just to avoid seeming suspicious.”

The new study documents how, in the wake of the 2013 Snowden revelations (of which 87 percent of Americans were aware), there was “a 20 percent decline in page views on Wikipedia articles related to terrorism, including those that mentioned ‘al Qaeda,’ ‘car bomb’ or ‘Taliban.’” People were afraid to read articles about those topics because of fear that doing so would bring them under a cloud of suspicion. The dangers of that dynamic were expressed well by Penney: “If people are spooked or deterred from learning about important policy matters like terrorism and national security, this is a real threat to proper democratic debate.”

As the Post explains, several other studies have also demonstrated how mass surveillance crushes free expression and free thought. A 2015 study examined Google search data and demonstrated that, post-Snowden, “users were less likely to search using search terms that they believed might get them in trouble with the U.S. government” and that these “results suggest that there is a chilling effect on search behavior from government surveillance on the internet.”

The fear that causes self-censorship is well beyond the realm of theory. Ample evidence demonstrates that it’s real — and rational. A study from PEN America writers found that 1 in 6 writers had curbed their content out of fear of surveillance and showed that writers are “not only overwhelmingly worried about government surveillance, but are engaging in self-censorship as a result.” Scholars in Europe have been accused of being terrorist supporters by virtue of possessing research materials on extremist groups, while the British Library refuse to house any material on the Taliban for fear of being prosecuted for material support for terrorism.

There are also numerous psychological studies demonstrating that people who believe they are being watched engage in behavior far more compliant, conformist and submissive than those who believe they are acting without monitoring. That same realization served centuries ago as the foundation of Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon: that behaviors of large groups of people can be effectively controlled through architectural structures that make it possible for them to be watched at any given movement even though they can never know if they are, in fact, being monitored, thus forcing them to act as if they always are being watched. This same self-censoring, chilling effect of the potential of being surveilled was also the crux of the tyranny about which Orwell warned in 1984:

There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You have to live — did live, from habit that became instinct — in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.

This is a critical though elusive point that, as the Post notes, I’ve been arguing for years, including in the 2014 TED talk I gave about the harms of privacy erosions. But one of my first visceral encounters with this harmful dynamic arose years before I worked on NSA disclosures: It occurred in 2010, the first time I ever wrote about WikiLeaks. This was before any of the group’s most famous publications.

What prompted my writing about WikiLeaks back then was a secret 2008 Pentagon report that declared the then-little-known group a threat to national security and plotted how to destroy it: a report that, ironically enough, was leaked to WikiLeaks, which then published it online. (Shortly thereafter, WikiLeaks published a 2008 CIA report describing — presciently, it turns out — how the best hope for maintaining popular European support for the war in Afghanistan would be the election of Barack Obama as president, since he would put a pretty, popular, progressive face on war policies.)

As a result of that 2008 report, I researched WikiLeaks and interviewed its founder, Julian Assange, and found that the group had been engaging in vital transparency projects around the world: from exposing illegal corporate waste dumping in East Africa to political corruption and official lies in Australia. But they had one significant problem: funding and human resource shortfalls were preventing them from processing and publishing numerous leaks. So I wrote an article describing their work, and recommended that my readers support that work either by donating or volunteering. And I included links for how they could do so.

In response, a large number of American readers expressed — in emails, in the comment section, at public events — the fear to me that while they supported WikiLeaks’ work, they were petrified that supporting the group would cause them to end up on a government list somewhere or, worse, charged with crimes if WikiLeaks ended up being formally charged as a national security threat. In other words, these were Americans who were voluntarily relinquishing core civil liberties — the right to support journalism they believe in and to politically organize — because of fear that their online donations and work would be monitored and surveilled. Subsequent revelations showing persecution and surveillance against WikiLeaks and its supporters, including an effort to prosecute them for their journalism, proved that these fears were quite rational.

There is a reason governments, corporations, and multiple other entities of authority crave surveillance. It’s precisely because the possibility of being monitored radically changes individual and collective behavior. Specifically, that possibility breeds fear and fosters collective conformity. That’s always been intuitively clear. Now, there is mounting empirical evidence proving it.

Correction: May 10, 2016
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that British libraries refused to house any material on the Taliban. It was the British Library, the national library of the United Kingdom, that refused to house the material.

 

DONALD TRUMP AND THE COMING FALL OF AMERICAN EMPIRE

Please take a look at the following  article below. Our world is overflowing with activity and I am just now fully recovered from the peace and tranquility and slow down of Ramadan. Please give us your thoughts in this thought provoking piece. There is also a podcast that goes with it
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July 22 2017, 3:50 p.m.

EVEN AS PRESIDENT DONALD Trump faces ever-intensifying investigations into the alleged connections between his top aides and family members and powerful Russian figures, he serves as commander in chief over a U.S. military that is killing an astonishing and growing number of civilians. Under Trump, the U.S. is re-escalating its war in Afghanistan, expanding its operations in Iraq and Syria, conducting covert raids in Somalia and Yemen, and openly facilitating the Saudi’s genocidal military destruction of Yemen.

Meanwhile, China has quietly and rapidly expanded its influence without deploying its military on foreign soil.

A new book by the famed historian Alfred McCoy predicts that China is set to surpass the influence of the U.S. globally, both militarily and economically, by the year 2030. At that point, McCoy asserts the United States empire as we know it will be no more. He sees the Trump presidency as one of the clearest byproducts of the erosion of U.S. global dominance, but not its root cause. At the same time, he also believes Trump may accelerate the empire’s decline.

McCoy argues that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was the beginning of the end. McCoy is not some chicken little. He is a serious academic. And he has guts.

During the Vietnam War, McCoy was ambushed by CIA-backed paramilitaries as he investigated the swelling heroin trade. The CIA tried to stop the publication of his now classic book, “The Politics of Heroin.” His phone was tapped, he was audited by the IRS, and he was investigated and spied on by the FBI. McCoy also wrote one of the earliest and most prescient books on the post-9/11 CIA torture program and he is one of the world’s foremost experts on U.S. covert action. His new book, which will be released in September, is called “In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power.”

“The American Century, proclaimed so triumphantly at the start of World War II, may already be tattered and fading by 2025 and, except for the finger pointing, could be over by 2030,” McCoy writes. Imagining the real-life impact on the U.S. economy, McCoy offers a dark prediction:

For the majority of Americans, the 2020s will likely be remembered as a demoralizing decade of rising prices, stagnant wages, and fading international competitiveness. After years of swelling deficits fed by incessant warfare in distant lands, in 2030 the U.S. dollar eventually loses its special status as the world’s dominant reserve currency.

Suddenly, there are punitive price increases for American imports ranging from clothing to computers. And the costs for all overseas activity surges as well, making travel for both tourists and troops prohibitive. Unable to pay for swelling deficits by selling now-devalued Treasury notes abroad, Washington is finally forced to slash its bloated military budget. Under pressure at home and abroad, its forces begin to pull back from hundreds of overseas bases to a continental perimeter. Such a desperate move, however, comes too late.

Faced with a fading superpower incapable of paying its bills, China, India, Iran, Russia, and other powers provocatively challenge U.S. dominion over the oceans, space, and cyberspace.

Alfred McCoy is the Harrington professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of the now-classic book “The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade.” His new book, out in September, is “In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power.”

This week, I interviewed McCoy for the Intercepted podcast. We broadcast an excerpt of the interview on the podcast. Below is an edited and slightly condensed version of the full interview. In this wide-ranging interview, we discuss Trump and Russia, the history of CIA interference in elections around the world, the Iran-Contra scandal, the CIA and the crack-cocaine epidemic, U.S. proxy wars, narcotrafficking in Afghanistan, and much more.

Jeremy Scahill: One of the things that you’re best known for is a book that continues to this day to be relevant when studying covert U.S. operations around the world, as well as the international narcotics trafficking industry, and of course you tie both of those together. We’re going to get into all of that in a moment but I wanted to begin by asking you to assess this current moment that we’re in with Donald Trump. How do you see him in a historical context, and what does his presidency represent about the American empire?

Alfred McCoy: What I think right now is that, through some kind of malign design, Donald Trump has divined, has figured out what are the essential pillars of U.S. global power that have sustained Washington’s hegemony for the past 70 years and he seems to be setting out to demolish each one of those pillars one by one. He’s weakened the NATO alliance; he’s weakened our alliances with Asian allies along the Pacific littoral. He’s proposing to cut back on the scientific research which has given the United States — its military industrial complex — a cutting edge, a leading edge in critical new weapons systems since the early years of the Cold War. And he’s withdrawing the United States, almost willfully, from its international leadership, most spectacularly with the Paris Climate Accord but also very importantly with the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

And he seems to be setting out to systematically demolish U.S. global hegemony. Now, it’s important to realize that the United States is no longer the pre-eminent global power we were, let’s say at the end of Eisenhower’s presidency, back in 1960. Our share of the global economy has declined substantially. We’re about to be eclipsed by 2030, by China, and become the world’s number two economic power. China’s making some breakthroughs in military technology. The world system is spreading its wealth and there are a number of second tier powers, the rise of the European Union, et cetera. It’s a more complex world, so the United States can no longer dictate to the world, or at least much of the world, like we could back in the 1950s.

Having said that, the presidency is a weaker office internationally than it used to be. Nonetheless, there are presidents, and I say Barack Obama was one of them, George H.W. Bush was another, these presidents through skillful diplomacy, their knowledge of the international system, their geopolitical skills, they could maximize U.S. influence on the world stage. They could use U.S. military power strategically, deftly, they could lead international coalitions, they could set the international agenda. Trump is turning his back on all of that and I think he’s accelerating perhaps markedly, even precipitously, the U.S. decline.

JS: Since Trump became president, everyone is sort of wrapped up in the palace intrigue, and what did Trump know about Russia and when did he know it, and did he know about Don Jr.’s meeting with this lawyer who is being described as “Kremlin-connected?” And I think all of that is a very important story because it could bring down his presidency, but at the same time my sense is that the CIA and the darkest elements of the U.S. military are actually in a pretty flexible position right now because Trump is so hands-off and, because as you say he’s not an effective manager of empire. What are your thoughts on that?

AM: That’s correct. Much of the military establishment and its links with the intelligence community is in place. Let’s say that some of the new initiatives — cyberwarfare — well the Trump administration understands the importance of that and indeed he has advisors that do, so the continued evolution of that, the development, that will continue, space warfare is in a long-term trajectory. Weapons systems take as long as 10 years to go from design, prototype, testing, and either rejection or acceptance. So that transcends any administration, even a two-term administration. So there’s a long-term trajectory.

President Eisenhower, that famous phrase that he warned us about in his last address, the military industrial complex — he built a complex in which he integrated scientific research, basic research in the universities and private corporations, and then dozens of defense contractors who have more or less permanent contracts to maintain their research and production establishment — he integrated that with the U.S. military and that will survive any American president.

Unfortunately what Trump doesn’t seem to understand is that there’s a close relationship between basic research, like research in artificial intelligence, and your capacity to come up with the next new thing that will give the United States a leading edge in military technology. And that’s what he doesn’t understand, that’s the one way he’s damaging the whole complex. But otherwise, you’re right, it’s on a longer-term trajectory about 10, 10-year cycles of research, procurement, and deployment of new weapon systems and that transcends any single administration.

JS: We’ve seen this kind of convergence of the agendas of some neoconservatives who formed part of the core of the “Never Trump” movement of Republicans and then the liberal elites that host shows on MSNBC or are identified as “Democratic strategists.” And this line that we’ve seen repeated over and over is that, what they deride as people calling the “deep state” — in other words, the elements within the CIA in the military — that they’re actually secretly protecting the country from Trump. Given your scholarship on what people loosely call the deep state right now, what do you make of those claims that the CIA and certain elements within the Pentagon are actually the protectors of the Democratic republic?

AM: A complex argument. One: the rapid growth of that state documented by the Washington Post, in a series about eight years ago, 2010, what they called the fourth branch of the U.S. government. That under the terms of the global war on terror, a massive infusion of nearly a trillion dollars into the Homeland Security. And all of the 17 agencies in the so-called intelligence community plus the considerable expansion of the Joint Special Operations Command, which is the military’s permanent integration with that security apparatus, that secret security apparatus, all of this has built a fourth branch of the U.S. government.

And I think that, just as Congress has proved independent from the Trump administration to a certain extent, and we’ll see about the Supreme Court, those are the classic three branches of executive, legislature, and judiciary — now we have this fourth branch. And, what you’re proposing is we need to take this very seriously when we look at the array of power in Washington, D.C. And I agree, we need to. And like all of the other branches it will coordinate with the executive because the executive has a great deal of power, of funding, you can set priorities, but it has a 10-year cycle — ultimately a much longer-term cycle of preparation and responsibility.

A president is in office for eight or maybe four years. A military career, if successful, an intelligence career, is 30 years. So those professionals, and the agencies they represent, have a much longer-term viewpoint. You can see this, for example, in the periodic reports of the National Intelligence Council, that every four years when there’s a new administration coming in, they’re the one agency of the U.S. government that looks ahead 20 years. Not just four or eight or 10. But they actually look ahead 20 years and they try and see the shape of the world and then, set, through the intelligence community and through the national security establishment, priorities for coping with this fast changing world.

So at the apex of the intelligence community, there is this formal procedure for establishing a long range, or medium range, 20-year perspective. So, yes, they look longer, they have their own policies, they have their contracts, their programs that are in many ways autonomous from the executive, and increasingly so. And depending on your point of view and how it plays out, that’s either a strength of the American system in the short term, when you have an executive that some people don’t like, like Donald Trump, over the longer term it could be seen as a threat to democracy, creating a bureaucratic apparatus that’s autonomous, even independent from both the executive and the legislative branch. So, it’s an open question but a good question.

CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade

JS: You’ve written this excellent book that will come out from Haymarket books in September called “In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and the Decline of U.S. Global Power.” But I want to ask you about a much earlier book that you wrote, “The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade.” And that details your investigation — and it really was what introduced you to this world of covert CIA operations, client states, mercenaries, local proxies, and you also found yourself in conflict with very powerful individuals in the CIA and the national security state because of what you were researching. Talk about that book and the process that led to writing it and how it was eventually published.

AM: Sure. Now, almost 50 years ago, looking back it was an extraordinary experience. In the space of 18 months to two years, I acquired an amazing education. Up to that point I was a graduate student looking at the history of colonialism in Southeast Asia, writing articles that had lots of footnotes. I was a library rat.

And in 1970 and ’71, there were rumors that started coming back from Vietnam, particularly 1971, that heroin was spreading rapidly in the ranks of the U.S. forces fighting in South Vietnam. And in later research, done by the White House, [it was] determined that in 1971, 34 percent, one-third of all the American combat troops fighting in South Vietnam were heavy heroin users. There were, if that statistic is accurate, more addicts in the ranks of the U.S. Army in South Vietnam than there were in the United States.

And so what I did was I set out to investigate: Where was the opium coming from? Where was the heroin coming from? Who was trafficking it? How is it getting to the troops in their barracks and bunkers across the length and breadth of South Vietnam? Nobody was asking this question. Everyone was reporting on the high level of abuse, but nobody was figuring out where and who.

So I started interviewing. I went to Paris. I interviewed the head of the French equivalent of the CIA in Indochina, who was then head of a major French helicopter manufacturing company, and he explained to me how during the French Indochina war from 1946 to 1954, they were short of money for covert operations, so the hill tribes in Laos produced the opium, the aircraft picked it up, they turned it over to the netherworld, the gangsters that controlled Saigon and secured it for the French and that paid for their covert operations. And I said, “What about now?” And he said, “Well I don’t think the pattern’s changed. I think it’s still there. You should go and look.”

So I did. I went to Saigon. I got some top sources in the Vietnamese military. I went to Laos. I hiked into the mountains. I was ambushed by CIA mercenaries and what I discovered was that the CIA’s contract airline, Air America, was flying into the villages of the Hmong people in Northern Laos, whose main cash crop was opium and they were picking up the opium and flying it out of the hills and there were heroin labs — one of the heroin labs, the biggest heroin lab in the world, was run by the commander-in-chief of the Royal Laotian Army, a man whose military budget came entirely from the United States. And they were transforming, in those labs, the opium into heroin. It was being smuggled into South Vietnam by three cliques controlled by the president, the vice president, and the premier of South Vietnam, and their military allies and distributed to U.S. forces in South Vietnam.

And the CIA wasn’t directly involved, but they turned a blind eye to the role of their allies’ involvement in the traffic. And so this heroin epidemic swept the U.S. Army in Vietnam. The Defense Department invented mass urine analysis testing, so when those troops left they were tested and given treatment. And what I discovered was the complexities, the complicity, of the CIA in this traffic and that was a pattern that was repeated in Central America when the Contras became involved in the traffic. The CIA looked the other way as their aircraft and their allies were smuggling cocaine from Colombia through Central America to the United States. Same thing in the 1980s, during the secret war in Afghanistan, the Mujahideen turned to opium. The opium production in Afghanistan during that secret war increased from about 100 tons of opium per annum to 2000 tons, a massive increase. Afghanistan went from supplying zero percent of U.S. heroin supply — soared to 65 percent of the illicit heroin supply for the United States came out of Afghanistan. The CIA sent arms across the border through caravans to the Mujahideen fighters and those same caravans came out carrying opium. The CIA prevented the DEA, the Drug Enforcement Administration, from investigating. Again, complicity in the traffic.

So a clear pattern. The other thing was when I began to do that investigation and write up the book, I faced enormous pressures. My phone was tapped by the FBI, the IRS investigated, I had an audit as a poverty-stricken graduate student. The Department of Education investigated my graduate fellowship. Friends of mine who had been serving in military intelligence were recruited to spy on me. In other words, what I found was the CIA penetrated every aspect of my life. The head of CIA covert operations, a very famous operative named Cord Meyer Jr., visited the offices of Harper and Row, my publisher, and tried to persuade the publisher to suppress the book, hold the contract, just don’t release the book, claiming that it was a threat to national security.

So what I discovered was not only CIA complicity, complex compromise relationships with covert allies far away in remote places like Southeast Asia, but also the incredible depth of the penetration of the CIA within U.S. society under the conditions of the Cold War. I found my phone, my fellowship, my friends, my publisher, every aspect of my life was manipulated by the CIA. It was a fascinating discovery.

JS: And you write in your forthcoming book, “In the Shadows of the American Century,” “I had crafted a historical method that would prove over the next 40 years of my career surprisingly useful in analyzing a diverse array of foreign policy controversies, CIA alliances with drug lords, the agency’s propagation of psychological torture, and our spreading state surveillance.” Part of the reason it seems that they were concerned about what you were investigating in Vietnam, Laos, and elsewhere was that you were tapping into something that was an emerging nexus that the CIA would rely on for decades to come.

AM: Indeed. All of those areas. The method I came up with was very simple. Start far back in the past, as far back as you can go, when the — let’s say the research on torture, although somewhat secret is not controversial because it hasn’t been applied. Go back to the U.S. colonial policy in the Philippines when we started surveillance circa 1898 to pacify the Philippines, and then track it forward step by step all the way to the present, keeping in mind the patterns, the structure of the operation. And then when you get to the present where it becomes secret, highly classified, and very controversial, you understand the structure, so you know where to look, what assumptions are likely to be sound, what hypotheses might work, how you can conduct your analysis and that can lead you to an insight.

For example, let’s take the case of torture, OK? I work on the Philippines as my main area in Southeast Asia that I study, and I was very interested in the overthrow of the Marcos regime. I did some research that contributed to that overthrow. In the aftermath of the overthrow of the Marcos regime, there was this coterie of military colonels that had plotted an abortive coup, that had sparked a so-called People Power Revolution that put a million Filipinos on the streets of Manila calling for Marcos’ downfall, forcing Washington to provide him with aircraft that flew him out to exile in Hawaii and brought democracy. So I was very interested in who these colonels were.

And what I found when I investigated them is that they weren’t line officers, say combat officers, they weren’t even intelligence officers. They were internal security officers who’ve been personally involved in torture. And what I begin to realize is that torture was a transactional experience, that these officers who’ve been trained by the CIA on how to interrogate and use torture, that, as they broke down their victims, they empowered themselves and inspired themselves to this coup to overthrow Marcos.

Well, that also introduced me to the idea that the CIA was training torturers around the globe. And I figured this out in the 1980s, before it was common knowledge. There was some research in the ’70s, people working on this, but we didn’t have the full picture. And what I began to figure out was also the nature of the methods that these colonels were using. Now, look, these are physical guys that were brutally, physically hazed at their military academy, as often happens in such organizations. And so instead of beating physically their victims, they use something counterintuitive. They didn’t touch their victims. They used psychological techniques. And so in 2004, when CBS television published those photographs from Abu Ghraib prison, and nobody knew what was going on. There was that famous photograph of the Iraqi detainee standing on a box with his arms outstretched with phony electrical wires attached to him, he’d been told that if he lowered his arms, he’d be shocked, and he had a bag on his head.

And I looked at that photo and I said, “Those are not bad apples. That is CIA doctrinal techniques. The bag is for sensory deprivation, the arms are for self-inflicted pain, those are the two fundamental techniques of CIA psychological torture.” I wrote a book, “A Question of Torture,” that made that argument. I participated in a documentary that won an Oscar, “Taxi to the Dark Side,” that interviewed me and also made that argument, and it would not be for another 10 years until 2014, when the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee spent $40 million and reviewed 6 million CIA documents and came to a rather similar conclusions. So the method’s useful.

U.S. Interference in Elections

JS: I want to ask you how we ended up with the national security state that we have today? What I mean is, the NSA with its vast powers, which of course you document in the book. The CIA employing tactics under what you’ve called “covert netherworld.” There is this sense, under someone like Barack Obama, that we’re not going to send massive troop deployments around the world, as much as we are going to depend on drones, discreet covert operations, escalated use of Special Operations Forces and CIA paramilitaries. But, talk about the post World War II growth of what now has come to be known as the national security state?

AM: Sure. I think the national security state is the instrument the United States used to build and exercise its global hegemony. Looking at the comparative history of empires in the modern age going back 500 years, the thing that distinguishes the U.S. empire from almost any other, is the reliance upon covert methods and it’s a result of a historical moment.

The U.S. empire coincided with the decolonization, the dissolution of half a dozen European empires that produced 100 new nations, more than half the independent nations on the planet today. And so U.S. hegemony was being exercised, not over colonies, whose sovereignty was compromised, in fact had been transferred to the imperial power, but over independent nation states, who had sovereignty. So you had an empire under conditions that denied empire. So how do you exercise hegemony in a non-hegemonic world? You have to do it covertly.

And in 1947, President Harry Truman, right after World War II, and Congress passed the National Security Act that laid down the bureaucratic apparatus for the U.S. national security state. That National Security Act created the Defense Department, the U.S. Air Force, the CIA, and the National Security Council — the key instruments of the U.S. exercise of global power. And then when the next administration came in, under President Dwight Eisenhower, what he did is he realized that there were nations that were becoming independent across the world and that he had to be intervening in these independent nations and so the only way he could do it was through plausible deniability, you had to intervene in a way that could not be seen. You had to do it covertly. And so Eisenhower turned to the CIA, created by Harry Truman, and he transformed it from an organization that originally tried to penetrate the Iron Curtain, to send agents and operatives inside the Iron Curtain. It was a complete disaster. The operatives were captured, they were used to uncover the networks of opposition inside the Soviet Union, it was absolutely counterproductive. Eisenhower turned the CIA away from that misbegotten mission of penetrating the Iron Curtain and instead assigned them the mission of penetrating and controlling the three-quarters of the globe that was on the U.S. side of the Iron Curtain, the free world.

And Eisenhower relied upon the CIA, and then the National Security Agency, to monitor signals. And we began to exercise our global hegemony, covertly, through the CIA and allied intelligence agencies. And that’s been a distinctive aspect of U.S. hegemony since the dawn of American global power in 1945. And that continues today, ever deepening, layer upon layer, through those processes you described. The drones, the surveillance, the cyberwarfare — all of that is covert.

JS: It’s interesting because there’s a lot of talk now about foreign interference in the U.S. election with — exclusively the attention is being focused on: did Russia interfere in our election? And if so, were they successful in promoting Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton? And in your book, you cite this compilation from Carnegie Mellon University that says between 1946 and 2000, rival superpowers the United States and the Soviet Union, then Russia, intervened in 117 elections or 11 percent of all the competitive national level contests held worldwide via campaign cash and media disinformation. And then you write, “Significantly, the United States was responsible for 81 of those attempts, 70 percent of the total.”

This is not new, the idea that nations interfere in in the elections of others. Walk us through some of the greatest hits of the CIA and other intelligence agencies in election interference, since the 1940s.

AM: Sure — first of all, that was one of the central instruments of the U.S. exercise of global power covertly. We were promoting democracy worldwide, we stood very strongly for democracy over authoritarianism. On the other hand, we were exercising U.S. hegemony, which meant that somehow for those open free democratic contests to produce a leader who was our guy. And indeed, one of the key aspects of U.S. global power, as exercised by Eisenhower through, covertly, was the change. Look, under the colonial empires, Britain, France, Belgium all the rest, they had district officers and they worked with chiefs, maharajahs, emirs, local officials in colonial districts around the globe. And they controlled who was going to be the new emir, who was going to be the new sultan, who was going to be the new maharajah.

And then, when all of those nations decolonized and became independent, the fulcrum for the exercise of power shifted from the colonial district to the presidential palace. And so the United States paid a lot of attention in controlling who were the leaders in those presidential palaces. If you look at the 240,000 WikiLeaks cables from around the world that were leaked in 2011, you’ll find that much of what they’re concerned about is, who is in those presidential palaces around the country? So the U.S. did it through coups and, during the period of the 1950s to the 1970s, about a quarter of the sovereign states in the world changed government by coups, and they also did it by electoral manipulation.

One of the most famous ones, the one that actually established the capacity of the CIA to do that, was the 1948 elections in Italy when it looked like the communist and socialist parties were slated for capturing a majority of the seats in parliament, and then forming a government. And you could have on our side of the Iron Curtain, in a very important world power, Italy, a legally elected, democratic elected communist government. And so the CIA spent, bargain basement, $1 million. Imagine: Buying Italy for a million dollars. Seems like a bargain.

They spent just a million dollars in very skillful, electoral manipulation, and they produced the electoral results of the Christian Democrats, a centrist government. And, throughout the Cold War, the U.S. deftly intervened in Italy at multiple levels overtly in bilateral aid and diplomacy, covertly, and electoral manipulation and something much deeper, Operation Gladio, where they had, if you will, an underground apparatus to seize power in Italy in the case of a communist takeover, by invasion. And the CIA would intervene, they pump money into the Liberal Democratic Party in Japan, they played electoral politics in the Philippines. They intervened in Korea politics, in South Korean politics, all around the globe. Any time that there was a serious electoral contest in which the outcome was critical to us, geopolitical interests, the U.S. was intervening.

Now, the difference between that and what we’ve seen with the 2016 elections in the United States, if you’re the global hegemon, you are manipulating, influencing other people’s elections. If you’re a global power like the United States that stands for democracy, that’s the way we exercise that power. We did it sometimes crudely, sometimes deftly, but we didn’t invade countries, we didn’t bomb et cetera. We did it that way. And when we were manipulating other people’s elections, we’re the global power. And when we’re being manipulated, when other powers are penetrating our society and manipulating our elections, that’s a sign that we’re a declining power. And that’s very serious.

In order to maintain our position internationally, not only do we have to exercise our power skillfully, covertly through the operations we’ve been describing, surveillance and the rest, and overtly through diplomacy and international leadership, treaties and trade and all that, OK? But we also have to make sure that our electoral process is impenetrable, is secure, that other powers cannot manipulate us because they’re going to try.

Reagan, Iran-Contra, the CIA, and Crack Cocaine

JS: I often find myself, when I’m watching the news, or in some cases even reading very serious powerful newspapers like the New York Times or the Washington Post, as they cover Donald Trump and this issue of Russia, it seems as though we are totally detached from history. And in reading your book I was reminded of the rise of Mobutu to power in Kinshasa, and also you went into great depth about the CIA crack cocaine story that ultimately was broken wide open by Gary Webb in the San Jose Mercury News, and then attacked and major news organizations trying to discredit him. Walk us through the Contra War and the connection to the selling of embargoed weapons to Iran and the fact that you had eleven senior officials in Ronald Reagan’s administration actually convicted of selling Iran embargoed arms.

I mean we talk about scandals and then you look at Reagan, and it’s like 11 senior officials convicted of selling embargoed arms to finance the CIA’s death squad the Contras in Nicaragua?

AM: You know, in the Reagan administration the United States was at a low ebb in its global power. The Reagan administration launched the invasion of Grenada. It was the first time in nearly a decade that the U.S. has been able to exercise its global power anywhere beyond the United States successfully, its military power. And then in Central America, the Reagan administration felt very threatened by the collapse of the Somoza regime, one of the U.S. client regimes in Central America, and the Sandinista guerrilla movement capturing the capital Managua in 1979.

And that occurred at the same time as the Soviet Red Army basically occupied Kabul, the capture of the capital of Afghanistan, so the Reagan administration felt threatened, on a kind of far periphery of U.S. power in Afghanistan, and close at home, kind of a gateway to America — in Central America. So the Reagan administration reacted by mounting two major covert operations: one, to push the Red Army out of Afghanistan and two, to overthrow the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. And both of these operations involved tolerating trafficking in opium in Afghanistan by the Mujahideen Muslim guerrilla fighters, and tolerating the trafficking in cocaine in Central America by our Contra allies.

And there were basically two forms of support for the Contras. The one was the arms-for-money deal to provide black money to sustain the Contra revolt for the decade that it dragged on. And the other thing was a kind of hands-off approach. There was a DEA operative, a Drug Enforcement Administration operative, in Honduras that was reporting on the Honduran military complicity in the transit traffic of cocaine moving from Colombia through Central America to the United States. He was removed from the country. And then the CIA, because of Congress cutting off the arms shipments periodically for the CIA, the so-called Boland amendment that imposed a kind of embargo upon U.S. support for the Contras, they needed to periodically warehouse their arms. And what they found was that the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras, particularly Roatan Island, was an ideal logistics point right off the coast — it was a major transshipment point for cocaine moving from Colombia across the Caribbean to the United States but it’s also an ideal place for the U.S. to warehouse and then ship its arms to the Contras on the border with Nicaragua and Honduras.

And so, the kingpin, the drug kingpin of the Bay Islands was a notorious international trafficker named Alan Hyde who had 35 ships on the high seas smuggling cocaine from Colombia into the United States. Every U.S. security agency involved, the Coast Guard, the CIA itself, the Drug Enforcement Administration, they all had reports about Alan Hyde being a Class A trafficker, arguably the biggest smuggler in the Caribbean. And to get access to his warehouses what the CIA did was they basically blocked any investigation of Alan Hyde from 1987 to 1992, during the peak of the crack-cocaine epidemic, and so the CIA got to ship their guns to his warehouses and then onward to the border post for the Contras. And Alan Hyde was given an immunity to investigation or prosecution for five years.

That’s — any criminal, that’s all they need, is an immunity to investigation. And this coincided with the flood of cocaine through Central America into the United States. This CIA inspector general in response to protests in South Central, Los Angeles, conducted an investigation also in response to Gary Webb’s inquiries and they released Report 1, they called “The California Connection.” They said that Gary Webb’s allegations that the CIA had protected the distributors, the deal of the Nicaraguan dealers who were brokering the sale of the import cocaine to the Crips and Bloods gangs in South Central, L.A., that that all that was false.

Then they issued, the inspector general in 1998, issued part two of that report, the executive summary said similarly: no case to answer, CIA relations with the Contras in Central America complex, but nothing about drugs. But if you actually read the report, all the way through, which is something historians tend to do, you get to paragraph 913 of that report and there are subsequently 40 of the most amazing revelations, 40 paragraphs of the most amazing revelations stating explicitly in cables and verbatim quotes from interviews with CIA operatives about their compromised relationship with the biggest drug smuggler in the Caribbean, Alan Hyde.

And if you go on the CIA website and you look for that 1998 Inspector General Report, you’ll find a little black line that says paragraphs 913-960 have been excised. Those are those paragraphs. But you can find them on the internet.

JS: One of the fascinating aspects of this — it’s a short part of your book, but I think it’s always important to point this out, the name Robert Gates pops up at the time that the CIA had this relationship with Hyde. Gates was the deputy director of the CIA, and of course now is one of the beloved figures in the bipartisan foreign policy consensus. He was defense secretary under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama. And Gates, his hands are all over this thing as well.

AM: Yeah, there’s, how am I going to put it? That illustrates the disparity between the formal rhetoric of politics and the geopolitics of the exercise of global power. And the difficulties, the demands, the moral and political compromises required to run, well let’s call it an empire. A global empire. And, from a pure realpolitik imperial perspective, that Contra operation, by seeking an effective complementation between the flow of drugs north, very powerful illicit economic force, and the Contra guerrilla operations, accomplish their objective. You know? After 10 years of supporting the Contras, the Sandinistas lost power for a time in a democratic election. They were finally pushed out of office. The CIA accomplished its mission.

Now, if you compare that with where we are with drugs and covert operations and military operations in Afghanistan, it was very successful in the 1980s, as a result of the CIA’s alliance of the Mujahideen, provisioning of arms and tolerance for their trafficking and drugs, which provided the bulk of their finance. You know, in 1989, the Soviet Red Army left Kabul, they left Afghanistan, the CIA won. Well today, of course, that drug traffic has been taken over by the Taliban and it funds the bulk of the Taliban’s guerrilla operations, pays for a new crop of teenage boys to become fighters every spring, and we’ve lost control of that. So from a realpolitik perspective, we can see a weakening of U.S. controls over these covert operations that are another manifestation of our, of the decline of the U.S. hegemony.

Heroin and the Worsening War in Afghanistan

JS: I want to ask you about Afghanistan given all of the work you’ve done on the intersection of covert operations on behalf of an empire and transnational narcotics trafficking. I think a lot of people who have followed the history of Afghanistan and U.S. involvement there find it hard to believe that the United States is not aware that its actions are fueling the heroin trade and fueling the insurgency there by having a Taliban that relies on it, as you just laid out. Given your historical, analytical work on past crises, what should we be looking for to see whether or not there is a direct U.S. role in facilitating narcotics flow out of Afghanistan?

AM: Sure. Good question. Look, during the 1980s, when that operation was successful, the CIA knew and in fact a man named Charles Cogan who was the head of the CIA operation in Afghanistan, and when he retired he gave an interview to Australian television, and he said, “Look, there was fallout from that operation. OK, yes there was fallout in terms of drugs.” But he said, “Let’s remember the Soviets left Afghanistan.” So the CIA was, and if Charles Cogan was any sign and I think he is, and he was the head of the operation for a while, they very well knew that the mujahideen fighters, the Muslim guerrillas they were arming and equipping, were getting the bulk of their finance and were sustaining their mass base among the farmers of southern Afghanistan through trafficking in opium and heroin. And that provided — I mean it provided 65 percent, the bulk of U.S. heroin supply, the bulk of the world’s supply.

Now, when the United States pulled out of Afghanistan in 1992, we turned our backs on it and the Taliban backed by Pakistan took power, and under the Taliban by 2000, by 1999-2000, the opium harvest more than doubled to 4500 tons. But then the Taliban became concerned about their pariah status and they decided that if they abolished opium they would no longer be a pariah state, they could get international recognition, they could strengthen their hold on power. And so they actually, in 2000-2001, completely wiped out opium, and it went down from 4600 tons to 180 tons, I mean like an incredible — the most, one of the most successful opium eradication programs anywhere on the planet.

They also completely weakened their state, so that when the U.S. began bombing in October 2001, after the 9/11 attacks, the Taliban quickly collapsed and then what happened was, of course, when the U.S. came back in, what we did was we worked through the CIA. And we put pallets of hundred dollar bills, we sent in $70 million in cash, we mobilized the old warlord coalition in the far north, the warlords there were heavily involved in opium traffic. We mobilize the Pashtun warlords who were all opium traffickers, and when they swept across Afghanistan and captured the countryside in the provincial capitals, they began supervising over the replanting of opium. And, very quickly, the opium harvest began blooming and by 2006 it was up to 8000 tons of opium — the highest in a century providing well over 90 percent of the world’s opium and heroin supply, and a majority of the gross domestic product of Afghanistan.

And, at the local level, the Taliban took control of the cultivation, the processing and the smuggling and they used the profits to rebuild their apparatus. They were completely wiped out in October 2001, they steadily rebuilt and have launched this succession of offensives that now control over half the countryside, so there’s a very clear relationship between the opium crop, which is now beyond our control, we ignored it up to 2004, as it was booming and spreading again. So it’s one of those interesting exercises or instances in which the U.S. loses control over this complementation between the illicit traffic and the surrogate warfare, that complementation that worked so well in Central America. When you’ve lost control of it in Afghanistan, and it’s one more index of our waning control over the world, an ever more complex world.

The Pillars of Empire Are Starting to Crumble

JS: One of the things that struck me as I read your book “In the Shadows of the American Century” was how often you predict, based on data, on historical example, that the United States as an empire is headed down a path of demise and you write about that with a nuance and you don’t pretend to know the exact scenario. One of the things you write in the book is, “Future historians are likely to identify George W. Bush’s rash invasion of Iraq, in 2003, as the start of America’s downfall. But instead of the bloodshed that marked the end of so many past empires with cities burning and civilians slaughtered, this 21st-century imperial collapse could come relatively quietly through the invisible tendrils of economic contraction or cyberwarfare.”

Why do you seem so convinced that this is inevitable, and how do you foresee the scenarios, potential scenarios for the demise of what we now understand as the American empire?

AM: There are, I think, multiple factors that lead to an imperial decline. If you look at the key aspects of the U.S. global power, you can see a waning of strength in every one of those. One of the key things that I think very few people understand, after World War II, the United States became the first world power, the first empire in 1,000 years to control both ends of the vast Eurasian continent. Now Eurasia, that enormous landmass, is the epicenter of world power. It’s got the resources, the people, the civilizations that — you’ve got to control that to control the world. And the United States, through the NATO alliance in Western Europe and a string of alliances along the Pacific littoral with Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Australia, controlled the axial ends of the Eurasian landmass.

And then we link that with layers of power, treaties multilateral defense treaties, starting with NATO in Europe, all the way to SETO and ANZUS with Australia, the Japan Mutual Security Treaty, the South Korea U.S. Mutual Security Treaty, the Philippine U.S. Mutual Security Treaty. And then we had fleets, we had the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean, the Seventh Fleet at Subic Bay Philippines, later the Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf. We had hundreds of military bases. By the end of the Cold War we have about 800 overseas military bases.

Most of those were arrayed around the Eurasian landmass. In the last 10 years as drone technology has developed, we’ve laid the latest layer upon that, which are the drone bases. There are 60 U.S. drone bases that stretch from Sicily all the way to Andersen air base on Guam, and that, given the range of the most powerful drones, the Global Hawk, it gives us surveillance and then with Predator and Reaper, strike capacity, all the way along that rim, and that has been, if you will, the key pillars in the global architecture of U.S. power.

And those pillars are starting to crumble. The NATO alliance is weakening under Trump, with the rise of Russian pressure on that alliance, but more particularly, our capacity to control those critical allies along the Pacific littoral is beginning to weaken. Jeremy, your organization The Intercept had, last April, a very important document that leaked out, the transcript of that phone conversation between President Trump and President Duterte of the Philippines, that should have had front page coverage all across the world, and every serious American newspaper. It got good coverage, but not the coverage it deserved.

If you read that transcript closely, you can see the waning of U.S. power along the Pacific littoral. Donald Trump is calling up, he’s got a fellow demagogue in the person of Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, who has killed about 8000 people in his so-called drug war — people blown away, bodies dumped in the streets of Manila and Cebu and elsewhere in the country, and he’s calling up and congratulating him and trying to bond with him, you know, autocrat to autocrat. And then Trump shifts the conversation and says, “Well, we got this problem in Korea. Kim Jong-un is unreliable.” And Duterte says, “I’m going to call China, I’ll talk to Xi Jinping about that.” And Trump says, “We’ve got some very powerful submarines, which we’re going to have in the area.” And Duterte says, “Yeah, I’m going to call,” he says, “Yeah, I’m gonna call Xi Jinping about that. I’ll be talking to China.”

And it’s clear that Trump is trying to court the man, trying to impress him with U.S. strength, and every time Trump tries to do it, Duterte responds, “I will call China.” It’s a clear indication of China’s rising power along that Pacific littoral. Also, China has been conducting a very skillful geopolitical strategy, so-called “One belt, One road” or “Silk Road” strategy and what China has been doing since about 2007 is they’ve spent a trillion dollars and they’re going to spend another trillion dollars in laying down a massive infrastructure of rails and gas and oil pipelines that will integrate the entire Eurasian landmass. Look, Europe and Asia, which we think of as — we’re learning in geography in elementary school that they’re two separate continents — they’re not. They were only separated by the vast distances, the steps in the desert that seem to divide them. Well China’s laid down, through a trillion dollars investment, a series of pipelines that are bringing energy from Central Asia across thousands of miles into China, from Siberia into China.

They’ve also built seven bases in the South China Sea and they’re taking control over these — spent over $200 million in transforming a fishing village on the Arabian Sea named Gwadar, in Pakistan, into a major modern port. They’ve also got port facilities in Africa. And through these port facilities they’re cutting those circles of steel that the United States laid down to kind of link and hold those two axial ends of Eurasia. So we are slowly, because of China’s investment, its development, some of our mismanagement of our relationships and long-term trends, those axial ends of Eurasia they’re crumbling. Our power, our control over that critical continent is weakening, and China’s control is slowly inexorably increasing and that is going to be a major geopolitical shift. One that is going to weaken the United States and strengthen China.

JS: You write, “All available economic, educational, technological data indicate that when it comes to U.S. global power, negative trends are likely to aggregate rapidly by 2020, and could reach a critical mass no later than 2030. The American Century, proclaimed so triumphantly at the start of World War II, may already be tattered and fading by 2025, and, except for the finger pointing could be over by 2030.” How do you see that happening and what does that mean for the United States in the world, but also for ordinary Americans?

AM: Sure. How do I see it happening? There are the geopolitical shifts that I just described. The other thing of the long-term trends, the issues of economic waning, U.S. economic strength. China is slowly, is steadily surpassing the United States as the number one economic power. That’s one long-term trend. And China will therefore have the resources to invest in military technology.

The second thing is, we speak of crumbling U.S. infrastructure, one thing that nobody talks about very seriously in a sustained way is the intellectual infrastructure of the country. The OECD, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the rich countries club, conducts these tests every couple years, the PISA tests, and they test 15-year-olds. In the latest rounds of tests, Shanghai students have come number one in math, science, and literacy.

U.S. students have been somewhere, in math and science, somewhere between 20 and 30. And so you might say, “Who cares about a bunch of 15-year-olds with braces, backpacks, and attitudes?” Well, by 2030, those 15-year-olds are going to be in their 20s and 30s. They’re going to be the super smart scientists and engineers that are coming up with the cutting edge technology. Technology, for example, like photon communications. China is evidently going to lead in this, that means that China can communicate with its satellites and its entire cyber and space and military apparatus without fear of being compromised. We have not developed the same level of photon communications as China. We’re much more subject to being hijacked and manipulated.

So, those kinds of trends in raw military power. The sort of the erosion of U.S. educational standards within 10 or 15 years can have some very serious implications for our military technology. It means you just don’t have the scientists, the technology, the innovation that has been so central to U.S. global power for so many years. And so that waning, the geopolitical shifts, you know, those invisible movements of a power arrayed across the landscape. And then the technological and educational shifts coming together means that there are all kinds of ways for the U.S. to lose power. Either with a bang or a whimper. But by 2030, it’s pretty much over for our global dominion.

JS: And is that, is that in your opinion a bad thing?

AM: Well, yes it is, and I here, you know I speak, you could call me, you know a narrow American. But, OK, every empire — if you think we’ve had empires in the world for about 4,000 years. Some have been more benign and beneficent, others have been absolutely brutal. If you want to go to the most brutal empire, I think in human history, the Nazi empire in Europe. It was an empire. It plundered. Much of that mobilization of labor was just raw exploitation. It was the most brutal empire in human history and it collapsed. The Japanese empire in Asia, which was arguably the biggest empire in history, was a second runner-up for raw brutality, they collapsed. The British empire was relatively benign. Yes, it was a global power, there were many excesses, many incidents, one can go on, but when it was all over, they left the Westminster system of parliament, they left the global language, they left a global economy, they left a culture of sports, they created artifacts like the BBC.

So the U.S. empire has been, and we’ve had our excesses, Vietnam, we could go on. Afghanistan. There are many problems with the U.S. exercise of its power but we have stood for human rights, the world has had 70 years of relative peace and lots of medium size wars but nothing like World War I and World War II. There has been an increase in global development, the growth of a global economy, with many inequities, but nonetheless, transnationally, a new middle class is appearing around the globe. We’ve stood for labor rights and environmental protection. Our successor powers, China and Russia, are authoritarian regimes. Russia’s autocratic, China’s a former communist regime. They stand for none of these liberal principles.

So you’ll have the realpolitik exercise of power, all the downsides with none of the upsides, with none of the positive development. I mean we’ve stood for women’s rights, for gay rights, for human progress, for democracy. You know we’ve been flawed in efficacy, but we’ve stood for those principles and we have advanced them. So we have been, on the scale of empires, comparatively benign and beneficent. And I don’t think the succeeding powers are going to be that way.

Moreover, there are going to be implications for the United States. Most visibly, I think that when the dollar is no longer the world’s unchallenged, pre-eminent, global reserve currency, the grand imperial game will be over. Look, what we’ve been able to do for the last 20 years is we send the world our brightly colored, our nicely printed paper, T-notes, and they give us oil and automobiles and computers and technology. We get real goods and they get brightly colored paper. Because of the position of the dollar. When the dollar is no longer the global reserve currency, the cost of goods in the United States is going to skyrocket.

We will not be able to travel the world as we do now. We won’t be able to enjoy the standard of living we do now. There will be lots of tensions that are going to occur in the society from what will be a major rewriting of the American social contract. This will not be pleasant. And arguably, I think it’s possible if we look back, we could see Trump’s election and all the problems of the Trump administration as one manifestation of this imperial decline.

Sham, Iraq, Egypt: the Authoritiesٍ