US Policy Paradox: How To Lose Friends And Influence Nothing

Authored by Adam Garrie via The Asia Times,

When Paul Robeson belted out the lyric “I’m tired of living, and scared of dying,” he stumbled on to a paradox of emotional dissonance that could easily define the geo-strategic cognitive dissonance that the US exhibits when dealing with its fellow superpowers Russia and China.

Time and again the United States has shown that it does not want war with either of those countries, and these feelings are of course mutual. However, the US has a strange penchant for conducting provocative measures that inexorably harm relations with both Russia and China in mind-blowingly close proximity in time to moves suggesting rapprochement or, at minimum, de-escalation of tensions.

The most recent example is the Pentagon signing an agreement to open lines of direct communication with the commanders of the People’s Liberation Army to avoid “miscalculations” in areas ranging from the Korean Peninsula to the South and East China Seas.

In a rational environment, this would be seen as a US climb-down over actions China finds unacceptable in Korea and in its maritime waters. But in the current environment, while the US has signed an agreement that would ideally reduce tensions between the Chinese and US armed forces, the US president has also authorized his government to open an investigation into Chinese trade practices. While the proximate issue is US intellectual-property rights in China, the phrase “anti-Chinese sanctions” is on the tip of everyone’s lips.

Far from being out of character, the dichotomy of cooperating with China and engaging in a would-be pre-emptive trade war that the Chinese Ministry of Commerce has warned could be deeply dangerous is actually par for the course under the Trump administration.

On July 7, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin met for the first time. The most meaningful outcome of the meeting was the agreement jointly to police a ceasefire and accompanying de-escalation zone in southwestern Syria, along with Jordan.

Less than a month later, Trump signed a sanctions bill against Russia that Moscow remains furious about. Détente 2.0 officially lasted from July 7 to August 3, 2017.

In respect of Iran, the Trump administration has quietly but officially stated that Tehran has not violated a single clause of the 2015 nuclear deal, but US officials continue to sanction Iran and continue to speak of Iran as though it has violated every agreement ever signed in history.

This has the aggregate effect of making the United States appear tired of warring but scared of cooperating.

In reality, neither Russia, China nor Iran wants war with the United States. One could also add North Korea, Mexico, Syria, Venezuela, Zimbabwe or just about every other country on the planet to that list.

Therefore, while moves to de-escalate military tensions are positive developments no matter where they happen, the mixed signals the US is sending will only serve as a demonstration that the US is not serious about proper de-escalation and cooperation and therefore it is only natural for the wider world to assume the worst about the United States, which far too often translates into “the tense status quo hasn’t changed”.

What’s more is that while pundits argue over whether this is part of a larger American geo-strategic plan to sow confusion or is simply an inexperienced Trump administration that cannot decide if it is coming or going, the wider world is more concerned with the effect than the cause.  

In this sense, the US is less like the longing voice of “Old Man River” than it is like the author of a future worst-seller, “How to Lose Friends and Influence Nothing”.


Shemp 4 Victory Common_Law Mon, 08/21/2017 - 04:16 Permalink


I would bet that more Asians would would understand the titles reference to Dale Carnegie than americans would. Which would explain the problems presented above.

Dale Carnegie's approach requires empathy. This is an alien concept for US citizens.

Far from being out of character, the dichotomy of cooperating with China and engaging in a would-be pre-emptive trade war that the Chinese Ministry of Commerce has warned could be deeply dangerous is actually par for the course under any Vichy DC regime.

This is the exact same brand of US Fuckery® that went on with China, Russia, and Iran under the Obama regime. More proof, as is any is needed at this point, that US Democracy® is a charade and voting accomplishes nothing.

In reply to by Common_Law

lew1024 LindseyNarrate… (not verified) Mon, 08/21/2017 - 10:38 Permalink

This is so perfect it is very difficult to believe it is real.OTOH, hard to imagine that anyone outside of the extreme SJWs could write anything that perfect.I find I agree with pieces of it, taxes and military spending and imperialism. Corporations are stupid and corrupt.  It doesn't spend any time on government corruption, which nobody outside of ANTIFA could resist, a major point for it being real.

In reply to by LindseyNarrate… (not verified)

Rebelrebel7 (not verified) c2nnib2l Mon, 08/21/2017 - 02:33 Permalink

Honestly, it is pretty damned obvious that Hillary intentionally lost the election to keep the pay to play money. It would be almost impossible to run a campaign any worse! She did everything shy of becoming an axe murderer... That we are aware of.  I'm sure that she and Bill are Rolling on the floor laughing about screwing Wall Street over!

In reply to by c2nnib2l

jeff montanye Rebelrebel7 (not verified) Mon, 08/21/2017 - 03:29 Permalink

meant to lose, want to seem to oppose trump, just like complaining.  all entertaining ideas.they could all fit hillary.  but what of the transition from 9-11 and the green screens to the jailable one at the debate, holding her own.  they may very well be rolling and laughing but i think she is still conflicted about madame president.  but there, with them on the carpet, in small, is my point.the clintons are killers (small scale) and thieves (larger).  but they, either of them, unlikely to start a war on their own.ditto, pretty much, the mic, on its own.  the gravy flows nearly as well in a cold war with occasional warm ups as it does in five white hot wars started and losing in sixteen years, and the advertising's, the impetus here comes from true believers.  among the few, of any stripe, at the highest levels of our society.and with billions and generations of concentrated effort by thousands and millions, we have what we have.but because no empires last forever and history is speeding up, trump has more than no chance.  he has, perhaps, the first chance to beat the zionists and the deep state they have captured, if they intend to remove him from office alive.  as this nexus is revealed in our government, rehearsed by a similar show in the media, the deep state, corrupt dinosrinos, the mossad likud, sayanim and assets, are driven to more transparent and risky efforts to obtain the same results, kind of like printing money and expanding credit with rising debt. reducing the difficulty of catching them properly in the court of public opinion and/or a grand jury room.

In reply to by Rebelrebel7 (not verified)

dark pools of soros jeff montanye Mon, 08/21/2017 - 06:47 Permalink

a LOT of people are worse than sheep and will parrot whatever whisper down the lane disinformation they hear in their over-medicated state of zombie existence

external fear doesnt work on these jokes of life just internal fear and shame. thats why russia this or that doesnt work but fear of being racist does

the narrative has to switch to other areas since that is the only real psyop the globalist swine has working

In reply to by jeff montanye

HenryHall dark pools of soros Mon, 08/21/2017 - 07:00 Permalink

>> So many victories for the left. I can't figure out why they want him gone......or is it the appearance of wanting him gone?Getting rid of Trump is a victory for a sector of the right. The left (communists) regard him as a very slightly less evil option of those few actually feasible options. Most USC communists voted "anyone but Hillary Clinton".

In reply to by dark pools of soros

LindseyNarrate… (not verified) Rebelrebel7 (not verified) Mon, 08/21/2017 - 03:23 Permalink

Mr. Rebel, you know not of what you write.  NO ONE, including Candidate Trump, HIMSELF, believed that he would win, primarily due to vote-fraud, BUT HE DID WIN, BECAUSE OF ENORMOUS!!!! SUPPORT FROM PEOPLE, LIKE HERE, AT MR. DURDEN'S SITE, AND MYSELF.That is a stone-cold-FACT.Watch the footage from election night, from both CNN and MSNBC, "respectively", and you will know, WITHOUT-ANY-AMBIGUITY, that you are 100% wrong.CNN:   

In reply to by Rebelrebel7 (not verified)

lew1024 Soul Glow Mon, 08/21/2017 - 10:46 Permalink

No.  Trump has the right instincts, but is captive of his social circle.  He has not been in the right political circles to know better, is not a 'thinker' about politics. He has gotten bad advice from friends and family, has not relied on Stone and the few rational libertarians in the Republican Party.

In reply to by Soul Glow

Rebelrebel7 (not verified) Mon, 08/21/2017 - 03:13 Permalink

Xi is also extremely competent at losing friends! As long as China writes the rules for the other country, and violates its own end of the bargain, they are content, similar, to the U.S. in many ways.In 2010, the Chinese government forced US corporations to hand over patent  information to the Chinese government. The U.S. corporations must have, by law, Chinese partners because the government doesn't want independent foreign businesses operating in China, something rarely discussed in the mainstream. There are approximately 25 million Chinese people employed by foreign companies, much lower than the impression that I was under. is highly likely that many US companies violated US national secrecy  laws in order to comply with China's 2010 demands. As long as China would respect IP, they were probably willing to sell our national security out. China has never respected IP.

Righttoarmbears Mon, 08/21/2017 - 02:31 Permalink

/* Style Definitions */
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Never Under estimate stupid!!

veritas semper… Sandmann Mon, 08/21/2017 - 11:59 Permalink

How about killing non stop civilians in Syria and destroying infrastructure? It killed 90 civilians in 5 days. More than 600 in last few months?How about this?What business does it have there (only to continue to prove it's a Zionist entity and absolute evil).OT: it seems that the article about Kristol has disappeared. Isn't this kosher?

In reply to by Sandmann

ukipboy Mon, 08/21/2017 - 03:44 Permalink

Trump signed the sanctions. The US Senate passed the sanctions bill by a veto-proof majority, 98 voting in favor of sanctions, only Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul voting against. If a gross error has been made (and it has) the error has been made by the swamp creatures who are controlled by the Deep State in Washington,

quadraspleen Mon, 08/21/2017 - 04:28 Permalink

It’s almost as if he has an idea, to break the ridiculous deadlock and self-defeating actions that’ve affected American foreign policy for the last, what? 30-40 years? And then someone comes along and makes him change his mind. Making him seem unhinged in the process.

He may be covering for the former, but he won’t put up with the latter for long..methinks Trump will be breaking one of the three laws of robotics soon...

Youri Carma Mon, 08/21/2017 - 05:00 Permalink

So funny watching an old 80-ties James Bond movie in which a Russian General doesn't want détente and is called a psychopath."Retired KGB General Georgi Koskov has been delivered to the West, where he tries to persuade Bond’s bosses that Pushkin has reanimated the SMERSH plan and has made a hit list of foreign agents.By selling this lurid story, he wants to provoke a quarrel between the two great powers and, in the ensuing chaos, to smuggle opium LOLz and profit from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Bond and Pushkin team up and eventually Koskov is arrested in Tangiers."Source:…

veritas semper… Youri Carma Mon, 08/21/2017 - 12:08 Permalink

Jewllywood BS. I can not watch any of their low rated propaganda movies ,filled with violence,foul language(reduced to OMG,gosh,f*ck,sh*t like the vocabulary of a 10 year old stupid kid),pornography ,parroting zionist ,See Eye Ayy approved script.Pedophile,Satanists,one eye "enlightened" sycophants.For some reason,I despise them even more than MSM presstitutes.

In reply to by Youri Carma

Joiningupthedots Mon, 08/21/2017 - 04:57 Permalink

American behaviour is easily understood when the demise of Pax Americana is understood.America is well on its way out as the global hedgemon and all of the trade sanctions (war by other means) is just a method to try amd slow down that demise.Picking arguements with percieved smaller and weaker countries such as Iran, NK and Venezuela is a very unsophisticated and completely innefective method of attempting to intimidate Russia and China.Russia and China cannot be militarily defeated or America goes with them and the OBOR will eventually (-20 years) make the USN obsolete to all intents and purposes.Theres no chance happenings here, it s all deliberate.Eurasian high speed rails are being built nowThe Remnibi is an SDR currency about to be backed by goldRussian energy is being fully integreated into Europe and Eurasia with an agreed upon Rouble/Remnibi mechanism in placeOnce Saudi collapses and with it USD oil the USD is gone.Short of MAD there is nothing America can do except whistle Dixie.

HardAssets Joiningupthedots Mon, 08/21/2017 - 09:50 Permalink

No . . . there's plenty that America can do.

-Restore the U.S. Constitution and rule of law.
-End the Fed and its monopoly on counterfeiting.
-Declare a Jubilee on all so-called 'debt created from 'credit' made out of thin air.
- Put psychopath banksters in prison
- End overseas adventurism & foreign entanglements
- Pursue, arrest, and lock up the pedophiles - especially those in high positions
- Rebuild American industry
- Drastically reduce the size of the federal government

This and much more can be done. The problem is that after the Civil War and especially after WW2, America took a dangerous path away from her ideal vision. So many Americans are entangled and believe they are dependent on that path, that it is highly unlikely that they will get off it.

In reply to by Joiningupthedots

Money_for_Nothing Mon, 08/21/2017 - 06:59 Permalink

Does anyone think that China, India, Russia, Turkey and Iran are going to be best buddies when the US isn't around to be the price setter. Without the US market everything in the world is overpriced. Too much supply and too little demand.

Serfs and poor countries go together. You want Asia to have One Belt One Road? Then return Hong Kong to what it was before the communist took over. Without the US to wipe its ass China goes back to what it was before Nixon opened it up. Capital Controls are a sign of a broken system. China doesn't seem to want to fix its broken system.

Money_for_Nothing Mon, 08/21/2017 - 07:16 Permalink

---"Picking arguements with percieved smaller and weaker countries such as Iran, NK and Venezuela is a very unsophisticated and completely innefective method of attempting to intimidate Russia and China."

NK wants its allowance that Bill Clinton gave it. DJT said FU.

---"Russia and China cannot be militarily defeated or America goes with them and the OBOR will eventually (-20 years) make the USN obsolete to all intents and purposes."

Who want to militarily defeat these? Poland, Philippines and India for example just want these countries to quit threatening to invade over economic policy.

---"Theres no chance happenings here, it s all deliberate."

That is certainly true of every group or agency involved.

---"Eurasian high speed rails are being built now"

Subsidized boondoggles. See Japan.

---"The Remnibi is an SDR currency about to be backed by gold"

The IMF gold? If so not enough. Chinese gold? Everyone believes Fort Knox is empty. So everyone will believe China won't do what Nixon did?

---"Russian energy is being fully integreated into Europe and Eurasia with an agreed upon Rouble/Remnibi mechanism in place"

Don't forget Rouble/Euro also. The issue is that these parties have less credibility than the Federal Reserve.

---"Once Saudi collapses and with it USD oil the USD is gone."

Remember Lincoln's greenback? The Eurodollar may be gone. Also the paper hundred-dollar-bill may be gone. But I would be surprised if in the next twenty years the Rouble or Yuan has wider international acceptance than the dollar. Saudi collapse would probably end Western tolerance of islam. Who would take over Mecca?

HardAssets Mon, 08/21/2017 - 09:56 Permalink

A week after the inauguration speech, I would have guessed that Trump's upcoming t.v. announcement about Iraq/Afghanistan is for the purpose of announcing a withdrawal.

Now - I have no idea what he might say. It might even be an increase of U.S. troops there.
If he does increase troops - - - the man is completely captured by those who do not have America First in mind.

farflungstar Mon, 08/21/2017 - 10:07 Permalink

Too many palm rubbing swamp creatures have influence - our govt appears schizophrenic not just to us but outsiders also who are left scratching their heads.The patriarchy would get rid of these divisions