Thursday, January 30, 2020

Oh, What A Surprise! Nah...

I am just being facetious. Barbara Boland of TAC published the piece about foreign governments influencing D.C. "Think-tanks". Here is what she describes:
We, of course, will humbly avoid mentioning such country as Israel which wields a lot of influence in D.C. but as I always say, let's not forget Gulfies. As Boland continues:
What does all this money buy? Think tanks contribute to the Washington ecosystem in a variety of ways: their writers and influence-peddlers appear as experts on news shows and pen op-eds, they conduct in-depth research on policy, they draft legislation, and they write talking points, memos and Congressional scorecards. Think tanks are homes for former and future government officials: they employ former former senators, representatives, executive branch officials, and their staff. The Brookings Institution is headed by retired four-star General John Allen and they employ two former Chairs of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke, among over 300 experts. Think tanks also cultivate scholars and bureaucrats for future administrations. When Ronald Reagan was elected president, the Heritage Foundation provided his administration with over 1,000 pages of policy prescriptions. According to Heritage, Reagan’s administration eventually adopted or attempted to adopt over two-thirds of them. Think tank experts even appear as witnesses on important policy matters during congressional hearings. And they do all this without disclosing the powerful countries that are paying their bills.
For starters, let's recall that, as an example, it was namely on Reagan's watch that neocons infested US government structures and we know how the story goes after that. I always laugh when Ariel Cohen, a clown from The Heritage Foundation who passes for "Russia expert" in it and is sometimes invited to Solovyev's Show to have floors wiped with himself, on a number of occasions tried to correct different interpretations of this Foundation as being specifically "conservative". If one wants to see one of the manifestations of their serious cognitive dissonance, it is enough to get a load of pseudo-academic BS on the Middle East, as an example. I do not provide the link to their Russia tanked "thinking"--feel free to explore a number of laughable pretenses to scholarship on your own. 

But that is the whole point, I just finished a brief review of CFR's wet dreams aptly named "grand strategy", trying to underscore the inability of even the creme de la creme of what US foreign policy establishment can offer to operate within the confines of reality-based community. Now, in her piece, Boland, correctly states:
Americans deserve to know what countries are spending millions of dollars to influence policy discussions in Washington, as well as how much is being spent. Funding transparency would allow the media and the American public to more accurately assess think tanks’ policy prescriptions. If think tanks are recommending certain policy outcomes, we deserve to know who is paying them to make those recommendations and whether there are conflicts of interest.
But Boland, while implicitly confirming total corruption of US "intellectual political elite", forgets the most important issue. The question is not that whole D.C. subsists on donations from all over the world and politicians (and their media whores) are bought and sold wholesale by foreign money which fuel America's existential crisis in the 21st Century. No, this is not anymore an issue. Americans, of course, deserve to know all that--it is just that nobody will tell them. Are you kidding me? No, the issue now is this: are there ANY truly competent people in this swamp-gassing D.C. think-tankdom left to have ANY idea on how to, no, not to avoid an inevitable disaster, but at least do something for mitigating catastrophic consequences which are not just coming but are already here? That is the main issue. I can accept a corrupt, epiphany-stricken, competent leader who at least is driven by self-preservation, but having corrupt lunatics who cannot run anything right, from military, to economy, to foreign policy, leaving after themselves only a trail of destruction--I don't think that even naming those who pay them will change the outcome that much. These are the only ones who run D.C. In the end, no matter how much one pays to a plumber (nothing personal against this fine and highly important trade), we still would go for our triple-bypass surgery to a top notch medical professional, not to even highly paid plumber.

In related news: we finally learned that Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated by the US Army. US Embassy in Denmark, certainly, thought so. As one user put it:
Yep, sums it pretty well for D.C. think-tankdom too. Anyone wants to pay me a million dollars to prove that black is white? Hey, I am open for business, just issue cashier's check first. Cash will be even better....

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