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21 March 2013

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JohnH

The significance of Obama going to Israel on the Tenth Anniversary of the Iraq War shouldn't be lost on anyone. Surely, anyone with half a brain can connect the dots...except for the US media.

It's long past time for Americans to wake up and question why their tax dollars (and debt obligations) are being wasted on behalf of the Jewish state. The Iraq fiasco--unsupported by increased tax revenue--added several $Trillion to the deficit. An Iran fiasco with add several $Trillion more.

Funny how the deficit hawks are mostly the same folks as the profligate chicken hawks who spare no expense on these fiascoes.

But who amongst the fearless Washington press corps could be bothered with pointing about such a contradiction or the blatant hypocrisy?

FB Ali

There is an interesting "Letter to Paul Wolfowitz" by Andrew J Bacevich on the tenth anniversary of the Iraq war at:

http://harpers.org/archive/2013/03/a-letter-to-paul-wolfowitz/?single=1

I am frankly amazed that the elites who run the USA (and other powerful Western countries) continue to pursue policies that may serve particular interests (financial or ideological) but are never subjected to the test: Will they further the interests of the country and its people?

These same people then regularly judge and criticize leaders of Second and Third World countries for not living up to this standard. In many of these latter countries such actions are often due to the absence or weakness of democracy in their systems. But that is not supposed to be a factor in the US and the West. So, what gives?

Alba Etie

"Once in office President Obama found the unitary executive were to awesome to repudiate ' Professor Harper what evidence is there to base that assertion that BHO is going down the same neocon path as Bush/Cheney ? We are leaving Afghanistan . We are all but left Irak . We have in my opinion paid lip service to the Likudniks by mouthing 'fighting words " regarding bombing Iran . I am certainly no trained expert in foreign affairs - indeed that is why I am here trying to educate myself better on the world as it really is - not the neocon fantasy that we are spoon fed. ( I recall yelling at the TV CSpan feed when Gen Powell was giving his dog n pony show at the UN regarding the alleged Irak mobile anthrax lab- yelling that this was all a put up job by the neocons ) . Perhaps one could argue that the Drone War is an overstep by the BHO administration- indeed Gen Cartwright is now saying that the program needs to end .One could also argue that killing Qadafi was an indulgence in the 'awesome power of the unitary executive " but the Arab League asked for that intervention .
Is BHO just like Cheney ?

Stanley  Henning

Again I point out the Confucian approach to government-when considering civil factors, it is also necessary to consider the military and vice versa. The real essence of this is that going to war should be a last resort with survival a primary consideration, not senseless policies involving meddling in the questionable affairs of others.

Ken Halliwell

It's clear to me that the military-industrial complex is viewed by some people in high-places as being "too big to fail."

If world peace broke out tomorrow, the think tanks in Washington and elsewhere would go into high-gear to invent a new enemy. No need to worry. The world supply of militant nationalists, religious zealots and downtrodden is virtually inexhaustible.

Alba Etie

Brigadier General Ali
Follow the money . Think Cheney , KBR no bid contracts in Irak . Now the test will be if the current administration is as corrupted by the neocons as the previous one . I personally believe it is not - I believe that President Obama went to Israel to shore up domestic politics for the 2014 mid term elections . But given the track record from BHO's first term I do not see us going to war in Persia because the corporations/ and the Likud say we must . But we shall see- and yes follow the money ..( But it was interesting in the joint press conference BHO referred to the Mahmud Abbas as Abu Mazen instead ) .

William R. Cumming

Adam Smith and David Hume of the Scottish Renaissance and ardent defenders of Capitalism both wrote in detail their worries that Capitalism would eventually collapse from greed. So did MARX!

Bababk Makkinejad

US and her allies constitute the Dar al Islam. The rest of the world, to them, is Dar al Harb. That is all.

turcopolier

Babak

How come you don't spell your name correctly anymore? pl

ISL

Harper (and by extension of course, the original KoolAid piece, Colonel),

Thank you for your well written treatises. I disagree with follow the money, at a certain level, power is not money, power is about power. I believe that the leaders feel they can print (oops QE) ad infinitum, and thus have infinite freedom to pursue foreign midadventures - kind of like Microsoft and Windows millenium. However, now there is the cloud and google, and the biggest winner of the last war was China - parity used to be sometime in the 2020s and now it is in the 2010s, and I think the victor of the next will be China, and we will be clearly the loser.

Perhaps the elite will realize that their dollar investments will tank, but I am sure they all feel they will cash out at the last minute, before the peak, peaks.

Global energy supplies are still very tight, the US being energy independent in 2020 is (IMO) only going to be true if our economy collapses, and global financial reserves (bazookas to use the Roubini term) were blown when the last bubble burst by oil prices heading for the sky - interest rates already are zero everywhere.

Not holding my breath, though.

Bababk Makkinejad

Harper:

These are the wages of the imperial project.

Preaching might succeed in limiting the worst consequences of its most egregious offenses but will not cure it – in my opinion.

To really address the problem at its roots, the anti-Federalists ideas and practices must be used as an antidote.

To wit: the Confederacy and her Cause must - at least partially - be rehabilitated.

Babak Makkinejad

Typo - I had to retype my name since the edit boxes had been cleared - I do not know how.

Tyler

To wit: the Confederacy and her Cause must - at least partially - be rehabilitated.

Indeed, and it will be a struggle, especially now that the Left has the drones and the media.

Alba Etie

" I wish I was in the land of cotton old times there are not forgotten ? "

YT

Monsieur just made a joke!

confusedponderer

You probably know full well that for US interventionist, be they neo-liberal, neo-conservative or neo-wilsonian, the use of military might is the measure of choice, since either faction's absolutist demands cannot possibly be achieved by measure of negotiation.

Unable to see or unwilling to accept that, the policies so formulated necessarily drift towards war. If one looks at the last three decades, in almost every case in which the policy was regime change, the result was war after a slow paced process of sanctions and escalation. Invariably the nations so targeted were put under siege and blockade, which failed to produce the desired outcome, regime change. Faced with the failure of policies, these people seek game changers, and eventually out their hope in the military, and exiles who tell them what they want to hear.

Nobody in his right mind can consider "Submit" a reasonable negotiating position to begin with. Yet we see just that sort of starting position routinely being taken by US politicos. It is a folly that the US can only afford to take because of the measure of military strength and residual wealth (and geographical insulation) that the US still enjoys. Weaker nations don't utter such sentiments atm because except for the US nobody is able to really afford the consequences of such a foolish stance and thus, out of necessity is compelled to act far more restrained.

America's problem is a lack of moderation.

William R. Cumming

If Wolfie was so influential a writer and thinker why has he become so disappeared since his personal malfactions exposed? Those were not the topics of his efforts professionally to my knowledge!

Kissinger despite being forbidden EU travel for war crimes has continued to write and think into his Octegenarian status.

Harper

Alba Etie: You have identified yourself two instances where the Obama Administration has carried forward the Bush-Cheney policies, albeit in modified form. The President failed to go to Congress and misrepresented the US role in the ouster and killing of Qaddafi, claiming the US was "leading from behind" while providing almost all of the heavy air power to bring Qaddafi down. The entire effort caused a serious rift among the permanent five members of UN Security Council that has crippled the ability of the international community to deal with the follow-on Syria crisis. The drone policy has been identified by the Special UN Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings as a war crime that could be brought before The Hague. The idea that the White House would leak to the NY Times the weekly "kill meetings" where the president presides over decisions to assassinate targets overseas is another instance of extra-constitutional actions that now have Democrats as well as Republicans in Congress deeply upset. I would argue that there is a difference in style between the Bush-Cheney and Obama administrations. The use of largescale military forces on longterm counterinsurgency missions has bankrupted the country and hollowed out the armed forces, and had to be halted. But the alternative of air and naval power combined with drones and special forces counter-terror teams is not in my humble opinion the kind of break in policy that the American people have craved. The areas of continuity far outweight the differences, and the liberal humanitarian interventionists (Susan Rice, Samantha Power) are in essence neo-conservatives preaching the same actions with slightly different utopian rhetoric.

The beaver

Either you or someone using your computer have/has cleared all the cookies from your browser.

DH

"Thus many of the descendants of the ancient Germanic Peoples do not speak Germanic languages, as they were to a greater or lesser degree assimilated into the cosmopolitan, literate culture of the Roman world."

-Wikipedia

The beaver

Me thinks that there is an open communication channel going on between the WH and the Ayatollahs in Tehran. Who is playing the intermediary - Turkey or Switzerland is the question?

M. Ahmedinejad has been taking a PR beating lately for his actions abroad and at home. One of his close henchmen has been arrested and his prospective candidate for the upcoming presidential election next June has been thrashed by the pro-govt press.
Khameini has been hinting for direct talks with the US.
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/iran-opposed-direct-talks-us-18781016#.UUyeSBk2B4s

confusedponderer

The drones the right also had. They just kept it secret.

If Obama's stance on drones shows anything, then that he is as_susceptible to the temptations of unchecked executive power as Bush 43 was. That one is not a left-right thing.

The beaver

WRC

I guess you didn't see this one:
{There would have been a high price to pay for inaction over Saddam, he insisted. “We would have had a growing development of Saddam’s support for terrorism.

“We would very likely either have had to go through this whole scenario all over but probably with higher costs for having delayed, or we’d be in a situation today where not only Iran was edging towards nuclear weapons but so was Iraq and also Libya.”

Wolfowitz lambasted those who accuse Bush of lying about Iraq. The conclusion that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction was “the consensus judgment of the intelligence community” and of most Democratic senators — “Hillary Clinton certainly was one of them”.}

Read more: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/03/18/10_years_on_paul_wolfowitz_admits_us_bungled_in_iraq_117492.html

Mark Logan

John, I thought the timing quite clever. Bibi is on record as strongly advocating that war and even saying some very nutty things. Right at the end of this he goes completely off the deep end and lectures us on how nations become easier to invade the more one does it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=fpQdg4D78Jc#!

Has his "game" ever been so well exposed?

A better time to tour and talk to the youth of Israel without harassment from Bibi and his friends on the "talkies" here isn't to be found, IMO.

Alba Etie

"From your thoughts to God's ears.."

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