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31 August 2014


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Thank you Confused Ponderer.

The conundrum of the nation state was posed at least as early as 1999 by Sir Michael Howard.

You suggested: "And yet a fundamental dilemma remains: The only entity able to violate another nation’s sovereignty is another nation state.

To put it a bit pointedly: The nation-state is precisely what liberals and neo-liberals see as the problem."

Sir Michael pointed out that the Nation State, however, is the only entity that can enter international treaties and enforce their terms on their own populations. Hence the idea of weakening the nation state by trying to create supposed allegiance to a higher form of organisation or ideal creates problems since it by definition loosens the fetters on the ethnic or religious factions suppressed and contained within each nation.

There are thus consequences of weakening the concept of the Westphalian nation state. Yes we held Hitler accountable to a higher ideal - responsibility to protect against humanitarian crimes. The same allegiance to a higher ideal destroyed Iraq, Syria and perhaps other nation states like Libya. The possibility of acension to the higher ideal of EU and NATO membership was all that was required to ignite ethnic war in the Ukraine. Scotland is now pondering independence, arguably weakening Britain in the process. Mexico, the Middle East and other countries find themselves dealing with transnational gangs involved in purveying drugs or a perverted form of religion like ISIS. Transnational companies with revenues exceeding many nations GDP now dictate policy in many nations.

All these in my opinion are unavoidable consequences of weakening the concept of the nation state in favour of higher ideals - "responsibility to protect", "crimes against humanity", "self determination", call it what you will.

Perhaps the downside of this alleged morality play will only become apparent when it hits closer to home; perhaps Texas decides to secede in an act of self determination? The South rises again anyone?

robt willmann

Back between when the war on Iraq started in 1990 and the invasion of Iraq in 2003, there were those years of some more bombing and missiles fired, no-fly zones, and the sanctions; this is why the war on Iraq by the U.S. has been continuous, even through today, as we now see. But remember the sanctions? Things got so bad that there was the United Nations Humanitarian Program and oil for food program. Denis Halliday was running it for the UN and resigned after a while because it was ineffective and what was being done to Iraq was, in his words, genocide. I think Hans Von Sponeck ran the program after Halliday and he resigned, too, because the program was not really helping.


Texas independent oilman Oscar Wyatt, a long-time enemy of the Bush family, and who had done oil and gas business in Iraq (and Libya, for that matter) for a long time, was charged with a crime in federal court in New York City for busting the sanctions and paying kickbacks to Saddam Hussein in order to continue to do oil and gas business with Iraq. In the middle of his trial, he pled guilty in 2007 when the government's case was not going well but he had a lot of potential exposure to prison time, and had a one-year jail sentence. Oscar was born into real poverty in Texas, and scratched around and pulled himself up. He volunteered in World War II and was a pilot, and was wounded at least once. It was Oscar -- and not his nemeses George H.W. Bush and Bush jr. -- who was instrumental in getting the U.S. persons out of Iraq before the war started.

I mentioned recently that the U.S. has had a gangster foreign policy for a long time. The mentality of the foreign policy "establishment" slipped out in an interview of former secretary of state Madeline Albright on the CBS television program "60 Minutes".

The interviewer, Leslie Stahl, asked: "We have heard that a half a million [Iraqi] children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. You know, is the price worth it?"

Madeline Albright: "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price, we think, the price is
worth it".


There you have it, folks.


Mark Twain once said, "Patriotism is usually the refuge of the scoundrel. He is the man who talks the loudest."
- Education and Citizenship speech, 5/14/1908

'Credibility' and 'indispensability' are also the refuge of some scoundrel who is about to pile on the BS about some hair brained scheme that can't be justified on its merits.

'Credibility' and 'indispensability' also evoke mob rule, criminal underworld style. Protection services having no inherent value, the bosses have only their own credibility and indispensability, obtained by threat of violence and maintained by constant implication of bad things to happen, if things don't go according to their whims.

It always helps to have a credible bogeyman. Al Qaeda and Iran really didn't measure up. Russia does.


Nobody expected a (secularist) American Inquisition, nor another 30 Years' War, but so we have them now.


Confused Ponderer,

"f we have to use force, it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see further into the future"

I'm sure some from the Akkadians to the Persians to the Greeks, Romans to the late British empire though the same thing or something along that line.

your reasoning about the US strategy may very well be correct. However whether this strategy would lead to a unintentional WW III or not, US has lot of internal problems. Weaknesses in the economy, loss of freedom and rights for the people (IMO this has a much more negative effect on the US because this may scare potential immigrants), problems regarding US government are some. Whatever Machiavellian games that the US plays with the world, its domestic problems does not seems to be getting proper solutions. And I do not think a country can be truly powerful without its economy. What I see is US will remain a powerful country but it would not be the "indispensable nation" as it would like to be (whether this "indispensable nation" nation ever existed is another matter).

Ursa Maior

Very valid points.


In reply to kao_hsien_chih 31 August 2014 at 10:54 PM

Unfortunately I agree with you.




The quotation from Albright is so filled with hubris that I wretch at the thought. pl


Concur with you..."we see further into the future?". Yes, and "they will greet us with cheering crowds" in Iraq. See how well that turned out.

And remember her infamous retort to General Powell--"What's the point of having this superb military that you're always talking about if we can't use it?"



I agree 100% but I would emphasize “follow the money”. NAFTA, EU and all the subsequent supranational organizations were pushed and approved so multi-national corporations and the wealthy could make more money and devolve the powers of the nation states over them.

The Ukraine Civil War is the ultimate outcome. America can no longer mount a people’s army to fight its wars. After the 24 year and counting conflict with Iraq it can only fight wars with a surrogate armies; Svoboda/Pravy Sektor in Ukraine and Moderate Jihadists in Syria. It cannot tell the truth. Corporate media is now 24/7 propaganda. Western Supranational Corporations want and need access to Ukraine’s resources. Russia is also supporting a proxy army in Ukraine but it is doing so because it is in its national interests. Russia will not last long as a sovereign nation if a western corporatist NATO member controls its western borders.

cville reader

VV--I think the emphasis on multinational corporations may be somewhat misplaced. Better to look at who controls the corporations' access to capital and dictates to them expected returns.

The beaver

@ VietnamVet
"Western Supranational Corporations want and need access to Ukraine’s resources".

This is one example:

"First, the non-transparent deal -- sponsored by high-ranking government officials -- is a textbook case of restrictive practices that violate World Trade Organization rules. Secondly, the pipeline itself is anything but an attractive offer"

This is another edifying article considering what is happening in the Iran-Iraq-Syria club.


CP: At least in France, "liberals" (which I roughly interpret as the democratic left) emphatically do *not* see the nation-state as a problem. They see it as a solution. It is a protection both against the forces of international capital (in the "state" part) and the dangers of tribalism (in the "nation" part).

Admittedly, things may be different in countries that have embraced "multiculturalism", such as Britain. But note that the UK is also particularly vigilant on its own national independence, and defiant towards international integration and the EU project.



In a similar vein to what Karl Rove told Suskind. "We are an empire....". The hubris is layered on thick. These intellectual midgets in my opinion have squandered whatever goodwill we had in the world.

Sir, you have been in the halls of power. When do you believe we crossed the rubicon to inhabit fantasyland? What in your experience were the factors that led us there?


western multinationals may be hoping it would be open season for Ukrainian resources but what they are forgetting is that ukraine itself has it own class of businessmen (criminal, corrupt businessmen. western media now call them "Ukrainian billionaires/ businessmen" but it does not change the fact that these are simply oligarchs).

These guys don't want Ukrainian industries to go in to the western hands. They want it for them.


And I think they were the decisive factor behind maiden victory. Without their help maiden would not have succeeded (at least not that easily). Ordinary pro-westerners thought they did it. But really they didn't. Same as Egypt's pro-democracy protesters thought that they were the decisive factor (when actually it was the Egyptian military).



I think there are two distinct notions about sovereign states.

Do people accept sovereign status of other states within their borders, even if they are "heretical" or "barbarous"? (I am using the terminology deliberately to evoke 30 years' war/age of imperialism when respect for others' sovereignty ran short.) It strikes me that very few westerners today are willing to recognize others' sovereignty as anything other than scraps of paper founded on legal technicality, if that much, compared to their own sense of righteousness. This seems to be the core problem.

With regards one's own sovereignty, it is likely that many countries' poliyical leaders aren't willing to let int'l bodies come in to deal with the issues within their own borders. But this, compounded with the former, exacerbates the problem further. Other countries are perfectly happy to violate their sovereignty using int'l bodies, or, in case of the US (and prob, Russia and China, at least as far as their neighbors are concerned), using their own nation state's resources. (And with others happily intervening, perhaps they woukd be fools not intervening where their own vital interests are at stake.)

The key is respecting others nation states as inviolate within limits, not one's own. Once they are respected by all, some modus vivendi might be arranged where everyone sticks to their own business. If such respect is not universal, it can degenerate to ugly and hypocritical pissing match that seems to be ongoing everywhere of late.


In reply to toto 01 September 2014 at 03:31 PM

Other than as dog whistle politics how exactly is "multiculturalism" even remotely germane to this topic?

I grant you that at least in one respect American exceptionalism is justified - the supine way in which the American government lets itself be manipulated by the Zionists in Tel Aviv and their fellow travelers to act against the interests of the USA militarily, politically, and economically, baffles people like myself and rightly enrages many of the people who write here who as Americans love their country.

Apart from the special and limited case of the USA name me one, just one, country in which "multiculturalism" as you put it has any deleterious effect upon that country's military, political, and economic well-being. Verifiable examples please unsupported opinion doesn't count.

Thanks in advance.


William R. Cumminh

Thanks CP for a brilliant post!

Several questions? Other than strategic missiles are the Russians a threat outside Eastern Ukraine?

Will FP be a big factor in this fall's elections?

Is there any source identifying the legal resident alien population in the US? Including separately Russia and the Ukraine as separate ethnic sources for USA immigration, legal and illegal?

Why exactly has the USA and the other major powers in the past, including at the Paris peace Conference in 1919, creation of an independent Ukrainian state [or nation-state?]

In its 150 years under Russian and Polish and Austrian rule did the Ukraine ever have its own culture?

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