YOU SINK, THEREFORE WE ARE.
April 14, 2009 by Patrice Ayme
IS OUR OBAMA LEARNING FROM HIS MISTAKES?
The sections are psychologically entangled, but also stand on their own. (It's like Quantum Mechanics.)
The most important part of this essay is the end, the last four sections about "appreciating the Islamic faith" so much that U.S. policy is becoming the main advocate of Jihad. The war strategy in Afghanistan is self contradictory, and self defeating. I explain why.
POWER IS ABSOLUTE, ERROR IS RELATIVE:
Now, of course, some of these mistakes are not mistakes, when looked at from the right reference frame, that of the decision makers. When Lawrence Summers makes million of dollars for himself, by following the most biased ethics imaginable, he is making no mistake as far as he, and his friends, are concerned. When military advisers, who are future wealthy defense consultants, do all what they can do to encourage more and more war, they make no mistake, either, as far as they are concerned. Peace is just an inconvenient outcome.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and that is why the European Union dissolves power absolutely. But, overall, the many mistakes of the USA in the twentieth century turned extremely well for the USA, thus the accepted wisdom of the U.S. establishment is to keep on making more, that should keep on turning well. Little does the USA know that this method also worked well in Britain and France, before, well, it did not, and major mayhem followed, with near death experiences of the countries themselves. This knowledge of history goes a long way to explain the difference in the European ways.
SEARCHING FOR EGGS IN THE DEVASTATED GARDEN OF ONE'S IMAGINATION:
The American presidency has ways that transcend circumstances. It is part circus: the president is supposed to search for Easter Eggs, and the nation ponders for months the arrival of a dog for the little girls of the president, etc... Of course, European intellectuals will scoff that these are not the important subjects. But they are the subjects in the American media, they are what Americans worry about, because that is what they see on TV.
Americans see sports with scores on TV all the time, and, lo and behold, they are great experts of sports with scores, because that is what is on TV. Debates about the more than 1,000 U.S. military bases overseas and the eleven nuclear aircraft carrier task forces, and how they relate to the ongoing deindustrialization of the USA in the service of the plutocracy, the American public does not see on TV, so it has become the American temperament to ignore those. No doubt that if Michael Moore broached the subject, he would be depicted as traitor to the nation.
Meanwhile the president has mightily decided to religiously pursue, and even extend, the mistakes of his predecessor in the Middle East and South Asia, and, on that, there was no debate. The pain has not been great enough. The power of the USA has not been diminished enough. And, so far, China (and others) have been paying for it (by buying U.S. treasury bonds). Why does China pay for grave U.S. errors? Well, it's basic machiavellianism.
China has not forgotten that France and Britain attacked it to force it to accept opium (which the imperial Chinese government had outlawed, because too many Chinese got addicted). After a savage invasion (precious architecture, such as the Summer Palace, was devastated) Franco-British troops forced China to submit, insuring some Chinese degeneracy for a while to come. Of course that Franco-British invasion was expensive, and the French and the British do not pay much attention to it to this day (France has kept stolen Chinese art, in total violation of the law). But one of the points of that invasion was to make China into an addict, so that Chinese activity would be self destructive.
Similarly, many American habits are now self destructive, and China pays for them. China did not even have to send an army. Its workers can stay home. The more they work, the more gifted they get, the more they can send money to America, so that America keeps on doing stupid, self destructive stuff, like bombing fanatical Muslim fundamentalist countries which are supposedly its allies, with a combined population of more than 210 million (explanation lower down). How clever is that?
Because China is playing a long game, it is financing its potential enemy's insanity. China is mostly interested in what will happen 50 years from now. So it is building nuclear power plants, adopting European efficiency standards, pushing all technological and scientific domains, while keeping the USA, its most dangerous rival, on its steady drug of self satisfaction and erroneous ways to apprehend reality. Short term there is an alliance of convenience with American plutocracy, which siphons most of the financial profits, while China siphons most of the acquisition of capability. Everything is rosy.
IF OBAMA INVITES TURKEY INTO EUROPE, SHOULD THE FRENCH PRESIDENT INVITE MEXICO INTO THE USA?
"Europe gains by diversity of ethnicity, tradition and faith - it is not diminished by it," said president Obama to a round of applause from his audience, the Turkish parliament. "And Turkish membership would broaden and strengthen Europe's foundation once more." More applause. It looks as if Turkey is so ready to become part of Europe, that its parliament believes that Obama is the president of the European Union.
Diversity of faith? Europe has one and only one faith, democracy. Democracy is what is mandated in the European constitution (as it is).
the one and only question about Turkey, as with all potential applicants to the European Union is: how democratic is it really. Turkey has no doubt made great strides. The Kurds are even allowed to speak their language now. Recognizing the Armenian genocide cannot be far behind.
Europe does not need lessons about diversity. For example, it has been lawful to be homosexual in France for at least 450 years.
Europe has suffered from all too much diversity, ethnicity and faith. These are categories Americans need more of, true. Those who are to gain from being more exposed to those categories are the Americans. Europe has seen them way too much of them. Give Europeans boredom, and no gains; they have see excitement and great strides, be they from Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini or Hitler. Too bad American presidents insist on reading texts from speech writers. They just sound imperialist, instead of from the heart.
Too bad the French president is not enough of a buffoon to pursue the dialogue by proposing Mexican "membership" of the USA, "to strengthen the USA's foundation once more".
Now, of course, in the same spirit, the European Union orders the USA to make Porto Rico the fifty-first state.
Why did not Obama propose Morocco to become part of Great Britain? What is the difference with Turkey? Morocco asked to become a member of the EU, just like Turkey. The Moroccans were always there. They were part of the Roman empire for centuries. Whereas, indeed some of the ancestors of the present day "Turks" came even from Gaul (As Alexander the Great knew all too well: he asked them to surrender, and they replied that they were only afraid that the sky would fall on their heads!). But the fact is the Turkish army, as its name indicates, came from Central Asia.
At this point Turkey does not recognize the Cypriot government at all, and prohibits Cypriot ships from docking at Turkish ports, although they are contiguous. Oh, detail; Cyprus is part of the European Union, and it is as if Mexico did not recognize the state of Rhode Island, but still wanted to become the fifty-second of the USA. By intervening in European internal affairs, Obama says that this not important, that Mexico refuses to recognize Rhode Island citizens as American citizens.
Now Americans will not pay attention to any of this. But, for the Europeans, it's a striking example of this mix of American ignorance and of ordering Europe around that characterized the Bush presidency for all to see. It rose all sorts of red flags about Obama. A few incidents like that, and Obama will feel little different from Bush, from the EU point of view. Unsurprising, Obama came back from Europe completely empty as far as getting Europeans to do anything they did not want to do. True, Europeans have learned to see right through American misrepresentations (see the stimulus question below). But behaving as if the U.S. president was king of Europe does not help. Europe was created as a political union in part because Europeans have understood that they were in an adversarial relationship with the USA, and especially its plutocracy. Ignoring this is not respectful. (And it reminds one of the fact that the USA is also ignoring its constitutional enmity to Muslim fundamentalism, an ignorance that is also not respectful, see below.)
BIG TIME INTERVIEW OF SUMMERS BY A PROFESSIONAL CONSPIRATOR PLUTOCRAT:
Nice show: Lawrence Summers, Obama's economic brain, was interviewed by the founder of the Carlyle Group, Carlyle is a conspiratorial group investing in "defense". It is as dirty conspiratorial, imperialistically manipulative as one can imagine. It is a natural context for Summers. It felt as if a professor (the Carlyle chief) was interviewing an eager student (Summers). Summers was reciting his lesson, and cracking American style jokes (jokes that make fun of honesty, intellectual integrity, etc... For example, when asked a serious question, Summers deflected it with his usual weasel look around, by saying that there were seven cameras in the room, and that was seven too many. The room burst in applause: American plutocratic humor at its best, admired for the creepiness it exhibits.)
No question was asked about Summers' employment at hedge funds, making more than ten million dollars (including some double timing when Summers was president of Harvard, while he was accusing Harvard professors to do just that, even when it was in a very modest way, to the point some professor he accused had to leave Harvard; of course that professor was not from the party of the plutocrats). Summers wants to give trillions of dollars to hedge funds (as much as the entire existing hedge fund market). But that is OK: Americans are too busy watching their sports on TV, and the first dog, they don't have the time to learn the intricacies. They don't even know what a hedge fund is. Well, it's why they will lose their job: no more TV. Get it?
Summers is not just the symbol of plutocracy at work. He enforces its latest schemes, under the cover of make belief. As I said many times, the financial crisis is mostly a desperate attempt by the plutocrats to transfer the losses they incurred from their schemes to the public, which has already suffered from it. Summers thinks, so that the plutocracy thrives some more, because as the public sinks, it transfers all to it. Except the sport scores on TV.
STIMULUS HIGHER IN EU, INTEREST LOWER IN EUROZONE:
Obama went to Europe to give lessons about the Europeans stimulating more. The Europeans are leery to do so: piling up government debt augments the free market interest rates. Now the later are most of the rates affecting consumers. In the USA, some credit card rates are as high as 29%. Those sorts of rates have historically been viewed as usury. But the Obama administration let them happen in their desperate effort to replenish the banks.
So what was that Obama stimulus? Well, minus the Alternate Minimum Tax rebate (there every year), it was 700 billions. Out of that 100 billions went to the states. The states have been cutting spending, because their revenues are down. How much did they cut? 355 billions. But of this Obama compensated only 100. Thus the real American stimulus cannot be more than 700 - 355 = 345 billion dollars. What is the European Union stimulus? above 500 billion dollars. I rest my case. Oh, maybe not: what of the free market interest rates? Well, they depend upon expected inflation rates, and economic prospects.
Free market interest rates are LOWER in the Eurozone than in the USA (although the European Central bank has its short term interest at 1.5%, so has room to ease, whereas the U.S. Fed are at zero). The Eurozone is the part of the EU using the Euro currency; that's 320 million people; several countries would like to enter it, but can't because of their bad finances. Iceland was told to apply to the European union first. By the way the USA, because of its terrible finances, could not apply to the Eurozone.
OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND: MOVE GITMO TO AFGHANISTAN:
Bagram: The Obama administration wants to be able to bring prisoners from a third country to Afghanistan's Bagram Air Force base, and keep them in detention indefinitely without being able to see a judge. A Federal judge, a Bush appointee, contested that, on the ground that the supreme Court had challenged it for Guantanamo. Some suspects have been caged for seven years, and never saw a judge. The administration appealed this on Easter day, Friday evening (an old technique: by night, during a vacation).
After hospitably giving a line to the pirates, to drag them out where seas would be calmer, Navy sharp shooters killed them, rescuing a heroic sea captain. The USA applauded hysterically, not paying much attention to the violation of the law of hospitality (which is part of supra morality in all the desert areas). The American Navy first gained the confidence of the pirates, towing them, hence having given them some form of hospitality. And then shot them in cold blood. Hardly a fair fight.
Meanwhile, French commandos conducted their third assault against pirates. The pirates were holding five hostages, including two women and a three year old child. The boat owner died. So did two pirates, and another three were captured. This, of course, was little mentioned by the main U.S. media: America is all about itself, if possible 100% of the time, that's how Americans learn (sport scores). French commandos, submarines and helicopters, have liberated 37 hostages altogether, this was the first death of a hostage.
Of course, it's good that the USA fights piracy, finally. But, so far, because no American had been attacked before, the American military was mostly present by its absence (although even China or even Switzerland had sent or agreed to send forces). Most of the effort was French military. (The US Navy established a piracy command in August 2008, revealed in October.)
Anyway, fighting piracy is a better way to use the U.S. military. The wrong way is to attack Pakistan, claiming one thinks one can get away with it. It could, and ought to have been done, under Bush, in hot pursuit of bin Laden. But it was not done. Now, it's too late, it only makes a bad situation worse: American bombing by flying robots has spread to new provinces of Pakistan, making massive free advertising for Jihad. Humans and their Qur'an against the machines, Terminator IV.
"WE WILL CONVEY OUR DEEP APPRECIATION, FOR THE ISLAMIC FAITH":
...said Barack Obama in Turkey.
Turkey is supposedly a secular democracy. Ignoring this inconvenient truth, Obama explained to the Turkish president that "our partnership with the Muslim world is critical". Why to mention Islam at all, if he wants Turkey into the EU? Then the president of the USA clarified all this by bending at the waist, getting the top of his head below the shoulder of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, guardian of the fundamentalist Quranist Wahhabist faith, the most extreme variant of Islam, the Islam of bin Laden. Bin Laden's family was long the richest in Saudi Arabia, after the Saud family, of course. A question of who the Saud give business to.
Obama was asked what he thinks of a new Afghan law that legalizes rape. Article 132 contains this provision: "As long as the husband is not traveling, he has the right to have sexual intercourse with his wife every fourth night...the wife is bound to give a positive response to the sexual desires of her husband". Obama piously said, "I think this law is abhorrent" and that his administration's views are being communicated to the Karzai government. "We have stated very clearly that we object to this law."
Unfortunately the Afghan Constitution and the Qur'an, the central ideological core of Islam, see it differently:
Here is the beginning of the Afghan Constitution, as extracted from the official government web site:
"The Constitution of Afghanistan. Year 1382. In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Preamble: We the people of Afghanistan: 1. With firm faith in God Almighty and relying on His lawful mercy, and Believing in the Sacred religion of Islam... Have adopted this constitution in compliance with historical, cultural, and social requirements of the era, through our elected representatives in the Loya Jirga dated 14 Jaddi 1382 in the city of Kabul.
Article One, Ch. 1. Art. 1: Afghanistan is an Islamic Republic, independent, unitary and indivisible state. Article Two, Ch. 1, Art. 2: The religion of the state of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is the sacred religion of Islam... Article Three, Ch. 1, Art. 3: In Afghanistan, no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam.
DEEP APPRECIATION FOR RAPE?
What does Islam say about women? Well, I will write a full essay about that, with all the quotes of the Qur'an about women, to dispel all ambiguities. Here is an appetizer that explains Article 132.
The Qur'an is divided in chapters ("Surahs"). The longest by far is the second one, "The Cow". Surah 2:; verse 222 of "The Cow"says: "WOMEN ARE YOUR FIELDS SO GO THEN INTO YOUR FIELDS AS YOU WANT. [2:223]. "Women have rights that are similar to men, but men have a status above them." [2:228]. "A woman is worth one-half a man." [2:282].
The Afghan law 132 just repeats this verse, [2: 222]. Thus, it would seem that Obama, although "not at war with Islam", finds it "abhorrent". Or is it a question of the moment? One moment abhorrent, one moment deeply appreciated?
THE FRIEND OF YOUR ENEMY IS NOT YOUR FRIEND:
A related question is: why does NATO make war to `help" a fundamentalist Muslim state such as Afghanistan or Pakistan? Maybe the Americans do not want to know, but I am sure the Europeans will be interested by that question.
Even supposing that aerial bombing could be viewed as a form of legitimate help, as obviously Washington does, there is no answer to this question. This is the inner contradiction of the U.S. policy in Muslim countries.
Now, right, it worked forever, and brought back a lot of oil. But it was mostly conducted secretly. How many Americans know that the Iranian Shiites were pushed and financed into insurrection by the CIA in 1953, ultimately creating the present Iranian regime that the USA loves to hate? How many Americans remember Rumsfeld, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, then, as he was to be later, shaking Saddam Hussein's hand in 1976? How many know how that relates to the great attack of Iraq on Iran later? Not too many: they were too busy keeping scores on TV, munching French fries.
But now things are getting in the open. The fact is, in Afghanistan, the USA has long supported old Muslim friends, who did not want to send little girls to school, and supported them precisely because they did not want to send little girls to school. Bombing those old friends can't help. Instead one has to debate sending girls to school, and bribe the old friends to send girls to school, if need be. But, lo and behold, the USA (let be) created an Islamist fundamentalist constitution for Afghanistan, no questions asked. Why? Is it that, after all, Afghanistan was just organized as something else? Maybe a free firing range, a free market for the military-industrial complex? After all, what will the USA do, if not for war?
YOU SINK, THEREFORE WE ARE:
That there will be only defeat, that this will be the answer, is irrelevant. It may take twenty-five years for the USA to get defeated, but, meanwhile the Carlyle group, and other elements of the U.S. military-industrial complex will make good business, that is what is relevant to Summers and company.
Of course, victory could be defined differently, making defeat inconceivable. After all, "pulling out of Iraq" has now been defined as leaving 50,000 soldiers there, watching over "American civilians". Which kind of American civilians will be left in Iraq? Mercenaries? So, 50,000 soldiers in Iraq "protecting" how many U.S. mercenaries? Recently there were 100,000 U.S. financed mercenaries in Iraq, many of them, professional killers. Fire the teachers inside the USA, send the mercenaries overseas: the new U.S. economy. who said that an assault weapon culture did not make social sense? What would the USA export, but for mercenaries?
The military-industrial complex hopes that those Chinese workers will have work for the next 25 years, so that they can pay for the American plutocracy's wars. The way the plutocrats see it, they know what they are doing, and, as long as they have eleven nuclear aircraft carrier task forces under their command, they are irresistible.
But hubris it irresistible, and that is precisely why it kills so well. Everything. Even plutocracies. One needs to watch more than sports on TV to know that.