Archive for the Foreign Policy Category

Texas Votes To Secede From U.S. And Join Mexico; Russia Blows Up World In Response (March 17, 2014)

Posted in Europe, Foreign Policy, McCain, O'Bama, Race, Russia on March 17, 2014 by e-commentary.org

. . .

1          “What did you expect.”

2          “You can’t really blame them.”

1          “They really deserved it.”

. . .

1          “Most national security issues are exacerbated by the personal insecurities of those in power who inflame the personal insecurities of the people who are powerless and frightened.”

. . .

1          “In last night’s special election, Texans voted overwhelmingly to secede and create a sovereign and independent nation heavily dependent on grants, welfare, kickbacks, foreign aid and transfer payments from the United States of America.  Scholars are remarking that it was the first honest plebiscite in recent Texas history.”

. . .  

2          “In related developments, Austin seceded from the seceding Texas and joined the People’s Republic of Portland.  A concert is scheduled.”

. . .

1          “Remember the Monroe Doctrine.  The policy viewed further efforts by European nations to colonize land or interfere with states in North and South America as acts of aggression requiring U.S. intervention.”

2          “The young United States of America issued the Monroe Doctrine at a time when the U.S. Navy had one row boat and the U.S. Army had one musket that was shared by underpaid and courageous patriots.”

1          “Remember the Monroevich Doctrine, the son of the Monroe Doctrine.  Another American idea exported to the world without due credit.  The policy views further efforts by European and American nations to colonize land or interfere with states in Russia as acts of aggression requiring Russian intervention.  Even some Republicans insecure about their manhood admit that Russia’s Monroevich Doctrine clearly justifies Russia’s actions even if we do not like them.”

2          “The Russians or the actions?” 

1          “Or the Republicans?” 

. . .

1          “Just between you and me, Putin is as insecure and as dangerous as the Republicans who are having fun criticizing him, but Putin is more of a nasty thug and a nut job.”

2          “Throughout the decades, we have always relied on the Russians to be about as rational in a pinch as we are.”

1          “Most of the time.”

. . .

1          “A more measured response short of blowing up the world would have been so . . . lame.”

. . .

2          “Once again the Black Irishman is tasked with being the adult in the room.”

. . .

This article must be revised to reflect the following correction:

Texas did not vote to secede from the U.S. and join Mexico.  Russia did not blow up the world in response.  We regret the error.

[Have a peaceful St. Patrick’s Day and productive twenty-fifth anniversary of the World Wide Web.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Free Texas.  Take Texas.  Pleas, please.

Keep Austin Weird.  And free.

Remember The Monroevich Doctrine

O’Bama. Part Deux. (January 21, 2013)

Posted in Foreign Policy, Global Climate Change, Global Warming, Guns, Immigration, Locke Gary, Military, O'Bama, Presidency, Supreme Court on January 21, 2013 by e-commentary.org

. . .

A          “Cope not hope this go around.”

B          “Not as cold this time.  And a different climate than four years ago.”

A          “Sounds like he is moving from the right to the center.”

. . .

B          “Chuck Hagel is a great move.  The first enlisted man who actually saw combat as an NCO (“no chance officer”) and was not promoted to the officer corps now gets nominated to order and oversee the officers.”

A          “Amazing thing in America that those who go to war and reflect on the experience become Democrats.  Those who dodge the draft and never see combat become Republican chickenhawks.”

B          “Hagel was never a butter bar and now he is tasked with reducing the fat in the Defense budget.”

A          “The best place to start is with the Offense Department of the Department of Defense.  Hagel is the most qualified player to oversee that transition to a sustainable defense in a complex and dangerous world.”

. . .

B          “Jack Lew is a weak move.”

A          “William Black for Treasury would move us into the black.”

B          “The Owners will not allow O’Bama to make that selection.”

A          “Someone must start the process of downsizing too-big-to-fail banks so that they are the right size to succeed.”

B          “Financial reform may not be part of his legacy.”

. . .

A          “We must force him to address his increased use of drones.  If Bush had undertaken the current level of drone attacks on foreign soil and homes, he would have been leveled in some salons.”

B          “Now drones can fill the skies in America.  In the near future, there will be news reports of mid-air collisions between the ‘Fillmore County police drone’ and the ‘state troopers drone.’  Fly the friendly skies of United States of America.”

A          “I suspect that some opposition to gun control in some quarters may be supported by a scintilla of rationality.  A few individuals recognize that these violations of privacy are getting out of hand, so they want something in hand even if it is likely to be deadly, futile and counterproductive.”

B          “They are impinging on our fundamental right to sit in my back yard and scratch body parts without being scrutinized.”

. . .

A          “He has followed the nation’s emerging notions of gay rights and now is in lockstep with the public while the other legislature on Jenkins Hill – the Supreme Court – has elected to decide whether to take a step backward.”

B          “The Supreme Court Legislature is as partisan and divisive as the real Congress legislature.”

. . .

B          “And he mentioned climate change even though the climate changed in the scientific community many years ago.”

A          “His comments were not warmly received.”

. . .

A          “Immigration.”

. . .

B          “And the most important appointment of the last decade – Gary Locke – may just stay on the job for four more years.”

. . .

[See the “e-ssay” titled O’Bama Arming Industry (November 22, 2010).]

[See the essay at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/28/opinion/confessions-of-a-liberal-gun-owner.html.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

No country is exceptional; no country is evil.

provide for the common defense

In order to serve as many customers as possible, all ammunition sales are limited to three boxes per customer per day.

Because of extraordinarily high demand for ammunition and limited . . . .

Cuba – October, 1962 (October 22, 2012)

Posted in Foreign Policy, Peace Prize Nobel, Pogo Plight on October 22, 2012 by e-commentary.org

. . .

1          “Some lawyer named Fidel questioned why his fellow Cubans were being exploited by outsiders.  The political and economic system did not offer any recourse, so he and others personally took action.  Those who had property taken by the people were not pleased that their takings were taken.”

2          “America was patient allowing him to sit in an Adirondack chair on America’s back deck, smoke a cigar and blow smoke at us.”

1          “Monroe rolled over in his grave, although even James realized that the Doctrine was more aspiration than doctrine.”

2          “A problem arose when he smoked a cigar and sat atop a keg of gunpowder.”

1          “Many reasonable Americans understandably felt a NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) response, but we applied the patented policy of Containment that emerged to confront Fidel’s benefactor after the Second War To End All Wars.”

2          “Either side could have pointed to an act of war.  When the U-2 reconnaissance plane was shot down, America could have shot up the place.”

1          “Curtis “Bombs Away” LeMay wanted to blow up the world.”

2          “There is always one in every crowd.  America had subs wandering the waters with tactical nuclear weapons and the Russians had subs wandering the waters with tactical nuclear weapons.”

1          “Kennedy and Khrushchev communicated via lines of communication that were not much more sophisticated than smoke signals.  Kennedy gave up some missiles in Turkey that induced a NIMBY reaction among the Russians and Khrushchev cleaned up the dynamite in our back yard without publicly making it look like a sell-out.”

2          “Finding out what really went on is problematic and a problem.  Those who dislike Kennedy for other reasons dislike what he did even if they do not know what he did; those who like Kennedy for other reasons like what he did even if they do not know what he did.”

1          “It was a prudent resolution.  Awarding both of them the Nobel Peace Prize would not have been inappropriate.”

. . .

[George McGovern – 1922 – 2012.  A great war hero and a greater peace hero.  America would be a profoundly more peaceful and prosperous place today if the populace had picked decent men such as McGovern and Stevenson in the past.]

Bumper sticker of the week:

What is effortless to start is often impossible to stop.

Eu-rope Is Mal-rope (May 7, 2012)

Posted in Bankruptcy, Banks and Banking System, Debt/Deficits, Entitlements, Europe, Foreign Policy on May 7, 2012 by e-commentary.org

. . .

1          “Putin is put in, Sarkozy is put out.  The Dutch government is dissolved.  The Greeks have had it with not having it.  The Germans have had it with having to pay for others to have it.  The Spanish have no realistic recovery plan to have it all or even to have it half.”

2          “The have-nots and even the haves have had it.  The community described as ‘Socialist Europe’ is now moving to the right.  Restrictive immigration policies are always a harbinger of hate on the horizon.”

1          “Generosity emerges when individuals meet their needs and have adequate resources to share with others.  With diminishing resources and declining opportunities, Europeans with resources are protecting their piece of the crumbling pie.”

2          “After World War I, the victors imposed unworkable reparations on the Germans that were doomed to fail and set the stage for another war.  After World War II, the victors implemented the workable ‘Marshal Plan’ that destined the economies to succeed and set the stage for an exceptional peace.  The magnanimous approach was and is considered prudent, progressive, productive and profitable.  Today, the Germans have reverted to the World War I model in a doomed effort to end the financial war raging in Europe.”    

1          “After World War II, the Germans and the Japanese learned that it is easier to take by investment than by invasion, but that lesson is being lost.  Today, a nation’s debt is really little more than a default deferred.  The Europeans need to hit the ’ctr-alt-del’ button and build a better economy.”

2          “For some time, it has been just a matter of time.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Eu-rope is Mal-rope . . . and on the ropes

Those who know the ropes realize that Eu-rope is on the ropes and at the end of their rope because they gave themselves too much rope and are now trying to rope in their excesses in a way that may only hang them all.  They are at the bitter end and are getting bitter.

Make work not war

A nation’s debt is really little more than a default deferred

In Heaven, the mechanics are German, the police are British, the chefs are French, the lovers are Italian and the entire place is organized and run by the Swiss.  In Hell, the police are German, the chefs are British, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss and the entire place is organized and run by the Italians.  In Purgatory, the debtors are Spanish, Portuguese, Irish, Icelandic, Italian . . . . and the entire place is disorganized and run by the ECB, IMF, FRD and GS.

The Swiss are adequate lovers . . . really

The Drums of War (February 20, 2012)

Posted in Afghanistan, Foreign Policy, Iran, Iraq, Journalism, Middle East, Newspapers, O'Bama, Press/Media on February 20, 2012 by e-commentary.org

. . .

+          “Can you hear the drums?”

–           “Loud and clear.  Five by Five.  I can smell them; I can feel them; I can taste them; I can see them.  Those who decide have decided to go to war with Iran.”

+          “I sense it too.  O’Bama’s comments before the Super Bowl were not reassuring.  Some of the militaristic rhetoric may be designed to force the players to reconsider diplomatic alternatives.  Von Clausewitz and all.  Most efforts appear to be directed at concocting a ruse or pretext or charade to go to war.”

–           “The only thing left to do is to fool the public.  That doesn’t even require creativity.  The American Empire is now committed to prosecuting two wars at all times.  We lost in Iraq, proclaimed victory and claimed to withdraw.  Now America has a free, but very expensive, pass to invade another country.”

+          “There really is no overriding strategy.  Imposing sanctions is the tactic to date.  The problem with sanctions is that a people may learn how to hunker down and live with them.  That which does not kill me and all.  And God bless the American public.  However, forty-five percent of the public will not even notice the different consonant.”

–           “The ‘Iraq, Iran, who cares, they are all towels’ mindset.  When the war starts, the most likely public reaction will be a quizzical look and a question asking whether we didn’t just leave there.”

+          “The group known as the Press does not seem as united in support of an attack as the gang was in early 2003.  Yet those calling for war are muting the few voices of dissent.  The drums are drowning out the guitars.”

–           “We just refuse to learn from our mistakes.  What if we decided to do something right and learn from our success?”

. . .

+          “Some say Falklands; some say Malvinas.”

–           “If you look at the map, you say Argentina.”

+          “If you wander around the Isla and talk to the folks, you say Britain.”

–           “Geographic location versus self-determination.  History seems to emerge historically and not logically.”

+          “History is like that.  So the only way to settle the matter is to embrace the time-honored tradition of killing batches of eighteen year olds.”

–           “Certainly trendy through the ages.  It is about sovereignty, yes, yet it is always about oil.”

+          “Perhaps they need to respect each country’s sovereignty and work on an arrangement to share the offshore resources in shared waters.”

–           “Deploying Billy was entirely ill-advised, provocative and unnecessary.  We just refuse to learn.”

+          “What if Billy had refused to deploy.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

No war, no sanctions, no intervention, no assassinations against Iran

I’m already against the next war

Jeremy Lin

Peaceful Presidents’ Day

The guitars of peace

Iraq: AGFPT. Iran: AGFPT II? (January 2, 2012)

Posted in Bush, Foreign Policy, Iran, Iraq, Military Commissions Act, National Defense Authorization Act / FY 2012, O'Bama, USA PATRIOT Act on January 2, 2012 by e-commentary.org

. . .

S          “Most members of the uniformed military are leaving Iraq, but America is never leaving Iraq.”

T          “The troops may only be able to take a two week R & R before invading Iran.”

S          “The American populace simply wanted and wants the Iraq quagmire to disappear.  Everyone in positions of influence dutifully obliged and rarely brought it up.  The invisible war.  Out of sight; out of mind.”

T          “Those in power in America seem inclined to maintain at least two wars.  Where next?  Iraq was and is America’s Greatest Foreign Policy Travesty, yet the failure can still be topped.”

S        “Will anyone remember?  Will anyone learn?  History is being written not by historians but by publicists and spin doctors.”

T          “Everything about the invasion was a lie.  Who realizes that the surge was not a surge of troops but rather a splurge of bribes to buy a temporary cessation of violence?  When the funds disappeared, the violence returned.”  

S          “To his credit, Bush seemed to learn something from the Iraq nightmare and didn’t invade Iran and trigger World War III.  It looked close for a few years.”

T          “That could have emerged as the new AGFPT.  However, Iran sporting nuclear weapons is not a pretty sight.  The sanctions sound tidy and elegant, yet they may be as provocative as a missile strike.  The major nations have engaged in clear acts of war.  And no one in power has adequately described America’s fundamental national interests in the region.”

S          “There should be a serious national debate before embarking on World War III.”

. . .

[O’Bama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012.  His signing statements will not bind or limit future presidents.  See the “e-ssays” titled “Vaclav Havel – Plato’s “Playwright President” (December 19, 2011)“, “Republicans are Enemy Combatants? (May 10, 2010)” and “Gun Control, NRA Style (January 9, 2006).”]   

Bumper sticker of the week:

The “Dirty Half Dozen.”  Let’s never forget:  George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith

The Silent Takeover (May 23, 2011)

Posted in China, Cyberactivities, Economics, Foreign Policy, Locke Gary, Middle East, Military on May 23, 2011 by e-commentary.org

. . .

C1        “Take over America.  Of course we are.  You say that you have a better plan, comrade.”

C2       “The primary lesson of the Twentieth Century is that it is easier to take by investment than by invasion.”

C1        “Clear thinking, little butterfly.  Invasion is costly and ineffective.  Invasion only assists the defense industry.  You can eat butter; you can’t eat a gun.  We focused our spending on efficient invasion technology.  We are letting the Americans spend on offensive technology to allow them to go bankrupt.”

C2       “They are already bankrupt.”

C1        “They are.  They are also too big to fail, but not too big to own and operate efficiently.”

C2       “Increase the purchases of t-bills and t-bonds by another fifty percent to a holding of 1.5 Trillion U.S.  They will be worthless, but they are one of the tickets to control.”

C1        “We will decide what they are worth later.”

. . .

C2       “America has an unproductive class of third-rate minds and fifth-rate characters who suck staggering amounts of money without contributing anything of value.  They are identified as CEOs, CFOs, COOs, and their like and ilk.  They run companies and run them into the ground.”

C1        “Comrade, we plan to teach them how capitalism really works.  Survival of the fittest.  They are not fit.  They will not survive.”

C2       “They do not have a working market for talent at the top of American corporations.  The market is broken . . . and fixed.  The brigands and hooligans run the companies.  The American schooling institutions feed and fuel the broken market.”

C1        “The brigands and hooligans will be fixed like the mongrel dogs they are.  They will be sent to regional re-education camps . . . to be re-educated.”

C2       “Were they ever educated?”

C1        “Very good.  You will go far.  What about the cyberfun we are having with them.”

C2       “You should taunt them with simple technology and gauge what they have to combat the efforts.”

C1        “We can send a message internally to the Seventh Fleet to ‘stand-down’ at any time that looks like it is one of their own.  We can even send a message to have the crew stand on their heads.”

C2       “We can?  What will you do with the people?  The people do not produce.”

C1        “They produce but not products.  We provide the goods and the money to buy the goods for now.  They will be allowed to consume as long as it is in our interest to allow them to consume.”

. . .

C2       “Soon the Middle East will be our challenge.”

C1        “A problem not a challenge.  It is now an American problem and will remain an American problem.  America has a place in the world and a role to play.”

. . .

C2       “We have our own domestic problems.”

C1        “Not if we don’t acknowledge them.”

C2       “Look at the problems we don’t acknowledge.”

C1        “Who asked you?”

C2       “Our comrades are becoming . . . filthy running dog consumers.  We are creating our own mess.”

. . .

C2       “I have another plan.  What if we tried to work with them?  Why don’t we have a beer with Gary.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Is it possible to go through the day and encounter something or anything not made out of oil and not made in China?

Gary Locke – nominated to be the Ambassador to China.  O’Bama’s most astute and foresighted appointment.

The Double Ought (00) “Decadent Decade” (January 4, 2010)

Posted in Afghanistan, Bailout/Bribe, Bernanke, Bush, China, Congress, Debt/Deficits, Economics, Federal Reserve, Foreign Policy, Greenspan, Health Care, Housing, Iraq, O'Bama, Presidency, Supreme Court on January 4, 2010 by e-commentary.org

1999:  No major wars yet percolating problems in a dozen venues; budget deficit surplus of about 236 billion dollars, although Bush inherited about a 5.7 Trillion dollar National Debt; and a boiling but unstable and slowly cooling economy.

The decade that threatened to come in with a bang sauntered in with only the traditional fire works.  Y2K may have been such an epic universal non-event because everyone realized that it was a real deadline that could neither be disregarded nor overlooked.  It was not Y2.001K.  Problems were timely addressed in a timely manner in time.  That was not the attitude for the remainder of the decade.

An outwardly non-descript and largely unknown bumbling scion who had been shepherded by others for their own purposes through an uneventful life was appointed by the Supreme Court to run things.  The ship of state sailed uneventfully for a time.  A written invitation to impending disaster delivered to and disregarded by the White House in August, 2001 was honored in September, 2001 by a quartet of airships.  The course of action was simple.  Know who we are and remain faithful to who we are.  Stay our course.  Redouble our vigilance and redouble it again (and redouble it one more time).  Too many in power and influence in the country lost their heads.  Leadership was non-existent.

A perfect storm.  An obscenely incompetent President, a flagitious and arrogant vice-President, a smug, bungling and petulant Secretary of War/Defense (Rumsfeld), hamstrung Secretaries of State (Powell and Rice), a mendacious Secretary of the Treasury in the second term (Paulson), a marginal Attorney General (Gonzales) and their ilk were not the Dream Team.  The damage they inflicted in the decade will take decades to repair.

Bush proclaimed that WeMaD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) and almost everyone joined in the madness.  No one ever made a compelling case for the invasion of Iraq.  The national press (WP, NYT and so many others) yearned for war, any war, just give us a war with photo ops and film at eleven.  The major television networks (NBC, CBS, ABC, Faux) were thrilled and went wild with glee.  It was a time, the only time, to watch their coverage non-stop to bear witness in real time to the folly and the madness.  The few dissenting voices (Warren Strobel and Jonathan Landay with Knight Ridder’s Washington Bureau, Terry Gross and guests with NPR/Fresh Air, Walter Pincus with the WP and a few dozen other courageous individuals) did not reach a wide audience.  They were voices in the darkness.  The Iraq quagmire is the greatest foreign policy blunder in American history.

Deficit spending and economic looting became the national pastimes.  Almost everyone involved in directing and controlling the economy (Reagan, Gramm and Rubin in earlier decades with the assistance of Bush, Greenspan, Paulson, C. Cox, Geithner, Summers and others in this decade) almost without exception (Brooksley Born and a few others) were committed to undermining the American economy at every opportunity for the benefit of a few.  One must concede that they succeeded handsomely.  Although they are domestic economic terrorists, their activities never became the subject of the vaunted “war on terror.”  No one ever made a compelling case for the bribery and bailout of Wall Street.  Bernanke* remains the enigma, the outsider and the ultimate insider, who did not recognize what was obvious before and after he became Chairman in February, 2006 and disregarded the advice of his colleague Edward Gramlich.

The first African-Irish-American was elected President.  There were a few things they did not tell him before he got elected that he learned quickly after he got elected.  He re-nominated Bernanke* to run the Federal Reserve which may be the only option given the limited economic talent in America.  His appointments to date are adequate, yet the administration is still seeking traction and direction.  Health care is becoming his domestic economic quagmire.  Although it is not really the job of the government to provide jobs and/or homes, the populace wants a job to go to during the day and a house to come home to at night.

About the House.  And the Senate.  Congress could be declared a natural disaster area.  The Republicans are useless, the Democrats are not particularly useful.  Forty-five percent of Americans respond to and are motivated by fear and loathing; the Republicans know and stoke their base.  The Republicans may make great strides in the November elections.  The party committed to destroying government may again be given that opportunity.

The nine members of the Supreme Court are more myopic and narrow-minded than just about any other Court in the history of the Republic.  The Court sports two religions (with one exception), two schools (with one exception), and two (mas o menos) schools of thought (with a few exceptions), yet it has two women, too.  The war at the Court and for the Court continues.  O’Bama may have an impact, although the impact of the economy on O’Bama’s future will greatly impact his impact on the Supreme Court.

The profit-maximizing universities in America should be part of the solution, but they are part of the problem; they may be more accurately described as part of the process and the processing.  They recruit, train and drill the next McNamaras and Rumsfelds.  To their credit, they adhere to a thirty-year business plan rather than the three-month strategy pursued by other businesses.

The information made public in the National Intelligence Reports over the decade patiently and exhaustively chronicles the decline of America’s role in the world after six decades of preeminence.  America has done much wrong during that time, yet America has done far, far, far more good, often with resentment and usually without thanks.  On balance, everyone is better off with the United States as the dominant superpower.  This is China’s century.

Now:  Multiple wars, battles, skirmishes and police actions with two major foreign base camps (Iraq and Afghanistan); massive and growing deficits and about a 12.3 Trillion dollar National Debt; zero private-sector employment gain and zero economic gain for the average family over the decade; and no industry to inflate other than the federal government industrial complex.

[See the “e-ssays” dated Jan. 5, 2009 titled “The Millennium to Date”; dated October 6, 2008 titled “A Bleak Day:  The Trillion Dollar Tragedy”; dated September 29, 2008 titled “Futile Efforts”; dated May 4, 2009 titled “Picking the Supreme Beings”; dated May 14, 2007 titled “Term Limits”; and dated Jan. 30, 2006 titled “Greenspan’s Legacy:  Apres moi, Le Meltdown.”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

The Recession is Over.

The Recession is Over; Let the Depression Begin

Halcyon Ano Nuevo

The Audacity of Afghanistan (Dec. 7, 2009)

Posted in Afghanistan, China, Foreign Policy, Iran, Iraq, Military, O'Bama on December 7, 2009 by e-commentary.org

. . .

“We can’t leave and we can’t stay.  But we must leave, because we can’t afford to stay.  But we must stay, because we can’t afford to leave.”

“The graveyard of empires will be the graveyard of the American Empire.”

“And of many American kids.”

“At least in ‘Nam, the long shoreline allowed the Navy to provide much needed cover deep into the jungle.  The ‘stans are all remote caves and stone quarries.  We haven’t even started bombing and yet the whole place looks like it already has been bombed back to the Stone Age.  Charlie could move among a few countries.  Now they can move around the world.  My concern is not that we are signaling when we may leave in 2011, my concern is that they have ample notice to move to another theater.  The world is their stage.”

“The real concern is Pakistan and the Bomb.  And oil.  They don’t want anyone to deploy the bomb or to divert the oil.”

“And no real support on the home front again.  The populace is so disconnected from the sacrifice.  I don’t think I detested anything more than that draft.  The only way to bring the effort home is to reinstate the evil draft rather than the poverty draft.  It still steams me that even with the draft in place cowards like Cheney, Bush, Giuliani and the chicken hawks dodged the draft and then got to deploy kids off to get killed.”

“It’s all about the Bomb and oil.  The only possible way to fund the American effort is to quit funding their effort.  Implement the Terrorist Tax on fuel.”

“You have gotta pay to play.”

“Yet it comes back to the Bomb.  That remains the problem.  They got it.  The surge in Iraq was not military, it was economic.  The surge was a splurge of dollars to buy and bribe the locals for a cessation of violence for a short period of time.  The bribes worked.  The additional troops were incidental and marginal to the military effort, yet served honorably as the paymasters.  In Afghanistan, the US cannot begin to bribe all the tribal leaders and followers and buy peace.”

“The villagers are no different than the villagers in ‘Nam.  They are just trying to get through the day.  At night, when the US leaves, they receive visitors.  They need protection from their own.”

“The US is borrowing money from a very problematic source, China, to put troops in Afghanistan to influence activities in Pakistan so that Pakistan does not deploy the Bomb on India.  The US cannot ask for or accept Indian troops to be stationed anywhere near Pakistan soil, yet a few rupees to support the cause are in order.  Now Iran is bracketed by US troops on both sides, yet the US cannot afford to pay for the grand endeavor much longer.  The tactic mistakenly described as ‘terrorism’ is a greater threat to Europe than to the US, yet the Europeans are not making a commensurate contribution.”

“And because the American people are not making any sacrifices, they are not invested in the discussion.”

“We cannot afford to maintain the American Empire.  Pass the Terrorist Tax.  When the first Bomb is deployed, admittedly a few things will change.”

. . .

Bumper sticker of the week:

Vietnam:  LBJ’s ‘Nam;

Iraq:  Bush’s ‘Nam; and

Afghanistan:  O’Bama’s ‘Nam

McNamara (July 13, 2009)

Posted in Foreign Policy on July 13, 2009 by e-commentary.org

His last name forever will be associated with one word:  the Southeast Asia War Games.  He knew the Truth in 1965 and only had to live it.  Confronting President Johnson required superhuman and monumental strength, courage and tenacity.  McNamara could have sat down and pounded and pounded and pounded and pounded on Johnson, politely.  And he would have been pounded and pounded and pounded and pounded on by Johnson, impolitely.  The personal and professional downside to McNamara viewed in the right light is even promising; Johnson could have McNamara fired but not shot.  If Johnson had threatened to fire him, McNamara could have tendered a resignation letter.  “Bob, what’s happened to you?”  “Mister President, after consulting many others inside and outside this administration and reflecting for a considerable period of time on this matter, I became and remain convinced that our current strategy in Vietnam is counterproductive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . “

That’s just not the way it is done.  He waited a generation – 30 years – until 1995 to confess his error and along the way condemned a generation to death and despair.  Fathers and mothers lost sons and daughters; brothers and sisters lost sisters and brothers; etc. lost etc.

The Best and the Brightest in America were and are really the Clever and the Connected.  “Smart” in America is too often defined as someone who can successfully lie, cheat and steal and score an estate with a helipad and stables and then a political sinecure or worse a critical post.  Success is simply about succeeding at any costs usually to someone else and almost always to society.  The profitable universities are the farm system and the training grounds.  All the gilded books and pretty poems on Truth and Beauty and Beauty and Truth that McNamara had the good fortune to ingest were just so much pulp.  The Harvard M.B.A. was a harbinger of harmful things to come.

When his avatar, Donald Rumsfeld, appeared and spouted the same message of death and violence, the nation embraced it with little reflection or reservation.  One can say with a high degree of confidence, as McNamara once prefaced his pronouncements, that the next Donald McNamara/Robert Rumsfeld is being groomed and polished for success by America’s public and private institutions as we speak.

Bumper sticker of the week:

Wrong, terribly wrong