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RUNNING THE WORLD February 19, 2011

Posted by wmmbb in US Politics.

Running a world-wide empire is not easy. This is especially so, in the wake and the continued determination of the Egyptians as witnessed on Friday to hold to a democratic future.

What the Libyans and Bahraini oligarchs are finding is that violence exercised on mass and in public view critically weakens them. So some of the wheels are falling off the chariots. And then there are rumblings at home – who knows where that might lead.

Hypocrisy and lies are the stock in trade of the program. So it is a little unfair to call the US President and public official, head of one of the three co-equal arms of government that balance against each other, a hollow man. He is far from that. Remember, he is working hard to secure the financial resources to ensure his election, and certain concessions have to be made but that is the way of the world. Look how well the president sailed through all the problems of the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. Now there will be talks after ten years with the resistance in Afghanistan, and the leader of the NATO forces will be rotated (in one of the fastest rotations ever), despite the latest NIE, things must be looking up. I know the Secretary – real or otherwise (reference: The Day the World Stood Still) – stumbled over her words when she said some about you could not kill all the enemy – but that happens.

ABC News Online reported:

Ms Clinton said the surge in US-led troops over the past year was part of a strategy to “split the weakened Taliban off from Al Qaeda and reconcile those who will renounce violence and accept the Afghan constitution.”

“I know there are some on Capitol Hill and elsewhere who question whether we need anything more than guns, bombs and troops to achieve our goals in Afghanistan,” she said.

“As our commanders on the ground will be the first to say, that is a short-sighted and ultimately self-defeating view. We will never kill enough insurgents to end this war outright.”

When you are running the world, it is helpful to have some supporters. Sometimes this can not be arranged. Is that people are not taking US dollars as they once were? Where the rubber meets the road, despite the numbers in the Security Council, there was still the exercise of the veto to protect the Israeli settlements on Palestinian land, the fact of 14-1 vote notwithstanding.

So it is not just running the world which can be outsourced to the Corporations, it is also running the country which strangely is becoming more difficult, and beyond those considerations the cash flow necessary to secure re-election has to be secured. Everybody is becoming more difficult.


Questions related to the US budgets, their deficits, and the drag of military spending, is part of the the debate at Left, Right and Center. There is discussion on the rights and wrongs of attacking the public sector remuneration in Wisconsin. Just on the question of the US naval base at Bahrain, what happens if it goes, given there is a chance the democratic movement may change the government of Iran and let us assume Saudi Arabia, and in the light of the fact that the US is not as dependent on Middle East oil as Europe? Why is the assumption made that those economic activities that arise from common good contentions, less important that the for profit activities of the private sector. I think that social ends ought to the test of economic activity. For example take the case of leaving world food prices to market mechanisms, and then it is not unexpected to see what happens if profit is the operating principle. This type of economics is rocket science but it not new rocket science.

The determination of the Egyptians has been, I suggest, surpassed by that of the Bahranis. Paul Woodward at War in Context quotes the bundled twitters of Nicholas Kristof in the context based on reports from the hospital that the army had been shooting at people’s heads, and when they retired, the police continued firing tear gas:

Pearl Roundabout, scene of such tragedy, now is again center of jubilation, cheering and honking. I don’t see any police/ Wow! I’m awed to watch the courage of Bahrainis. Such guts. And it worked: they have reclaimed a place stained with blood/ Delirious joy in #Bahrain “Martyrs’ Roundabout,” as it’s now called. People kissing ground. But the firecrackers make me jump/ Congrats to #Bahrain crown prince, presumably responsible for decision not to shoot protesters today. Hope he prevails/ People Power, 1; King, 0, in #Bahrain. But it’s not over yet. Lots of small children in roundabout. Let’s pray army doesn’t attack/ People still pouring into “Martyrs’ Roundabout” from every direction, say they won’t leave. Mixed views on whether attack will come.

Gideon Levy at Ha’aretz argues that the US veto authorized by Barack Obama at the time when the Arab World is undergoing a democratic revolution is contrary to the interests of Israel. Then again Obama sees these things in terms of the domestic agenda, the need to assuage AIPAC, and finally the maintenance of the Empire, going to illustrate that the democratic revolutions, yet to be fully realized, throughout North Africa and the Middle East are game changers for international politics.
Gideon Levy writes:

We can’t wrap ourselves in this hollow iron dome forever. We must open our eyes and understand that if no country, aside from weakening America, supports this caprice of ours, then something fundamental is wrong here.



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