This most recent post is...?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Why America will miss the Middle East

As the US withdraws from the Near East shaking its head in confusion, it may find a certain nostalgia setting in. As evidence, note how there were no parades (until today) for Iraq War vets. Now some read this celebratory neglect as disrespect but it is also reveals the sadness of leaving a new home. The US became a part of the party over there, engaged in its squabbles and becoming a real player, a local tribe even, with its own peculiar aims. It was not the US of A but the US of the ME. And as with the returning Crusaders of old, the vets may yearn for the recipes and passions of the Near East (but likely not the music).

In the future, the US will return to its traditional isolationism. It always wanted and liked that, although dragged the other way by its elites. Now even they are tired of it. The problem is that America may not be enough for Americans anymore. Before you could oust a native tribe and settle West on new land. Before you could enslave people and reap profits and status. Before you could rampage South and take Arizona. Now there is nowhere to go. Except cyberspace. Outer space is too empty and expensive; the oceans too deep and cold. Hopefully the virtual world will be enough.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Afghan Police not army are key to future

The vaunted Afghan army, pride of American and European trainers, saw one of its trainees attack its trainers today. The NYT says it is the result of deep animosity and disrespect. That may well be a cause but there is frustration too, about the future or the mission. I commented upon this before. All are tired of the grind.

The US wants a central government controlling an army which in turn controls the territory. It is a standard Westphalian model. More than once the US has laughed making a confederation of Afghanistan such as Switzerland. But that would actually work better. A US-supplied, non-Pashtun army is only a recipe for harsh civil war later.


My point today is to forget a national army there. Focus upon a national. professional police. Have the army protect them. Yes there is also jealousy and animosity between them. There are simple ways to solve that. 

But the police are the key to a transformed nation...a strong police and courts that will effectively enforce civil laws. But a revived police is a opportunity for a different outcome.  

The Taliban? Yes they represent a large constituency, clarified all the more by US support for the non-Pashtuns and Kabul.  

Giving out money, toys and other goodies does not change anything long term.

A solid Police. No other long term strategy has a chance.  


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stopping Keystone pipeline stops another war

Obama decided (for now) to stop the pipeline abomination that was to traverse the entire USA. Jim Jones (former Obama advisor) says that the decision is a blow to America's "energy security." He says with tighter supplies of oil globally the US will need the oil expensively blasted from the thick tar sands of Alberta.

But the decision is a bonus for the security of American citizens and the world from warmongers who want to start another profitable fight in the Middle East. With that pipeline they could start another such war and have Americans less affected once oil prices zoom from $100 up to $300/gallon. They could conduct a pain free war without fear of a citizen backlash. Of course everyone else globally would then suffer (although oil producing countries would profit). But when is that ever a first, political calculation. 


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ignoring Ron Paul

Boy the media really has it in for Ron Paul. I know that Ron Paul supporters already think this. And while I think Paul could shake things up, I want to stick with a postmodern view of this event. Or rather, a non-event..Because what we witness is that votes do not matter...Paul has come in a very strong second in the past two primaries/caucuses. Iowa was only lost by a handful of votes.

And yet...the media crows about Romney and everybody else but Paul. Indeed there is a category of media-speech called anybody-else-but-Paul.

All this proves the power not of democracy/voting/the people but of media, press, and transmission of information/communication. 

The point is not to get mad about this phenomenon (unless you support Paul). This phenomenon should be accelerated by adding to the monologue. Let there be more media, more bloggers, more youtubers.

The question is diversity of viewpoints. Perspectives. Egalitarians will want to hear other voices or support other candidates.

But your candidate will only lose. If you join in with the mindless monologue you can win too.