Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Is another generational "silly season" reaching its peak? The two contestants are the GOP & DEM parties. That's the bad part.

   (Commentary posted by Roger Erickson)

The good part? There's another generation coming, which grew up watching this one self destruct. Let me know if you find evidence that our next crop will be less silly.

In the meantime, here's some commentary by Chuck Spinney, and an opinion piece by Pat Buchanan - who finally sounds more pragmatic and less knee-jerk conservative.

Which of the following would logic dictate you employ, in different contexts? Say, Domestic Politics vs International Relations? The only thing riding on this is how our electorate will spend the fiat it's told we're low on and running out of.  Of course there are other options to explore, but few seem to be able to see them, and certainly not fast enough.

(Note that feedback significance includes tempo!)

From: Chuck Spinney (by permission)

"A nation’s foreign policy is a reflection of its domestic politics.

Today, it is an undeniable fact that US foreign policy is now, like its domestic politics, a shambles of non-cooperative centers of gravity.

One need only consider Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Libya, Africa, Yeman, spying on our closest allies (esp. Germany), the perpetual drone war, Ukraine, etc. US leaders flit from one crisis to another in what has become a Whack-a-Mole game. The chaos abroad mirrors the chaos and reactiveness in our broken domestic politics at home, where special interests are running amok.
Lest you think the chaos cannot get worse, think again. Patrick Buchanan's powerfully argued essay will get you started in this direction. Among other things, Pat shows how the foreign policy shambles is directly linked to 2014 election politics via fueling the rise of anti-Russian right-wing militarism (and, while unstated, the 'requirement' to protect the MICC from the mild budgetary implications of the now forgotten Sequester).

Lest you think this desire to protect the MICC during an election is a right-wing Republican phenomenon, President Obama is fighting back in a last minute effort to buy off the defense contractor wing of the MICC with a doubling down of foreign sales of high tech US weapons, as part of a larger Clintonesqe triangulation strategy that includes privatizing infrastructure to keep the senate from going Republican. (H/T Pierre Sprey for this observation).

And of course, looming in the offing, is the inevitable ‘bipartisan' competition to see who can take the most political credit for increasing the weapons and aid flowing to the Israel’s to compensate Israelis using up US-provided weapons to massacre Palestinians in Gaza — an operation that is clearly inimical to the long-term national interest and security, not to mention what little is left of our moral stature in the world."

A GOP Ultimatum to Vlad

1 comment:

Tom Hickey said...

Good post by Buchanan, but it won't have too much affect on the GOP since since he has long been an America Firster, which the majority of the GOP regards as ill-advised isolationism and abandonment of the global leadership position of the US.

What Pat doesn't mention is that this is getting eerily reminiscent of the lead up to WWI, in which the major powers got sucked into a hugely destructive fight that none of them actually wanted to pick, but backed themselves into.

Curiously enough, a good deal of the blame falls on Great Britain, which of the global empire of the time. GB was realizing that Germany was becoming a great power, and the British leadership wanted to head that off at the pass.

The same holds now with the US and Russia. The US is determined to destroy Russia's great power status and reduce it to a US vassal state. The US is now getting reckless in this resolve, to the degree that would say that the US is effectively at war with Russia. While the civil war in the Ukraine is a proxy was, the US is going for the throat with sanctions to hobble the Russian economy and cripple its defense industry.

This is a very dangerous high stakes zero-sum game and the potential for blowback is enormous.