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22 April 2016

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LondonBob

Neocons have achieved exactly what they set out to achieve, indeed I would say they have been wildly successful. Fractured Iraq, civil war in Syria, Sunnia-Shia rivalry, Gaddafi gone etc.

To be fair to Obama I expect Cameron asked for him to intervene. That said he should have refused and said we will support whatever your decision is, although I am sure Obama is a big believer in the transnational trend anyway. Interestingly the poster boy neocons, Michael Gove and Liam Fox, are big supporters of Brexit, alongside their traditional sparring partners on the old right. So not sure analysis along those lines works here.

rjj

Johnson knows better. He studied classics - I think he was using the ancient rhetorical device, σκατάταύρησις (sp?).

jonst

BM wrote, "He is also cool as a cucumber and is not letting the fits of jilted US lovers - such as Saudis - ruffle his feathers since he knows it in his bones that US, and with it, the Western Civilization, will assimilate the rest of the world in the ripeness of time." Not without sending their own kids into the military they won't. As the Col notes in the Bacevich post, this small, and rather segmented pool for the military can't last forever if their plans/dreams to "assimilate" the world are carried out to their logical ends.

Harry

I think you are referring to our idiot leaders. If this matter was in the hands of our idiot leaders then President Obama would feel no need to opine as I'm sure the government could find the majority it needs one way or another.

But this is a referendum.

Right now, if you held a referendum on whether Blair should be tried for warcrimes I'm not sure what the result would be. If it were just the Labour party voting, I suspect he would be hung.

Dolphin Jack

That quality being considerably higher in 2016 then?

Fred

I'm sure Barack would like to run again but that pesky Constitution got in the way.

William R. Cumming

The whole world has a problem IMO! How to play the U.S.A. or better yet how to try to play the U.S.A. FP [foreign policy] wise!

And the problem for the U.S.A. is how to play those trying to play it for one reason or another.

You know the advice of "stop playing" not going to happen. BTW Donald Trump IMO for good or bad a "player"!

rjj

correction: skatatauroiesis - of the bull, not shitty bull.

cynic

If he has no need to care, why does he visit them? Just to display his crassness? Is he perhaps sent forth by his masters to demonstrate how they have managed to pervert civilization?

kooshy

The other way to look at it, is that generally the world developed and knowledge moved in the direction that sunsets, which is westward till it finally reached the new world/Americas with plenty of untapped unclaimed wealth and resources. and since the world is round it sounds like it's keep doing the same, meaning moving westward across the pacific, which is the good old far east. if this trend continues, who knows maybe in few centuries will reach the middle east agin. IMO you can't just point on one issue or reason for The "Rise of the west"

rjj

was this posted above?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/23/why-should-we-take-advice-from-a-president-who-has-surrendered-t/

I have the same questions.

what's the brit take on it?

As someone said on brit media recently, the people in office are not politicians, they are PR people. I like Boris Johnson. He is [seems to be] a politician: canny, sharp, slick, calculating, quick -- with too much of the right stuff [for these times - i.e., not a golden age] to be a borg toyboy. Am probably wrong - againe.

turcopolier

kooshy

So, the reason people came to America was to make money. That is why you came, right? I am sure you had a good ride on the California real estate market. Did you have a nice "stake" from your kin to get started? Did you ever think of serving for a while in the military of the country that took you in? pl

rjj

but the founders did understand the uses of power, e.g., the warning "if you can keep it."

Not understanding the uses of power means you can't prevent the abuses of power. As with not understanding "necessity" or "from hunger" - it gets you shortlisted for a Darwin Award.

turcopolier

rjj

Khalilzad was very specific. He said that America should use its power to dominate. pl

turcopolier

cynic

Who are his "masters?" I think he is trying to walk a line between the moneyed liberals who created him and his own easily offended ego. pl

Dubhaltach

In reply to LeaNder 22 April 2016 02:37 PM

"it seems they took US advise concerning the war against Iraq. Didn't they? "

No they didn't, British public opinion was MASSIVELY against the Blair government joining in the Bush Administration's illegal war, invasion, and occupation of Iraq.

Like Colin Powell waving a test tube at the UN while spouting a pack of lies Blair's government needed to produce "evidence" such as the ludicrous "45 minute" claim and the "sexed up" dossier before being able to ram their collaboration with the Bush administration through a very sceptical parliament. Public fury at the deceptions has severely hampered Labour ever since and is a major reason why Blair is almost as toxic as Thatcher amongst Labour supporters.

kooshy

Colonel the reason Los Angeles real-estate market is hot is because of the people to the west of us meaning the Asians, the money is being made there now days. Whoever bought real-estate in LA area in 80’s and 90’s and was able to hold on to it in this past several market ups and downs, has accumulated a lot of gain. At least unrealized gain till is sold. No one in my family ever served in any military anywhere including myself, my father was an academic scholars. IMO people came to America for all kind of reasons, some for freedom , others for better living and some for both. Iranians migration of late 70s 80s was no different.

cynic

That's the conventional Christian story. Others see that as an overlay on older legends and myths such as the Green Man or the Summer King.He was very popular in the middle ages as a warrior saint.

jerseycityjoan

Besides the things that others have mentioned above, I think Obama is frankly afraid of the consequences if the UK stops propping up Europe and the EU.

The UK plays a huge role in Europe that cannot and will not be replaced by any new EU member; it both takes in workers from other countries and sends much more to the EU in subsidies than it receives. My view of the EU changed forever when I read last year that Poland has received something like a quarter of a trillion euros from the EU. EU expansion continues to be discussed and encouraged even as the number and ability of the few "have" nations to absorb additional workers and make additional financial contributions decreases.

This article has a good summary of the situation including a charge that shows each EU member's contributions and subsidies:

http://www.ibtimes.com/eu-brexit-2016-why-central-eastern-european-states-dont-want-britain-leave-2328313

"If a Brexit does take place, economist Anders Åslund of the Atlantic Council think tank in Washington said the immediate impact for Central and Eastern European states would be small because Britain is tied to the EU budget until 2020. But he said the overall impact could lead to the collapse of the EU, just as Polish President Duda argued.

“The tightening of immigration for Central and Eastern European countries will be more severe, because whatever Brexit will mean, it will mean work immigration from Central and Eastern European countries will cease and that would be a serious source of popular dissatisfaction,” Åslund said."

Future changes in EU membership can and will have enormous consequences. This Wikipedia article I found last summer shows that if and when Turkey joins, the EU's Nominal GDP per capita will shrink by almost 10%!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accession_of_Turkey_to_the_European_Union

It seems to me that the UK has lots of good reasons to leave the EU.

While I don't like what the President said and did here, I can see why he wants the UK to continue to sacrifice itself for Europe. It is very convenient for us.

Ulenspiegel

Sorry, you should first check numbers.

1) The UK provides around 8 billion EUR for the EU budget. That is not that much. And most of it would have to be paid by a UK anyway for the economic access to the EU. Check Norway and Switzerland.

It is naive to assume that leaving the EU gives economic benefits for the UK or creates severe economic issues for Brussels. That is a shallow analysis.

2) If you check the immigration of various countries you see that the UK is not longer the important destination for eastern European emigrants. Here a little bit more realism is due, too.

3) You could also check the impact of the Brexit issue in central European newspapers, it has very low priority. This tells you something.

Babak Makkinejad

As a leader, you must go around, at times, trying to reassure and ameliorate the rank & file.

Whether he had to do it at this junction or not, is a judgment call - in my opinion.


Babak Makkinejad

I was not suggesting that he had been thinking in military terms; rather he might be thinking along the lines of Francis Fukuyama and other historicists such as him.

The main criticism of this pernicious doctrine of Historicism is that it cannot conceive of the possibility of a multiplicity of Historical Dead-Ends - Past and Future.

Babak Makkinejad

I think that you be wrong about China and indeed Korea and Japan as well.

You do not understand or know the Far Easterners - their last great hope had been the Legalists' insistence that everyone, including the Emperor (the Government or the State) must be bound by Law.

That was rejected in favor of the pseudo-Legalist doctrine of "Just beat them into line." and people were left with no recourse.

And evidently, yet again, and this time the Communist Party, is adopting that position.

In Singapore, they have all the machinery of Westminster type of democracy but it is entirely gutted of its substance.

Try to exercise your freedom of association, or belief, or political opinion there. They are very clever, they will not send you to jail - men in black trench coats coming at 2:00 AM. What they do is that they bring lawsuits against you and silence you that way.

All in the name of "State Stability" and "Asian Values".

God forbid for them to actually do something that had been going for centuries among the Western Diocletians - devolution of power to cities, prefectures and provinces.

It is for this reason that the ideas of May 4-th Movement are as fresh (and as unrealized) today as they were first discussed by men such as Lu Xun.

The "89 Movement" had the potential to exceed the May 4-th Movement and finally begin realizing some of the ideals of that movement.

Which, unfortunately, came not to be.

In regards to the so-called Rise of the West (and Sinking of the East), I agree with you. There are very many causes - within the areas West of Diocletian Line and outside of it. I think Freedom of Though - indeed the whole idea of Freedom - must have had something to do with it.

I am unfamiliar of any discussion of "Individual Freedom" among thinker of Islam, Hinduism, or the Japanese and Chinese of this world.

But that is vast subject and I only know what I have learnt from secondary and tertiary literature. Suffice it to say that Western people who go to India are there to learn navel gazing and not to be instructed on finer points of Freedom of Individual, Conscience, etc.

And absolutely no one goes to China or to Iran to learn about Freedom.

Babak Makkinejad

That would require massacring entire cities and ruling over what is left.

Babak Makkinejad

My Italian friend, an EU champion, would agree with you.

"Let them go," he would say - "it is better without them with a leg in and a leg out".

I think UK is exaggerating its own importance to EU, although she is a very important source of financing for those outside of EU - as far as I understand such things.

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