T Nation

Bush: The Great Uniter

I was wrong. I’ll admit it. Bush indeed is the great uniter.

He’s managed to unite the entire world of Islamic radicals, Cuba and even Venezuela. He’s amazing!

While I don’t agree with those idiots or their recent spew at the UN, I can imagine that the man on the street being fed propaganda in foreign lands probably does.

Anyway, to get out of the rhetoric and into some pseudo-analysis, it seems to be clear that the US simply does not have the ability to conquer and pacify any significant portion of the world. At least not simultaneously.

Sure, maybe no conventional forces can stand against the US, but the problems we are facing are not conventional, are they?

I’m not bashing the US, at all, it’s just that the empirical evidence would suggest that there is no realistic way to invade multitudes of nations and actually deal with the aftermath in a meaningful way.

I’m going to guess that China is the big benefactor from all this. The US is mired in shit for next several decades. Iran will be causing trouble for quite a while. North Korea will be causing trouble for a while. Venezeula will be making noise. Cuba would like to make noise, but it’s just going to sit there like a bump on a log as usual.

If I were a suspicious person, and I thought that China had some hardline world domination ideas, I might even believe they are acting subtly behind the scenes to fan the flames.

Whatever the case, I truly hope the US gets around to electing a group of people that have some foresight and wisdom next time around. People who understand that force is but one of many tools in the arsenal – and perhaps not the most powerful one.

Maybe an administration that truly understands that the pen is mightier than the sword. Especially given the limitations of the sword in the era of modern assymetrical resistance.

Anyone care to give an armchair analysis of how they see the next decade of international affairs playing out?

First of all, great post!

[quote]vroom wrote:
Anyone care to give an armchair analysis of how they see the next decade of international affairs playing out?[/quote]

Domestically, I don’t expect to see many differences in the next decade. I’m reasonably certain the GOP will retain control of government, including the Presidency – I do not see any charismatic progressive candidate emerging any time soon. We will be living through Reaganism for quite a while still, even though I hope that the next president drinks a little bit less of the neocon Kool-Aid.

The problem is: the American people are firmly behind our Reaganistic foreign policy; the more badass Bush is, the more people cheer, and the next president will have to be an equally badass neocon.

With more of the same coming from the US, and with Blair gone, I suspect we will become completely isolated. We were isolated for a good part of our History anyway, so nothing new there. I mean, everybody thinks already we’re a bunch of imperialistic retards, and that’s not going to change. Especially because we keep reinforcing the stereotype.

With regards to China, one of three things will happen: either they will rise to be the world’s superpower, and take the US’ place as the World’s economic and political engine – and basically everyone will follow wherever they want to go – OR they will finally collapse under their own weight,OR – everything will stay the same.

The Chinese economic miracle is no miracle: it’s smoke and mirrors. Their wealth is completely artificial, in the sense that it was made possible by manipulating their currency and their economy in general. They still do not have enough food or money to feed the majority of their population, nor enough natural resources to keep up their growth. They are culturally ultra-conservative. The country is polluted to levels never before seen anywhere. They are getting old and sick. Their rise to become the world’s superpower will require them to continue the smoke and mirrors, and nobody knows if they will have the strength to.

The problem is if China collapses, our economy will too – we’ve become so dependent on Chinese imports, that if the Chinese suddenly suffer explosive inflation, we will be dragged into a serious recession – as will Europe (although to a much lesser extent).

Why is this so important politically?

China, the US and Europe have a symbiotic relationship, in the sense that it is in all of our best interests that we keep our economies afloat and the balance of power intact. That means that, most probably, we will have more of the same, because the alternatives are simply too scary.

So I suspect the next 10 years will look much like the last 4 years.

Now, if we move to discuss the next 20-50 years, well…

We won’t be able to keep this up for that long, so one of two things will happen: either China, the US and Europe do undergo a hard landing in one fell swoop and the whole planet goes through an economic recession the likes of which we have never seen – maybe we will go back to the world of the 1930s, except with China in the position the UK was at the time – or we get our asses all saved by a charismatic, intelligent, resourceful leader that shows up out of nowhere.

Although I’d prefer the latter, I honestly can’t see where the heck we are going to dig up such a leader from, much less how is s/he going to get elected. Worse: in order for us to have a good leader, we might need also an equally “good” nemesis.

Vroom,
Welcome back! You haven’t started a thread in a while and we missed you!

There is no morality between nations. Relations are determined by raw, brute power. The problem of the last 60 years is that the advantage is swinging over to the DEFENSE, as we’re learning in Iraq. It has become harder and harder for anyone to maintain order by projecting power.

It therefore follows that either someone invents a way to return the advantage to the OFFENSE (so that barbarians can’t be disruptive without killing themselves) or we go through an era of increasing violence. I suspect that labs in the USA are hard at work upon this now, with nanotech being a primary research goal. If you can fly over a country, release nanobots that lobotomize entire populations, you then have the advantage. I suspect that this will happen soon.

With advantage returning to the offense, democracy can then continue its march, with Islam, Chavez, and all other such anti-life going into the dustbin of history.

Headhunter

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
If you can fly over a country, release nanobots that lobotomize entire populations, you then have the advantage. I suspect that this will happen soon.[/quote]

I suspect you might have been unwittingly involved in some of the first secret tests of that technology.

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
[…]
There is no morality between nations. Relations are determined by raw, brute power. The problem of the last 60 years is that the advantage is swinging over to the DEFENSE, as we’re learning in Iraq. It has become harder and harder for anyone to maintain order by projecting power.
[…]
[/quote]

Headhunter:
Where do you have your education from, comics and porn?
The nanobots thing cracked me up, though.
But, hey I don’t mean to discourage you from posting. You never fail to be entertaining.

Nobody else see’s China playing both sides?

China gets oil from Iran.

China will get oil from Venezeula, right?

China has no intention of putting a leash on North Korea.

China is generally against most of the hardline action that gets proposed for UN adoption.

The more hotspots the US decides to get involved in, the more money it pisses away into foreign countries, the more radicals are created to pester the US like a swarm of insects, the more world opinion swings against the US.

All leading to much less ability to focus on anything the Chinese may end up doing during the next couple decades and much less ability to have the ability to dominate world affairs.

Heh, of course, maybe I’m giving the Chinese too much credit… and I should really just be throwing blame at the current administration?

The hard-line, do it our way, style of government has been incredibly unproductive if you look at global issues. Please, whether democrat or republican, elect someone with a little bit of wisdom for the next few terms.

[quote]vroom wrote:
Nobody else see’s China playing both sides?

China gets oil from Iran.

China will get oil from Venezeula, right?

China has no intention of putting a leash on North Korea.

China is generally against most of the hardline action that gets proposed for UN adoption.

The more hotspots the US decides to get involved in, the more money it pisses away into foreign countries, the more radicals are created to pester the US like a swarm of insects, the more world opinion swings against the US.

All leading to much less ability to focus on anything the Chinese may end up doing during the next couple decades and much less ability to have the ability to dominate world affairs.

Heh, of course, maybe I’m giving the Chinese too much credit… and I should really just be throwing blame at the current administration?

[/quote]

I think that last sentence is probably the truth of the matter.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
You’re just a fucking Canadian and you don’t know shit about 'merican stuff so just STFU"
[/quote]

Hey Rainman, thought I’d just save you some time and effort. You’re welcome, btw.

As far as the thread: I’m pretty convinced that China is pulling a lot of strings. I kind of think that China is just now reaping the fruit of seeds that were planted during and immediately following the Vietnam conflict.

Where we’ve become accustomed to the 2-4 year policitcal cycle, and business is judged on quarterly results, they think of 5 years as short-term. The plots of your ancestors become the goals of your descendants. I think we’re inherently ill-equiped to deal with anything beyond our short-term event horizon.

Oh no! We’ve united the Islamic Radicals, Cuba, and the psycho Chavez against us! That means we must be doing something wrong! Or, are we doing something right to have so many crackpots against us? I’d be a little concerned if any of those saw us as a friends. Hell, I’d be concerned if they saw as neutral.

[quote]Sloth wrote:
Oh know! We’ve united the Islamic Radicals, Cuba, and the psycho Chavez against us! That means we must be doing something wrong! Or, are we doing something right to have so many crackpots against us? I’d be a little concerned if any of those saw us as a friends. Hell, I’d be concerned if they saw as neutral. [/quote]

Sloth, I’m more concerned about the power of propaganda it creates to further inflame the hatred brewing and the trouble such inflammation could cause…

You don’t think the current strife in the world is making it more likely for us to have peace here at home, in the long term, do you? You don’t think it will cost time, money and attention from other things, such as say the social security issue or maybe education, perhaps?

[quote]vroom wrote:

Sloth, I’m more concerned about the power of propaganda it creates to further inflame the hatred brewing and the trouble such inflammation could cause…

You don’t think the current strife in the world is making it more likely for us to have peace here at home, in the long term, do you? You don’t think it will cost time, money and attention from other things, such as say the social security issue or maybe education, perhaps?[/quote]

Don’t really care about the propaganda. Frankly, those moved by it were probably pretty damn sympathetic to extremist ideals. So what if some crackpot who believes in forcing a woman to wear a burqa joins the fight. Or, one who supports the practice of stoning to death women for losing their virginity (or because a husband claims she’s been unfaithful). Go ahead, let them join the fight to preserve those ideals.

We won’t enjoy peace in the long run either way.

Social security? I could care less about the program. Wished they’d end it and refund my money.

[quote]Sloth wrote:
Don’t really care about the propaganda. Frankly, those moved by it were probably pretty damn sympathetic to extremist ideals. So what if some crackpot who believes in forcing a woman to wear a burqa joins the fight. Or, one who supports the practice of stoning to death women for losing their virginity (or because a husband claims she’s been unfaithful). Go ahead, let them join the fight to preserve those ideals.[/quote]

News flash…

The more enemies the west ends up with, the more of our soldiers and citizens are going to die, or so it would seem anyway.

You really don’t care that recruitment is growing exponentially with all the crap going on in the world these days?

I begin to see why shortsighted politicians are getting elected… :wink:

[quote]vroom wrote:
Sloth wrote:
News flash…

The more enemies the west ends up with, the more of our soldiers and citizens are going to die, or so it would seem anyway.

You really don’t care that recruitment is growing exponentially with all the crap going on in the world these days?

I begin to see why shortsighted politicians are getting elected… ;)[/quote]

Newsflash? Yeah, recruitment going up gets more soldiers and civilians killed. Your point? Are you surpised that recruitment has gone up during a period of war? I’d hope not. Of course like minded freaks are going to jump into the Jihad. It’s called war.

The only troubling thing is just how little blood it takes to make the west quake. They glorify how weak and spineless we are. It’s why they believe they will win their little Jihad. They know the west no longer has a warrior spirit. Which little Jihadist said “We love death more than you love life?” Seriously, where the hell did our spine go? Did it disappear after WW2?

Anyways, look at what you’re implying for a second. That if an enemy can effectively recruit and make use of propaganda, we should just drop the fight. Huh? Let me get this straight, I shouldn’t support fighting an enemy (one I feel is undeniably evil and brutal) because people are willing to sign up with them? Thank god our vets didn’t think like that.

And yes, the shortsighted bit…
Shortsighted, is believing this war would never have to be fought. Shortsighted, is thinking that our enemies wouldn’t have more lethal weapons and means to use in a future war. No, we need to fight and win this war now.

[quote]Sloth wrote:
vroom wrote:

Sloth, I’m more concerned about the power of propaganda it creates to further inflame the hatred brewing and the trouble such inflammation could cause…

You don’t think the current strife in the world is making it more likely for us to have peace here at home, in the long term, do you? You don’t think it will cost time, money and attention from other things, such as say the social security issue or maybe education, perhaps?

Don’t really care about the propaganda. Frankly, those moved by it were probably pretty damn sympathetic to extremist ideals. So what if some crackpot who believes in forcing a woman to wear a burqa joins the fight. Or, one who supports the practice of stoning to death women for losing their virginity (or because a husband claims she’s been unfaithful). Go ahead, let them join the fight to preserve those ideals.

We won’t enjoy peace in the long run either way.

Social security? I could care less about the program. Wished they’d end it and refund my money.[/quote]

I don’t believe that the propaganda we fall victim to is quite so obvious. It is much more sophisticated than that or it would not be effective.

It is inherrent in the speeches and rhetoric pushed by our politicians, both left and right, that they speak on emotional points, drawing emotional responses from the populace that further endear them to a point of view.

Propaganda-like metaphors:

War on Drugs
Terrorist
Insurgents
Axis of Evil
Patriot Act

[quote]Sloth wrote:
No, we need to fight and win this war now.[/quote]

Those same perceptions you are saying we shouldn’t care about will be exactly what causes this fight to not be won now but last for decades. That is assuming it EVER ends. Keep raising little kids to be young jihadists and you end up with a never ending supply of suicide bombers and terrorists. Perhaps we need to change our strategy.

[quote]pookie wrote:
Headhunter wrote:
If you can fly over a country, release nanobots that lobotomize entire populations, you then have the advantage. I suspect that this will happen soon.

I suspect you might have been unwittingly involved in some of the first secret tests of that technology.
[/quote]

I’m secretly working in a gov’t lab here in Cleveland on this project. Why do you think you bought all those Celine Dion CDs?

[quote]Schwarzfahrer wrote:
Headhunter wrote:
[…]
There is no morality between nations. Relations are determined by raw, brute power. The problem of the last 60 years is that the advantage is swinging over to the DEFENSE, as we’re learning in Iraq. It has become harder and harder for anyone to maintain order by projecting power.
[…]

Headhunter:
Where do you have your education from, comics and porn?
The nanobots thing cracked me up, though.
But, hey I don’t mean to discourage you from posting. You never fail to be entertaining.

[/quote]

Ahhh…100 years ago, if I’d told you that you’d one day drive a vehicle that had little chips in them, telling a big bag of air to inflate on impact, would you have scoffed then?

For other big bags of air, see any Pookie post.

Read about our nano future.

[quote]Headhunter wrote:

Ahhh…100 years ago, if I’d told you that you’d one day drive a vehicle that had little chips in them, telling a big bag of air to inflate on impact, would you have scoffed then?

For other big bags of air, see any Pookie post.[/quote]

I work in nano-biotech, the best molecular engines to date, were ripped out of living cells. To my knowledge no one has built a molecular engine from scratch. A lot of what Drexler and Kurzweil points to as prediction or signposts is retarded. Atoms reacting on a large scale being ‘forced’ to react on a nano-scale with a machine the size of a refrigerator that has to ride on a cushion of water or air (some wackos even put them in the dark) is such a far cry from molecular assemblers. We are cavemen writing on nano-walls.

[quote]Sloth wrote:
Anyways, look at what you’re implying for a second. That if an enemy can effectively recruit and make use of propaganda, we should just drop the fight. Huh? Let me get this straight, I shouldn’t support fighting an enemy (one I feel is undeniably evil and brutal) because people are willing to sign up with them? Thank god our vets didn’t think like that.
[/quote]

That’s not what I’m implying at all.

I’m implying that the west would be in a much better position if it was united instead of fractured.

I’m implying that driving countries that are sitting on the fence to the other side is just plain stupid.

I’m implying that there are things we aren’t doing, other than simply sending soldiers to fight, that can also be very effective in slowing down the recruitment of these jihadists.

I’m implying that people like you, who can’t see any valid actions beyond violence, simply end up creating a larger conflict and more violence, as neither side will end up winning through force alone.

Whatever fantasy world you live in which equates looking for additional ways to combat this problem as a lack of fortitude is the same fantasy world that the Bush administration has fallen prey too.

I’m implying that we eventually should try to find leaders that know how to choose their paths wisely to appropriatly avoid making a bad situation into a global shitstorm.

World politics should be more like chess and less like checkers. Those who are playing chess while we play checkers are going to win.