Category Archives: Foreign policy

“Welcome to America” is our nation’s strength

 Welcome to America

Our nation is a land of immigrants and that is a great strength. Everyone, except the native inhabitants, in the United States came or were brought to this land from other shores relatively recently in historical terms. Our country has fought to stay united and for all of our people. As citizens we have a responsibility to not allow our differences to separate us, but to bond together around our common love for this country. What can and should bind us together is a desire for life with opportunities and freedom.

We the People

We aren’t a nation of one race or language or religion. We are a nation of an idea and a philosophy. We should work towards the perfection of this ideal.  We should focus on what binds us and not about what separates us. We are a nation of people who follow the principles in the US Constitution.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Defend the Constitution

Our nation should be embracing more immigration with more forms of “work visas” and pathways to citizenship. We should be bringing the best and brightest to join our nation with open arms. The Statue of Liberty holds up her shining light to welcome those “yearning to breathe free“. We should welcome more people and not pick and choose whether those seeking this same love of freedom look or worship exactly like us. We should look for people to bring to this nation who believe in our principles.

America is freedom – freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise – and freedom is special and rare. It’s fragile; it needs protection. – Ronald Reagan 1989

Wikipedia: Immigration to United States of America

Wikipedia: History of immigration to the United States

Wikipedia: United States Constitution

US Constitution

Reagan Library: Ronald Reagan Final Address January 11, 1989

Wikipedia: Shining City On a Hill


Transcript of Vice President Joe Biden at World Economic Forum Davos 2017

Special address of Vice President Joe Biden at World Economic Forum Davos 2017

Personally listened to speech and transcribed fully

Other transcriptions (such as Fortune magazine) left out sections

Good morning everyone. I want to thank you and Klaus for your hospitality here and in the United States. You visit me in the United States, you still act as the host. You are so very very gracious.

My name is Joe Biden. I will be Vice President for 48 more hours — and then – tonight I get to start to say what I think, as if I haven’t for the last 44 years. (big smile). Klaus is not part of my presentation, but I promise you I have met so many incredible people around the world that was we begin to reorganize the system of the delivery of both care, as well as the way we attack cancer.. I am confident… absolutely confident – god willing if you have me back next year to talk about the project that we will be making exponential progress. There is so much hope and I’m so happy to see you looking and feeling so well.

Ladies and gentleman, It’s a great honor once again to address this distinguished forum, but this year in these early days of 2017 there is a palpable uncertainty of the state of the world. Klaus said I chose here to make my last speech when the President and I talked about this, President Obama and I, it seemed a fitting place to make the final speech since it was in Europe, on behalf of the United States, made the maiden speech for our  administration on foreign policy at the Munich conference. I want to talk about basically the same subject 8 years later. For the members of the media in the audience, I am making it clear that I am not referring the world is uneasy. I’m not referring to the imminent transition of power in our country and I mean that. In 2 days there will be a new President of the United States (someone booed… He raised his hand.. ). No, the challenges we face, the choices we must make as an international community don’t hinge exclusively on Washington’s leadership. It matters, I’m not suggesting that Washington leadership doesn’t matter, but it doesn’t hinge exclusively on Washington’s leadership.

Whether we reinforce the ties that bind us or whether we unravel under the current pressures, these choices have to be made by every single nation. They will determine, and it sounds like hyperbole, they will determine what kind of nation and what kind of nations and the world we are going to leave for our children.

For the past seven decades the choices why our fathers and grandfathers and grandmothers and grandfathers have made – particularly in the United States and our Allies in Europe –  have steered the world down a very clear path. After WWII, we literally drew a line under centuries of conflict and took steps to bend the arc of history. It sounds like hyperbole, but we actually bent the arc of history in a more just and fair direction instead of resigning ourselves to ceaseless wars. We built institutions and alliances to advance our shared security.

Instead of punishing former enemies, we invested billions and billions of dollars to help them rebuild. Instead of sorting the world into winners and losers, we outlined universal values that defined a better future for our children.

Our careful, and I mean, careful attention to building and sustaining the liberal international world order with United States and Europe at its core was the bedrock of the success the world enjoyed in the 2nd half of the 20th century. An era of expanded liberty, unprecedented economic growth that lifted millions out of poverty, a community of democracies that to this day serves as a fulcrum for our common security and our capacity to address the world’s most pressing problems.

Strengthening these values, values that have served our community of nations so well, for so long, is paramount to retaining the position of leadership the Western nations enjoy and preserving the progress we’ve made together and, I would argue, the health of the remainder of the world.

In recent years, it has become very evident that the consensus upholding this system is beginning to face incredible and increasing pressures from both within our countries and without.

Today I’d like to speak to the sources of those pressures, as I see it, and about why it is imperative that we act urgently to defend the liberal international order, to sustain it.

Here in this exclusive Alpine tower, where CEOs of multinational corporations rub elbows with world leaders, it is easy to embrace the intellectual benefits of a more open and integrated world. Many many benefits flow from it.

It is at our own peril that we ignore and to miss the legitimate fears and anxieties that exist in communities all across the developed world.

The concerns of mothers and fathers how they feel about losing that factory job that has always allowed them to provide for their families and the expectation that their children would even have a better life. Parents who don’t believe they can give their children a better life than they had.

My Dad used to have an expression “Joey, a job is about a lot more than a paycheck” It is about your dignity, it is about your sense of yourself, it is about self-respect, it is about being able to look your child in the eye and say and mean “Honey it is going to be okay.” An awful lot of people felt that way a decade ago aren’t so sure. These are pressures that are undermining the support for the liberal international order from inside.

Globalization has not been an all ? good. I’m a free trader. I’m a strong supporter of globalization, but it has deepened the rift between those racing ahead at the top and those struggling to hang on in the middle or falling to the bottom.

One year ago, I spoke here in Davos about the challenges we face mastering the fourth industrial revolution – which will be a topic of this Forum for the next 10 years – about how can we insure the benefits and burdens of globalization, digitalization, artificial intelligence are shared more equitably.

In my country, there used to be a basic bargain beginning in the mid-20th century embraced by both political parties disagreed only in degree. It was something everyone agreed on. The basic bargain was that if you contributed to the success of the enterprise in which you were engaged you got to share in the benefits and the profits. That bargain has been fractured in my country and many of yours.

Advanced technology has divorced productivity from labor. We are making more than ever with fewer and fewer workers. There is a shrinking demand for low skill laborers while highly educated workers are getting paid more and more contributing to the rising inequity. It is based on a meritocracy, but it still has painful outcomes in some places. International trade and greater economic integration has lifted millions of people in the developing world out of abject poverty. Improving education, extending their lives, their expectations and opening new opportunities

Standards of living are still well below middle class expectations in the United States and Europe, but the change is real and good. Meanwhile many communities in the developed world that have long depended on manufacturing – the opposite is true. Their relative standard of living has declined. They feel shut out of opportunities. Their economic security feels jeopardized. Taken together these forces are effectively hollowing out the middle class, the traditional engine of economic growth and, I might add, of social stability in Western nations. We can’t undo the changes in technology has wrought in our world – nor should we try.

But we can and we must take action to mitigate the economic trends that are stoking unrest in so many advanced economies and undermining people’s basic sense of dignity.

Our goals should be a world where everyone’s standard of living is rising. There is an urgency to taking common sense steps like increasing cognitive capabilities through access to education and job training.

In my country back when I was a young Senator, even in the ’90s, I would talk.. it was very much in vogue to talk to graduating high school and college seniors. I’d say you are going to have seven jobs in your lifetime. I wondered why they didn’t look back at me and smile and say “Isn’t that great.”  Continuing education whether you’re an astrophysicist or you working on the assembly line is going to be required.

Insuring basic protection for workers has evaporated from what they were 20 years ago in most of our countries. Expanding access to capital, implementing progressive equitable tax systems where everyone pays their fair share.

I said to a group of folks like you last night..  the top 1% is not carrying their weight. You aren’t bad guys, you are all good guys.

I pointed out.. imagine in terms of standard of living… Imagine most middle class societies like European societies and ours, a person can’t get much of a raise, but if you told them all their kids would get a free college education they’d be very very thankful. A raise or free college education? They’d take the free college education. We can afford to do that in a heartbeat.

In the United States of America we have $1 Trillion 300 Billion tax expenditures per year. Used to be $800 Billion when Reagan was President. No one I have found can justify that many expenditures. Only two reasons for those expenditures, tax breaks… one, promote entrepreneurialism, generate risk, have people engage in productivity, increasing productivity or promoting social good.

This thing called “stepped up basis”  – you have similar things in other countries. You buy a stock, it increases 4 fold over a period of time. It goes from $1 million to $4 million. You are on your way to cash it in. You are going to pay capital gains on $3 million. But on the way god forbid you are hit by a truck and your daughter inherits it.  She pays no tax. No evidence it generates increased productivity of investment that tax-free money. It costs the Federal government $17 billion a year.

I can pay for every single solitary student in the United States of America going to a community college raising the number from 6 to 9 million, increasing productivity by 2/10ths of 1%, for $ 6 billion a year. Eliminate that one tax expenditure. I can increase productivity, I can cut the deficit by another $11 billion. That’s what I mean by more equity in the tax structure. People paying their fair share.

But compounding these economic worries are people’s fears about the real security risks we face.

If you look at the long streak of history or even just the trend lines in wars and other incidents of large-scale violence over the 50, 60, 70 years. As a practical matter we are probably safer than we have ever been, but it doesn’t feel that way. Daily images of violence and unrest from all over the world are shared directly on televisions and smart phones. Images we rarely would have seen in the pre-digital age. It fosters the feeling of perpetual chaos, of being overrun by outside forces. Communication technology has fostered incredible progress making information more accessible, breaking down barriers between people and nations, facilitating greater scientific collaboration, empowering ordinary citizens to challenge injustice and hold their government’s accountable.

But they also have given hateful individuals a megaphone to spread their virulent extremist ideologies. Radical jihadists not only recruit and find haven in ungoverned deserts of Iraq and Syria. They do the same in the ungoverned spaces of the internet.

Borders seem less real to people. Terrorist attacks seem more inescapable. Fears of unrelenting migration mount as people continue to flee violence and deprivation in their homelands. In the wake of these understandable fears we see the series of alarming responses.

Popular movements both on the left and the right have demonstrated a dangerous willingness to revert to political small mindedness. To the same nationalist, protectionist, isolationist agendas that lead the world to consume itself in war during the past century. We’ve seen time and again throughout history dangerous demagogues and autocrats who have emerged seeking to capitalize on people’s insecurities. This is nothing new in history. In this case using Islamophobic, anti-Semitic,  xenophobic rhetoric to stir fear, sow division, and advance their own agendas. This is at political odds with our values and with a vision that we built and sustains the liberal international order.

The impulse is to hunker down, shut the gates, build walls, exit at this moment is precisely the wrong answer. It offers a false sense of security in the interconnected world. It is not going to resolve the root causes of these fears and it risks eroding from inside out the foundations of the very systems that had spawned the West’s historically unprecedented success.

We need to tap into the big-heartedness that conceived the Marshall Plan, the foresight that planned Breton Woods, the audacity that proposed the United Nations. We can’t rout fear with retrenchment. This is a moment to lead boldly and recommit ourselves to the common principles which remain essential to my nation and to all liberal democracies all over the world.

Of course, their are those who don’t share this vision of the world and those who wish to dissolve the community of democracies and supporting institutions in favor of parochial international order where power rules and spheres of influence lock in and divide nations. We are hearing those voices in the West, but the greatest threat on this front springs from the distinct illiberal and external actors who equate their success with fracturing the liberal international order.

We see it in Asia and the Middle East,  where China and Iran would clearly prefer a world in which they have overwhelming sway in their regions. I won’t mince words. This movement is principally led by Russia. Under President Putin, Russia is working with every tool available to them to whittle away at the edges of the European project, test the fault lines among western nations and return to a politics defined by spheres of influence. We see it in their aggression against of their neighbors sending in so-called “little green men” across borders to stir violence and strains of separatism in Ukraine, using energy as a weapon cutting off gas supplies mid-winter, raising prices to manipulate nations to act in Russia’s interest, using corruption to empower oligarchs to coerce politicians.

We see it in the worldwide use of propaganda and false information campaigns, injecting doubt and political agitation in democratic systems, strengthening illiberal factions and forces on both left and right to seek out and roll back the decades of progress from within our systems. We were sought in the cyber intrusions against political parties and individuals in the Unites States of America which our intelligence community all 17 have determined “with high confidence”,  I’ve been doing this for 46 years and they seldom use the phrase “high confidence”,  that they were specifically motivated to influence the elections. It is not only the United States, I need not tell you, that has been targeted. Europe has seen the same attacks in the past. With many countries in Europe slated to hold elections this year we should expect further attempts by Russia to meddle in the democratic process. It will occur again, I promise you.

Again the purpose is clear, to collapse the liberal international order. Simply put Mr.  Putin has a different vision of the future, one of which Russia is pursuing across the board. It seeks to return to a world where strong imposes will through military might, corruption and criminality while weaker nations have to fall in line.

From the first  moments of our administration, even as we sought to press the so-called “reset” button with then-President Medvedev – President Obama and I made clear that this is not way for nations to behave in the 21st century.

I was asked to layout our policy in Munich in 2009 February when at the Conference, I said quote “We will not recognize any nation having a sphere of influence. It will remain our view that sovereign states have the right to make their own decisions and to choose their own alliances.” end of quote.

That was our position, that is our position that should be our position. That has been our position for the last 8 years and is a position that needs to be continued to be championed in the years ahead.

Look, the United States hasn’t always been the perfect guardian of that order, of our order. We have not always lived up to our values and some of our past missteps have provided fodder for the forces of illiberalism. But President Obama and I have worked consistently in the past 8 years to lead not only by example of our power, but by the power of our example.

This is the challenge that will by necessity define the foreign policy agendas of all of our nations as we move forward, so although I’m only going to be Vice President for 48 more hours, I’m here today to issue a call to action.

We cannot wait for others to write the future that they hope to see. The US and Europe has to lead the fight to defend the values that have brought us where we are today. The fight to create a more equitable and more inclusive growth for people at every level, not only in our continents but across the world. A fight for democracy where ever it is under threat whether be it at home or abroad. A fight to lift up forces of inclusion while opposing intolerance in all its guises. A fight to embrace that world order that has gotten us here. Fight to urge those to reject isolationism and protectionism. Fight to block the dangerous proposition (and it is a proposition now) that facts no longer matter.

I work with a wonderful guy in the United States Senate with a great sense of humor. He was the Senator from Wyoming. We’d be in a debate.. he’d stand up and say “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but they are not entitled to their own facts.” That the truth holds no inherent power in a world where propagandists, demagogues and extremists carry sway?

Join this fight. We have to continue to invest in this democratic alliances. As it has been for seven decades, the unity of Trans Atlantic connection is essential to addressing the global challenges we all face. Defending the liberal international order requires we resist the forces of European disintegration and maintain our long-standing insistence on a Europe whole, free, and at peace. It means fighting for the European Union. Presumptuous of me to say that as an American. One of the most vibrant and consequential institutions on earth. The EU has contributed to the prosperity of millions through reforms and improved living standards, driving peaceful resolutions in disputes between nations.

It has its short comings. It means keeping open the door for membership in the European and Transatlantic institutions. Those states of Europe on Europe’s eastern edge where people in places like the Balkans and Ukraine continue to strive to be part of an incredible undertaking that is the European Union.

And is used as a tool to get them to reject the illiberalism that has defined their countries for so long. To get them to attack the cancer of corruption in their states. To get them to move into the 21st century.

The EU has been an indispensable partner to the United States because as the EU and United Kingdom begin to navigate a new relationship it remains profoundly  in my country’s interest to maintain our close relationship with both parties. For all our people, I think that I can say as a fact … all our people are safer when we work together. We have to continue to stand up for those basics norms of modern nations. Principles of territorial integrity, freedom of navigation,  of national sovereignty. Where as I said in Munich… the right of all our nations to make their own decisions to choose their own alliances.

To that end, we must bolster European’s energy independence so that nations are not subject to outside manipulation and improve our cyber defenses and combat misinformation that prevents outsiders from perverting out democratic processes.

In the single greatest bulwark for Transatlantic partnership is the unshakable commitment of the United States to all of our NATO allies. It is a sacred obligation we have embraced. An attack on one is an attack on all. That can never be placed in question. In addition we have to continue to stand with Ukraine as they resist Russia’s acts of aggression and pursue the European path, as long as they are pursuing it in the way that is demanded.

In 2 days the United States will engage in an act that has defined our exceptional democracy for more than 200 years – the peaceful transition of power from one leader in one political party to another. It is my hope and expectation that the next President and Vice President of the United States and our leaders in Congress will ensure that the United States continues to fulfill our historic responsibility as the indispensable nation.

But we have never been able to lead alone. Not after World War II not during the depths of the Cold War and not today. The United States, our NATO allies, all nations of Europe – we are in this together. As the oldest and strongest democracies in the world, we have a responsibility to beat back the challenges that are at our door now.

We must never forget how far we’ve come. How we got here or take for granted that this success will continue without an awful lot of really hard work and investment.

It is only by championing the liberal international order, by continuing to invest in our security, reaffirming our shared values, expanding the cause of liberty around the world that we are going to retain our position of leadership. Because if we don’t fight for our values, no one else will.

The idea of Europe whole and free and at peace, in my opinion, constitutes one of the most audacious consequential visions of the past century. A nation and the notion that after centuries of conflict that Europe could reinvent itself as an integrated community, one committed to political solidarity, the free flow of goods and people, a solemn obligation to collective defense – and succeeded in achieving it was audacious.

The United States believed in it and still believes in it. My prayers.. people across Europe believed in it. They did and aspired to it and I hope they still believe in it. The success of the European enterprise, very simply is essential to American security in the 20th century and remains so in the 21st.

Our Atlantic alliance is the bedrock of addressing so many 21st century threats from terrorism to the spread of disease like Ebola and climate change. You heard me make this claim for four decades, but I’m not alone in this belief. America’s commitment to NATO, not-withstanding things you’ve heard recently, is thoroughly bipartisan.

Just last month my good friend and frequent sparring partner, Senator John McCain, travelled to Estonia where he said quote “the best way to prevent Russian misbehavior is by having a credible strong military, a strong NATO alliance”.

In that same trip another leading Republican and very close friend of mine, Lindsey Graham, assured Ukrainian troops serving on the front lines “Your fight is our fight”.

That’s the same sentiment expressed two days ago when I made my 6th trip to Ukraine as Vice President. History has proven that the defense of free nations of Europe has always been America’s fight and the foundation of our security. Throughout more than four decades of an incredibly divisive foreign policy debate there has always been a consensus about the value of this Transatlantic relationship. And it has to change, and it has to alter, but the essence of it has to remain.

As I enter private life, I can tell you, I will stand with you as you carry this fight forward. I will continue to use my voice and power as a citizen doing whatever I can to keep our Transatlantic Alliance strong and vibrant because our common future and the future of my children and grandchildren depends on it.

Thank you for taking the time to listen.


CFR members in past Presidential administrations

Members of Council on Foreign Relations in past 3 presidential administrations

Council on Foreign Relations members have dominated past administrations.

Republican or Democrat hasn’t made much actual difference, as past administrations were all filled with CFR members. There was often mostly an illusion of choice for the voters between the two parties. There have been candidates, such as Congressman Ron Paul (Republican / Libertarian), who have exposed the goals of the globalist agenda. The idea of America First and distrust of globalism has been gaining traction.

Republican Presidential debate 2007

The CFR had only had one candidate, Hillary Clinton, in this election.  Hillary Clinton’s administration would have been as equally filled with CFR members as the prior Presidents’.

Hillary Clinton speaking at CFR in 2010

Below is a list of the Council on Foreign Relations members in the last three Presidential administrations, including Cabinet members, advisers and nominations.

(links are Wikipedia)

President Barack Obama (Democrat)

John Kerry – Secretary of State  (Teresa Heinz Kerry wife of John Kerry is also CFR member)

Timothy Geithner – Secretary of Treasury

Jacob J (Jack) Lew – Secretary of Treasury

Robert Gates – Secretary of Defense

Chuck Hagel – Secretary of Defense (resigned)

Ashton Carter – Secretary of Defense

Tom Vilsack – Secretary of Agriculture

John Bryson – Secretary of Commerce

Penny Pritzker – Secretary of Commerce

Sylvia Burwell – Secretary of Health and Human Services

Ernest Moniz – Secretary of Energy

Janet NapolitanoCFR Staff bio – Secretary of Homeland Security

Jeh Charles Johnson – Secretary of Homeland Security

William Daley – Chief of Staff

Peter Orszag – Director of Office of Management and Budget

Susan Rice – Ambassador to the UN (prior member Trilateral Commission)

Michael Froman – US Trade Representative

Michael Chertoff – US Secretary of Homeland Security (Trilateral Commission member)

Thomas E. Donilon – National Security Adviser (Bilderberg Group)

Cecilia Rouse – Council of Economic Advisers

David Howell Petraeus – 4 star Army General, Director of the CIA 2011 – 2012 (resigned), Commander of United States Central Command 2008 – 2010, Commander of the International Security Assistance Force

Janet Louise Yellen –  Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System nominated by Barack Obama

Paul A. Volcker – Chair of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, prior Chair of Federal Reserve –  (member Trilateral Commission)

Henry Kissinger – Secretary of State for President Richard Nixon, adviser to every President since, and a close friend and adviser to Hillary Clinton.

President George W Bush (Republican)

Richard (Dick) Cheney – Vice President

Steve Preston – Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Henry Paulson – Secretary of the Treasury (and worked at Goldman Sachs Founders corporate member)

Robert Gates – Secretary of Defense

Mary Ann Peters – Secretary of Transportation

Condoleeza Rice – Secretary of State

Tommy G. Thompson – Secretary of Health and Human Services

Elaine L Chao – Secretary of Labor

Colin Powell – Secretary of State

Susan C. Schwab – US Trade Representative

Robert Zoellick – US Trade Representative (also Trilateral Commission) – been President of The World Bank, also a managing director of Goldman Sachs, steering committee Bilderberg Group (was a Deputy Secretary of State)

Michael Chertoff – US Secretary of Homeland Security (Trilateral Commission member)

Richard Holbrook – United States Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan (Bilderberg Group)

John Wolfowitz – United States Deputy Secretary of Defense (Bilderberg Group) – President The World Bank

Karen Parfitt Hughes – Councilor to the President

John Bolton – US Ambassador to the United Nations

Brent Scowcroft – United States National Security Advisor

Marc Alexander Thiessen – Speech writer for GWB

President Bill Clinton (Democrat)

Bill Clinton – President (current member 2016)

Chelsea Clinton – daughter (current member 2016)

Note:  not listed as a member, speaks at meetings and called New York City branch “The Mothership”. Hillary Clinton –  First Lady to President Clinton, Senator, ran for President twice

Lawrence Summers – Secretary of Treasury (also member Trilateral Commission)

Togo D. West – Secretary of Veteran Affairs

William B. Richardson – Secretary of Energy

William M. Daley – Secretary of Commerce

Madeleine Albright – Director Emerita CFR – Secretary of State (also member Trilateral Commission)

William Cohen – Secretary of Defense

Federico F. Peña – Secretary of Energy, Secretary of Transportation

Mickey Kantor – Secretary of Commerce, US Trade Representative

Daniel Glickman – Secretary of Agriculture

Robert RubinCFR staff bio – Secretary of the Treasury

William J. Perry – Secretary of Defense

Donna Shalala – Secretary of Health and Human Services

Charlene Barshefsky – US Trade Representative

Lloyd Bentsen (deceased past member – no longer listed)

Richard Holbrook – United States Ambassador to the United Nations (Bilderberg Group)

George Stephanopoulos – White House Director of Communications, Senior Adviser to the President (now major media pundit)

Sidney Blumenthal – Senior Adviser to the President

Rahm Emanuel – Senior Adviser to the President (not listed as CFR member, but his brother, Ezekiel Jonathan “Zeke”, is a member) (later Mayor of Chicago where Barack Obama was from)

Cecilia Rouse – National Economic Council 1998 to 1999

Zoë Baird – CFR Staff bio – nominated by President Bill Clinton as the first woman to be Attorney General of the United States, but she withdrew her nomination over “nannygate”

Bobby Inman – nominated by President Bill Clinton for Secretary of Defense, but he withdrew from consideration

Stephen Gerald Breyer – US Supreme Court Justice nominated

Vernon Jordan – Presidential adviser


(1) End-Times for Liberal Democracy? from CFR articles

CFR published individual membership roster Jan 17, 2017

CFR Membership from 2015 Annual Report (PDF file)

CFR Corporate membership roster Jan 17, 2017

Note: I appreciate that the Council on Foreign Relations has their membership listed publicly. Some conspiracy folks claim there is a secret list of additional members.

Other related and overlapping memberships include The Trilateral Commission and The Bilderberg Group.

Trilateral Commission membership list 2016 (PDF file)

Bilderberg meeting participants (public list)

CNN proposed Donald Trump Cabinet November 2016

Barack Obama Cabinet Members

George W. Bush Cabinet Members

Bill Clinton Cabinet Members

List someone else has done claiming connections of Goldman Sachs

Geithner Haunted by a Goldman Past He Never Had AUGUST 19, 2010 from NY Times

Who is the Council on Foreign Relations?

Who is the Council on Foreign Relations?


The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource to help better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries. 

Founded in 1921, the Council on Foreign Relations says the organization “takes no institutional positions on matters of policy”, but their “principal goal is to inform the country’s foreign policy debate”.

About CFR – website

The Council on Foreign Relations is first and foremost a membership organization with about 5,000 members. New members are screened and the members are a very select group. There is a special program to cultivate the next generation of foreign policy leaders with about 800 “term” members.

Most CFR meetings are exclusively for members, but the organization publishes “Foreign Affairs” magazine and has some videos and other open dialogue available to the public.  The Corporate Program serves an international membership with about 200 leading global corporations.

About CFR brochure (PDF format)

Wikipedia: Council on Foreign Relations

The group has members in powerful positions across government, finance, business and the media spread around the globe.

The membership is divided almost equally among those living in New York, Washington, DC, and across the country and abroad, and it is a group unmatched in accomplishment and diversity in the field of international affairs.

Conspiracy theories from sane to “tin foil hat” crazy abound surrounding the Council on Foreign Relations. The following video gives a sane introduction about the organization and founding, then continues into the crazier side with Illuminati alien lizard people, so provides a good broad view.

My take….

The CFR believe in globalism over nationalism. They think and act as citizens of the world. Some say the group desires a one world government as an ultimate goal. Members do appear to want a balance of powers among major nations, as well as regional trade entities with a common organizational control by region.

The CFR view themselves as a group of leaders who should and can direct the world for the common good of the planet and humanity. Members are usually highly educated with many graduating from elite universities with advanced degrees. All members will be very intelligent and desire to think about common global problems and wanting to find solutions through discussion. They believe in the philosophy of “liberal order”.

The group grew out of a Western civilization base and tend to have a grasp of history and how empires rise and fall over the millenia. They frequently use the term “New World Order” when discussing how the world is changing and how to alter and shape the direction of international relationships between countries. They believe in pulling developing countries up, even if this means giving up power and extra benefits in the current developed countries.

The group may claim to want to prevent war, but they also believe in regime change to control the balance of powers. They believe very powerful countries have a responsibility to play world “police”. Currently the United States is the main super power, but they are planning ahead for the US to decline and other countries to rise up and assume that responsibility.

They are a group to be watched because they are very powerful and want to have control to shape minds, attitudes and the world. The control is “for our own good” because they are wiser than the average Joe. I think they have a view of being benevolent overlords to a large extent, as they bumble along trying to direct the world population – a bit like herding cats and taming lions.

There are other related associations where the “elite” – rich, powerful, connected, intelligent, highly educated – meet to discuss world affairs. These groups range from public to private and even secret cabals.


Publication list of CFR

Foreign Affairs magazine (requires a subscription) $35 for new subscriber in USA

Youtube channel of CFR (public videos)  Currently 43,000 subscribers

Facebook for CFR Note: Unless signed up to Facebook, then there will be a blocking message constantly semi-obscuring your view of the pages.

Currently 315,000 followers on Twitter

Kitten leaves eastern Aleppo, Syria

Fleeing and / or Liberated?

Calico kitten perched on man’s shoulder leaves eastern Aleppo

Calico kitten perched on man's shoulder leaving eastern Aleppo

Fleeing or Liberated? Calico kitten leaves eastern Aleppo December 14, 2016 (Screen grab 22 seconds into from Financial Times) CREDIT:  KARAM AL-MASRI/ AFP/GETTY IMAGES

One set of media slant told us that the people were fleeing besieged eastern Aleppo in fear of government forces. Another set of media slanted differently said the people were finally liberated and now freed from being held hostage by rebel forces. No doubt there is truth to both sides of the story for different individuals. The headlines continue to morph with descriptions of “victory” or “evacuation”.

The little kitten takes no sides and just wants to be safe.

Calico kitten balances on the shoulder of his human as they leave rebel held eastern Aleppo, Syria December 14, 2016 with his human family

Calico kitten leaves eastern Aleppo, Syria on December 14, 2016 (Screen grab closeup edited: 22 seconds into ) CREDIT:  KARAM AL-MASRI/ AFP/GETTY IMAGES

What will become of this family with their little kitten? What will become of Syria? What will become of the Middle East? Will this blow up into something even wider?

“Assad must go” was voiced by the CFR members. They still want him gone, but that is less likely now than before  Aleppo was re-taken by his forces.

Global forces align on both sides of the ongoing civil war with proxy wars, as well as the wild card of ISIS fighters with their own agenda.


Warning… news reports may have disturbing war related imagery and discussion.

The Independent UK: President Assad claims ‘History is being made in liberated Aleppo’ in triumphant address The evacuation of fighters and civilians to neighbouring rebel-held Idlib province is under way as fragile ceasefire holds

Express UK news: Chilling footage shows THOUSANDS of Syrian civilians fleeing Islamic State-held Aleppo

The Guardian: Operation to evacuate people from Aleppo begins – as it happened

CBC CA news: Battle for Aleppo has ended

ABC News: Bloodied and Demoralized Syrians Evacuate Aleppo

CNN: ‘Responsibility to protect?’ Empty words after Aleppo

AFP correspondent: Karam al masri (very powerful images – warning)

CNN article: Aleppo Feb 2016 by Karam al Masri



Interview with Jeffrey Goldberg on Kissinger by Judy Woodruff

Judy Woodruff sits in front of image of Henry Kissinger

Judy Woodruff interview with Jeffrey Goldberg of “The Atlantic” 11/21/2016 Screen grab from video at:

Judy Woodruff, a listed member of the “Council on Foreign Relations“,  interviews Jeffrey Goldberg, the Editor-in-Chief of “The Atlantic” about his interview with Henry Kissinger.

The interviews between Henry Kissinger and Jeffrey Goldberg can be found at these two articles in “The Atlantic”, which were available to read without subscription. Links: Interviewing Henry Kissinger and The Lessons of Henry Kissinger

Link to interview on PBS  Published on Nov 21, 2016
“The Atlantic” magazine’s founding statement promised that the magazine would be “the organ of no party or clique”. They have endorsed only three Presidential candidates since the magazine’s founding in Boston, Massachusetts in 1857. The magazine and editors endorsed Hillary Clinton over fears of Donald Trump being elected.

This election outcome has exposed the veneer of false neutrality and also the deceit of many of the major news sources and reporters in their  coverage and tone. “The Atlantic” is not neutral in their views of the election outcome, but were honest and probably hoping their two-cents might sway some voters. The elites wanted a candidate who would fall in step or was already co-opted or part of their mind hive or was at least malleable to the ongoing power view.

If Hillary Clinton were facing Mitt Romney, or John McCain, or George W. Bush, or, for that matter, any of the leading candidates Trump vanquished in the Republican primaries, we would not have contemplated making this endorsement. [1]

Hillary Clinton, a former Secretary of State under Barack Obama,  stated with pride that “I was very flattered when Henry Kissinger said I ran the State Department better — better than anybody had run it in a long time. So I have an idea of what it’s going to take to make our government work more efficiently.” Hillary of the “We came, we saw, he died.” laughing regime change had been groomed by Henry Kissinger in foreign policy. The Clintons have vacationed with Henry Kissinger and consider him a close personal friend.

Henry Kissinger has a 1973 Nobel Peace prize for his negotiations with Vietnam that involved massive bombings, including into neighboring Cambodia. Many agree with Bernie Sander’s description of Kissinger’s years in the Nixon administration as being responsible for one of the “worst genocides in the history of the world.” Bernie Sanders is “proud” that Kissinger was not his friend.

Meanwhile the Obama Administration granted Henry Kissinger a “Distinguished Public Service Award”. Jeffrey Goldberg did extensive interviews with President Barack Obama that can be found at this link: The Obama Doctrine

Donald Trump did meet with Kissinger in May 2016 during his campaign. Kissinger also recently went to Trump Tower for a meeting with the now President-elect Trump. “President-elect Trump and Dr. Kissinger have known each other for years and had a great meeting. They discussed China, Russia, Iran, the EU and other events and issues around the world” says the Trump transition press release.

For most supporters of Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump’s election was an unexpected shock and also a puzzlement. There has been scrambling to try to understand what the election of Trump might mean for the United States, as well as how his Presidency will affect the direction and plans for shaping the world power structure. Many articles by CFR members expressed their shock and dismay and “what now” view of an impending Trump Presidency.  Dr. Henry Kissinger has had long association with the “Council on Foreign Relations” that began in the mid-1950’s as a young man. He is looking for a path to advising yet another president and to advise others who might get Trump’s ear.

Kissinger in his foreign policy believes in ‘realpolitik’, which is an amoral world view that puts balance and world stability over human rights. This makes his decisions and actions quite controversial. He is still respected and sought for his advice and “long arc” view of the world’s history. Trump expressed more nationalism and country sovereignty with protecting borders and less interest in regime change and openness to new cooperation, as well as changing the more globalist view of trade negotiations. The globalist corporatists are scrambling to co-opt Trump, as they have with so many others.

Judy Woodruff says the “report” is part of an ongoing collaboration between “The Atlantic” and the “PBS NewsHour“.
Note: This is my transcription of Jeffrey Goldberg’s comments with some paraphrasing for brevity of the questions by Judy Woodruff.

Jeffrey Goldberg says…

He (Kissinger) still really is the most influential foreign policy thinker in American in a lot of ways. So in my experience with him there is always something to learn even at the age of 93. Maybe especially at the age of 93 there is always something to learn from him. And so we ended up spending hours talking not just about the Obama Doctrine. We talked about the order of the world currently. We talked a lot about the election. He, like a lot of people, thought Hillary Clinton was going to win. We talked about both candidates. Well, here we are.

What does he think about the legacy of Barack Obama’s foreign policy?

He thinks that the President is too passive in his approach to foreign policy. That the American President has a responsibility to make more order in the world, especially as it relates to the other great powers – Russia and China in particular.

He also thinks the President is too burdened by the alleged sins of the past. Kissinger would think of them more as alleged sins of American behavior during the Cold War and various places including Vietnam and Cambodia. But mainly it has to do with passivity that he sees in the President and a lack of strategic thinking and lack of assertion.

Jeffrey Goldberg of

Jeffrey Goldberg of “The Atlantic” talking on “PBS/Newshour” about Kissinger, Obama and Trump  //  Screen grab from video at

And obviously the President when I was interviewing him on these subjects Kissinger was almost sort of a specter in the room at various points. The President would talk about the “red line” in Syria, for instance, and talk about how one of the worst reasons to bomb someone is to prove that you are willing to bomb someone.

And I felt as if he were addressing Henry Kissinger and Kissinger’s role in Cambodia using bombing to enhance American credibility at the negotiating table. I found it was a totally fascinating process for me because I was moderating non-chronologically an argument between President Obama and the most important and most controversial foreign policy statesman of the modern era.

And so there was that piece… the other piece of this is that Obama in some ways resembles Henry Kissinger. Kissinger recognizes this to some degree. I think that the President recognizes this to some degree. Neither man particularly obsesses about human rights as a key issue in a way America organizes the relationship with other countries.

Kissinger is still defending the decisions that were made in the early part of the Nixon administration in the Vietnam War. 

I don’t think he’ll stop defending them. He feels as if his decision-making is misunderstood in the country and he wants to make his point.

The interesting thing, if I may, is on Syria he noted to me that John Kerry, Secretary of State, guy who has the job that Henry Kissinger had  – who started his public career as a Vietnam protester arguing to the President that we have to bomb the Assad regime in order to focus their attention on the necessity of negotiation.

And so you see these very interesting echos throughout history, these unsolvable problems, these challenges that are in front of policy makers.

I have a feeling that John Kerry and Barack Obama today have a slightly more understanding for the decisions that Nixon and Kissinger made in Vietnam. They may not agree with them, but they have a little bit more understanding.

Human rights is not at the top of their priorities. 

Well that is one of the interesting things that “Hope and Change” is limited to within American borders in a lot of cases. I don’t think that President Obama would appreciate being called a neo-Henry Kissinger, but Obama’s view is “I, as President, have to manage my relationship with China” and me spending a lot of time lecturing them and ‘punishing them’ for their human rights violations is not going to advance my immediate and long-term national security interests and economic interests.

Talking about President Obama’s approach to China…

First of all, I asked him what grade he gives Obama for the China portfolio. He said B+. I said “That’s a pretty high-grade.” He said “Yes, it’s a B+ on tactics”. It is lower probably on strategy.. on thinking through strategy.”

Kissinger’s focus in global affairs has always been what are the needs of the great powers, how do those needs align with our needs, how do we organize that. The opening to China, of course, is the apogee to this theory.

File:Kissinger Mao.jpg

Henry Kissinger meets with leaders in People’s Republic of China – Zhou Enlai and Mao Zedong (Wikimedia) [2]

Cannot overstate the importance that Kissinger places on China and China / US relations going forwards… 

It was his greatest achievement, it was a world historical achievement.

Kissinger took a secret trip to PRC in 1971, which had not had relation with US in over 20 years. This paved the way for Nixon’s ‘opening to China’ in 1972. This was the beginning of China’s emergence as a world power.

China is going to be the world’s biggest economy, if things keep going the way they are going. Our economic future, the American economic future, is in Asia.

China believes itself to be the most powerful country in the world, the central kingdom. He is saying that Presidents have to have a strategic view to understand how to manage that aspect of China’s relationship without coming to war.

The stability of the entire world depends on a constructive relationship between the United States and China. If that relationship deteriorates, then it is bad for the United States and it is bad for the entire world. It should be the number one priority of American foreign policy, but there is chaos in the world too. American Presidents have to deal with chaos at the same time they are thinking about 10, 20, 30 years out on how they are going to deal with China.

What about Trump?

In our most recent conversation, I said “Do you think that Donald Trump has matured? Do you think he has become smarter or more studious?”

He said “I’m not having that conversation. He’s the President elect of the United States.”

And so, what we should do…is essentially, I’m paraphrasing now, is to wish him well and be available to help him study and help him understand the challenges before him. Obviously Henry Kissinger is a person, even at 93, who doesn’t like to be out of the game. He doesn’t like to be out of the lime-light.

He’s basically saying “I’m here for you Don and I want to give you some sound advice.”

Kissinger met with Trump, who said afterwards ‘ I have tremendous respect for Dr. Kissinger and appreciate him sharing his thoughts with me.’

Kissinger’s basic rule, I think, is to know what you want to do and know what things are unacceptable to you.

You have to know going into the Presidency what things you cannot accept as the leader of the United States. You have to reverse engineer the problem.

What could China do in the south China Sea that is not acceptable to US national security? What could happen in the Middle East that is not acceptable? So first you have to decide what your, to borrow a phrase, what your red lines are and work back from there.

 Does he believe that someone who hasn’t had experience in foreign policy can make a determination like that? 

He was very assiduous about not providing his opinion about where Donald Trump is on the learning curve right now.

I think it is a big universal truth that if you are not willing or able to take on board new information, new analysis, have long involved conversations about these important issues then you are going to be operating at a real deficit.

Much, if not most, of the foreign policy establishment in the United States has not been on board with Donald Trump.

Quite the opposite.

How can he move ahead making decisions that are good for the country when he hasn’t had these relationships before?

Well, he is going have to do something that is out of character with Donald Trump, which is to say bygones be bygones. Pick up the phone to say to Colin Powell, to Madeleine Albright, say to all these people.. “Come in and talk to me about what you know”.

At the lower level he is going to have to be open to the idea that people who disagreed with him, with his candidacy, that they should come back into government and help.

The flip side is that all of these people who were so nervous about Donald Trump becoming President now might have to say to themselves that “Well, Donald Trump IS President, President-elect, and so I better make myself  available to the government because better me than some guy nobody ever heard of with no experience” because these are not unserious challenges. These are life and death issues. You want people who understand the global ISIS threat really well to be sitting  next to Donald Trump when he actually has to make decisions.

 What are you worried about right now? Do you have bad expectations about this administration? 

I’m worried about everything for starters. I’m worried about a willingness to hire the best people. I’m worried about temperament. I’m worried about his attention, his focus. I am not entirely worried that he is actually going to carry out all of the things he said he would do. I’m worried about accidents.

Who do you want in the White House when the CIA director comes over and says the North Koreans now have the ability to deliver one of their nuclear weapons by intercontinental missile to the American mainland. What do you want to do about it, Mister or Madam President?

I want somebody in that job, obviously, who can make reasonable rational decisions and take in the best advice.

End of interview.

Donald Trump is not part of the clique of the globalist elite cabal nor has he been stewed in the foreign policy views of the “Council on Foreign Relations” nor had Henry Kissinger been whispering in his ear about “realpolitik”. Trump also is not a neo-con “idealist” wanting to spread Democracy around the world and instead leaving smoldering chaos behind. Donald Trump is a hope that the new change can be towards yet another “New World Order” that isn’t ruled solely by the globalists. A hope that the United States foreign policy is not deciding its moves decades in advance based largely on the globalist prophesied future of a transcendent China as a next great world power.

Henry Kissinger’s long arc view started the opening up of China in the 1970’s and he still pushes the view that we are handing off power “back” to China and Asia.  The idea is that China was a great power and merely lost for a time before rising again, so we need to be prepared to hand over the golden keys. Does China realize they are being expected to take over the mantle of world shaper? The “so-called” pivot of Obama to the East isn’t far off the mark from where Kissinger would want him to be heading.

There was no mention of other historical foreign policy decisions of Kissinger, such as his involvement in a coup placing the brutal Chilean leader, Pinochet, in power. There is no mention that our involvement in Vietnam was premised on a lie [4] to the American people, which is a method of getting the United States into war to this day.

Why, as Americans, are we still honoring a man with so much blood on his hands? Why would we want Kissinger or his cronies to continue to shape the foreign policy and world order? They sit in their enclaves and ivory towers and plot and manipulate and smirk, but too often in hindsight the world finds out their great schemes are an ongoing disaster. America is used as a tool in their world chess games.

More is at play in the world and needs to be addressed with urgency than whether countries will blow each other up over land or failed trade cooperation. Failure of antibiotics and a global pandemic or a small meteor landing mid-ocean are too rarely discussed. Those would definitely throw a monkey wrench into the globalist prophesies of future power structure. Surprisingly “climate change” didn’t come up in the conversation with Kissinger, as that topic seems to be a constant thrum in media.

File:Reunión Pinochet - Kissinger.jpg

Henry Kissinger with Chilean despot Augusto Pinochet (Wikimedia) [3]

Henry Kissinger says Trump has “absolutely no baggage”

Fareed Zakaria, on CNN’s GPS show, asks Henry Kissinger about impressions of Donald Trump after meeting President-elect Screen grab from video:

Link to interview video

Fareed Zakaria, a listed member of “The Council on Foreign Relations”, interviews Henry Kissinger on CNN about his opinion of President-elect Donald Trump after their meeting in Trump Tower.

Fareed seems puzzled, as he is ready to start attacking Donald Trump on everything said in the campaign that would challenge their globalist and neo-liberal agenda. Kissinger, always the diplomatic pragmatist, is making the rounds to attempt to get his globalist buddies to calm down and to have an open mind and a “wait and see” attitude. He suggests taking opportunities to advise and educate and direct Donald Trump and not be confrontational, but to remain willing to share wisdom without judgmental tone.

Henry Kissinger is a god-father of globalism and “realpolitik” and he is willing to work with the worst of mankind for his aims and to use his intellect to direct others to his ends, so he is not taken aback nor afraid of Trump. Things would have been so much easier if Hillary Clinton could have been slid into place, as they intended and planned. Life still has some surprises for 93 year old Henry Kissinger. Surprise… it’s Trump!

“What were your impressions from the meeting?”

A determined President-elect who is making the transition from being a campaigner to being national strategist and is trying to inform himself on the various aspects of the current situation.

You’ve seen many President elects come into office…

This President-elect is the most unique that I have experienced in one respect. He has absolutely no baggage. He has no obligations to any particular group because he has become a President on the basis of his own strategy and a program he put before the American public that his competitors did not present. That is a unique advantage.

How will China react…

I’m not here as a spokesman of the President-elect. I am here to answer questions of my impressions. The impact of globalization… not enough attention was paid to the fact that it was bound to have winners and losers and that the losers were bound to try to express themselves in some kind of political reaction. In my view in the present situation one should not insist in nailing him into positions that he had taken in the campaign on which he doesn’t insist. If he insists on them, then of course disagreements will become expressed. But if he develops another program and leaves the question open of what he said in the campaign one should not make that the decisive element.

We should welcome some flip flop? 

 I think we should give him an opportunity to develop the positive objectives that he may have and to discuss those and we’ve gone through too many decades of tearing incompetent administrations apart and it may happen again, but we shouldn’t begin that way and we shouldn’t end up that way either. So that would be my basic view.

End of interview

Donald Trump has come out saying he will not pursue charges against Hillary Clinton [1], which makes common sense to not waste any time or energy and instead to move forward to make positive changes for our country. No doubt this was part of the advice given to him or as a negotiating tool. This makes a good olive branch on Trump’s part to be able to work with Democrats and also the friends of Hillary in media and world leaders. I wouldn’t even be surprised if Hillary Clinton is a backdoor foreign policy adviser to Trump at some point.

The election shouldn’t become about destroying the Clintons, which they did quite well all on their own by their actions of deceit. It would only become a circus and a distraction. The result of the election of Donald Trump should be to move on and work towards “Making America Great Again”. As a country we need this unique President to give us an opportunity to make some real change in the direction and policies of our nation and in the world.

If the ‘lying biased’ liberal media will give Trump a chance and the rabid side of his supporters can be ignored, then the country can focus on the positives that can come from the new unexpected administration. So called “flip flop” is what all Presidents do. Hopefully Trump will focus on important issues and not be distracted.

Kissinger also hopes that Trump will listen because the globalism is there for some good reasons and is also entrenched, so with open mind he can help steer some course through the morass. I have hope for change!

Artist: Chris Bok [2]


[1] Trump will not pursue charges on Clinton

[2] Chris Bok’s cartoon: Lock Her Up July 21, 2016

The Art of Interviewing Henry Kissinger on “The Atlantic”

The Art of Interviewing Henry Kissinger

James Fallow interviews Jeffrey Goldberg of “The Atlantic” on his interview with Henry Kissinger

Jeffrey Goldberg, Editor in Chief of

James Fallow interviews Jeffrey Goldberg  11/11/2016    Screengrab from video at:

Link to video on “The Atlantic” (*)

One of the things that motivates him is his relentless desire to convince you that he is right.

That his record, if properly understood, is that he behaved well. He defended American interests well. He was not responsible for the perfidious things that his critics claim he’s responsible for.

Discuss the “view of the long arc of evolution and American policy…”

Henry Kissinger does not believe that the moral arc of the universe is long, but bends towards justice. Kissinger believes that one of Obama’s key faults is that he divorces power from diplomacy. But when the President is arguing about credibility that American deterrent credibility is overrated as a concept, as a tool. This is a shot at Kissinger, who of course, in the general understanding of Vietnam came in with Nixon realized that he had to ramp up the war in order to end the war. President Obama finds the logic of that… the logic escapes him, let’s say.

By the way, the single most interesting part of this to me is the historical echo that I heard that John Kerry over the last two years had been going to President Obama and saying “for the sake of our credibility we have to bomb Bashar al Assad. We have to put real military pressure on the Assad regime and that will get them to come to the negotiating table.” And the President is saying “No John, we are not going to do that. Don’t you remember Kissinger?” That counts as heavy.

President Barack Obama and Henry Kissinger sitting at a table

President Obama and Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State. Photo credit: Dennis Brack/Pool/Sipa Press/secpotusipa.004/1011190005

What if Obama had “involved Kissinger more” in the last 8 years?

There is more Kissinger in Obama than Obama would acknowledge. And there is more Kissinger in Obama than Kissinger probably knows. What Kissinger would have told Obama is that we don’t have yet a proper understanding of where China envisions itself. And they don’t understand us either. He points out in the early 70’s that he went to Beijing secretly. There was nothing to talk about, there was no bilateral relationship, and so all they did was talk about their theories of history.

Now when an American President meets a Chinese leader there is so much to do from cyber to trade to South China Sea to everything that is on the agenda. We are talking about practical stuff all the time, so you might have to carve out a lot more time than you’ve carved out and you have to have serious high end conversations about the way the world is organized because you are the guys who are going to decide how the world is organized.

Kissinger advice to the President might be? Long view towards China…

The reality is that China for 11 of the past 13 centuries has been the most powerful country on earth. It is about to become, at some point in the future, somewhere on par with the United States in terms of global power.

He would say to the President of the United States: understand how they understand the world. Other countries are mere tributaries of the essential kingdom.

You don’t have to accept that as a moral principle. You have to accept that as the reality of their perception of the world. It’s easy and satisfying to say we should spend a lot more time arguing for Tibet (and I agree with that… like we should stand up for what’s right), but this is the realpolitik – the amoral realpolitik – acknowledge their greatness, acknowledge their own understanding of their greatness, and figure out a way to keep the earth stable. And you are the two parties that can keep the earth stable, so deal with it as it is and protect our interest, but not push us towards needless confrontation.

My transcription above from  video at “The Atlantic” interview

(*) The embed of the video isn’t working – use link to see video.

Other reference:

Wikipidea on definition of realpolitik

Realpolitik: a system of politics based on a country’s situation and its needs rather than on ideas about what is morally right and wrong.

Realpolitik of Henry Kissinger in “der Spiegel” in 2013

Wikipedia of Henry Kissinger

Jeffrey Goldberg articles in “The Atlantic”

Jeffrey Goldberg becomes editor-in-chief of “The Atlantic”


Kissinger appeals to give Trump a chance

“appeal to people to give him a chance”

Published on Nov 11, 2016

The BBC’s Andrew Neil speaks to Henry Kissinger about Donald Trump’s election.

Reality will impose certain requirements, as it does on every President. I’ve been in the Oval office now in 10 administrations and I’ve yet to see the President who escapes the fact that he is part of a continuum and that he cannot reinvent history.

Election result … totally unexpected

Transcript of video – only Kissinger remarks:

Does he have a general direction that he has expressed? I’d say yes.

Does he have a sense of tactical decisions of how he is going to reach these objectives?

The world has been undergoing a huge change even from the period which I had formal responsibility and that change would work itself out regardless of whose President of the United States and who is the leader in Europe. This will have to be faced.

It is compounded by the fact that for about a year now foreign policy has been on hold in the sense that every country has been waiting for the result of the American election and the result being so totally unexpected and now they will have to go back to the drawing board including “we”, so that is a fundamental challenge that any new President would have faced. Trump will face it in an especially acute way, but at the same time you could say there are a number of issues that have not been looked at. Namely how Russia adjusts to an international system in which it has lost a big part of its traditional empire. What the rise of China signifies, so the whole shift of the center of gravity of the world from the  Atlantic towards the Pacific. A situation in the  Middle East  which is characterized by the absence of  any agreed legitimacy for settling. This would have been on the agenda.

Trump has not engaged himself in foreign policy discussions up to now. It is at least one should hope that the magnitude of the problem should lead to reflections that are not the same of those of a day to day election campaign.

You can look at if from 2 points of view. You could say the terror groups may have an incentive to get into a negotiation with the United States which I think would be a bad mistake. But they may so. You can imagine a surprisingly soft line from the terror groups. The more likely reaction will be to do something that will evokes a reaction that the terror groups will widen the split, whatever it is, between Europe and United States and America’s image in the world. I’d lean towards that as my belief.

He is now the President of the United States and he will have to make the key decisions on which a great part of the future of the world depends.

I would say the outlet observers, including people like myself, owe him the opportunity to develop a concept that is related to the questions that you put. I really would appeal to people to give him a chance to develop in relation to a kind of foreign policy that he has not had to consider before. I don’t claim that I have any special insight into what will in fact be the decisions.

A lot of it will depend on the advisers

Old fart Henry Kissinger leaning on a cane coming out of elevator at Trump Tower

Henry Kissinger visits President elect Donald Trump in Manhattan November 17, 2016 – screen grab ABC News

A lot of it will depend on the advisers, but after all the linkage of Europe and the United States grew out of a historical experience. It wasn’t the personal idiosyncrasies, you see, of individual Presidents and so the elements by which that security link was evolved will be given, must be given, consideration.

And all I suggest is that Europe doesn’t approach it with a  preconceived notion.

Reality will impose certain requirements, as it does on every President. I’ve been in the Oval office now in 10 administrations and I’ve yet to see the President who escapes the fact that he is part of a continuum and that he cannot reinvent history. And so, I hope and expect that a dialogue will develop that fulfills, at least, that’s what we should all work for.

Who is Henry Kissinger?


New World Order can be created.

It is a great opportunity, it isn’t just a crisis.

President Barack Obama and Henry Kissinger sitting at a table

President Obama and Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State. Photo credit: Dennis Brack/Pool/Sipa Press/secpotusipa.004/1011190005

What advice did Henry Kissinger give newly elected President Barack Obama?

Jan. 5, 2009: Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger talks to CNBC’s Mark Haines and Erin Burnett on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Original video on CNBC: New World Order can be created

“The President elect (Barack Obama) is coming into office at a moment when there are upheavals in many parts of the world simultaneously. You have India, Pakistan. You have jihadist movements. So he can’t really say there is one problem that is the most important one.

He can give new impetus to American foreign policy partly because the reception of him is so extraordinary around the world. I think his task will be to develop an overall strategy for America in this period when really a New World Order can be created. It is a great opportunity, it isn’t just a crisis.”