August 19, 2008 archive

Are You Ready for Nuclear War?

Original article, subheaded The Mindlessness is Total, via

Pervez Musharraf, the puppet installed by the US to rule Pakistan in the interest of US hegemony, resigned August 18 to avoid impeachment.  Karl Rove and the Diebold electronic voting machines were unable to control the result of the last election in Pakistan, the result of which gave Pakistanis a bigger voice in their government than America’s.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.  You can read him regularly at and  He’s become one of the sane voices on the right (not that he doesn’t have tons to answer for being a member of the Reagan administration).  If you don’t read Roberts, you should!

“The Real World Order”

This is worth a close read after the past week, I think…. particularly after Friedman’s article the other day: The Russo-Georgian War and the Balance of Power

The Real World Order

By George Friedman


August 18, 2008

On Sept. 11, 1990, U.S. President George H. W. Bush addressed Congress. He spoke in the wake of the end of Communism in Eastern Europe, the weakening of the Soviet Union, and the invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein. He argued that a New World Order was emerging: “A hundred generations have searched for this elusive path to peace, while a thousand wars raged across the span of human endeavor, and today that new world is struggling to be born. A world quite different from the one we’ve known. A world where the rule of law supplants the rule of the jungle. A world in which nations recognize the shared responsibility for freedom and justice. A world where the strong respect the rights of the weak.”

After every major, systemic war, there is the hope that this will be the war to end all wars. The idea driving it is simple. Wars are usually won by grand coalitions. The idea is that the coalition that won the war by working together will continue to work together to make the peace. Indeed, the idea is that the defeated will join the coalition and work with them to ensure the peace. This was the dream behind the Congress of Vienna, the League of Nations, the United Nations and, after the Cold War, NATO. The idea was that there would be no major issues that couldn’t be handled by the victors, now joined with the defeated. That was the idea that drove George H. W. Bush as the Cold War was coming to its end.

Those with the dream are always disappointed. The victorious coalition breaks apart. The defeated refuse to play the role assigned to them. New powers emerge that were not part of the coalition. Anyone may have ideals and visions. The reality of the world order is that there are profound divergences of interest in a world where distrust is a natural and reasonable response to reality. In the end, ideals and visions vanish in a new round of geopolitical conflict.

The post-Cold War world, the New World Order, ended with authority on Aug. 8, 2008, when Russia and Georgia went to war. Certainly, this war was not in itself of major significance, and a very good case can be made that the New World Order actually started coming apart on Sept. 11, 2001. But it was on Aug. 8 that a nation-state, Russia, attacked another nation-state, Georgia, out of fear of the intentions of a third nation-state, the United States. This causes us to begin thinking about the Real World Order.

Four at Four

  1. The NY Times reports Taliban forces kill 10 French soldiers and raid U.S. base in Afghanistan.

    Taliban insurgents mounted their most serious attacks in six years of fighting, one a complex attack with multiple suicide bombers on an American military base on Monday night, and another by some 100 insurgents on French forces in a district east of the capital, killing 10 French soldiers and wounding 21 others, military officials said Tuesday.

    Three American soldiers were wounded and six members of the Afghan special forces in the attack on the base in the eastern province of Khost, bordering Pakistan, the Afghan military spokesman, Gen. Zaher Azimi, said. The battle lasted all night, 10 suicide bombers were killed or blew themselves up, and the insurgents were repulsed without entering the base, he said.

    This was a war Bush declared as won and therefore he could go invade Iraq. 2007 was the deadliest year for allied forces in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion. The Guardian has more, French soldiers killed in Taliban gun battle. “In the past three days, more than 100 people have died in fighting and bomb attacks around the country.”

  2. The LA Times reports In west Georgia, few signs of damage by Russia.

    Government officials of this small, war-weary country invited a group of journalists for a 180-mile trip aboard a Russian-made Mi-8 helicopter Monday to Georgia’s western provinces to show the damage wrought by the recent Russian military incursion.

    Instead, the 19 international journalists on a daylong tour found just a few signs of Russian destruction, not very evident amid the sleepy resort towns of the Black Sea coast and the lush inland valleys.

    Just as Russians are suspected of having exaggerated the number of casualties and damage in the initial Georgian offensive that sparked the war in Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia, Georgians appear to have stretched the facts on the extent of destruction caused by the subsequent Russian attack, at least here in the country’s west.

    This conflict is very much about proving who is the bad guy,” said a Western diplomat in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    So the propaganda will continue to flow. According to The Guardian, the U.S. urges NATO to punish Russia for operations in Georgia. “Washington will urge its European allies today to introduce sanctions against Russia by freezing the six-year-old Nato-Russia council.” Because nothing works better toward achieving peace than by breaking off diplomacy.

    The LA Times adds Russia relying on its military, Rice says. Secretary of State Condoleezza “Rice, in her toughest criticism of the Kremlin to date, said Russia’s incursion into Georgia was part of a pattern in which the government has increasingly turned to its military to assert its influence.”

    “Russia is a state that is unfortunately using the one tool it has always used when it wants to deliver a message . . . that’s its military power.”

    How Condoleezza can say this without a hint of irony is beyond me.

    Russia has reacted as expected. According to BBC News, Russia hits back at Nato warning. “Russia has dismissed a warning by NATO that normal relations are impossible while its troops remain inside Georgia.”

Four at Four continues with deadly ship pollution and planting trees around Portland, Oregon.

McCain’s Wind Energy Double-Talk Express

McCain has flopped from opposing  wind energy to supporting wind energy. Has McCain really flipped or has he only embraced a pseudo flop to publicly pander for renewable energy votes while he more quietly takes actions to block wind energy progress?

McCain can be very clear and specific when talking about nuclear energy, or coal, or off-shore oil drilling, yet he can not even muster up one “yes” vote out of 8 chances on renewable energy tax credits legislation.  

His actions are consistent with blocking wind energy, which is a competitor for oil industry subsidies and may transform oil barons into barren businesses no longer needed.  

It’s The Republicans, Stupid!

Post partisan my ass! That MIGHT be a good theme as a campaign strategy. It MIGHT appeal to an electorate tired of the incompetent,  ineffectual and just plain stupid brand of government they have been getting for the last ten years….you know, since the incredibly partisan impeachment of Bill Clinton by the Republican Congress….

It might sound … nice …and evenhanded and reasonable and mature and responsible and all that. But it ignores the simple and undeniable fact that since the Republicans lied, cheated and smeared (including smearing their current champion when he was running against Bush) their way into having full unfettered dominance of the government…..just about everything that could go wrong has gone wrong and the country is in sad, sorry shape.

Because of the Republicans.

Everything the Republicans has touched in the last decade has turned to crap. From the micro (life saving stem cell research) to the macro (Climate Crisis) the Republicans have had full power to implement their vision, programs and policies….and have gotten it disastrously wrong every single time.


Tuesday proving Larry Kudlow and other Ayn Rand droogies wrong

For anyone whose read my pieces in the past, knows that I hold a certain disdain towards former Reagan White House OMB Associate Director/conservative-libertarian Ayn Rand acolyte Larry Kudlow.  It’s nothing personal against the guy, it’s his ideas and economic policy objectives that I find fault with.  For the past couple of months, he’s been going on about this is the “Goldilocks economy.”  Essentially, that we’re worrying about nothing because one bad economic indicator is being offset by a good one (mind you, he’s often just used productivity as that one).  Well today, despite his claims that all is almost well, we got some news that just proves Larry Kudlow wrong!  

McCain’s Sex (and Woman) Problem

How do you square this:

I told her with a little luck she could be the only woman ever to serve as both as First Lady and Miss Buffalo Chip.

With this:

I will be a pro-life President and this presidency will have pro-life policies.

Off the Capitalist Path: A Second Look at Speth’s “Bridge”

This is a review of James Gustave Speth’s Bridge at the Edge of the World, intended as a supplement to the short review given of this book in the Monthly Review.  Speth is a prominent environmentalist who has worked with the Democratic Presidential administrations of Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.  His words, then, deserve our attention for their connections to political effectiveness.

(crossposted at Big Orange)

Pony Hand Party

The Weapon of Young Gods #34: Thrashing Even Harder

“We have to do something about Roy, you know.” Olivia glares at me with resigned frustration, and takes a sip from the red plastic cup in her hand. “Like, now, Derek.” Someone screams behind me, and I hear a crash, but I don’t respond and she glares at me indignantly. Liv makes a point to look over my shoulder at the gathering cyclone across the room, but I don’t want to see it. Roy and I have only been here for a half-hour, but he’s made good time, going from zero to completely blotto faster than anyone had expected. I can hear him now, raving drunkenly at his brother, his girlfriend, and anyone else within a ten-foot radius. I’d thought this suite was massive when we’d first walked in, but that stupid bastard has managed to shrink it to the size of a padded cell.

Previous Episode

Real News: The State Of The Empire

August 19, 2008 – 6 min 29 sec

David Harvey: Exit the neocon global project, enter competing capitalist blocks

In the first part of his interview to Pepe Escobar, David Harvey talks about competing capitalist blocks, the US-China relationship, the neoconservartive global project and Barack Obama as the new face of US neoliberalism.

David Harvey is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at City University of New York. He is also a geographer, historian and political scientist. Harvey is the author of numerous books, including The Condition of Postmodernity, The Limits of Capitalism, The Urban Experience, and the international best-seller The New Imperialism.

David Harvey is the author of A Brief History of Neoliberalism, The New Imperialism, The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry Into the Origins of Cultural Change, and The Limits to Capital

VA Hospitals Investigation

Disability Rights Advocates has been conducting an investigation into VA hospital access.

While their investigation is being targeted on the Veterans Care issue with the below recent report we can see that the Military Care issue, i.e. Walter Reed and More, is still having the same problems that finally came forward through great investigative reporting and shouldn’t have existed nor still exist as to care for the returning active duty Military Personal especially from these theaters of occupations.

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