edward.luce@ft.com on the Trump UN speech. Committed Observer offers some thoughts

I read Mr. Luce’s essay last night. I checked America’s political gossip sheet, Politico, this morning looking for some critique of the Trump UN address. Where are those fabled ‘Adults in the Room’ (Scowcroft, Baker, etc.), who presented themselves as the voices of reason in the Republican Party, when the Neo-Cons ruled American Foreign Policy, during the Bush II administration?

Then I checked The New York Times, and what I found was this synopsis of opinion from the ‘Right’ and then the ‘Left’ of the stunted political spectrum in America, as ‘reported’ by

All of these comments were from professional ‘journalists’ who specialize in writing opinion columns. As a measure of the self-serving political myopia of both the Times and Ms. Dubenko, Neo-Con Eli Lake is identified as a ‘Centrist‘!

Another question that begs to be asked is where are the New Democrats? Are Pelosi and Schumer hoping, that if they refrain from critical comment on the Trump speech, their deal on the Debt and DACA, will remain safe from Trumpian Political Plunder? Mrs. Clinton is on a book tour, that leaves her little time, except for her self-apologetic that features her Myterdom as her central idée fixe: Bernie Bros and the creepy Trump!

Should the reader expect Sen. McCain to sound a note of dissent in the Party? The Senator who sang Bomb,Bomb, Bomb Iran might just support a simultaneous War with both Iran and North Korea. But what of the War on Terror, now being fought on eight fronts? Are the treasuries of the American Empire bottomless? Are there enough young lives to be sacrificed to Trump’s hubris?

Am I the only regular reader of Mr. Luce’s column, who detects a note of resignation in his tone? And on the question of Mr. Miller, he is just a continuation of Bannon’s infernal Plantation Mentality.

Committed Observer



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The New Cold War has found its Jeane Kirkpatrick. Almost Marx takes the measure of Samantha Power’s Anti-Russian political hysterics

Its not at all surprising that Samantha Power’s byline should appear in the pages of The Paper of Record, The New York Times  . This newspaper has been one of the many propaganda arms of The American Empire. Look at its regular columnists : David Brooks, Thomas Friedman, Bret Stephens and Arthur C. Brooks ( I forgot amiable Neo-Liberal hack Roger Cohen!) and Paul Krugman. American Exceptionalism is this publication’s ruling political theology, and its hirelings repeat this ad nauseam.

To add a certain piquancy to this essay , Ms. Power’s recent rapprochement, in political time, with American Foreign Policy guru Henry Kissinger , who some might call a monster, is the backdrop to this essay.  Ms. Power simply repeats the old formulas, not to speak of shopworn cliches, of The Old Cold War, and presents them as new insights into the political machinations of Putin as The New Stalin.

But things have changed appreciably since the 1950’s : the internet and the birth of such ‘news outlets’ such as RT and Sputnik as purveyors of ‘fake news’ , yet what remains unmentioned in Ms. Power’s screed, is that America has been broadcasting to Eastern Europe and Russia for nearly two generations, with Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. Even after the end of the Soviet Union. Ms. Power exercises a glaring double standard: is turnabout fair play? Not in the political world inhabited by Mr. Power, who instances the Ukrainian Coup as demonstrative of Russian revanchism in its extreme form. Again she elides from  her brief potted history these American and European bad  political actors: NATO, the EU, The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and diplomats Victoria Nuland and Jeffery Pyatt and even herself as co-conspirator in that Coup. The guilt of the Russians in MH17 was a foregone conclusion!

One point that irks Ms. Power is the damage done to the Hillary Clinton Campaign by the Russians, yet no actual proof exists except the word of Intelligence Agencies, whose record of lying and deceit to Americans is well documented. Some of us recall Ms. Power calling Hillary a ‘Monster’ , and then quickly retracting or apologizing for that characterization. The imperative of Careerism calls for stealth rather than frankness!

Almost Marx

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The approaching battle for the ‘soul’ of the E.U. ! Former IMF employee @B_Eichengreen provides important background on the coming conflict between Merkel’s ‘fiscal Conservatism’, and Macron’s ‘Jupertarian Politics’. Old Socialist comments, with a jaundiced eye!

@B_Eichengreen provides important background, or just call it speculation on his notion that there is a coming conflict between Merkel’s fiscal Conservatism and Macron’s ‘Jupertarian Politics’. Two politicians suffering from galloping hubris, to put it almost diplomatically.

As the august Financial Times has noted, Macron’s plummeting poll numbers, and that near 37% of spoiled, blank and otherwise uncountable ballots, in the final vote . And the Le Pen and Mélenchon coteries of dissidents, will have what effect on the hermetic speculations of  Mr. Eichengreen’s technocratic chatter? That first appeared at the home of respectable bourgeois policy opinion, meaning a publication that specializes in EU apologetics , Project Syndicate,  by bought and paid for public intellectuals. What better credential to present to the reader than this? ( …formerly Senior Policy Adviser at the International Monetary Fund. )

Four time defaulter Germany, in the person of Merkel, is addicted to the utterly false narrative of German fiscal probity. Gillian Tett provides the necessary background to that specious mythology :


While Macron is an authoritarian, rule by decree, with a ‘mandate’ to bring France into the political family of a benighted Neo-Liberalism. Aux barracades, camarade!

Old Socialist



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Gideon Rachman ‘defends’ George Soros, or ass kissing reaches a new plateau! Old Socialist reports…

Is it surprising that Mr. Rachman, in his stirring defense of Mr. Soros, elides from his potted history Soros’ support of the 2014 Ukrainian Coup? He was one of many of its supporters, among them: NATO, the EU , The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, and Neo-Cons Victoria Nuland and Jeffrey Pyatt. Read the roster of speakers at Ukraine: Thinking together Kyiv, 15-19 May 2014

the http://www.eurozine.com/ukraine-thinking-together/

But not to forget Right Sector and Svoboda, those inconvenient  Neo-Faschists, to Mr. Rachman’s tale of Antisemitism directed at the virtuous Mr. Soros.

Mr. Soros is just another billionaire, who puts his money where he will. And whose politics are Neo-Liberal, and his judgement always questionable, if not downright destructive. How many people died in Ukraine because of his political dilettantism? Are his opponents legion, they come from across the political spectrum. How convenient that Mr. Rachman focuses his hectoring polemic against those bad actors, and doesn’t direct any attention to of Mr. Soros, as a bad actor in his own right!

Old Socialist



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Lionel Barber returns to Oxford. Old Socialist ruminates on his address.

From the editor of The Financial Times, Mr. Barber, the readership, viewership last saw him chowing down in the FT Cafeteria! He,this time, considers the vexing question of ‘Fake News’ , simply put, propaganda. Some of Mr. Barber’s readership are old enough to recall the ‘Managed News’ controversy of the Kennedy presidency.  The Financial Times which specializes in Capitalist Apologetics and its corollary a defense of a defunct Neo-Liberalism, opines on ‘Fake News’. Irony? Pankaj Mishra in his latest essay for the London Review of Books:


perfectly describes the persons and the mentality of the milieu at the Financial Times and the Spectator,while not including Mr. Barber, it is demonstrative of a climate of opinion at these publications which specialize in editorial comment and news about politics and policy. The latest ‘advocacy journalism’ at The Financial Times has been its unseemly, even obsequious celebration of Macron’s Jupertarian Politics, another name for ‘rule by decree’: call it the political desperation of the advocates of a Neo-Liberalism, that has reached its terminal state, except to its diehards like the zealot Macron, and his La République En Marche! Is the lesser of two evils about to confront the rage of that 37%, or even the La Pen coterie?

The ideas and commitments of the new prophets of decline do not emerge from any personal experience of it, let alone adversity of the kind suffered by many voters of Brexit and Trump. These men were ideologically formed during the reign of Reagan and Thatcher, and their influence and prestige have grown in step with the expansion of Anglo-America’s intellectual and cultural capital. Lilla, a self-declared ‘centrist liberal’, arrived at his present position by way of working-class Detroit, evangelical Christianity and an early flirtation with neoconservatism. The British writers belong to a traditional elite; shared privilege transcends ideological discrepancies between centrist liberalism and nativism, the Financial Times and the Spectator. Murray and Goodhart were educated at Eton; the fathers of both Luce and Goodhart were Conservative MPs; and all three went to Oxford. Inhabitants of a transatlantic ecosystem of corporate philanthropy, think-tanks and high-altitude conclaves, they can also be found backslapping in the review pages and on Twitter: Murray calls Goodhart’s writing ‘superb’ and Luce’s ‘beautiful’; Emmott thanks Murray for his ‘nice’ review in the Times.

Here Mr. Mishra describes the near incestuous milieu of Mr. Barber and his coterie of fellow travelers: a transatlantic ecosystem of corporate philanthropy, think-tanks and high-altitude conclaves. The only missing piece in Mr. Mishra’s essay is the newspaper, as the platform for political advocacy i.e. propagandizing. Mr. Mishra is reviewing books by the New Declinists, yet he describes with telling accuracy Mr. Barber’s milieu: the Oxford address being just one more venue for the exercise of the wisdom of an elite pundit, or better yet a Demi-Philosopher King.

Old Socialist





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At The Financial Times: Gillian Tett as Mueller Partisan, American Writer comments.

A report based on anonymous sources and gossip! Chatter, chatter, chatter! Some of  Ms.Tett’s readers recall her indispensable ‘A debt to history’ ,as one her very best and most important contributions to actual Journalism, yes in caps!

Then there is this:

But lawyers who know Mueller’s team suspect there might be another explanation: Mueller is doing such a ruthlessly disciplined job that he is preventing any material from leaking. This partly reflects the character of the man, who is respected across party lines as a consummate professional. It also stems from something else: for Mueller and his other former FBI colleagues, this investigation has extraordinary historic importance, given that Trump fired James Comey in May as head of the agency for having mishandled last year’s email investigation into Hillary Clinton. “Mueller is absolutely determined to pursue this to the end — the credibility of the FBI is at stake,” said a lawyer who knows him well.

The Cult of Mueller and its propaganda arm the Financial Times! Mr. Mueller served as the head of the FBI from 2001 to 2013. John F. Kelly and Phillip Wearne published their book ‘Tainting Evidence: Inside the Scandals at the F.B.I. Crime Lab’ in 1998.


Where was Mr. Mueller’s vaunted ‘ the character of the man’, ‘a consummate professional’  or this howler ‘the credibility of the FBI is at stake’ !

More on the FBI Crime Lab scandal:



The reader of the Financial Times is habituated to Capitalist Apologetics- is defense of The Mueller Integrity and possibility of the impeachment of Trump, two imperatives that can be trusted to the demonstratively incompetent Mr. Mueller? His imperative,to rescue  ‘the credibility of the FBI is at stake’ !  Ms. Tett becomes in this essay a Mueller partisan .

Yet look to the New Democrats Pelosi and Schumer, who seemed quite amenable with Trump, as they made a shaky alliance on the Debt and DACA?

American Writer


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@JananGanesh: from sangfroid to high dudgeon: on Rees-Mogg. Political Observer comments

What can be bothering our Tory Hipster? Or have I misidentified Mr. Ganesh? Is he rather a New Labour Hipster, an acolyte of Tony Blair? So many questions! Another consideration is that approaching deadline!

Is Rees-Mogg’s Conservative position on same-sex marriage, and his opposition to abortion, even in the case of rape at all surprising? Should the reader look to Mrs. Thatcher as the political precursor to Rees-Mogg?

Even given the change/evolution in public opinion that Mr. Ganesh presents. Or Rees-Mogg’s feudal attachment to his ‘high birth’? Should the reader just discard the political thought of both renowned Conservatives, Burke and Disraeli? Who based their politics on their misplaced faith in the primacy of a benevolent English landed aristocracy.

Then Ganesh confronts those elderly political nihilists who voted for the Brexit:

There was an elegiac feel to the Europe referendum even at the time: old people voting more as a final act of defiance against social change than in serious hope of restoring the slow, ordered and, yes, religious nation of their youth.

The dissatisfaction of the electorate with the European Union, Neo-Liberalism avant la lettre or Cartel with the trappings of Democracy? doesn’t even register with Ganesh. Nor the telling object lesson of how the Greeks were treated by the the Merkel/Schäuble blunt instrument of the UCB.  Not just by the Anti-Enlightenment elderly, afflicted with a radical political nostalgia, but by younger voters who eventually became the supporters of Jeremy Corbyn, and the return of Labour Party to its roots.

On Germany’s many debt restructurings:

For a couple of minutes Friedman then offered a brief review of western financial history, highlighting the unprecedented nature of Europe’s single currency experiment, and offering a description of sovereign and local government defaults in the 20th century. Then, with an edge to his voice, Friedman pointed out that one of the great beneficiaries of debt forgiveness throughout the last century was Germany: on multiple occasions (1924, 1929, 1932 and 1953), the western allies had restructured German debt.


Mr. Ganesh end his hectoring polemic with ‘liberalism’ triumphant. Meaning Social Liberalism, and in the lower case, as a diminishment of that triumphalism. Mr.Ganesh’s usual sangfroid has deserted him, in its stead we get Mr. Ganesh in high dudgeon!

But what reader can resist Mr. Ganesh’s obvious talent for the telling aphorism, even if its just a sparkling shard :

Authenticity, the star dust of this political age,…

Political Observer




Thank you for offering a more cogent criticism of my style of writing! Much more welcome that your first comment. Your dissatisfaction, in its inchoate form, lacked that cogency.

I followed Mr. Ganesh’s lead, rhetorically. I attempted to follow Mr. Ganesh’s polemical arguments, he is a polemicist! I answered polemic with polemic. Because I consider the readership of the FT to be very articulate, intelligent, not to speak of well read, my polemic may reference many ideas, thoughts and speculation, that I have learned about here at this newspaper, and my other reading.

Since The Economist began publishing ‘1843’ that publication, in my judgement, has lost much of what it made it challenging, and made it a most hospitable place for me to comment, on its essays on all kinds of subjects. Perhaps you, as a reader of my comment might just consider that that ‘frenetic way’ is based upon my belief that the reader of this publication is a highly sophisticated reader and worthy of being treated as such!



P.S. You might just consider me an intellectual, who riffs on the leaps and somersaults pioneered by Robin Williams’ stand up!



@John Smith,

Thank you for your enlightening and thoughtful comment.  I read Mr. Sen’s comment on the Brexit in The New Statesman. He still is mired in the idea that the EU is a product of The Enlightenment Dream of a ‘United Europe’! When it is most assuredly the product of Monnet, in his role as Super-Technocrat,who helped to create the Common Market, a steel and coal cartel, that evolved into the E.U. That EU has become the political economic instrument of the four time defaulter Germany under the leadership of Merkel/Schäuble and its blunt economic instrument the ECB. The world watched as that duo and the ECB made Greece tow the political line of Austerity, when Germany defaulted 4 times in the 20th Century! Hypocrisy doesn’t describe it, hubris does. See Ms. Tett’s essay here titled ‘A debt to history’ 


On the irrelevant question of J.G.A. Pocock as being ‘comfortably ensconced in a rich country’, I would say your barking up the wrong tree. I’ve read his Machiavellian Moment and the first two volumes of his Barbarism and Religion: it is quite astonishing that he covers much of the same intellectual/historical territory, as part of the ‘Western Political/Moral Tradition’ : that is his analysis of the influence of  Machiavelli on our republican tradition, and on a critical reading of Gibbon’s Decline and Fall. Mr. Pocock from my reading of his work is a committed republican. His comments on the Brexit are succinct and devastatingly accurate. The EU has rejected even the idea of reform, that would make it democratic in fact. But the Merkel/Schäuble alliance along with the Neo-Liberal  Macron’s Jupertarian Politics, rule by decree, are quite happy with the current simulacrum of democracy. That is the lie that all the Neo-Liberals endlessly repeat, even as the 1% prosper and the 99% are continually lectured that this is ‘The Best of All Possible Worlds’ : Dr. Pangloss is the false prophet of that present.




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