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July 15, 2007
July 14, 2007
ur friend Global Paradigms has two items that offer intruiging insights into the geopolitical challenges facing both the United States and Israel. In “The Globalist,”
The choice that Washington will face in the aftermath of Iraq is between continuing to strive for strategic dominance in a way that has ignited more opposition at home and resistance abroad — or working together with other powers to contain threats to the international system.
In that case, the United States will still be first among equals (or primus inter pares) — which is the next best thing to being Number One.
e are skeptical that the U.S., particularly its so-called policy-making elites, is prepared psychologically or even structurally to recognize the constraints already apparent before our eyes now. It would be a pleasant surprise. Our guess is that it will take a “shot across the bow” or an even more eggregious geopolitical setback to make the point. Perhaps Dick Lugar can take the Senate floor and quote David Brooks again. The over all analysis is excellent, as usual in the piece.
Not content to stand there, GP also supports and expands upon the position of those who describe Israel's current strategic woes as the unfortunate legacy of its alleged greatest strategic success, the 1967 War
. Definitely worth a a read.
Tags: Global Paradigms
, Leon Hadar
, 1967 War
July 12, 2007
Only twice before over the last century has 5 percent of the national income gone to families in the upper one-one-hundredth of a percent of the income distribution — currently, the almost 15,000 families with incomes of $9.5 million or more a year, according to an analysis of tax returns by the economists Emmanuel Saez at the University of California, Berkeley and Thomas Piketty at the Paris School of Economics.
Such concentration at the very top occurred in 1915 and 1916, as the Gilded Age was ending, and again briefly in the late 1920s, before the stock market crash. Now it is back, and Mr. Weill is prominent among the new titans. His net worth exceeds $1 billion, not counting the $500 million he says he has already given away, in the open-handed style of Andrew Carnegie and the other great philanthropists of the earlier age.
he scale of damage done to the foundational fabrics of our society and its possibilities as a stable, actually functioning liberal democracy is mindboggling. Particularly when combined with the destruction of a broad-based middle class in the last 7 years (obscured by the false economy of inflated housing 'equity'). The purposeful rollback of the 20th century (and as mentioned here often, 1789) is fuelled by a longstanding philosophy from the Continent and many American strands of the Movement. Most of them, except the Neocons, are ignorant of their historical roots and even larger political purpose — seeking only their immediate agendas.
And still we wonder who can rescue the Nation from this monsterous, mutational mockery of itself? And then summon the political will, fashion a concrete program, the cadre and infrastructure needed to retrieve this Nation from this grotesque state? We look, and we hope. And we find . . .
Tags: Guilded Age
, Radical Conservatives
July 10, 2007
hen this regime took over, most of the senior personnel across the board came from either smokestack industrials such a Alcoa and paper (Paul O'Neill), Haliburton, Searle or from academia/policy wilderness. They missed having to confront the digital era and its impact on governments and States; recall “real men do nation states”, etc.
The first Clinton Administration was not too different. It had to learn the hard way. When Ira Magaziner and others first started looking at the Internet, etc. their response, too, was largely to approach from a State/FCC/regulatory stance. Circumstances forced learning. True, Sandy Berger, the trade lawyer turned national security mandarin, Dick Clarke, Cressey and others by 1999-2000 totally got the networked nature of the world (of which terrorist cells are only one phenomenon). We know this because we had dealings with the Clinton White House. But that knowledge was hard won. And not there inherently — although Clarke took to it with gusto — his energetic flacking of the digital 'Pearl Harbor' fears in the late 1990s bordered on the comical. It will be, however, a valid concern soon, though.
Read more »
July 09, 2007
Calling Gerson, your whirlwind is on the way
The Stiftung ran into this evening alone the Bete Noire
of the Neocon imagination the past decade and a half. A true pleasure.
As we are fond of saying, van Creveld had it right from the beginning
. Note that van Creveld even then, years ago, predicted a fighting American withdrawal down essentially shooting gallery narrow logistical arteries.
It needn't be a calamity, although we suspect it may well be such or close to it. Not only for American forces but for the region and the refugee crisis. Some from deliberate domestic bait-and-switch, some from incompetence, inertia and not a little from instinctive American reliance on kinetic solutions. Which leaves the Stiftung a bit despondent tonight.
The rubble of the 'Vulcans' will clutter the Movement/Republican symbiotic relationship for some time, but no one 'serious' as they are fond of saying, would entrust them again with with a PTA meeting, let alone national security affairs. (It would be amusing to see how they would insist that First Graders are required to understand Ze'ev Zabotinsky's 'steel bayonet' theories). The McCain Campaign's death spiral is all the more encouraging in that regard. (And we say that after where we were and who we were with the night of the South Carolina primary).
Yet even the verbose Biden et al. have yet to come to turns to the pragmatic consequences of withdrawal — whether in “stages” or whatever AgitProp term is used, or not. Half-assed going in is no excuse for half-assed now. That should have been another Dean Wormer quote.
, Condi Rice
July 05, 2007
hat gerund is optimistic, naturally. If, perchance, you are a long time reader, you know our cant on the fractured, micro-channelled and above all, incoherent nature of the contemporary American mind. This diagnosis applies most accurately (and ironically) to the most regimented and hierarchical of our institutions, such as the DoD/industrial duality.
William Lind offers us still more incisive analysis on the fundamental failure of the American military to meet our current needs
. Lind, correctly in our view, notes the excellent Israeli Winograd Commission's review of why Israel lost in Lebanon in 2006 applies (unsurprisingly) to the U.S. as well. The Commission excoriates the Israeli's fixation on technology as an end unto itself, while failing to understand that warfare has changed to what Lind et al. coined as “4th Generation”. Both the U.S. and Israel remain addicted to a flawed view that warfare remains putting fire on targets, hence the continued fixation on “precision fire”.
Lind quotes the Commission's pithy insight:
[The-IDF Chief of the General Staff] Halutz encouraged the civilian leaders to believe that Israel could launch a precision air and artillery offensive without getting dragged into a broad ground offensive. ... the failure of Halutz and the General Staff to appraise the enemy's abilities: correctly at the outbreak of the war stemmed not from incorrect intelligence or analysis, but from a willed denial of the limitations of the IDF's precision weapons.
o do we see OSD's dreams also buried in the sands of Anbar.
s we noted recently, OSD and the military deliberately hide the true cost of “Operation Excellent Adventure” by obscure the staggering Force Replenishment bill for hardware destroyed or worn out through accelerated lifecyle useage. CNN ran a surprisingly good piece this weekend on this topic. The military take enormous efforts to hide destroyed and damaged Bradleys, Humvees, even M1s, helicopters, etc.
Replenishment is a separate cost item from next generation procurement price tags (based on stunningly expensive, over designed platforms designed to deliver precision fires). The Navy wants new carriers, a new destroyer and the troubled littoral combat ship. The Air Force is smart enough to make sure that the F-22s are prominently displayed in the pop culture imagination such as Transformers movies, etc. And the Army has the Future Combat System, and so on. Something has to give.
e raise all this because the issue is about to leave ethereal academic discussion and plummet into the Tweetysphere (tm). Naturally, the fact that the U.S. will lose a war because the military itself no longer understands warfare will be obscured and ignored. Lind's initial arguments about 4G warfare, the precision fire ethos, even Rummy's transformation all still remain specialized, arcane debates. How many angels (Powerpoint slides?) on the head of a APFSDS 120mm round?
The Tweetysphere (tm), however, can comprehend spending, budgets, pork and jobs. Very soon, the U.S. for the first time must confront external resource restraints — we can not afford Force Replenishment and procurement of the next generation at the same time. Boys with toys naturally want the new stuff, so the Air Force for example retired the F-117 Stealth platform to make way for the F-22. But what we have been calling the scissors crisis — two tend lines in diamentrically opposite directions — will not go away.
, Winograd Commission
, 4th Generation War
, precision fire
June 30, 2007
ne's expecations for American political discourse are by necessity low. But after 7 years, it still surprises us a bit that even now, after all that has unfolded, how few realize the true nature, imperative and direction of the Cheney era.
Forget those silly WaPo articles about Cheney that everyone found so “revealing”. Talking to long departed second tier staff about vague generalities regarding peripheral events and minor details constitutes a new hot issue of “Tiger Beat” for the Tweety Class.
Read more »
June 28, 2007
June 27, 2007
t may look like this to the casual observer, but the damage to the Nation's very core is vast. Healing it will last long beyond the next presidency.
The Roberts' Court surprised the Stiftung in moving this fast, this early. Americans still don't understand the ideology that has been gloating at them through familiar institutions the past 7 years — their anger at Dubya and even Cheney is about perceived failures, not goals or vision. So how to explain the need for a thorough and complete purge to remove those planted into the apparat still devoted to the regime's goals? Who will even think even to mount a purge? Who would know how to do it, anyway, except the Movement itself? Does anyone really believe the feckless Democrats ever could be trusted not to screw it up beyond recognition anyway?
onetheless, there is some satisfaction that the Imperial Project is in a tailspin. The Movement's internal destruction has been far more successful than the Neocon strand's Home Depot International Imperial Dreams. If the Movement's various strands continue to gnaw on themselves that is a double plus good. They can even take solace together in the massive damage done to our institutitonal infrastructure and the global community while they nurse those grudges against hateful — but possibly temporary — Reality.
, extra constitutional
, Carl Schmitt
, unitary executive
, contempt for democracy
, anti enlightenment
, Imperial America
June 26, 2007
June 25, 2007
s a random thought experiment, which of you, Dear Readers, could offer a coherent paragraph summation about the foreign policy (note, not just Iraq) vision of the oh, top three candidates of either party? Without cheating and clipping and pasting some crap a 24 year old intern posted on the web page from a think tanker angling to be the new Dep.Asst.Sec. of something. We mean, in real time, an off the top of your head kind of thing.
e tried it tonight. Even after Advil, no success. Just bits and pieces of AgitProp and gibberish. Maybe you, Dear Reader, might have more luck.
It looks like it will get worse.
, Asuka Langley Soryu
, American Foreign Policy
, Post Neocon Age
, Post Realism
, Post Post
, Beyond the Beyond
June 22, 2007
so in interim point you, naturally, to Balkinization
Who knew that the widening Gyre would have Tucker Carlson's smug face on it and ever more insulting MSNBC promo graphics. There's this lovely little item that notesFukuyama (and Michael Novak (the other one) paens to how Christianity is uniquely suited to capitalism) join the rest in frankly flatulating into Tuckers beaming smile, now the breadth of 4 galaxies, as we near the End.
But what to make of Tweety's desperate ratings lunge with Ann Coulter. Does she have something on him? Or perhaps something must be amiss in the Matthews household? As he is devoting 60 minutes tomorrow to the only kind of pole dance that can really get him hopping now — with that gangly incoherent attention seeker. Will in anyone in the crowd have the honesty to toss her (the deserved) singles, one wonders?
Tags: The Legacy
, Tucker Carslon
, Tweety Getting Pole Dances
Sandy Levinson asks the rhetorical question of whether the Vice President and David Addington have any honor or sense of constitutional duty.
June 20, 2007
The WaPo today suggests Sandy's take is if anything, too kind. The heartbeat of this regimes' radicalism is on display, but only by negative inference — detecting a null sense of absence
Vice President Cheney's office has refused to comply with an executive order governing the handling of classified information for the past four years and recently tried to abolish the office that sought to enforce those rules, according to documents released by a congressional committee yesterday.
e all know Addington's malign influence by now, his ties back to Casey, HPSCI, Cheney and Iran Contra. What is not fully understood is how deep this radical extremism extends throughout the Federalist Society — the ideas that Malbin, Addington and the others trotted out in 1987 in the Minority Report shape our Nation todayn and came from somewhere. I still wonder and worry if the Left, Center and small “d” liberal democratic infrastructure understands what it just endured what still stand, Bush's personal tumble notwithstanding. Are small “d” adherents wiling to build corresponding institutitions not just of mealy mouthed moderation but capable of detecting and engaging the Federalist/Addington radicalism? Sandy closes by quoting the now seemingly ubiquitous David Rivkin supporting Addington's radical views, naturally. Again, the Stiftung regrets giving his early career a boost. So much heavy and dark karma to work off and so little time . . .
, Federalist Society
, Sith Lords
Akiva Eldar from Ha'aretz explains how
June 19, 2007
If Ariel Sharon were able to hear the news from the Gaza Strip and West Bank, he would call his loyal aide, Dov Weissglas, and say with a big laugh: “We did it, Dubi.” Sharon is in a coma, but his plan is alive and kicking. Everyone is now talking about the state of Hamastan. In his house, they called it a bantustan, after the South African protectorates designed to perpetuate apartheid.
orth reading the rest. Also, with no disrepect meant to the fallen warrior and statesman himself, if the jackals at NBC are looking to plug a hole in its Fall schedule, there may be a science fiction/apocalyptic angle here, especially with his deep interest in Cher Condi's shapely legs. Think mid season replacement? Heroes surprised you all.
, NBC Fall Schedule
June 18, 2007
efore FermiLab starts name checking wankers of the day
Not that there aren't other topics out there, mind you. The Left Blogosphere smacks Richard Cohen around (deservedly), mosques go up, the Army lies, troops die, Tweety thinks he is aiding democracy on MSNBC — we even have a fucking Paul McCartney album to contend with. At least before toupes and dyed hair (curtains and rugs according to the totally unreliable Heather), back in the late 70s he knew how to call it when an age winds down:
Whats that man holding in his hand?
He looks a lot like a guy I knew way back when
Its silly willy with philly band
Could be . . . . . oo-ee . . . . . .
Whats that man movin cross the stage?
It looks a lot like the one used by jimmy page
Its like a relic from a different age
Could be . . . . . oo-ee . . . . . .
ilates toned “baristas” today probably dont even know Jimmy or what a theramin is. Just think. In 30 years someone will be selling “Neocon Perfume” — although in Hong Kong boutiques, perhaps. The beauty of commodification is it is utterly remorseless, without scrupples. As Sgt. Reese warned, “ That [commodidification] is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are [sold].”
So, today we give you physicists fighting it out over the “God Particle”. Just can't summon the Pavlovian reflex to bark yet again at the Warlord's world falling to pieces around us. At least one day off. We avoided the dreaded, hey what are the best Top 10 Action Movies, etc. (we condsidered it briefly in the car during the commute this morning). As they used to say in another context, it's not new wave, it's not old wave, it's — well what it is.
, God Particle
, Jimmy Page
igh. A reader correctly points out the Stiftung missed the obvious aesthetic statement of this regime — in all things:
We understand EOVP may provide the Stiftung with a further response in the near future, as well. Carry on. Nothing to see.
Tags: Bush regime