Thursday, August 14, 2008

WARGAMES - The Fall of Empire

This is a difficult post to start because of its grave nature. I've been talking for a while now about how the Bush administration possibly brought about the acceleration of U.S. empire's demise...That is not going to be an easy historical transition but one that is inevitable because natural law always wins...but unfortunately those that will suffer the most are always the ones most vulnerable (i.e. the poor, people of color, youth, etc.). That is why grassroots community service is critical to our community's survival in these challenging times.

The Clinton era reflected the politics of containment (see J.Chang's Can't Stop Won't Stop), where much of the policies were to maintain the status quo power structure and world order. While policies adversely affected oppressed communities, and particularly youth of color, they mainly served to maintain status quo. If the majority of U.S. workers felt relatively comfortable, complacency with the status quo could remain high. In hindsight that is why the 90s look like times of few global crises and relative peace and prosperity.

But with the inauguration of the Bush administration, the politics of containment turned to a politics of fear, neo-conservatism, preemptive war, and the expansion of the military industrial complex. This article gives an excellent analysis of this political strategy, as well as its shortcomings, specifically its miscalculation of the U.S. military power in the 21st century.

The Long War: How Many Iraqs and Afghanistans Lie Ahead?

By Andrew Bacevich, Posted August 14, 2008.

The Pentagonization of the United States shows no sign of slowing down.


On the illusions of victory and the many miscalculations of the Bush administration when it came to the nature of American military power, no one in recent years has been more incisive than Andrew Bacevich, who experienced an earlier version of the Long War firsthand in Vietnam. His new book, The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism, has just been published. Short, sharp, to the point, it should be the book of the election season, if only anyone in power, or who might come to power, were listening.

So the Bush administration sold U.S. workers out for corporate interests (fascism) and by trying to expand its military industrial complex exposed its greatest weakness - unless you are ready to blow up the whole world, military power in the 21st century only creates a constant state of war, death, destruction and despair. There is no power in might and no winners in war.

It reminds me of that classic 80s movie Wargames (which I watched more than a few times in my

WarGames: Global Thermonuclear War

Since the 80s, globalization has opened up the world... While the world economy still depends on the U.S. economy, U.S. workers have now officially joined the race to the bottom and we will likely see serious decreases to their standard of living while we probably will see continued increases in places like China and India. Natural law proves correct once again: the sun does rise in (on) the east and set in (on) the west. Some recent news symbolizes the shift from west to east. With China basking in its role as the host of the 2008 Olympic games, and the opening ceremonies feeling like a re-coming out party, a new cold war starts basically the same day. Some interesting timing to say the least.

This latest Russian crisis (conflict with Georgia) is the Iraq strategy coming home to roost. Not sure why the president of Georgia did not see this coming. Russia has been hinting at rebuilding power, they know the U.S. can't stop them (bogged down in Iraq/Afghanistan/economic downspin), and Georgia should have known that too. The arguments of territorial integrity and national sovereignty can be laughed at in Moscow since the Iraq invasion did not follow that theory. Georgia challenging Russian backed areas within their borders was just the excuse Russia needed to start the process. And what is probably most interesting is the silence of China on the Russia/Georgia conflict. You would think that at the least, they would be somewhat ticked at the timing given it was their time to be center stage (because of the Olympics). And in all matters recently (brought to the UN Security Council for example) China and Russia have often been allies on the same side of any debate. I guess there is a new power bloc to pay attention to now.

So what we are now left with in mainstream media is a mixture of stories that symbolize the end of the Bush era as well as the U.S. 's position as the world's #1 superpower. We see Russia moving forward in Georgia and Bush, Sec. Rice, Sec. Gates, and McCain invoking cold war rhetoric but with one major difference - no chance of any U.S./Russia armed conflict. We also are seeing images from the Olympics, probably the most symbolic effort of international cooperation (albeit marred in corruption, exploitation and cheating). The U.S. is not far behind China in the medals count, but it is interesting to note that while China's medals are mostly gold symbolizing quality (22/35), the U.S. only has 10 gold medals (10/34) and mostly bronze medals. So it's quality over quantity, and for China, it actually is both.

Finally the politics of fear is what really fueled a lot of the other Bush devastating policies. And while it seemed most people had finally smelled the coffee of manipulation, this election is going to reveal if the politics of fear may still hold the same power it did to elect Bush for a second term. Given the difficulties of the economy, the ongoing unpopular wars, and the poor approval rating of the current administration, a generic democrat beats a generic republican handedly. So why is the Obama v. McCain race so tight? Why does McCain still have a good chance to win? The politics of fear will dominate the rest of this campaign and although no one will ever admit it, the major factor will not be about Obama's experience; it will be about his race. The language will be coded but the politics of fear will be a test of white supremacy's saliency. If Obama loses, that will be the reason why without a doubt. This topic has been poorly covered in the media thus far, but here are a couple recent articles worth reading about the importance of race to this important race:

Op-Ed Columnist

Racism and the Race

Published: August 8, 2008

"The Elephant in the Room: Obama, the Left, and the Race Question."

by Malik Miah

This became another long post. I guess I could have split it up but instead of posting two or three new posts I just put it all here (lol). The analysis is long but the message is simple, and best said in this Bob Marley video:

Bob Marley War

That until the basic human rights are equally
Guaranteed to all, without regard to race
Dis a war

That until that day
The dream of lasting peace, world citizenship
Rule of international morality
Will remain in but a fleeting illusion
To be persued, but never attained
Now everywhere is war, war


Anonymous said...

Good post, very thought provoking.

If the politics of fear already dominate the presidential campaign they will no doubt continue if Obama gets elected. The economy and the war has dug a whole deep enough that it would be hard for anyone to climb out of. Nonetheless, any mistakes made by Obama will be taken to trial where race is found to be the culprit. On the one hand, people will be looking for him to redeem ideologies that lead to eugenics and the bell curve. And on the other hand, people who once romanticized the possibilities of him will be disappointed when the fairytale does not end so happily ever after.

My fear? Racist ideologies will always, always win. And for some, it is this white supremacy that is the natural law.


Tina said...

Thank you for taking the time to read my post and leave a comment. I think you definitely are right that for many, white supremacy is natural but I guess they need to believe that. So while we have to fight injustice and racist ideologies, I don't think they'll always win (although you may be very right that they will still be prominent for a long time to come). But I believe it is true what Bob Marley says at end of song "War": and we know we shall win, because we are confident in the victory of good over evil.

Anonymous said...

I personally think that its really all conservative and that Bush simply lacks the subtlety that former government leaders have to pull it all off


Tina said...

Thanks for taking the time to read the post and for the comment. Bush definitely lacks subtlety, no doubt. But although he claims to be conservative - and a compassionate one at that - he really is not...and "real" conservatives know that. He is much less interested in conservative ideals like less government, a balanced budget etc. and much more concerned with grand ideals like spreading "democracy", defeating terror, and expanding executive branch powers. Nothing conservative about his agenda although the administration has adopted the language of conservatives well. again, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

adrian said...

Great article. I found the most interesting statistic to be the one on how while 5% of people said they wouldn't vote for a black man for president, 19% said they knew someone who wouldn't. It seems to me like one of those people who call up a sex advice show with a problem their "friend" is having which is really sad. Not even willing to admit to it because they know how wrong it is, almost sadder on how it shows how ingrained it is (almost like a smoker unable to stop smoking)

I also really liked your comparison of China as a growing power in the world and it's medal wins in the Olympics. Even if the women gymnists are younger, they're doing it better, younger.

Not to mention the line "the importance of race to this important race" Is that an original? Either way, brilliant.

Tina said...

Thanks Adrian! Really appreciate your feedback and thoughts. I actually liked how i brought in the Olympics too (if I do say so Now that it's over, the numbers have changed and the U.S. ended with slightly more medals overall (110 to China's 100) but the U.S. medals were pretty evenly split between golds (36)/silvers(38)/bronzes(36). China still won more gold medals (51), and interestingly enough Russia finished third, so when we look at Russia and China as a power bloc, they blow U.S. out of the water. Hmmm. As far as the line about this important race, I was playing off the "Racism and the Race" article title...and it came to me from that...I thought it was pretty cool too :-) lol.