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24 February 2007

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Chris Marlowe

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her 1969 book "On Death and Dying" put forward the notion that there are five stages of grief which every individual must go through:

1. Denial
2. Anger
3. Bargaining
4. Depression
5. Acceptance

I believe that the American experiment is going through a death process now.

This helps me to understand the Bush/Cheney base's ignorant fanaticism better; they are stuck in stages 1 and 2.

The question is, how will America get to stages 3, 4 and 5, and what is the price the rest of the world will have to pay in the process?

Patrick  Henry

Col. Lang.. Allow me to express My Appreciate.,Sir...for posting the TNI Interview above..which was an interesting read..and I agree with you the Min point being that in spite of the tensions and differences in the Middle east..one Must first seek Opportunitys for neogations..face to face..
for dialogue..debate..reasonable and equatible resolutions
to differences..nd make Peace.. negotiate treatys and resolve differences..to end wars ..violence..and resulting Death...and so all partys and peoples can live in Peace.. That type of Diplomacy and a genuine Desire for Peace have always seemd a Priority of the United States and has been the Will and desire of the people of the United states for the most Part..In My opinion..

I also agree with your Observation that all of that has changed with the George W. Bush Administration to the detrimient of the United states of America..to The Detriment of Peace..and to the Detriment of Our United States Troops who are dying in Iraq or may die in Iraq for the unforseeable futire..

The Reasons for that are now raised in the excellent post above by
JIM SCHMIDT...

Thank you for putting it up and thanks Jim for your excellent commentary..For your Anlysis..and thought provoking Questions..that really require some meditaion..Mulling over..make one think..

My impressions is that IDEOLOGY is in Play..and the Driving Force..the type that creates zealots..Obsessed driven..
Fanatics..Unified by a Tunnel Vision Principals or goals...Believing that they and ONLY THEY..Have the Truth..Know the Truth..a Minifest destiny..A Crusade..holy or other wise..they see evryone else else as WEAK..lacking courage..conviction or Principal..Disloyal..Un~oly..
While One can Now say that Obsession now can Clearly be applied to The Bush administration..Specifically..the..P..VP..and thier Inner Circle..and thus thier Strict..Dogmatic Unswerving Behaviour..even Ignoring Criticism..Advice or Public Opinion..

To add a bit to what Jim..said.I think to be fair...These same idelogical attitudes can be applied to Bin Laden..Quada..and the Ji Haddists and Muslim extremists..who also believe they have a holy cause and thus ALSO Justify thier Own Actions..believing them to be for a holy and Just cause..and believeing it is the Only way to achieve thier Objectives..I think Many other Nations are driven by and Lead by Ideology..first..The Kind that Will overide..the Economic and Social factors in thier Societys..even even it means Death..War and
Destruction..right up to the point of Destroying Many Societys and cultures in the Process..

The Burden is On the United States
to deal with 9/11 vents..Quadea..bin laden and the Ji Haddists extremists on the One Hand and be Peace Maker and negotiator on the Other hand...Making Friends in the Region and around the world..Not enemys..Using the UN..the EU..and The Moderate leaders in the Middle East to get the Hostile situations under Control..through mediation..

Can the radical Ji Haddist extremists and thier Actions and Rhetoric be brought under Control..or the Bush / Cheney actions and Attitude..Can Iran get things under control and toned Down..Can Israel..??

If Not..There Will be More WAR..Possibly expanding and bringing about A World war..and Multiple Disasters forMany Many Nations and People..

There is enough Blame to go Around..There are Issues to be resolved..But I agrree with Col. Lang..there is still Opportunity to resolve those Issues..Save Many Cultures and Peoples in the Process..and every attempt should be made to Bring About Peace..

History shows that Can Happen..That even Many Hostile Issues and Events
and Confrontations..CAN be resolved through NEGOTATION..and that many times the Principals involved Learned to Respect what had been thier Adversary..thier culture..and thier PEOPLE..

I do not..Under any Circumstances what to see another World war..over IDEOLOGY..or IDIOTOLOGY..

Dave of Maryland

TCM played Lawrence of Arabia this evening. At one point, Lawrence asks to be relieved of command. When asked why, he says that he had killed two men - and that he had enjoyed it.

It could just be that George likes killing. That George is drunk on killing. Mr. Lang, you have been a soldier. Is this possible?

Chris Bray

Isn't it possible that the dynamics revealed by the Stanford prison experiment exist at levels beyond the interpersonal, and Cheney et al are at some level clinging to the pleasurable feeling of being masters of the universe? That there's a personal, psychological component to their stubborn behavior?

Mad Dogs

Pat,

I'd appreciate any comments that you'd like to make wrt to this new headline:

"US generals ‘will quit’ if Bush orders Iran attack"

From Sunday's UK Times Online at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article1434540.ece

What's the real skinny from your former colleagues?

Chris Marlowe

In his book, American Theocracy, Kevin Phillips said that church attendance in the UK peaked during WWI, when the British were stirred into a patriotic frenzy against the Germans. The British Empire was equated with the will of God, bringing civilization to the whole world. The Anglican church and clergy participated in this great con job foisted on the Britons in the name of empire. Britain and America were the shining beacons of civilization. Sound familiar?

However, the Britons were later disillusioned by the carnage of the war, especially the senseless carnage of the Battle of the Somme, and the general stupidity, arrogance and incompetence of the British officers during the war. Church attendance fell, and many intellectuals turned to Communism and the then new Soviet Union for inspiration, including the Cambridge Four.

The Church of England has paid a grievous price for participating in this great con job for the British Empire; now there are more Muslims than Anglicans in the UK. Less than 5% of the population go to church on a regular basis.

Tony Blair, had tried to reinvent post-imperial Britain; when he became Prime Minister in 1997, he came up with the slogan of "Cool Britannia". The idea was to convert Britain into a country more interested in the future than in the past. Unfortunately for Blair, this dream has not survived Bush/Cheney and Iraq.

America's current situation is much like Britain in 1915. Unless Jesus Christ is courteous enough to make his second appearance soon, Bush, Cheney and the Christian fundamentalists will have a reckoning with the American people, or the people of whatever replaces America. They are peaking now, but it is all just anger and denial before final acceptance of the new reality of a globalized world where no one has a god-given right to anything.

You have to earn it.

plp

Here’s how it seems to me. There is some evidence that the president’s evangelical religiosity is a charade. Here’s what John Dilulio, a former head of the president’s Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, said after he quit in disgust:

“What you got is everything, and I mean everything, being run by the political arm. It's the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis.”

That was around 2002; Dilulio still praised the president. In 2005, David Kuo, a deputy director of the same office, also quit. He wrote a book called “Tempting Faith”. Along with the epithets that the president’s close advisors - Rove, Card – threw at the evangelicals – “the nuts”, “ridiculous”, etc – the book also describes Kuo’s coming to the realization that the Republican Party co-opted and used conservative religious movements for its own political purposes. In an article Kuo writes:

“There is also the matter of the record, which I saw being shaped during my time in the White House. Conservative Christians (like me) were promised that having an evangelical like Mr. Bush in office was a dream come true. Well, it wasn’t. Not by a long shot. The administration accomplished little that evangelicals really cared about.”

Dilulio and Kuo are both credible first hand witnesses. The facts are that the president did not grow in an overly religious household; his advisors aren’t that religious, with a few exceptions thrown to the religious right; he underwent religious “reawaking” fairly late in life, presumably escaping alcoholism (and then went straight into politics!); the relationship with the religious right presently shows signs of souring. It is unlikely that the president takes evangelicalism, a reservoir of exceptionalism, seriously.

This is not to say that the president is not driven by a “divine” whatever. He probably feels to be led by divination of some sort. We just don’t know what it is. Some professor came up with the idea that

“Reagan was heavily influenced by the thinking of Ralph Waldo Emerson, the nineteenth-century poet, essayist, and philosopher. At the peak of his intellectual powers in the 1830s and 1840s, Emerson was instrumental in creating the Transcendentalist movement, a philosophical reaction against orthodox Calvinism and the Unitarian Church's rationalism.” (see NY Review of Books)

Who would’ve guessed? Perhaps the current president believes in the divine rights of presidents, or maybe not; maybe something else; or maybe, is just an empty vesicle that could be filled with anything. Whoever has the ear of the prince is the true legislator. Then the question becomes: what do his advisors believe?

The vice-president exhibited little conservative religiosity. His most recent remarks simply indicate derision of the democratic institutions and people. As I posted previously, and it must be understood clearly, the tradition of contempt for the masses is very long. Some elites see masses as fickle, moody, impressionable, etc. In the extreme, these negative perceptions lead their espousers to advocate aristocratic forms of government.

ali

Stating the very obvious Syria is an Israeli enemy. It's their rivalry with Saudi seems ever more salient in US policy at the moment with Riyad and Damascus vying for influence in Lebanon. Syria is also uncomfortably allied with Iran the emerging dominant power in the Gulf.

Splitting that alliance and embracing what is a natural US ally in combating the Sunni Jihad might be the logical thing to do if the US seeks to retain it's grasp on the region but that brings up the Golan Heights. If your base is the Evangelical Right even suggesting the Israelis hand back a water rich conquest can have dire penalties.

In affairs of state it's often more useful to assess a nation's purpose simply in terms of deed rather than creed. This reveals recurrent patterns of actions often unrelated to the national dialog.

Crudely put Germany has a tendency to invade Poland, the British like to cause trouble in Europe and America is given to loitering with intent around oil fields.

If economic determinism wasn't part of the rhetoric then it's the unmentionable elephant in the room. American strategic interests in the Gulf energy resources are as plain as China's just not pursued with the same frank clarity of purpose.

Despite some brief murmurs a couple of years back there is precious little sign of serious Wilsonianism in the US relationship with the Gulf Kingships and the Egyptian dictatorship; just lots of sweet oil deals and arms sales.

As for Freedoms March the Palestinians electing Hamas and the dawning realization that the Iraqi cabinet is wearing IRGC Y-Fronts seems to have hamstrung the dangerous beast. Few signs of "Ideology holding sway" here.

It's deeply ironic that the authoritarian well springs of al-Qaeda are clutched ever tighter to Uncle Sams wallet pocket. It is suprising how little things changed after 9-11.

W. Patrick Lang

Mad Dogs

I refer you to a previous post on a growing difference of opinion in DoD.

More than that I will not say. pl

jr786

One reason that I’m inclined towards economic determinism is because I can’t quite make out any clear ideology on the part of the Bush Administration – it just seems like cynical manipulation of a certain ideological tendency that exists among some Americans, the ones that drag out Rupert Brooke or “Horatio at the Bridge” whenever they think the country is threatened.

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of references to the Elephant in the Room, which is usually invoked as some insurmountable obstacle that no one wants to mention. Forgive a little pedantry here but its origin is Jalaladin Rumi’s story The Elephant in a Dark Room, which appears in his 13th century Mathnavi:

Some Hindoos were exhibiting an elephant in a dark room, and many people collected to see it. But as the place was too dark to permit them to see the elephant, they all felt it with their hands, to gain an idea of what it was like. One felt its trunk, and declared that the beast resembled a water-pipe; another felt its ear, and said it must be a large fan; another its leg, and thought it must be a pillar; another felt its back, and declared the beast must be like a great throne. According to the part which each felt, he gave a different description of the animal. One, as it were, called it “Dal”, and another “Alif”. (E. H. Whinfield translation)

The Muslim origin of the story is particularly ironic under the circumstance. All of us are trying to impart a whole to a series of parts, thus we get economics, evangelical teleology, sheer craziness, etc. as possible explanations for an as yet unknowable whole. What makes things worse is we’re not even sure if there really is a coherent whole behind all these parts.

I think Chris Marlowe is onto something when he refers to the Kubler-Ross model. The incoherence that precludes any holistic grasp of Bush’s foreign policy may very well arise from its being rooted in nothing more than anger.


taters

Thank you for posting this Col. Lang.
I beg your pardon for straying off topic - Any thoughts on Israel receiving permission to utilize the airspace of Oman or the UAE?

http://web.israelinsider.com/Articles/Security/10773.htm

I believe it's time for me to revisit "Contemplating the If's" well, it's almost time for the Sunday newsies.

Chris Marlowe

Considering how overstretched the US Army is, and how ambitious the Cheney/Abrams agenda for ME change, and their limited timeframe to get things done, how can they go after Iran _without_ using at least low-yield nukes?

If you do a cursory search, you will find that the DoD has spent a lot of its research funding on a new line of weapons (low-yield nuclear bunker busters) which it seems, are deliberately designed to blur the line between conventional and nuclear weapons.

This would fit in well with the Cheney/Abrams strategy of creating a new reality on the ground which the rest of the world has to adapt to. A lower threshold for nuclear first strikes.

Walrus

I've said it before and I'll say it again, we are being led down the same road and for the same reasons as the Germans in 1900, the Germans again in 1933, and the Russians in 1934.

Permanent war against ill defined and amorphous, shadowy, enemies, is being used as a justification for postponing reform and maintaining the status quo in the power structures within America.

To put it another way: Guys, you are being "Orwelled" its not 2007, its 1984. Go watch the "two minute hates" on Fox News.

D.Witt

I think that Chomsky's 'Survival or Hegemony?' is most accurate--those in power fear *any* challenge to their absolute dominance, and this fear has let to a scene reminiscent of an elephant going mad trying to stomp on some mice.

pbrownlee

Seen this?

THE REDIRECTION

by SEYMOUR M. HERSH

Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?

Issue of 2007-03-05
Posted 2007-02-25

A STRATEGIC SHIFT

(BIG CUT)

After the revolution of 1979 brought a religious government to power, the United States broke with Iran and cultivated closer relations with the leaders of Sunni Arab states such as Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. That calculation became more complex after the September 11th attacks, especially with regard to the Saudis. Al Qaeda is Sunni, and many of its operatives came from extremist religious circles inside Saudi Arabia. Before the invasion of Iraq, in 2003, Administration officials, influenced by neoconservative ideologues, assumed that a Shiite government there could provide a pro-American balance to Sunni extremists, since Iraq’s Shiite majority had been oppressed under Saddam Hussein. They ignored warnings from the intelligence community about the ties between Iraqi Shiite leaders and Iran, where some had lived in exile for years. Now, to the distress of the White House, Iran has forged a close relationship with the Shiite-dominated government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

The new American policy, in its broad outlines, has been discussed publicly. In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that there is “a new strategic alignment in the Middle East,” separating “reformers” and “extremists”; she pointed to the Sunni states as centers of moderation, and said that Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah were “on the other side of that divide.” (Syria’s Sunni majority is dominated by the Alawi sect.) Iran and Syria, she said, “have made their choice and their choice is to destabilize.”

Some of the core tactics of the redirection are not public, however. The clandestine operations have been kept secret, in some cases, by leaving the execution or the funding to the Saudis, or by finding other ways to work around the normal congressional appropriations process, current and former officials close to the Administration said.

A senior member of the House Appropriations Committee told me that he had heard about the new strategy, but felt that he and his colleagues had not been adequately briefed. “We haven’t got any of this,” he said. “We ask for anything going on, and they say there’s nothing. And when we ask specific questions they say, ‘We’re going to get back to you.’ It’s so frustrating.”

The key players behind the redirection are Vice-President Dick Cheney, the deputy national-security adviser Elliott Abrams, the departing Ambassador to Iraq (and nominee for United Nations Ambassador), Zalmay Khalilzad, and Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi national-security adviser. While Rice has been deeply involved in shaping the public policy, former and current officials said that the clandestine side has been guided by Cheney. (Cheney’s office and the White House declined to comment for this story; the Pentagon did not respond to specific queries but said, “The United States is not planning to go to war with Iran.”)

The policy shift has brought Saudi Arabia and Israel into a new strategic embrace, largely because both countries see Iran as an existential threat. They have been involved in direct talks, and the Saudis, who believe that greater stability in Israel and Palestine will give Iran less leverage in the region, have become more involved in Arab-Israeli negotiations.

The new strategy “is a major shift in American policy—it’s a sea change,” a U.S. government consultant with close ties to Israel said. The Sunni states “were petrified of a Shiite resurgence, and there was growing resentment with our gambling on the moderate Shiites in Iraq,” he said. “We cannot reverse the Shiite gain in Iraq, but we can contain it.”

“It seems there has been a debate inside the government over what’s the biggest danger—Iran or Sunni radicals,” Vali Nasr, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, who has written widely on Shiites, Iran, and Iraq, told me. “The Saudis and some in the Administration have been arguing that the biggest threat is Iran and the Sunni radicals are the lesser enemies. This is a victory for the Saudi line.”

(BIG CUT)

http://www.newyorker.com/printables/fact/070305fa_fact_hersh

The Battle for Tehran may be dwarfed by the Battle for the Pentagon.

plp

A finishing touch on the previous post. It’s not about economic determinism per se, but about status and power determinism; any person, a group of people or a state with a higher status than the rest will gather more control over a country or in the last case, the “international community” and inadvertently gain a disproportionately larger share of the economic pie and obedience from others. That’s the way things are.

Two ways to claim a higher status:
“I am better than you” – in this category falls the rancid criticisms of the masses by the elite (especially heritable), the claims of liberal democracy as the final most complete form of government, etc

“God told me so” - Manifest Destiny, the Light upon all Nations, etc.

So, basically for the secular intellectuals we have the Hegelian formulation of the liberal democracy; for the religious conservative Christians the God-appointed president. In both cases, it’s rhetoric toward the end of more power and status. It may not seem that way to those upholding these views – some elites really think that they are better – but it is.

Whether the president believes his rhetoric or not is irrelevant. His beliefs seem to be self-serving toward usurping (through signing statements for example) more power than the American Constitution apportioned a president. When the British had a king who refused to renounce the Divine Right of Kings (Charles I), it did not end well for the king.

Who are the individuals and groups wrestling for power and status? From my above post, the conservative Christians thought they finally had their day, but got the short end of the stick. True power hides and conceals itself as if it did not even exist; a good analysis would drag it out into the light and expose it to examination.

Mlaw230

Thanks very much for these posts, much food for thought.

On a less intellectual level, the Administartion seems to have two basic and fatal flaws:

1)They negotiate almost completely from an economic point of view. I don't mean traditional economic determinism, i.e. not necessarily what is in our perceived economic best interest, but rather from the perception that others actions will be dictated by their perceived economic interest.

2) They have never personally been in the wilderness. Consequently they have never had to actually persuade, nor to gain insight into the other sides view that that is necessary when in a position of relative weakness.

More simply, they do not recognize any other influence on their adversary than the adversary's economic interest, and they have never really had to develop the skills nd insgiht born of defeat.

Got A Watch

Juan Cole says what I said last week (for which I was called a Marxist, and otherwise derided):
"Al Gore, Global Warming, the Oscars and the Iraq War "
http://www.juancole.com/
He draws a line directly from American oil companies to the AEI to the Iraq war. Seems entirely logical to me.

Key quotes:
"We know that Exxon Mobil is a significant funder of the American Enterprise Institute and has used it to attempt to bribe "scientists" to cast doubt on global warming. Lee Raymond, who was CEO of Exxon Mobil until 2005, is the vice-chair of AEI's board of directors.

We also know that the American Enterprise Institute is the most hawkish of the Washington "think tanks," and that its staffers were key to thinking up and promoting the Iraq War with lies and propaganda.

A=B, B=C, therefore A=C. Exxon Mobil is a big behind the scenes player in the Iraq War by virtue of its support for AEI. In fact, I think a boycott of its gas stations is in order until the company cuts off AEI and stops promoting the Iraq War and muddying the waters on global warming. (It pledged to do the latter in the past, but obviously was lying).

So the point is that the American Enterprise Institute symbolizes the intersection of Oil and War, which are the two most menacing threats to the future of America."

"Iraq is an Oil War in the mind of politicians like Dick Cheney. It was necessary to deny it to China and other rivals thirty to fifty years in the future. It was necessary to open its vast petroleum fields up for exploration and cast aside anti-American Baath socialism.

Likewise, the religious rigidity of the Pushtun peoples of Helmand province is not the real reason for the US insistence on occupying Afghanistan. It is the vast Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan gas fields that Cheney has his eye on. It was the US hope to use a pipeline from Turkmenistan to supply Pakistan and India, and so forestall a deal by those two countries with Iran. The inability of the Bush administration to calm things down in Afghanistan sufficiently for anyone to dream of putting in such a pipeline and having it avoid routine sabotage has made it likely that Iran will break out of the Bush boycott toward the East.

Hunger for future rights to petroleum and positioning the US to remain a superpower in a world of hydrocarbon scarcity is also driving the campaign to get up a war against Iran."

Worth a read. Even Trotsky would agree.

James Pratt

I can understand why patriotic Americans would wish to believe that their government is engaged in a democracy promotion effort in the Middle East, I just don't think the record of the last four years supports that belief.
The two most democratic elections in the region empowered Hamas, Hizbollah and their Lebanese allies Amal. President Bush did not support their right to vote as they chose, but told them to 'vote for the right people'. The most fixed elections in the region supported the military dictatorships in Egypt and Pakistan. President Bush calls them 'moderates'. In Iraq the electoral winners were funded by the Iranians, the electoral losers were funded by the Americans, and the anti-occupation majority was frozen out of the process by military suppression of media outlets. Apparantly the Dawa and SCIRI won by making well-publicized trips to Tehran.
There are pragmatic reasons for the US to oppose democracy in reality in the ME while espousing it rhetorically: The US is so unpopular there that the victories of US opponents in fair elections is probable, but the military and monarchist elites benefit directly now from American oil and textile purchases, direct grants in aid and military hardware.
The long term results of the policy are not as clear as the short term 'benefits'.

Clifford Kiracofe

Per Ideology: Excellent questions raised about the ideology of the President, VP, and various Neocon advisors. A late professor of mine at the University of Virginia offered courses on "Ideological Influences in International Affairs." We spent a great amount of time studying Soviet and Chinese (PRC) official ideology...Marxism-Leninism, Maoism, and the like.

A technical analysis of the ideology of the current Administration would raise the issue of "Neoconservatism" as a core ideological influence. Perhaps some of the old methods of Sovietology are in order: official ideology, textual analysis-content analysis of speeches, profiles of leading personalities, political symbolism, and the like.

One can argue that "Neoconservatism" is the official ideology of the Bush Regime rather than any recognizable Republican Party philosophy say from Lincoln down through say Bob Taft. (For the authentic Republican Party see for example: Francis Curtis, The Republican Party, 2 vols, New York and London. G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1904.)

Neoconservative ideology is apparently a melange of such influences as Spinoza and Nietzsche with a dose of Trotsky and Jacobinsim and more. One core influence is the "philosopher" Leo Strauss, former University of Chicago professor. See, Shadia Drury, Leo Strauss and the American Right (New York: St. Martins, 1999) particularly Chapter 5 "Neoconservatism: A Straussian Legacy. Leo Strauss was the student of Prof. Carl Schmitt, a leading Nazi legal theoretician.

Professor Drury points to Irving Kristol as a leading Neoconservative "intellectuial" whose aim was to penetrate the Republican Party and replace its traditional philosophy with Neoconservative ideology. The machinery of the American Enterprise Institute certainly has been used to this end like the old Soviet institutes of Marxism-Leninism one might argue. And we have a version of Pravda with the "Weekly Standard" and the raft of Neocon agit-prop organs. The President is positioned to make key programmatic statements where else but at the American Enterprise Institute.

Does the Decider have an eery resemblance to Neocon hero Woodrow Wilson? Well, one might read the very revealing "Woodrow Wilson: Disciple of Revolution" by Jennings C. Wise (New York: Paisely Press, 1938). Col. Wise, not unprovocative, was long associated with the Virginia Military Institute.

Dr. Clifford Kiracofe
Department of History
Virginia Military Institute

Patrick  Henry

Dr. Kiracofe...

Thank you for your comments and Input..which get right to the CORE of the Problem or Issue in My Opinion.. in regards to the Unusual Policys of the George w. Bush Administration..Which stand out as "Extreme."..
Extraoridinary..Excessive..

.So much so that they have generated a Tremedous amount of Attention and Controversy... and Debate as we Have seen over and over..for Years Now..

Most of Us know they are Indeed NEO`CON BASED..Ideological..because we know the Background of Most of the Persons of Influence and decision Making at the Core of the Bush administration..like the Cheney group..

I dont know if this AEI Group and its ideology can be Classified as seperate and distinct from all other "Ologys and Ism's.."
but just as Extreme..as far as desire for POWER is concerned..and which of the above "METHODS" they admired Most ..and have Incorporated into thier Own Ideology ..Means and Methods..

I, for One would like to see that " Technical Analysis" and Comparisons of the Bush/Cheney Group Neo`Con Ideology..and Charter to those of of Groups mentioned by Dr. Kiacofe..I have done some of that..but certainly nothing "Tecnical"

It seems that would be a great Subject for THESIS by a History Major.. Unless it has Already been done..But Not widely read or Published...In which case..I think it should be..and a great Subject for Major Media Focus and attention.".WHO ARE THE NEO`CONS. "..??

WHAT is Thier Influence on THE President and His Policys and "DECIDER MAKING.."..??

What Influence did they Have on the Presidents Decision to Invade Iraq..??

What Influence do they Have on Expanding the War to Iran or other Nations..??

What Influence are they Having on the Presidents decision to Want to Stay and Ocupy Iraq LONG TERM..even after MAJOR Hostilitys end there.??

.so that the Political and Economic Phases of the NEO`CON PLAN.and Objectives...Can be Achieved..

What is the NEO~CON PLAN..??

What Was President told..What Is he being Told..What Influence does Dickj Cheney Have over the Presidents Policys and Decision Making..??

Is Cheneys INFLUENCE covered up by the KARL ROVE Smoke Screen..?

Was Cheneys Basically LOW MEDIA PROFILE..and INFLUENCE..a COVER UP..??

Does the Main Stream media avoid confronting these questions and Issues on Purpose..

For NBow..It seems like like the BUSH/CHENEY/WOLFOWITZ/KRYSTOL Cartel has Made it Clear They are Dodging and weaving..Spinning THIER WAY ONWARD..Following the "PLAN"..Iron Fisted and Dtermined..and Incorporating what they percieve as ALL the Winning Tactics and Methods of all the other Ideological Groups Dr. Kiacofe Mentions..

They have Played thier Games and used Thier Tactics for Many years Now..All throught he Nixon..Reagan Cold war years..the same Group..The
STEALTH Methods..The Same GAME..

I think they believed this was.. at last THIER OPPORTUNITY..Thier COUP..Thier REVOLUTION..Thier FINEST HOUR..

THIER TIME TO HOLD POWER..

AND...

what ever it took to get it..and hold it..

UBBER ALLES..


Got A Watch

" The Iraq effect: war has increased terrorism sevenfold worldwide"
http://www.motherjones.com/news/featurex/2007/03/iraq_effect_1.html

The article says it all. Not that any neo-cons will read it. If they did, they would just say the writers support terror, when in fact it is clear it is the neo-cons who are the primary state sponsors of terrorism.

Another glowing success for the Bushies. A few more victories like this and civilization may not survive.

Clifford Kiracofe

PH: Thank you for your kind words. You will be pleased to know that the issue of Neoconservative influence on US foreign policy is a subject of graduate student Master's Theses and Doctoral research both in the United States and abroad. For an example of a young German scholar see, for example, http://www.aicgs.org/analysis/c/greveengl.aspx .

Scholars working on US National Strategy generally posit a policy range that runs from "isolation," "selective engagement," "cooperative security," to "dominance." Scholars also debate the nature of the international system in terms of "polarity," for example "multipolar" or "unipolar." Since the end of the Cold War (and "bipolar" system), many scholars, myself included, view the international system as evolving in a multipolar direction: US, EU, Russia, China, Japan, India and so on. Some scholars posit, unrealistically, a "unipolar" system completely dominated by the United States.

Neoconservatives have taken the unrealistic position that the international system is unipolar and they associate with that condition their equally unrealistic formula for "dominance" of the international system by the United States. Their policy perscription is for an imperial policy not unlike say Britain in the 19th century or the Roman Empire.

Opposing this, Realists, myself included albeit as a traditional "American Realist," (John Quincy Adams exemplifies this tradition) emphasize a prudent and moderate national strategy in a complex and multipolar international environment.

Liberals such as President Jimmy Carter and Senator Robert Byrd have critized the Bush Regime's foreign policy as have leading Conservatives such as Pat Buchanan. Both are concerned that rather than adopt policies appropriate for our Republic, an "imperial" policy has been adopted.

Aside from moral and philosphical issues there are practical issues of "overextension." Military power depends on economic power and the observations of Professor Paul Kennedy in his "The Rise and Fall of Great Powers", (New York: Randowm House, 1987) have merit.

The Neoconservative policy network advocates a reckless and unsustainable imperial policy. Bush Regime Republicans and Lieberman Democrats support this policy line so this intellectual cancer (or opium for the intellectuals) runs in both political parties.

The American Enterprise Institute was originally an old fashioned "pro-business" Republican think tank. But it was taken over by the Neocons by the the early 1980s, a fact that has escaped some analysts. It might be noted that Bruce Kovner, a key AEI patron and its Chairman these days, is a billionaire New York financier with a history of close business relations with the European Rothschilds. See the New York Magazine article about him and draw your own conclusions: http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/people/features/12353/

Dr. Clifford Kiracofe
Department of History
Virginia Military Institute



plp

That could be some project, to take the Forbes’ list of US billionaires and then pencil across from their names their religious and political affiliations, the causes and institutions that they support, and the amount of money spent on those causes and institutions. The findings just might astound us.

The last comprehensive project like that that I am aware of is the Carroll Quigley’s study of a group of wealthy and powerful individuals organized around the hyper-wealthy Cecil Rhodes. Quigley politely called the group the Anglo-American Establishment. President Clinton acknowledged Quigley as his mentor.

Wealth that is no longer content with vulgar hedonistic pleasures and in search of higher meaning – a story just as ancient as the human society itself. Some find meaning in philanthropy, some in technological innovation, others heed the assertion that “man is by nature a political animal” and enter the sphere of political and social. Athens of the time of Socrates is still the best “model”, what in biology is called a “study system”, for exploration of the relationship between the polity, the wealth and the intellectual.

Clifford Kiracofe

plp: Quigley's study, "The Anglo-American Establishment" is indeed a useful one, with counterintelligence implications depending on one's perspective. Good general background is also provided in Paul Emden's classic study "Money Powers of Europe in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries" (London, Sampson Low).

Some theoretical insight is offered by Charles P. Kindleberger in his "Power and Money. The Politics of International Economics and the Economics of International Politics" (New York: Basic Books, 1970) though I would disagree with his politics.

Per the classical world, and its lessons, I would suggest to those interested: 1. P. N. Ure, The Origins of Tyranny (New York: Russell, 1962 reprint of the 1922 ed.) Professor Ure considers and analyzes: Athens, Samos, Egypt, Lydia, Argos, Corinth, Rome and others. 2: William Stearns Davis, "The Influence of Wealth in Imperial Rome" (New York: Macmillan, 1910). Professor Davis' work is relevant in today's context.

I would cross-tabulate your list of US vested interests with European (UK and Continent) vested interests as the problem is complex and transnational rather than domestic as Quigley demonstrates convincingly. It would be an interesting study.

Dr. Clifford Kiracofe
Department of History
Virginia Military Institute


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