Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Peak Empire?

with 5 comments

iraq_end_times.jpg
Iraqi End Times? Credit: DOD
(click map for larger view)

Follow ups on a few posts I made earlier, and a rather bleak assessment of the American Empire. Or the decline and fall of the American Empire. Speaking of which, Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and Barbara Tuchman’s A Distant Mirror are both highly recommended reading for anyone who wants to understand some of what is going on in the world today. Of course if the USA still had an educational system, instead of a corporate drone factory, books like these would be required reading. Do they even read books in school anymore?

I must admit I jumped the gun on the bizarre assassination of Mr Litvinenko with Polonium 210. While Russian President Putin is the obvious suspect, he’s so obvious that maybe he is being framed by his internal or external enemies. Putin is certainly capable of ordering an assassination, and maybe he misjudged how the west would react, but still, one would think his agents could have been more subtle than use a headline grabbing weapon that screamed “Russian government.” The bottom line is that John Q. Public may never know who really killed the unfortunate Mr Litvinenko, governments can and do conceal all sorts of things if it is in their best interests, Britain’s government being no exception.

While still being optimistic about peace in Palestine and Israel, I’m having a niggling feeling that Olmert’s offer wasn’t sincere, and in fact was designed to be rejected. I doubt the USA would respond well to a diplomatic offer that required the USA to remove Bush from power and install Kerry before negotiations can continue. We’ll see, but I think this is just a set-up for further military adventures on the part of Israel and the USA. When the Palestinians reject the offer, Omert can claim “see, they don’t really want peace.”

By the same token the USA has rejected any peace talks in the Middle East that include Syria and Iran. In the bizarro world of power in Tel Aviv and Washington, the problems in the Middle East are not the result of the complex interplay of history, local culture, and American/Israeli/European foreign policy (read: meddling.) No, Israeli and American foreign policy is perfect, it’s just being screwed up by those nefarious evil people in Syria and Iran. The “Get Smart” theory of world geopolitics. The obvious thing to do then is to destroy the governments of Iran and Syria, then the much delayed flower throwing on our troops and spread of “democracy” throughout the Middle East can commence. God help us all if a wider war still emerges from the ruins of Iraq and Lebanon.

Speaking of flower throwing delays, the situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate. The violence is reaching new heights, and American forces are actually withdrawing from parts of the country that are no longer under American control in any way. A DOD report claims that KAOS, I mean Al-Qaeda, now controls parts of Iraq, which I am sure comes as a surprise to the local tribal chiefs and Mullahs who are actually wielding local sovereignty. Is Bushco just spewing this for the benefit of American audiences, or do our leaders actually believe that Al-Qaeda is this all-powerful force controlling anything the USA doesn’t control? Beats me. This redeployment could signal preparation for a wider American withdrawal from Iraq, or concentration of forces for other purposes. Again, who knows, but most of the possibilities are grim.

Bush also reasserted his claim that the USA is not leaving Iraq until a functioning democracy is installed. Never mind what the Iraqi’s want, never mind that hundreds of thousands of people are already dead in this quixotic dream, Father Bush knows best. In fact Bush is still claiming that the violence in Iraq isn’t a civil war, even the USA main stream media can no longer make that claim with a straight face. I have to wonder if there is any bad news from Iraq that could make Mr Bush change his rosy assessment? If he gets any more out of touch with reality, I see the men in the white coats physically removing him from the Oval Office, weeping, his tattered “Mission Accomplished” banner clutched tightly around him. Poor guy.

In an further blow to American global hegemony, Ecuador has voted in a populist leftist anti-American government. That’s four Latin American countries that have slipped out of the American sphere under Bush. Though some would say this is a good thing, including the voters in these countries. If this keeps up isolationism is going to be the only foreign policy option left for the USA. In further depressing news, the US dollar just hit a fifteen year low, and Newt Gingrich is considering a run for the presidency. I think his theory is that by 2008 things will be so hopeless that no one else will want the job. He might be right.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is a DOD map acquired at the Perry-Casteneda Library Map Collection. It is not being used for profit.)

Written by unitedcats

November 29, 2006 at 1:11 pm

5 Responses

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  1. Hi Doug!

    Sorry so long in checking in–incredibly busy–and when I am I miss a lot on DDW!

    Quickie:

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world�s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

    Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.” Credited to Tytler

    Will be back!

    -Jack

    bereans

    November 29, 2006 at 2:17 pm

  2. Doug,

    Completely agree with your comments about the Litvinenko killing. It is too obvious, and just plain dumb, for Putin to directly order the killing.

    The FSB directly killing its ex-agent also doesn’t seem like the brightest of ideas, because, as you say, the headlines, the headlines. But Litvinenko certainly knew a lot and colleagues from the FSB who went onto doing business work (as did Mr Litvinenko — he wasn’t only an activist, he was a businessman too) could have wanted certain things silent. But Pollonium 210? And how would they get Litvinenko to take it in?

    Berezovsky also seems too obvious, as he would benefit very much from the murder.

    There’s also the idea that perhaps Litvinenko was not meant to die…But it seems to big a stunt.

    So yes, we’re not going to know much.

    Dmitri

    Dmitri Marine

    November 29, 2006 at 2:34 pm

  3. […] Click over to Doug’s Darkworld and read his entertaining but bleak assesment of some of what’s going on in the world. I’m a regular reader now. If you’re not an ideologue, you’ll enjoy his writing. […]

  4. you’re quickly becoming one of my fav bloggers on here… bitchin links

    some points..

    putin = former kgb boss = centralizing power freak
    the history of russia would indicate a certain historical tendencies towards powerful centralized leadership… not b.c of any cultural effect besides the history of it… but because the massiveness of the land to be governed, and the mechanisms of power and power accrument demand it… that is one big hulking beast we had better hope doesn’t get its ducks in order, EVER… also, putin’s gonna do some crazy shit come 2008, my opinion, hopefully won’t get shot for it…

    why are we in this war?

    frank nat’l discussion very necessary, very soon…

    *************
    A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.
    —Thomas Paine, aka P-aine fucking around, holler at democracy, lol…

    revmanny

    November 30, 2006 at 5:34 am

  5. Thanks for the thoguhtful comments as always. One of the big confusions Americans and to some exent all westerners have is that they think that every nation is a more or less homogonous nation-state with a single culture and identity. They forget, or were never taught, that the democratic western European Nations came to think of themselves as “French” or “English” or “Dutch” after centuries of warfare. In America it took a terrible bloody war to get Americans to think of themselves as Americans, instead of Virginians, Floridians, etc. So many people fail to understand that when one draws a line on a map and call it a country, like “Iraq” or “Lebanon,” it is not magically transformed into a nation-state, let alone a democratic nation-state. No matter how many guns and dollars you give its designated “government.” In any event I will expound upon this idea further, but I think this is a root cause of so much failed diplomacy and foreign policy by the west.

    Doug

    unitedcats

    November 30, 2006 at 9:24 am


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