Monday, November 22, 2010

A nation in decline

The truth is that the world looked upon the US, particularly Obama with a lot of hope and admiration. Two years of Obama have brought about a reality check. Do the neocons represent the views of most Americans? No. Were the neocons, the American Right and AIPAC able to wreak havoc on Ameircan politics including Foreign policy? Yes.
Is there an awareness that these minority groups have access to untold money and power and will continue to have outsize influence on all American policies including ones that lead them into wars? No.
Several areas of major weakness are appearing for the US.
1. An irresponsible media, far too intent on making money to worry about their duty to inform the public rather than to entertain them. This is more true of TV than print.
2. Two political parties far too intent on winning elections than doing the right thing. There is an absence of any long term thinking and short term sound bites rule the day.
3. The role of money in politics has meant every thing is purchaseable, the checks and balances of Democracy have been trampled by every one particularly the Corporate Sector and more particularly Wall Street.
4. A leadership gap is emerging showing that after Obama, the new leaders will be even weaker than him and some of them will make Bush look like an angel. The Democrats and Obama are betting heavily that History will repeat itself, the Republicans will shoot themselves in the foot and Obama will shift far enough to the right and bounce back for another term. Weak as he is Obama still represents some sanity before the lunatic fringe takes over.

All this sounds very pessimistic, but it is not uncommon for a nation in decline. Time will tell whether the actions that they take will slow their decline or accelerate it but key to this will be the leadership that they chose. For the next two years the die is cast

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Capitalism and Democracy

"Four years on, however, WikiLeaks' release of contemporary troop logs raises serious questions about who, exactly, was doing the lying.
One of the few absolute revelations from the Wikileaks documents is the extent to which Rumsfeld, then-U.S. commander Gen. George Casey, and others had access to ample information from unimpeachable sources -- their own troops on the ground in Iraq -- regarding how badly events had turned in Iraq by 2006, but nonetheless denied a surge in killing to reporters and the U.S. public. "

To this day, the only justification for removing Saddam that is given is that he was an evil man and removing him was worth destroying Iraq for. The fact is that the result of removing Saddam has been, apart from destroying Iraq's infrastructure and making its people refugees, handing Iraq over to Iran sympathetic Shias. I am not saying that this is good or bad, just that this was the last thing on the minds of Rumsfeld, Cheyne, Wolfowitz and the Saudis. In fact if they could think of the worst possible outcome of the Iraq war, this would have been it.
Wikileaks proves something we already know that these people were cheats and liars and together with the the collusion of an inept media misled the American Public for years and years. In fact so geat was the deception that Bush won a second term as President. We also know something else that no one talks about, that the American public or its leaders or the media have learnt nothing from this fiasco. Everyone is locked into a makebelieve world of American superiority and invulnerabilty. As we prepare for mid term elections, no one is focussed on the lying, cheating thugs that we have been electing as our representatives, In fact all indications are that the new breed will be much worse than the previous one. This is not so much a failure of Democracy as the failure of the lethal combination of a Capitalist dominated Democracy.
For better or worse, the Chinese have chosen Capitalism over Democracy while the Indians are following the US model. The Europeans have long shied away from selling their souls to Capitalism. At no time has the world needed more ideas than now as to what is the better form of governance and what is the better form of economic management.