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28 November 2014

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Babak Makkinejad

CP:

That is all fine but where are the Europeans in all of this?

Why is Iran and enemy of Denmark and Spain?

Truly, without nuclear weapons in the hands of the Russian Federation, we would have been at war in Europe yet again.

Aka

CP,
I sincerely hopes that this "condition" does not ends with multiple mushroom clouds or a failed US.

William Fitzgerald

CP,

The Kissinger quote and your comments on the same go right to the root of the problem with American foreign policy. I'd add that a subsidiary element lies in the continuing influence of public relations techniques in the making of our policies. The personification of adversaries, inept or irrelevant metaphors (Munich Crisis ad infinitum) and others are examples.

WPFIII

Matthew

CP: I call it Conservative Trotskyism. Our values are universally true; hence, our mandate extends universally.

Truly terrifying. On a practical level, this "thinking" invalidates game-theory. Its proponents believe that controlled costs will always be borne by the "other" until the other surrenders.

confusedponderer

Babak,
in anticipation of your comment I have prepared another post to address your point scheduled to be published on Sunday. In it I try to get at an answer to your question.

ex-PFC Chuck

A must-read on this topic is this transcript of an address recently given by Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov.
http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2014/11/absolutely-crucial-statement-by-foreign.html

ISL

CP, thanks for the valuable discussion, and I concur with your scepticism - I call your George Will and raise you another:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-will-has-nato-lost-its-will-as-well-as-its-muscle/2014/09/05/c342b78e-3467-11e4-9e92-0899b306bbea_story.html

Why only as long ago as September, was he neglecting that Russia could have a viewpoint. Perhaps the wise words of Henry Kissinger have created an enlightenment moment for a perennial hawk. Or perhaps he is hoping some of Kissinger's gravitas will fall on his lapel.

Given how Mr. hopey-changey quite explicitly ran on, well, hope and change, but then governed on forward looking consistency (note errors to fix all occur in the past - by not looking back, one assumes - or at least refuses to consider the idea of - perfection), its hard to see how internal change can happen.

Zerohedge is noting rather tectonic (i.e., slow, and massive) shifts in petrodollar flows and the rise of bilateral arrangements. Eventually, and my guess is not in too many years, the resulting economic impacts will shake the "exceptionalism" opening a chance for a new direction (or withdrawal into heterodoxy and American fundamentalism).

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-27/there-will-be-blood-petrodollar-death-means-liquidity-and-oil-exporting-crisis-deck

Babak Makkinejad

Not Trotsky - he was only stating the common conception of Europeans that their historical development was universally applicable to any and all others - one saw that very clearly expressed in Marx.

It is the same malaise and extreme form of it being expressed in the United States.

Significantly, the empirical English never subscribed to such quaint quasi-religious notions. They wrote their own history as being a very unique experience - inapplicable to other people on this planet.

David Habakkuk

Babak Makkinejad,

'Significantly, the empirical English never subscribed to such quaint quasi-religious notions. They wrote their own history as being a very unique experience – inapplicable to other people on this planet.'

Being having my nose to the grindstone with other business, I haven't the time at the moment to give a considered reply to that very interesting remark.

But, briefly, English history has been very much a 'contested space', for the English themselves (or it would be better to say, British), as also its relevance or lack of it to other peoples.

This gives rise of all kinds of curious tensions and contradictions.

One interesting example is the Liberal politician Edwin Montagu. At the time of the Balfour Declaration, he was the sole Jew in the Cabinet, and had recently been appointed Secretary of State for India. In that capacity, he was absolutely insistent that self-government for India should be presented as the ultimate goal of British policy.

There was political calculation in this – the awareness that an attempt to resist the growing strength of nationalist feeling on the subcontinent could produce a disastrous explosion. But there is also every reason to believe that Montagu believed in the British imperial mission in India in part because he believed that the country could, in some sense, become liberal.

And he would wreck his political career when he made public the objections of the Viceroy – Rufus Isaacs, Lord Reading, also Jewish – to the harsh treatment of Turkey in the Treaty of Sevres.

By the same token, Montagu clearly regarded Zionism as a kind of barbaric East European ethno-nationalist creed, which was ultimately based upon the same kind fundamental premises as anti-Semitism: that the primary loyalty of Jews was necessarily to other Jews, and that whatever they said or did, no sane gentile should be stupid enough to trust them.

As the scion of an immigrant family who had made some of the best of British culture his own – as happened with so many Jews in other countries, notably France, Russia and Germany – he abominated everything that people like Jabotinsky stood for. Indeed, the creation of a 'Jewish Legion' – of which Jabotinsky was a major champion – produced something in Montagu close to apoplexy.

(See http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/Montagumemo.html )

It is curious how many of the issues of that time are still with us, and indeed are becoming more, rather than less, salient with time.

jr786

This is from the 2002 National Security Strategy of the United States. After a brief summary of who won the cold war the document asserts:

"In the twenty-first century, only nations that share a commitment to protecting basic human rights and guaranteeing political and economic freedom will be able to unleash the potential of their people and assure their future prosperity. People everywhere want to be able to speak freely; choose who will govern them; worship as they please; educate their children—male and female; own property; and enjoy the benefits of their labor. These values of freedom are right and true for every person, in every society—and the duty of protecting these values against their enemies is the common calling of freedom-loving people across the globe and across the ages."

It's the last sentence that calls attention most.

Matthew

ISL: Not tectonic but a receding of the revolutionary and a renewal of American republicanism (small r).

Matthew

Jr786: I just can't square these aspirations with our big donor democracy, can you?

JLCG

Why is Iran an enemy of Denmark and Spain?
Because the name of their hegemon is NATO and NATO includes as vassals, Denmark and Spain and France and and...
When empires develop they usually change names. Witness the Soviet Union. When it dissolved it became again Russia. Persia changed its name to Iran, England annexed Wales Ireland and Scotland and changed its name to United Kingdom, Prussia annexed Bavaria and the rest and changed its name to Germany, (Deutschland), and so on.
The USA has added vassals to its being and changed its name to NATO.
Empires tend to disguise their selves because their actual selves are contrary to the rhetoric they voice. The hegemons command but want to be seen as placid defenders of peace, freedom, democracy etc...

Babak Makkinejad

It is quite clear, empirically speaking, that only Anglo-Saxons can run a representative system of government such as what obtains in UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The farther South and East you go, the worse the practices of a Liberal Order become....

confusedponderer

What about the Dutch, the French, Swiss, Scandinavians, Germans, empirically speaking?

Babak Makkinejad

They all have issues.

In Sweden, there is no concept of bail.

In France, compared to UK, there is no Law - although compared to Mexico or India is a very lawful country.

But they also establish my contention; as you move south and east, things become progressively worse...

rjj

By "calls attention" do you mean set off the Bullshit Detector Alarm?

VietnamVet

CP

This is an excellent article. I despair that important posts, like this, are found only on a handful of web blogs. A retired mid-level “technocrat”, I remember when the powers to be after Desert Storm, including Dick Cheney, warning of the severe consequences of marching on to Baghdad. It came true in spades.

Even after spending three years in S.E. Asia in my 20’s I am inherently naïve. But, I am sure that as a result of 9/11, the Anthrax mailings, and the DC snipers, the Western Elite had the crap scare out of them. I bet they won’t admit it. But, they have burrowed deeply into their ideologies and beliefs. They know they are exceptional. They’ve reached the consensus that anyone who isn’t with them is against them. God will do the sorting. Together with the war profiteers, they’ve created the Perfect Storm that won’t end until we all are broke and they have destroyed the world as we know it.

FB Ali

David,

I have not studied in detail the history of British thought and actions regarding constitutional evolution in their Indian empire. However, the impression I have is that there were two main threads operating before WW2: one believed that Britain would be able to hold on to it indefinitely (eg, Churchill and his kind); the other hoped that it would ultimately become a dominion like Canada and Australia (Liberals such as Montagu).

Of course, the situation at the end of the war upended all such hopes and calculations. In my view, even without the war, sooner or later British rule would inevitably have become untenable.

walter

PL, Politicians lose elections, money, power, influence, adulation, when they criticize America, Israel, capitalism, free markets, Christianity, American Exceptionalism,

Its politically safe to have redneck values in America.

Nuance, compromise, cooperation, empathy, sympathy, validation, understanding, etc is seem as weakness

God help us...perhaps this is a recurring theme in World History?? If so, how do we escape it?

confusedponderer

"In France, compared to UK, there is no Law "

A while ago my mother handed me an old book she inherited from her father, and asked whether I had any idea what it was. It turnd out to be a copy of the Code Napoleon. My granddad had worked as a clerk in court, and that must have been where he got it. The code had been kept in use in the Rhineland long after Napoleon had been defeated at Waterloo.

The thing the Rhinelanders liked about the French was the good governance and the sense for the practical.

In light of real legal achievements on part of the French like the Code Napoleon, I have a hunch that they would dispute your view.

FB Ali

We have had this discussion before. But you greatly overrate the reality of "representative government" in the Anglo-Saxon countries. Yes, they do have the forms of such a polity (as do many other countries), but it is seriously flawed by factors such as the influence of money and partisan media, the large proportion of the population with limited education and interest, etc.

This is exemplified by the fact that no political party or individual can win an election in these countries if they state the basic truth that additional programs, infrastructure and services have to be paid for through taxes.

Fred

Babak,

They have additional problems in Sweden due to immigration without assimilation:

http://swedenreport.org/2014/10/29/swedish-police-55-official-no-go-zones/

Fred

Walter,

"Its politically safe to have redneck values in America." I assume you mean rednecks are the only Christians, or are they the only ones who won't compromise and don't possess sympathy (even though they are Christians)?

Babak Makkinejad

You might be right.

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