The Decline of America
The greater the propensity of America’s internal failings- the more our dysfunctional leaders haphazardly attempt to restore the monumental integrity the United States once had. But this is a fool’s errand.
The decline of America (which I discuss extensively in my last two books, ‘Red Alert’ and ‘China’s Rise and the New Age of Gold’) is spawned from unquestioned hegemony. Unfortunately, America’s “once great” military certainly didn’t do a very good job recruiting a new generation desperately needed to rekindle American patriotism.
The beginning of America’s decline can be dated back to Vietnam. This debacle officially assured an accelerated America’s decline, combined with Nixon’s 1971 decision to take the United States off the infamous gold standard. This one ‘fatal fiscal error’ destroyed monetary discipline in the United States possibly indefinitely.
The eradication of the gold standard can be likened to locking healthy children inside the world’s largest candy store. It would only take a matter of time before the once healthy and hardy children would become fat and effete. Eventually you reach a point where early death is inevitable unless a magic key or event allows a second chance.
And today, this analogy represents a critical juncture the United States has reached. The War in Ukraine is accelerating America’s decline down a slippery slope, with few Hail Mary’s left to save us. Winning the War in Ukraine could lead to a final shot for the United States to relish in its past glories.
Realism Vs. Fantasy
However the worst case scenario, which I have come to fear, could lead to reckless behavior on America’s behalf which could easily culminate in devastating horror. The period ahead is likely to be the most important that America (and likely all of humanity) has ever faced.
There is little doubt that Russia is winning the war in Ukraine. Although there have been a few stories that have leaked out, the western media is nearly united in claiming Ukraine’s success. One of the recent leaks came from a recorded video by Ursula Von der Leyen, the Brussel based broadcaster had a video go viral that reached tens of thousands of people but was quickly silenced. The video was taken down swiftly and removed from public view on the internet. Why? It was claimed that Von der Leyen, who because of her position has access to the most accurate figures available, misspoke.
In reality, the chief strategist for EU policy in Ukraine, who once served as Germany’s minister of defense, misspoke on a taped video. And it’s true she did misspeak (as most objective media estimates put the figure in the neighborhood of 250,000). How embarrassing for Von der Leyen not to conceptualize that understating by 60% was not nearly enough. To get a true picture there are many possibilities.
Col. Douglas MacGregor, for example, was considered by many to be the top tactical fighter in the second Iraq war. He holds a Ph.D. in international relations from the University of Virginia and has written highly regarded books on the organization of the Army. His tactical military skills are matched by his strategic acumen. He was the top planner for Wesley Clark NATO’s commanding general during the 1999 action in Serbia. Macgregor is the real deal. His take on Ukraine- the country is headed for complete destruction. Russia is entirely overwhelming them. Ukraine lacks both manpower and weaponry. I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that Macgregor views the war as a disgrace on many levels for NATO and America. Macgregor is one of many who are both respected, knowledgeable, and articulate.
Another prime example would be Larry Johnson, a former, highly regarded member of the CIA who has a daily blog, which often reports on the war.
The link to his blog is: https://sonar21.com/the-ukrainians-are-in-real-trouble-in-bakhmut
I chose this particular blog because Larry Johnson quotes one of the most pro Ukrainian journalists regarding the battle for the critical city of Bakhmut. Here is a related quote reported by another journalist by Hollie McKay. The article appeared in the Dallas Morning News:
“A victory for the Russians, even one that resembles the apocalypse, is a very real and very jarring possibility. For the Kremlin, securing Bakhmut — one of the few places it is not in retreat — represents the frenzied feat needed to change the narrative of their losing “special military operation ..”
I repeat the quote here because in just a few words it illustrates several major points. McKay is a well-respected reporter and at least a firm believer in the narrative of the elite. What stands out is how fervent her beliefs are – so fervent that she is willing to call the inevitable Russian victory in Bakhmut an apocalypse. At the same time by noting that the Russians are generally in retreat, she clearly suggests that Bakhmut is an event out of the blue, which was totally unexpected. She talks of many Russian retreats, which is a clear example of how the media has been presenting the war. They have been propagandists not journalists.
McKay’s passion intrigued me, and I spent some time finding out a bit more about her career. To call her ‘pro-Ukraine’ is clear but even moreover she is anti-Russian. She has moderated panels on putative Russian war crimes and atrocities in Ukraine. Most jarring was her report that some survivors of the holocaust as well as those who had relatives that were victims, described the Russian invasion déjà vu of the horror of the holocaust. About 25% or 1.5 million of the 6 million Holocaust victims were killed in Ukraine. The Russians in her view are inflicting this same horror once again on the Jewish population in Ukraine. And some victims of the holocaust evidently agree. Her undeniable passion in what she writes strongly suggests she really believes what she is saying presumably in spite of doing research on the history of Ukraine.
Mckay is hardly alone. I was nonplussed when I read a recent column by Niall Ferguson, a chaired fellow at the Hoover Institution and well-respected author. Often, I don’t agree with Ferguson but have always found his columns and commentary very intelligent. However a column written at the beginning of January was a major exception and speaks to the level of delusion that exists even among those that should clearly know better.
Ferguson began by citing an article in the Washington Post, which in turn was based on comments by Alex Karp who heads a small software company, Palantir Technologies assets that advanced algorithmic warfare systems which presumably have been developed by Palantir Technologies ‘equate to having tactical nuclear weapons against an adversary with only conventional ones.’
I don’t know a lot about Palantir but its price chart suggests the president is not talking about his own company (as the stock is down over 20% from its debut public price in late 2020) and down about 85% from its high. What is easily available information is that the company has not made a profit since 2018 the first year in which there is public information. Moreover, as of recent filings the company does not have military contracts. That doesn’t mean the company does not have something secret up its sleeve. But even if it did, there is little to suspect that any U.S. software technology can trump whatever Russia has, given that Russia almost surely has access to Chinese military technology.
As an aside, shortly after reading Ferguson’s article, I became aware of an article that appeared in a peer reviewed journal that suggests China may be doing better than widely thought in the AI field. A recently published article in Wiley owned, peer reviewed journal, Advanced Science, Chinese scientists published research on protein folding techniques that allow researchers to see dynamic aspects of a folded protein. Alpha Fold, which is part of Google’s Deep Mind has made headlines by its accuracy in producing folded proteins. And for good reason as the protein folding problem in the NP category is extraordinarily difficult. Alpha Fold gives an exceptionally close approximation to a protein in a fixed state.
The Chinese program by showing dynamic aspects of a protein allows the results to be many times more valuable for drug research. Best guess this AI example is at least several years ahead of Alpha Fold. The difference between dynamic representation and static representations is analogous to the differences between knowing where a person is at a particular point in time and also knowing where he will be and to whom he will be talking to at a later point in time. Many thought this problem was impossible to solve.
Above I pointed to Miley’s reaction to China’s success in hypersonic missile accuracy. You can also add peer reviewed articles on quantum information that puts China perhaps years ahead of the United States, combined with the fact that they have the world’s fastest supercomputer which they built with their own chips.
One question you should be asking is why China doesn’t issue press releases about these findings. Indeed, the super computer discovery was never published but was discovered by U.S. scientists when analyzing an article on quantum information that required a computer faster than anything in the U.S.
Why is China so elusive and quiet in what they are doing technology wise? In a non-cooperative, competitive world, China’s most assured reward would be trade sanctions and the increased likelihood of increased hostilities. There is a message here if anyone cares to listen– we can gain big time from cooperation.
I have argued in other writings that Americans have been brainwashed into believing an utterly false narrative. But McKay’s work and writings as well as the above cited column from Ferguson suggest that even the well-informed media and intellectuals have been brainwashed to an extent that I did not think possible. In future articles, I will discuss more fully why individuals so often will deny the truth and closely align their beliefs with those of authority even in cases where the authority figures are constantly contradicting themselves and ignore widely available hard evidence that what they are saying is false. McKay attests to interviewing holocaust survivors who say the Russian invasion brings back memories of déjà vu. I have no reason to doubt her account. But that even victims of the holocaust would deny the truth has led to a lot of research and thinking on my part as to why this kind of brainwashing can so easily occur.
The Milgram Experiment’s Potential Indoctrination
Psychological experiments, especially the well-known Milgram experiments provide some help in explaining the phenomenon but are far from sufficient. The Milgram work and similar experiments by other psychologists have shown that it takes very little to convince someone to do something he or she otherwise would not consider. In other words, virtually all of us to some extent can be at least temporarily brainwashed. And indeed, these experiments can be suggested as consistent as to why Zelensky as well as so many of the Jewish neocons so intensely support the war, but again there must be more to it. Why? Because the strongest criticism of the Milgram experiments is that some participants believed they had committed truly heinous acts and had to undergo counseling. Some evidence emerged from Milgram’s work is that a measure of authoritarianism was correlated with how easily a participant committed what they had reason to believe was hideous punishment.
It is clear that what McKay along with virtually the entire Western press ignores, and presumably many of them must know that there is irrefutable evidence that Ukraine is really two separate countries. The East is mostly Russian speaking and largely sided with Russia during WWII. Ukraine’s Jewish population is mostly located in the East. The Western part of Ukraine was much more sympathetic to Germany during WWII. And that is putting it mildly.
Most notably there is a boulevard which bears the name of Stepan Bandera, who was one as head of an ultra-pro-right group during WWII, bore oversaw Ukraine’s complicity with the Nazi’s which resulted in the killing of 1.5 million jews (about a quarter of the Holocaust) and hundreds of thousands of Poles. In December 2018, Bandera’s birthday was established as a national holiday. At the same time a book critical of another far-right Ukrainian was banned.
In the words of the Times of Israel:
“Ukraine’s State Committee on Television and Radio Broadcasting banned the “Book of Thieves” by Swedish historian Anders Rydell, the Regnum news agency reported Wednesday. The December 10 decree cited the book’s “inciting ethnic, racial and religious hatred.”
The ban is due to Rydell’s critical analysis of the actions of Symon Petliura, another nationalist whose troops murdered countless Jews in pogroms. A Russia-born Jew killed Petliura in Paris in 1929 as revenge for the pogrom. ‘The whole book ban is very symbolic in itself,’ said Ukrainian Jewish Committee Director Eduard Dolinsky.
Both communist and Nazi authorities systematically banned books.”Since the Russian invasion in February there have been attempts to whitewash Bandera’s deeds among Israelis and to simply ignore them in the West. Indeed, completely ignored in the Western press is that the Ukrainian ambassador to Germany has on various programs referred to Bandera as a national hero – a freedom fighter for a united Ukraine. When challenged by a German journalist the ambassador insisted that Bandera has been misunderstood.
That is absolutely not the case- Bandera spent his entire adult life as a member and leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). Moreover, in 1940 the OUN split into two separate groups. One group took a measured approach to uniting Ukraine while the other was far more extreme and revolutionary. The revolutionary faction was referred to as OUN-B. The “B” stood for Bandera who was the leader. In 1940 OUN-B became a part of the Wehrmacht, a German word that was used to define the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany. This history would have much less importance if remnants of the OUN-B did not remain so visible and continue to play a significant role in Ukrainian military operations. The insignia of the Wehrmacht is often seen on Ukrainian tanks. What also persists from 1940 and before is that the OUN is a product of western Ukraine. In other words, as was the case in WWII, Ukraine is still a split country with the West still celebrating Bandera and OUN-B, while for the most part in the South and East, Bandera and other Nazi sympathizers that are celebrated in the western Ukraine are either eschewed or hated.