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This ‘intensely stupid election’ August 14, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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I think the line above from Jim Newell about the US election and in particular the Foley/Mateen stories is absolutely spot on. It’s not that the election is unimportant. Anything but, but as a campaign, in terms of how it is conducted it is indeed intensely, tooth-grindingly stupid. And an incredible waste of energy, money, resources. Worse again, as Newell points to, is the nature of the coverage. As he says:

It’s not like we don’t have plenty of other genuinely scandalous material to work with this year.

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1. gendjinn - August 14, 2016

Have you read Tom Holland’s Rubicon? It’s a quick read and it feels more and more like a primer for this and future elections. Most especially in the US but frankly, everywhere.

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WorldbyStorm - August 14, 2016

I haven’t, but I will now. I’ve long thought that Irish politics was a lot closer to the US model than the UK or more broadly European one (at least as was). Two largish parties of the centre centre right. A fair smattering of independents. The left in all its forms quite marginal. Granted there’s space outside FF at national and other levels to push a leftist programme unlike the way the Democrats soak up that territory and well into the centre right (by the way, McDowell in the SBP today was, correctly, giving out about Trump and also the Republican party. Be interesting to know who he’d vote for in the US).

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gendjinn - August 14, 2016

In the West post WW2 has there really been any other option but two center right parties differing on social issues?

Paperclip, Gladio, Echelon, Iran, Guatamala, De Gaulle govt, AU … there’s little doubt they ran riot through every single left wing organization and party in Europe. At this point, know what we do about the 40s, 50s, 60s, 00s, we know they started utterly ruthless and never got any qualms.

After Talbot’s book on the Dulles brothers it makes you wonder if John Smith’s heart attack was natural. I’ve been converted from Oswald acted alone to JFK was assassinated because he tried to stand up to the MIC and de-escalate in Vietnam. There’s another Dulles book I have to read but the indications are that it won’t refute Talbot.

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WorldbyStorm - August 14, 2016

I know at this remove it can seem very samey but I tend to the view that social democracy did have a very significant weight and that the parties espousing it weren’t toothless. Nor were the reforms they introduced meaningless either and the history of the German SDP, Swedish SDs, British Labour, etc is one of some progress across the 50s, 60s and in the case of the first 70s.

I’d be very wary about conspiratorial interpretations of history to be honest. For a start it’s impossible to pin narratives built on them down. Secondly it suggests a level of organisation – and good organisation – so intricate that I find it difficult to believe it possible. I’m not saying there are no conspiracies, but I think an over reliance on them as an explicatory dynamic is problematic.

And take Smith. Would that really have made such a difference? I was an LP member myself in the UK during some of that period. He’d have had pretty much the same cabinet as Blair subsequently did, much the same pressures, etc. He’d have been more left wing rhetorically, but… and in a way it comes back to your first point. If social democracy didn’t make any impact then what difference would it make him in or out of power.

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gendjinn - August 14, 2016

So I’d be agreeing with the first two paragraphs. Note the timeline coincides with the Dulles brothers hypothesis and timeline of coups as tools by the CIA. I never used to be a JFK CT, in fact argued the opposite up until recently. Been reading a lot of other post-WW2 20th century history, the Oliver Stone doc & Talbot in particular have put me across the line on this one.

I would say that the Bloody Sunday coverup was a conspiracy. The state imprisoning the Birmingham 6 knowing they were innocent was a conspiracy. There are plenty of cabals and conspiracies, screwing people over for power. It’s everywhere in history, always has been, always is. Why would the present be any different and what’s that saying about treason never prospers?

The Smith bit was more a reflection of the peek behind the curtain. One has always been suspicious of depths of Intelligence agencies into politics (foreign and domestic) if it rises to the level of assassinating a US president and getting away with it, then really anything is possible.

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Michael Carley - August 14, 2016

I don’t agree on JFK, because he wasn’t opposed to the MIC, but I think you’re right about the right’s right to be right (Gladio, etc.) but the odd case is the Attlee government, which I think must be the most left-wing government ever elected in Europe. My guess is that capital had the good sense to accept the Labour reforms, to stave off revolution, especially since Attlee made no substantial change in the colonies.

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gendjinn - August 14, 2016

I used be very skeptical on JFK and the military too. The evidence I’ve come across the last couple of years would support a change of heart and hence Dallas.

Attlee came in right on the heels of WW2, while they were ready to stage a coup in Italy, maybe interfering in the UK was just unimaginable to too many people in 45? Or maybe it was Attlee that changed their minds?

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WorldbyStorm - August 14, 2016

Yeah it’s a fascinating area. There were a lot of rumours and stuff in the 1970s in the UK. Never amounted to much. Mountbatten was fingered as a potential figurehead but from the available evidence seems to have been unwilling to participate. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Wilson_conspiracy_theories

I do wonder how such a coup would work in the UK particularly with the North in turmoil. Would have been messy. Still, other places have had them so why not there.

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WorldbyStorm - August 14, 2016

Just on Bloody Sunday etc conspiracy in a way yes but also an establishment circling the wagons, avoiding engaging with contrary evidence or manufacturing some that is expedient. It’s completely squalid.

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Michael Carley - August 14, 2016

Remember the army voted Labour. I think enough people had the wit to understand that if they tried to block a Labour government, they could be facing revolution.

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gendjinn - August 15, 2016

@WbS

re:Coup – There seems to more slowly surfacing around that Mountbatten rumour as the years go by. I’d look to Chris Mullin’s A Very British Coup as a template.

re:Bloddy Sunday – Yes but being dismissed as CT and/or terrorist sympathiser for advancing said CT was how it was handled by state and allies in the media.

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Gewerkschaftler - August 15, 2016

“n the West post WW2 has there really been any other option but two center right parties differing on social issues?”

Yes, ther has been. I’d divide the US-dominated post-WWII era into two parts – the Bretton Woods era and after the end of Bretton Woods in 1976.

During Bretton Woods US planners were often a kind of Keynsian and saw the economic and political value of working with genuine Social Democrats, providing they were in the anti-Soviet block and held local communists in check.

After Bretton Woods, and emphatically after the defeat of the Soviet Union, the policy shifted, with active support within former social democratic parties, to the destruction or suppression of anything left of standard neo-liberalism.

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gendjinn - August 15, 2016

Yes and in both periods the entire intelligence apparatus of the West has been actively hostile to those organisations. It was just after Bretton Woods the entire state apparatus was on board.

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2. sonofstan - August 14, 2016

The conspiracy theory I keep hearing is the ‘Trump is a Clinton plant’ one. Because it will be impossible to disprove, I can see it been whispered for years.

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gendjinn - August 14, 2016

There’ve been statements that Bill encouraged Trump to run in a phone call. I’d say that’s about as far as any conspiracy goes.

But it sounds too much like someone stroking Bill’s ego.

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sonofstan - August 15, 2016

Yeah. I didn’t mean I thought there was anything in it, just that it was significant that it’s gaining momentum

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gendjinn - August 15, 2016

People do love their stories, don’t we🙂

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3. gendjinn - August 15, 2016

One or more of the writers on Archer must have read these Dulles books because they had a full on rant about Dulles/CIA in this season’s episode. There’ve been previous references to Gladio/Echelon.

More history than US audiences ever get😉

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4. sonofstan - August 15, 2016
5. Dr. X - August 15, 2016

My favourite conspiracy theory is the one that holds that Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia was secretly a woman.

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6. fergal - August 15, 2016

I don’t know about conspiracy theories(CT) but Trump is the candidate that keeps on giving- surely Clinton can’t lose this one.
So, here’s the CT 1. Sanders enters the race in April 2015 2 Clinton entourage, Wall Street, the military industrial complex are spooked by the Brooklyn bruiser 3 Somebody somewhere suggests pushing a republican nutjob like Bill o’Reilly or Trump 4 Trump it will be and he declares he’s running in June 2015 5 Idea is to get rid of Bernie, so even his own supporters will rally round the anybody but Trump candidate Clintob 6 Clinton wins and it(s busy as usual for Wall St. and the military industrial complex…
Actually, when you think about it…:-)

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7. fergal - August 15, 2016

business as usual!(6)

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