When, Where, And How Will The Empire Strike Back?

Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

In any analysis of contemporary international politics it pays to be cautiously pessimistic. As the default mode one can generally expect that any way in which things can go wrong to threaten the peace and security of the planet, they will. Anticipation of improvement is a chump’s bet.

That’s why the analyst’s gut instinct rebels at any indication that things overall may be moving in a positive direction, however haltingly or indirectly. But consider:

  • Europe’s anti-Russia sanctions: American pressure on Europe with respect to trade with Iran, added to Trump’s new tariffs, feeds resentment across Europe, especially in powerful Germany, which especially objects to Washington’s threatening sanctions on companies participating in Nord Stream 2. It may be too soon to guess how soon the EU will pull the plug on anti-Russian sanctions, but there’s something in the air when even the likes of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker can say that “Russia-bashing has to be brought to an end.”  Italy’s voice will be key.

At the epicenter of each one of these earthshaking developments is one man: Donald Trump.

It would be inaccurate to say that these are even moves of the US government, of which Trump is only in partial control. With the permanent government – not to mention some of his own appointees – seeking to undermine him at every step, Trump seems to be resorting to the one tool he has at his personal disposal: disruption.

Let’s remember that, especially in the Rust Belt states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin, those who voted for Trump wanted something radically different from business as usual. They voted for him because they wanted a bull in a china shop, a wrecking ball, a human hand grenade, a big “FU” to the system.

Maybe that’s what we got.

To be sure, none of the foregoing itemized developments is dispositive. But taken together they point to a remarkable confluence of good omens, at least from the point of view of those who wanted to shake up, even shatter, the cozy arrangements that have guided the so-called “liberal global order.”

But those whose careers and privileges, and in some cases their freedom and even lives, depend on perpetuating that order will not go gentle into that good night. They are getting nervous. This means in particular the elements of the US-UK special services, their Democratic and GOP Never-Trump fellow travelers, the Trump-hating fake news media, and the bureaucratic nonentities in Brussels (not only at the European Commission but at NATO headquarters).

If past is prologue, the Empire will strike back – hard and dirty.

One is reminded of the past seven years of war in Syria, where every time the US indicated a willingness to disengage, or when Syrian forces had made major military gains, then – BAM! – a chemical weapons attack immediately and without evidence is attributed to government forces, followed by renewed cries of “Assad is killing his own people! Assad must go!” (This is a ploy that goes back at least the Bosnian war of the 1990s. Every time a negotiated ceasefire seemed to be taking shape, another “Serb mortar attack” on civilians took place, leading to calls for NATO military action.)

The question is not “if” there will be a provocation, rather it’s one of when, where and how. While it’s difficult to make predictions, especially about the future, it’s nonetheless possible to anticipate some possibilities:

  • FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia (June 14 to July 15): Given the huge expense and effort Russia has put into the World Cup as a favorable showcase to the world, it will be a tempting target. Let’s remember that the unconstitutional ouster of Ukraine’s elected government took place as Putin’s attention was presumably distracted by his pride and joy, the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. The 2008 attack by Georgia’s then-president, Mikheil Saakashvili, on South Ossetia, was launched while the world’s eyes were focused on the Summer Olympics in Beijing. Both initiatives led to a strong counteraction by Moscow, leading in turn to worsened relations between Russia and the west – including Russia’s suspension from the G8 in 2014. (Though in the fevered imagination of western Russophobes, Putin was the one using the games as a cover, not the other way around.) A provocation could be directed against the FIFA events themselves – perhaps a terrorist attack by ISIS operatives reportedly being ferried out of the Middle East to Russia – or something elsewhere timed to coincide with matches being played all over Russia.

  • Ukraine: Regarding President Petro Poroshenko’s actions, everything must be put into the context of upcoming presidential elections in 2019. Poroshenko has to find a way to get into a runoff, presumably against Yulia Tymoshenko. The most beneficial thing he could do would be somehow to pull a rabbit out of his hat and achieve a peace deal in the Donbas. But chances of that are slim to none, as it would require flexibility from Kiev that Poroshenko can’t afford to show lest he be accused of being a Russian puppet. Conversely, he can up the ante with the Russians and hope the West will line up behind him. Perhaps the recent fake news murder fiasco regarding the still very much alive Arkady Babchenko was to have been one such ploy but it misfired. But there are other options, such as a provocation along the line of control in the Donbas (the newly delivered US Javelin missiles are handy, as is the Dutch MH17 report), maybe a covert attack on the Kerch bridge, as well as other less obvious possibilities.

  • Incident between NATO and Russian forcesNATO forces are stepping up provocative maneuvers on Russia’s doorstep in the Baltic and Black seas – purely to deter Moscow’s aggression, mind you. An incident could occur as any time, either by accident or on purpose. Either way, it would be the hostile Russians’ fault for putting their country so close to our bases and the venues of our military exercises.

  • Assassination: One of Putin’s well-known predilections is for killing, or at least attempting to kill, anyone who might displease him. Or like Assad with his chemical weapons, maybe Putin kills just for the sheer, malicious fun of it. The list of victims is long: Babchenko (except, not), the two Skripals (except, not them either), political opponents like Boris Nemtsov and Sergei Yushenkov, muckraking journalists like Anna Politkovskaya and Natalia Estemirova, former chekist Aleksandr Litvinenko, RT network founder Mikhail Lesin, crusading lawyers like Stanislav Markelov and Sergei Magnitsky, oligarch Boris Berezovsky, and so on. A well-timed rubout of a suitably visible figure would have a salubrious impact on any annoying moves towards east-west rapprochement. No evidence is needed – the mere identity of the victim would be irrefutable proof of Putin’s guilt.

Regarding the last item, assassination, it should always be kept in mind that in the end the man threatening to upset the applecart of the liberal global order isn’t Putin – it’s Trump. That suggests an ultimate solution that might become tempting if The Donald’s continued functioning at higher than room temperature becomes just too much to endure.

As Joseph Stalin is reputed to have remarked, “Death solves all problems. No man, no problem.” Trump, who for many powerful people is quite a problem indeed, has been recklessly compared to Jean-Marie Le Pen, Silvio Berlusconi, Vladimir Putin – even to Hitler and Mussolini. In an American context, to Andrew Jackson, Huey Long, and George Wallace. Let’s note that each of those three Americans was the target of assassination. Jackson (someone Trump is known to admire) survived by a failure of his attacker’s pistols, hailed by some at the time as miraculous. “The Kingfish” was killed. Wallace was crippled for life.

There is reason to think that Trump is well aware of the fate of the last American president who so threatened the habitual order of things and the entrenched, ruthless establishment that profits so mightily from it. He has repeatedly indicated his interest in releasing the full file on Jack Kennedy’s assassination, then backed off from it for undisclosed reasons. The shooting death of the president’s brother Robert Kennedy, who had he been elected president in 1968 would have had the opportunity to reopen the investigation into his brother’s murder, is back in the news with Robert Kennedy, Jr., expressing doubt about the official conclusion that his father was killed by Sirhan Sirhan.

If anyone thinks there is any length to which Trump’s enemies will not go, think again.


bobcatz cheoll Sat, 06/09/2018 - 23:41 Permalink

Unless America puts the rabid dog down (I mean Israel), the rapid dog will cause its downfall. The hatred around the world that people have for America today, a country they used to love, is all because the world sees the us's hypocrisy in the mideast: supporting an apartheid state and all of its crimes when it preaches freedom and liberty for everyone except for the Palestinians.


“A lot will have to do with Israel and whether or not Israel wants to make the deal – whether or not Israel’s willing to sacrifice certain things. They may not be,  and I understand that, and I’m OK with that. But then you’re just not going to have a deal.” – Donald Trump, Potus

In reply to by cheoll

Cryptopithicus Homme bobcatz Sun, 06/10/2018 - 00:24 Permalink

Look at that shot from the G7 with Trump folding his arms defiantly with Merkel bearing down on him and the other leaders looking like all the enthusiasm has been drained from their bodies?

Obviously, this photo was staged as all hell.  And probably had retake after retake... "Try look more mean Mr. Trump and Merkel... let's see some frustration baby!  You too Mr. Abe!"

So what the fuck is really going on here?

In reply to by bobcatz

Leakanthrophy LiteBeeer Sun, 06/10/2018 - 03:18 Permalink

The empire doesn't need to strike back.. because sheeple are kept busy with bread and circus.

I mean sports and internet porn.

Nothing is more important than seeing the last football game, or the latest celebrity MILF shamed over her sex tape leaks:

Former Miss England Danielle Lloyd nude photos and sex tapes leaked




In reply to by LiteBeeer

Scar Bro Leakanthrophy Sun, 06/10/2018 - 03:50 Permalink

If at this point you think that Trump is still here to "drain the swamp" you've reached new levels of delusion.

The only pre-election promises he's stood by are those that further the Israeli agenda. When it comes to MAGA, he's done nothing. All this posturing against the EU is just because the EU had the audacity to continue with the Iran deal.

All the (non-Israel) shit he promised

The Mexico wall

Stop foreign wars

Drain the swamp

Better relations with Russia (apparently he wants Russia back in the G7.... but are you forgetting how he backed the swamp on Skripal and dismissed diplomats... or what he did in Syria) Talk is cheap.

Hillary in jail


He comes out with "EU uses the US like a piggybank" and everyone starts getting excited. All I'll say is, what about Israel using the US not just like a piggybank but also a sex doll.

The fightback will come from Europe not America. America is done.

In reply to by Leakanthrophy

DeadFred new game Sun, 06/10/2018 - 08:44 Permalink

All this humorous “Trump is a plant, Sessions is Deep State” hooey is amazing. ZHers are supposed to be smarter than that. If the swamp wasn’t being drained how would we even know about all these things? They would be all be buried in darkness. The stage has been set and the storm is upon us. This coming week will bring smiles to any anti-swamp heart. Watch. I put my reputation as ZH’s lovable soothsayer on the line: by Friday you will be smiling. 

The article is right though, the beast is wounded, not dead, and you should expect a counter strike. They know what the IG report has in it because they did the deeds. Don’t forget the ubiquitous school shootings. Most are out for the summer but a few graduation ceremonies are yet to come. Something, anything to divert the sheep’s attention from the storm. 

In reply to by new game

Citizen_x DeadFred Sun, 06/10/2018 - 10:20 Permalink

...lovable soothsayer...

Get alot of phone numbers with that one?

Above, someone posted a great point:

...Look at that shot from the G7 with Trump folding his arms defiantly with Merkel bearing down on him and the other leaders looking like all the enthusiasm has been drained from their bodies?

Obviously, this photo was staged as all hell.  And probably had retake after retake... "Try look more mean Mr. Trump and Merkel... let's see some frustration baby!  You too Mr. Abe!"

So what the fuck is really going on here? 

It's lords of illusion vs the smell test...same as it ever was.

In reply to by DeadFred

Conservative Cats DeadFred Sun, 06/10/2018 - 20:00 Permalink

Switch from school shootings to stadium bombings. Or power grid outages. Or ....

There is always something you can do in a society as large as ours. The Las Vegas shootings showed what can happen to a largely conservative crowd just getting together for some tunes, a few brews, and a little boy-girl fun.

July 4 at the beach? Or just at a small town parade.

The people who thought it acceptable to shoot kids in school won't stop at that.

In reply to by DeadFred

gatorengineer JibjeResearch Sat, 06/09/2018 - 23:54 Permalink

You guys are all wrapped up about a bunch of Kabuki.......  Trump has done nothing... Said alot, done nothing.... 

Look at a million tons of steel per quarter total production, they import another million tons......




Exports to the US sub 100,000 tons per quarter.  At $1,000 per ton thats a100,000,000.  now put 25 percent on it and its 25,000,000 dollars.  Wont buy you a concession stand at a new football stadium.... 




In reply to by JibjeResearch

Uchtdorf gatorengineer Sun, 06/10/2018 - 01:05 Permalink

Oh Trump has done a lot. He's done Gary Cohn of Goldman, he's done Wilbur Ross of Rothschild, he's done John Bolton of Hades, he's done Steve Mnuchin also of Goldman Sachs. He's done quite a bit, thank you very much. Besides those treasonous acts, Trump has talked a lot about walls and Indonesian hotel deals, all of which don't go far in making America great again.

In reply to by gatorengineer

Singelguy gatorengineer Sun, 06/10/2018 - 06:47 Permalink

You totally miss the point. It is not about the dollar value, it is about the the principle. The USA has been screwed over for decades on trade deals (mostly to buy political influence) at the expense of the American workers. Trump has sent the message that the game has now changed. The US can no longer afford to subsidize the rest of the western world’s defense and social welfare programs. It appears that message has been received. Level the playing field or else. 

In reply to by gatorengineer

new game gatorengineer Sun, 06/10/2018 - 08:10 Permalink

the ports are choked with hondas, kias, toyotas, bmws, audis, hyudias, fiats, and ships of chinas prize bottey-stolen intellectual property goods on the cheap.


and what is leaving murica?-dollas by the billions, straight to our trading partners, but only after oligarchs siphon off 7 digit salaries.

wake the fuk up.

where is that factory building manufacturing renaissance? i just see further crumble and shithole spread.

the growth? ah - health care facilities and senior high rise scams...

winning by deception....

In reply to by gatorengineer