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28 May 2014


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William R. Cumming

I assume PL posted this link because he is in basic agreement with its analysis! Perhaps not.

History of course has not ended as some would argue. And certainly students of history do agree that democracy is not the inevitable end state for nation-states anywhere.

What we also know is that even with luck, skill, and competence the winning side [various definitions of winning exist and perhaps only in the eye of the beholder] does not always win. Aphorisms such as fortune favors the prepared do have a ring of truth.

But facing the reality of opposing a nation-state from within has always been a tough thing to do. Revolution not a game for children.

And merely disposing of one oligarchy only to replace it with another often the case. And it does seem that the world's oligarchs now have created a rather nice [for the oligarchs] mutual support system.

So the so-called "Arab Spring" seems to me as time passes another missed opportunity for the nation-states impacted by that label. As always I could be wrong.

Personally I believe the nation-state with the most missed opportunities is the nation-state with the most opportunity [ies] and that is the USA. After all will oil rule this century in American life and cheap energy generally [wood and coal] the way it ruled the last three centuries?

At age 71 I can only guess at the actual verdict of history on the USA.

Abu Sinan

Not to mention a load of money made by many in America who also were involved in the decision making process

Babak Makkinejad

I think US could use and "American Spring" as well.


Abu Sinan,
Yes and plenty of bills for the rest of us. I don't think we threw many congressman out of office over the war either.


Were you 110% certain that Hussein did NOT have WMD (remembering that he used them on Iran.



He used gas. We accounted for all his gas weapons and stocks after the first Gulf War. The neocons claimed that he had falsified his inventory to the UN but, in fact, the UN had confiscated all that stuff after the first Gulf War based on DIA information provided to the inspectors by my people. The UN did not give the Iraqis receipts and so the Iraqis in the run up to 2003 could not prove they had surrendered it. I was interviewed at the time but the Iraq committee of neocons and political hacks in the Bush WH would not accept that because they wanted to lie about it. pl

Seamus Padraig

"We smashed all that in the interest of dimly perceived Israeli interest and the wacky historical theories of the neocons and we left them the wreckage that is present day Iraq."

Pat, just wondering: In explaining the motives for invading Iraq, which theory do you favor? The "Clean Break" theory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Clean_Break:_A_New_Strategy_for_Securing_the_Realm)? Or the more commonly held blood-for-oil theory?

Your quote above makes it sound like you favor the first theory, but I could be wrong. If you've posted on this subject before, no need to repeat yourself. Just put up the link for me to look at.

Thanks again!


Seamus Padraig

The blood for oil theory is nonsense. the only factors restricting Iraqi oil production and sales were external sanctions. The Iraqi government was eager to sell as much oil as it could at market prices. the various sanctions were imposed for the political reasons that I mentioned. The majority opinion is further evidence of wesak minded group think. pl


Point made. I Didn't know that.
What do you think of Obama's USMA speech?


Seamus Padraig

I was in the spot oil market and the oil industry service business before 2003. I tried to negotiate numerous waivers for both at State and through them with the UN. It was virtually impossible unless one had tremendous personal or political clout. at the same time it was clear from contact with the Iraqis through intermediaries that they sought oil field repair and improvement based on foreign investment and wished to increase oil export as fast as was possible. pl



Am gonna post on it when I get my act together. pl


"We should remember this when tempted in the future... pl"


Unfortunately I don't believe we will. Our amnesia is no longer about distant events. I have my doubts if we will learn any lessons from Iraq and Afghanistan. The DC groupthink that you brought to light in your excellent "Drinking the Koolaid" and the vapidness of our contemporary politics ensure that our policies will continue to be against our national interests and the interests of the median American. I don't see any new leaders on the horizon to rally the American people in a new direction nor do I see much interest on the part of large sections of our society for that kind of debate and change of course. We seemingly cannot break out of the political duopoly by supporting independent candidates. I think Walrus is on to something - maybe we are suffering collective narcissism as we venerate titillating celebrity culture!

Over the past many decades of my adult life my personal observation is we have inexorably moved away from the ethos of my grandfather and his friends & neighbors. We don't have the same values and attitudes any more. What concerns me is that the bonds of cultural cohesion are fraying not only in our society but in many societies across the globe.

It seems to me as an observer of the financial and economic landscape that all the major economies around the world are in reality Potemkin villages. There is more latent financial instability than is priced in today. While the scale of China's capital investment over the past two decades is breathtaking not only in relative terms but also in absolute terms, can China's Communist Party withstand the factionalism and pressures on it while maintaining its monopoly as it will inevitably have to deal with the deceleration of its gargantuan credit structure? I believe that there is limited attention being paid to the potential instability arising out of Asia. Will we be prepared?


What we Americans did to Iraq is a disgrace. We destroyed the existing state, however cruel it was. Iraq was a state in the process of becoming.

Dear Pat,
reading that I still can't understand why then you were in favor of doing just the same to Libya. Just because there was some issue with Ghaddafi that needed some "revenge"? That would be a crazy reason to destroy the richest and best run state in Africa.


The pressure from the Bush administration on the Iraq Survey Group, the joint mission to research the Iraqi WMD program, to falsify evidence of Iraqi WMD capability or stock was phenomenal. The pressure was resisted primarily because of the non-US inspector continent who could afford to resist this pressure as by and large, their careers did not depend on lying. The only people whom ever paid the price for the lies of the NeoCons were the allied soldiers and the people of Iraq. A shame upon all our houses.


Col Lang, those comments by you are what i would like to see on Morning Joe and Mika. America needs truth therapy.

What we Americans did to Iraq is a disgrace. We destroyed the existing state, however cruel it was. Iraq was a state in the process of becoming. That state had been under development since the Ottoman Tanzimat in the 19th Century. Successive British, Hashemite and revolutionary regimes had made contributions to; education, state institutions. industrialization and women's rights. Life in Iraq was a "contact sport" but the general trend of social and economic growth was favorable.

We smashed all that in the interest of dimly perceived Israeli interest and the wacky historical theories of the neocons and we left them the wreckage that is present day Iraq. We should remember this when tempted in the future... pl


Oberleutnant b

Just Kidding! Iraq was a well fiunctioning country run by a tyrant but, nevertheless, a modernist tyrant and the country had high prospects for achieving a good standard of living and becoming the technological center of the ME. There was no reason for us to smash their toys. Libya under Qathhafi was nothing like that. He was a functionalist, ill educated man who was a major drag on the development of the place to the benefit of the various kinds of Libyans. It has been a mess? Yes. but IMO it is sorting itself out unlike Iraq. pl

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