Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Posts Tagged ‘Diplomacy

War drums in Syria and Iran, the beat goes on

with 3 comments

I made the mistake of watching the TV news last night. Senator McCain was openly calling for the USA and the west to support the rebels in Syria. Heck, even Angelina Jolie is calling for intervention. I’m going to go out on a  limb here, and say that it’s gonna happen one way or the other. And I do mean out on a limb, anyone who has been paying attention knows that all bets are off in the Middle East right now. Well, specific bets at least. In general, it seems safe to say that the trend has been from order to disorder. It’s also very safe to say that the west has been batting 1000 when it comes to recent humanitarian interventions in the greater Middle East. Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya are all text book failed states … it’s hard to imagine Syria ending up any differently.

So, what happens if Syria turns into a failed state? Well, note Syria’s proximity to Iraq. Iraq is still out of control a decade after the fall of Saddam, it’s kinda like a free trade zone for non western approved activity. This means whatever is going on in Iraq will be able to spread freely to Syria, in fact there’s evidence it’s already doing so. Kurdish insurgents will now have access to the Mediterranean coast. Hezbollah will have more secure supply lines to Iran. Turkey, Israel, and Jordan will have more border issues. It’s interesting to note that Iran is hedging its bets, Iranian warships have docked in Syria. So they likely win either way. And Jordan and Saudi Arabia may very well see more internal unrest.

So who benefits? Israel will be happy to see the Assad regime go, though it may well end up being a mixed blessing for Israel. Other than that, it’s hard to see who is going to benefit from having the bloody stain on the map that is Iraq spread to Syria. Syria has no oil and is no threat to the international bankers. So what gives, is the USA really driven by humanitarian concerns? Um, no, similar rebellions are crushed all the time without “benefit” of western intervention. Heck, usually with little or no mention in the western press at all. Maybe some of the people calling for intervention are driven by humanitarian impulses, if so, they haven’t been paying attention the past decade or so. Insert obligatory comment about how one definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results here.

My current theory is that US foreign policy is driven by, well, inertia. The World War Two and Cold War “arsenal of democracy” and liberator mentality lurching forward of its own momentum. Driven by an array of well healed special interests, most purely looking out for themselves, some by the attendant ideological canard that peace and freedom can be brought to other lands at the point of a gun. And none of these interests seems really cognizant of the fact that the world is moving beneath their feet. Profits are still up, the rich are still getting richer, what’s the prob?

In Iran it’s even clearer that the same old dog eared, blood stained, playbook is in use. Make an ultimatum that is basically outrageous (shut down your nuclear industry or else in Iran’s case,) refuse to talk until they do so, and simultaneously claim to be using “diplomacy” to “solve” the “crisis.” The only crisis is that the USA is making demands that it would never bow to if it was on the receiving end, but oddly enough, despite many American’s claiming that we are a Christian nation, apparently they are comfortable with a foreign policy that is about as far from the golden rule as it is possible to get. Which I am beginning to suspect is the primary function of religion in society, to mask and justify the kinds of hypocrisy that allow massive inequities of wealth and power to exist both domestically and internationally.

And, well, among genders. There has been a war of sorts going on in the USA ever since modern birth control gave women control of their lives in the 1960s, there are a lot of men who are still not comfortable with this at all, as bitter and ongoing efforts to limit access to birth control in the USA demonstrate. I am suspecting that the USA’s incredible effort to “control” the world is to some extent driven by the same social and cultural forces trying to force America’s women back into the home, barefoot and pregnant, where they belong. That however is a topic for future blog posts.

Or maybe we’re just insane as a species.

(The above image is Public Domain under US copyright law, having been produced by the federal government. Note how large Iran is compared to Iraq. And anytime a country destabilizes, its borders destabilize. Notice how long Iran’s borders are.)

Written by unitedcats

February 21, 2012 at 8:07 am

Lies, Damn Lies, and Obama

with 7 comments

“Israel is right to be concerned about Iran’s push to join the league of nations that possess nuclear weapons, but diplomacy – not military intervention – remains the “preferred solution” to averting a potential arms race in the Middle East, President Barack Obama said Sunday”

There are so many things wrong with this statement that it makes me want to scream. Since that upsets my cats and annoys my neighbours, I’ll blog instead. It came from a recent interview he gave. And since are so many things, I am going to gloss over most of them. Suffice it to say that the “danger” posed by Iran is wildly exaggerated, a single Israeli nuclear armed submarine could destroy Iran. And that Iran has every right and reason to develop peaceful nuclear power like dozens of other nations. And we’ll skip the whole oil and petrodollars thing for now.

No, what really makes me admire the Obama’s ability to lie convincingly with disarming sincerity is this part: “diplomacy – not military intervention – remains the “preferred solution”” This isn’t just a  little lie, this is a whopper.  A giant steaming platter of pure horsecrap … and tens of millions of Americans will gobble it up and ask for more.

Let me explain. Diplomacy is talking to people. It’s setting up meetings and sitting down and talking. This is not what the USA is doing. The USA doesn’t even have diplomatic relations with Iran, we don’t even recognize the legitimacy of the government that has been ruling Iran since they overthrew the US installed Shah in 1979. OK, refusing to talk to someone for decades isn’t seeking a diplomatic solution. More on point, for some years now we have been giving Iran an ultimatum, stop their uranium enrichment or else, and ratcheting up the sanctions and threats. Telling someone to do what you say while you are punching them … is the opposite of seeking a diplomatic solution.

Yet many progressive will be heartened by Obama’s words, despite the fact that his actions towards Iran and the rest of the world haven’t been diplomatic at all. That is what the liberal left has sunk to in America, we have a president waging endless war and giving the bankers everything they want,  yet the occasional liberal blurb and all is well. Or at least, they rationalize that Obama’s better than the alternative. No, he’s more comfortable than the alternative, but the destination is the same.

Obama is literally herding his base with liberal sounding comments like this. In fact this has been a  classic in US government for decades, give someone an ultimatum, then claim publicly that you are seeking a diplomatic solution. Being able to say that in a presidential manner without gagging or giggling is a  requirement for holding the office of the presidency. And Obama passes with flying colours, the man can spout the most egregious lies and look and sound sincere and oh so presidential when he does. And of course when the designated victim agrees to the ultimatum, all the USA does is issue another one, but enough of that for now.

It’s weird, we have spent the last two decades morphing into a nation where our leaders only give lip service to the idea of representing the actual needs of the American people while simultaneously selling us out to the militarists, energy industry, and bankers … while the vast majority of Americans are convinced that somehow “their” candidate is the better alternative. And lest cognitive dissonance sets in, any candidate that tries to deviate from the path set by the powers that be is enthusiastically attacked as a deranged lunatic, or completely ignored. How any Americans have heard of Jill Stein?

What can I say, I have become increasingly cynical of late. None of the mainstream candidates does anything for me, many of them are little more than walking caricatures. Obama though is a smart man, and I think he knows exactly what he is doing. Lying through his teeth to keep up the pretense that him and the Democrats are the voice of peace and reason. They may be the voice, but actions are what counts. And now we have closed our embassy in Syria and broken off diplomatic relations with them. Yerp, more diplomacy afoot there as we openly talk about “helping” Syria by bombing them. Obama is leading down the exact same path of permanent  war and slavery and madness as the rest, he just sounds noble while he is doing it.

Sigh. I’ll try to hold it to one anti-Obama rant a month or less. Hey, at least I’m not calling him a socialist or a Muslim!

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright laws. It’s not being use for profit etc. I have no idea as to its origin. If so many Obama supporters can bombard me with abuse because I  dare say that Ron Paul has some good ideas (see three paragraphs back,) I think I can get away with suggesting that many democrats are just as much sheep as their Bible following counterparts. Yes, unlike the vast majority of political pundits who specialize in skewing the “other” side, I loathe “both” sides equally. This is why I have only four regular readers.)

Written by unitedcats

February 7, 2012 at 8:29 am