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29 September 2014

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Fred

Babak,

He's a lame duck who wants to get on the speech/think-tank/private foundation gravy train just like the now multi-millionaire Clinton's. He sure won't get that if he doesn't get to cash in if he doesn't dance to the tune of the economic royalists. (to use FDR's term from the Ken Burn's latest hollywood history)

John

Colonel,
I suspect God is bored with America and maybe a bit pissed off at all the evil shit America has done recently. Of course, the sociopaths, grifters and con artists we have allowed to rise to the top of all our institutions don't get it. The republic has been dead for quite a while and now the corpse is starting to stink. Good times for maggots however. The war mongers are thrilled at the revival of the eternal war in east Asia...oh sorry, I guess Syria is technically west Asia, but you get what I mean.
I constantly wonder if this is lapsing into nihilism or just recognizing things as they are?
Just another day in Samaria. Cheers!

readerOfTeaLeaves

I have mixed emotions reading that comment.
I vowed never, ever to get involved in any political campaign again. But if Webb runs, I may have to reconsider my schedule.

It's become clear that Constitutional Law may be great background for a law professor, but it's lousy preparation for a President charged with administering vast bureaucracies in today's world of climate issues, economic dislocations, and exploding populations.

America seems to be plagued by cheerleaders posing as leaders, and too much of our media is too daft to distinguish between the two.

And by 'cheerleaders', I include TOLFSC, McCain, Cruz, Holder, Kerry, and anyone who writes OpEds for the WaPo.

Aka

All,
"America leads. We are ......... And that's what makes this America"
sounds like someone's little insecure about something.

Xenophon

Sir:

Could you or any others here explain why we should not retire from the Arab field and let the Arabs sort out their destiny themselves?

Whoever ends on top will continue to pump and sell oil. I recognize that, while the turmoil ensues, the conflict will lead to a great disruption in the supply and price of oil, but after the dust settles, Arabs in the Arab world will emerge to sell the oil. The multi national oil companies, having fully evolved as independent players in their own right, are well practiced in dealing with all character of host nations.

I am certain that one argument against this proposal will be the failed state, haven for terrorists, problem.

The counter argument is this..... If we truly retire from this Arab conflict, IS's points of contention with the United States will be removed..... we will not be participating in the conflict; and we will not be near, or protecting, Mecca and Medina. Islamic radical groups may realize that they have no reason to attack us here or abroad.

One fly in the ointment is our unceasing support of Israel, but the proportion of the coming Arab upheaval might make the Palestinian-Israeli issue temporarily small.

Participating against IS guarantees the continued enmity of radical Islam; not participating in this Arab conflict removes us as a focus for that part of radical Islam.


The possibility that this non involvement proposal will be implemented seems nil. But are there reasons why such a plan would not be in our best interest?

The current situation seems a revisit of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Russia after the revolution and WWI. We resisted the Bolsheviks and helped the Whites and the Czechs. Substitute Saud for Romanov. (Timing is not quite identical.... The Saud family is still intact.)

The Bolsheviks used the Allies' presence to create propaganda buttressing the Marxist claim of overthrowing capitalism. Our presence today helps the radical Islamists in their propaganda to motivate and recruit the dispossessed Arab "street" to their cause, whether those Muslims be in the Arab world or in the West.

The Allied Expeditionary force was to no avail. Though Bolshevism was as repugnant to the West in 1919 as radical Islam is to us today, the U.S and Europe were war weary. They were not willing to commit sufficient force. They were resisting an historic change far from their home countries. Sound familiar?

The course of history is not inevitable, but hereditary rule of Arab lands by the current families may be due for change. That their security forces are preeminently to protect themselves and their regimes from internal challenge speaks to the nature of their rule. Is our intervention their only chance to survive? If they cannot stand on their own, why should they stand at all?

Islam is rising. The Arab "street" might rise as well. Why should we, at our peril, try to put a "lid" on an historic evolution? Why should we act as protectors of the current, often corrupt, order? Why should we risk being on the wrong side of history? Why should we invite terror attacks on our own people? Why should we not sit this one out?

I'm not advocating fomenting the change; I'm advocating not participating on one side or the other. Let the Arabs work it out.

This course of action can be attacked as "cutting and running", as abandoning long term friends in the region. But isn't our foreign policy supposed to protect the self-interest of the United States?

Can a war in which we are unwilling to commit, supporting ruling families that are often corrupt and repressive, in lands far from ours, for an uncertain cause that may not prevail, be in our self interest? Can a war that invites terror attacks on our country and our people, a war for which our Congress refuses to vote, be in our self interest?

When the dust settles, when the Arab peoples have established some semblance of order, the United States will be there to keep sea lanes open so that oil can move.

Even if we are hated for what we didn't do by survivors we didn't help.

jonst

Col, a long shot if there ever was one. Hail Mary Pass (pardon colloquial reference)if there ever was one. Is Webb serious? And if so, does he have a prayer to come out of nowhere?

turcopolier

jonst

Slim to none even if herself doesn't run. pl

Cee

Anonymous

Cheney and company started the destruction and I fear we are doomed.

Cee

Reader of Tea Leaves

Cruz reminds me of a character from The Twilight Zone or the president in the movie The Dead Zone.

Babak Makkinejad

All of those force projection capabilities were intended for the war against Iran. Just like the rented UK and French forces that have been rented by them for the war against Iran.

I think you need to understand that ISIS destroyed all those shenanigans.

Babak Makkinejad

The Al Saud might be on their way out:

http://cliodynamics.info/PDF/Khaldun-Saud.pdf

turcopolier

Babak

The GCC has no ability to project force in an expeditionary role. pl

Matthew

Fred: I agree. He's just taking the path of least resistance: No one in Washington is every punished for advancing a dumb idea--so long as the dumb idea commands a consensus.

Eliot

Col. Lang,

I spent my early years at a skeptical boarding school in New England. They taught us that faith was an artifact of a more primitive time. It was to be humored but never to be taken seriously. Man had moved on, or at least that culture in New England had moved on, to better things. These were modern men with modern answers. They no longer needed the prophets to guide their lives.

I have to laugh, now, when I think of that. Obamas words are a testament to that culture and how my classmates thought. We were infused with purpose, and we were intent on redeeming the world. In our own right, as his language suggests, we were no less religious than the dour pilgrims before us. Our faith was a secular one, but it was no less dogmatic. We had lost our god, but we had not lost Winthrop's creed.

We were so convinced of modernism though. Our answers, unlike those who came before, were both right and universal. Indeed, we believed that backward beliefs and the shackles of primitive religions were the only obstacles to our mission. We were missionaries, but we couldn't understand that.

Obama suffers from that, as do many in his circle. They do not understand the peculiar nature of their values. They do not understand that their values are the product of their culture, and can hardly be considered universal truths. They do not understand that the primitive and backwards peoples of the world will resist them, and forcefully so.

- Eliot

Nancy K

Jim Webb has put out some feelers regarding 2016. I emailed his website immediately stating my husband and I would definitely vote for him over HC. But I would vote for HC over anyone of the Republicans that seem to be showing interest. I can't imagine a President Ted Cruz.

Anna-Marina

Obama, the darling of Wall Street...
Perhaps, he is the greatest disappointment of the idealistic and patriotic Americans, ever.
http://www.therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=12449

Anna-Marina

True. Obama is just a tool, and a willing tool.

Anna-Marina

Bolshevism was perhaps repugnant for Europe, but it was used by Germany as a tool to defeat Russia in 1917. And see how beautifully this worked.. for bolshevism. http://www.thehistoryforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=30125
The tribal half-wits in the US government (mostly of dual persuasion) have a childish dream of easy manipulating the unleashed energies of the Middle Eastern (and Ukrainian) fighters. The war profiteers rejoice. But the humanity is in grave danger.

Cee

All,

I hope they all resist, and not just in Iraq.

http://www.armytimes.com/interactive/article/20140927/NEWS/309270032/Poll-70-troops-say-no-more-boots-ground-Iraq

http://csis.org/publication/washington-needs-plan-lifting-its-weapons-sales-ban-vietnam

zanzibar

Jon

We gave up Hayek and von Mises and of course Bastiat a long, long time ago. We have even twisted Keynes and come up with fantasy academic theories to justify ever growing interventions by the state in all our affairs. Statism thrives. And it's a global phenomenon. It has won the war. Under the guise of the nanny state it has permeated the body politic and both our political parties. And the elites who profit from it get to rule the roost unimpeded. Even in the rule of law some animals are more equal than others! As Walrus has noted here, narcissism is a prerequisite to enter the hallowed universe of our political, governmental and corporate leaders.

I posted a lament on the ideological contest on the thread around the sequestration "drama" a year ago.

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2013/10/httpwwwnytimescom20131013uspoliticshopes-of-a-grand-bargain-are-still-stuck-on-revenuehtml_r0.html

Charles Dekle

All,
According to this article the US is committed to Afghanistan for sometime to come after troop withdrawal:
http://www.salon.com/2014/09/30/obama_welcomes_signing_of_afghan_security_pact/

The ship of state is rudderless and leaky and only the rats are thriving. They don't realize that if the ship sinks so will they. IMHO

Regards and luck to all,

Rocketrepreneur

Zanzibar,

I agree that things look dire for the voices of sanity, and that for now the court historians and sycophantic economists have the ears of the kings. But, I'd never give up hope that sanity can eventually come back--it's never truly defeated. One way or another, things will sort themselves out. Either like grownups we'll figure it out before we go over the brink, or we'll have some really rough times as we drive our economy into the ground. But life generally goes on.

I'm pessimistic about human nature and politics, but optimistic about future and human ingenuity. We'll see who wins out in our lifetimes.

~Jon

Kunuri

Thank you for the article, it is most fascinating, this method of socio-political prediction model can be applied to other cases, I am thinking Syria and Ottoman Empire for now.

And you are right, and also all other conspiracy theorists who always quip "It's all about oil, man!" If oil prices had not hit record levels after Gulf Wars, and if one reads the article carefully, House of Saud would have collapsed by now, because within all the variables the author had sighted in his model, nowhere he had predicted up to 100$ plus per barrel prices for a decade. Makes you wonder about all the wars of the past decade.

He touches the subject of Al-Kaida types taking over the in SA, but in 2003 there was no 30,000 strong ISIS sharing a border with them and social media like we have now. Oh how would I love to read a revised, current version of this article with reliable data from the last decade, as would any Wall Street fat-cat, or a politico in any country.

Thanks again Babak Makkinejad.

Kunuri

I don't think the rats will sink with the ship, they are survivors. There are plenty of Lear jets and neighborhood markets and hotels for sale around the world, and passport printing presses, Swiss Banks, and media that can project rats as ex-pat freedom movements.

Kunuri

Eliot, I am touched. From what I know, the generation of Ataturk and his contemporaries must have felt the same way in post Ottoman Turkey, certainly my father did.

I am a little uncertain about Turkish analogy, I hope it does not sound too self centered, but I am aware of your boarding school modernist generation in New England. Your counterparts existed in Turkey, perhaps contemporaneously, but no longer.

"They do not understand that the primitive and backwards peoples of the world will resist them, and forcefully so."

And this also rings true, for anyone who follows recent politics in Turkey. Maybe there is no hope of eradicating the dark forces and Darth Vaders of the universe.

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