Sunday, September 29, 2013
The government of the US 'shut down' long ago as of many other governments across the globe. This outcome is not from any actions that they have taken (e.g. no not from overspending, too much debt nor neglect of the poor). They have rather all been de-referenced or unmoored thanks to a wave of communication which equalizes all deep ideas and values. What it means to be American has faded to the point where the US government has been pursuing counter-national interests such as giving Iraq to Iran and gutting its manufacturing base through tariff-destruction. Even the anti-America, aka Iran, is detached from its religious roots and likely rapidly which is why their new President seeks some quick successes before its irrelevance is complete. The EU governments pursue policies that do not help their majorities while claiming to defer to the even more distant government in Brussels. In the face of these trends, the looming shutdown is strangely anti-climactic. Washington DC has already been detached from the nation. A congressionally mandated shutdown only certifies the trend.
Saturday, September 7, 2013
Despite what they say, Americans are fascinated with the Middle East. In keeping with this tradition I offer the following predictions for that hungry audience about a war on Syria by Obama. The first two have non-terrible results, the third is unclear, and the fourth is catastrophic. 1. Obama-United States-France (former colonial power!) attacks Syria in a perfectly scripted way, just as he said he would, with little retaliation from Assad and Hezbollah. The targets are precisely those announced publicly resulting in few losses that could change the outcome of the civil war. This is the most postmodern, hyperreal outcome. It is exactly what Baudrillard wrote of the Gulf War but this time it would be even more perfectly staged (requiring Russian help). Probably no one would be wholly satisfied with the aftermath because it would be little changed from the present (9/6/2013). The same grumblers would still grumble. 2. US Congress says no and Obama sets a precedent to restrain future presidents from adventurism and wag-the-dog scenarios. This result is the liberal favorite. 3. Obama-United States-France (former colonial power!) attack Syria and Hezbollah massively (not in a limited way as he said he would) destroying the deterrents set up by Assad and Hezbollah. Retaliation is impossible. This is the AIPAC favored outcome. 4. Obama-United States-France (former colonials!) attack Syria but forewarned on the timing by Russia, Assad and Hezbollah launch everything they have at every enemy in sight (following a use-it-or-lose-it logic). The reprisals and counter-reprisals lead to full scale war or even world war. (You may notice that none of these predictions have anything to do with the use of gas). END