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June 08, 2011

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MarkO

Obama will be happy to read this.

Ignatz

Smash our enemies. Then:
If they were a backwater beforehand, leave because they will remain one despite our best efforts.
If they were fairly advanced there is considerable hope of them reverting to a less aggressive but still advanced state with a little help.

narciso

Another ' decent interval' Henry,

Danube of Thought

Meanwhile, Osama bin Laden is still dead:

(CNN) – President Barack Obama's overall approval rating has dropped below 50 percent as a growing number of Americans worry that the U.S. is likely to slip into another Great Depression within the next 12 months, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Wednesday also indicate that the economy overall remains issue number one to voters, with other economic issues - unemployment, gas prices and the federal deficit - taking three of the remaining four spots in the top five.

Ignatz

In the hopes of preventing TM from devoting an entire thread to this gibbering imbecile here is Flathead Friedman's latest bromide.
He outdoes even himself in today's Club of Rome, Paul Ehrlich we're-all-gonna-die stupidity.

BR

MarkO, exactly. Kissinger, the anti-American globalist still at it. Merging US forces, my foot!

BR

Sometimes I think HK only stays alive to make sure no one exposes him. (His WH records were moved to a Rockefeller vault, with the stipulation that they can only be seen fifty years after his death.)

narciso

I've 'seen him' betray too many allies, Vietnamese, Laotians, Cambodians, Chinese,
Indonesians, to find him so wise.

Danube of Thought

I wouldn't saddle HK with the betrayal of the Vietnamese. That honor belongs to the Democratic congress, which cut off all funding for the ARVN.

Marcia in Phoenix

OT but important:

Spirited, positive, and fascinating analysis of Palin by Rush right now; worth getting the entire transcript later. Rush is refudiating any rumor that Margaret Thatcher has dissed or is dissing Palin as "nuts." Rush says such an allegation is lies, distortion, as he has had an enduring relationship with Thatcher.

MarkO

And, after this it was Monica:


APRIL 22, 1973: THE PRESIDENT, H.R. "BOB" HALDEMAN, AND HENRY KISSINGER, 9:50--10:50 A.M., OVAL OFFICE.


PRESIDENT NIXON: Where is...where is that kike, Kissinger?

KISSINGER: I'm right here, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT NIXON: Oh...uh, Henry, good, I'm glad you're here...I want you to get down on your knees, Henry, and pray for me...I'm up shit creek without a paddle. I've got the damn Jew press on me like a "kick me" sign taped to my ass.

KISSINGER: Of course, Mr. President.

HALDEMAN: You can kneel over here, Henry.

MarkO

So, the Internet won't take the actual quote, in case someone doesn't know. Third try.


Soon after that, the much reported praying scene took place, and Nixon gives his recollection: "I told Kissinger that I realized that, like me, he was not one to wear his religion on his sleeve. On an impulse, I told him how every night, when I had finished working in the Lincoln sitting room, I would stop and kneel briefly and, following my mother's Quaker custom, pray silently for a few moments before going to bed. I asked him to pray with me now, and we knelt."

anduril

Most of what Kissinger has to say should be obvious to anyone with half a brain. Including this--we, as a nation have unfinished business:

In our national debate, the inconclusive effort was blamed on the diversion of resources to Iraq rather than on its inherent implausibility.

We as a nation need to clearly identify and punish the knuckleheads who foisted their inherently implausible policies off on the rest of us. We as a nation need to be sure that they never get their hands on the levers of policy again.

Now, Maguire seems to think he's reading Kissinger's mind:

However, as with North Korea, this is a neighborhood problem, not just a US problem:

...

And since it is partly their problem, they ought to be part of the solution:

...

Yes, but - once the US announces a firm deadline the Taliban can simply wait us out and run out the clock by playing its neighbors against each other.

I think Kissinger's idea is rather more subtle--or more devious--than that. OK, let's compromise on more realistic. Look at the words he uses:

...A partly regional, partly global diplomatic effort is needed to accompany direct negotiation with the Taliban. So long as America bears the primary burden, Afghanistan’s neighbors avoid difficult decisions. To the extent that U.S. postwar withdrawal is made explicit and inexorable, they will be obliged to take another look. The formal deadline established by NATO, the implicit Obama administration deadline and the public mood make it impossible to persist in an open-ended civil war. An immediate withdrawal largely for symbolic reasons would risk falling between all shoals. A multilateral diplomacy that defines a common international security interest proscribing terrorist training centers and terrorist infrastructure in Afghanistan should be undertaken urgently. To encourage this process, a deadline should be established for reaching a residual force — say, in 18 months to two years, with the major reductions coming at the end of the process. Should a reliable international enforcement mechanism emerge, the U.S. residual force can be merged into it. A regional conference is the only way a bilateral negotiation with the Taliban can be enforced. If the process proves in­trac­table, Afghanistan’s neighbors will eventually have to face the consequences of their abdication alone.

Maguire is using the language of moral obligation: Russia, China, Iran, India, Pakistan all ought to gladly help us bail our asses out. Presumably because they think we're good guys and have done them some favors in the past. But that's not exactly Kissinger's thinking. Kissinger is using the language of pressure, of forcing other nations to do things that they might not want to do, of confronting them with a situation that will compel their cooperation.

First of all, note that Kissinger leaves Pakistan out of the neighborly equation--and with good reason, since they are, have been and will remain the Taliban's allies. India is likely to remain on the front line of Islamist aggression. As a result, they will want our support and will have to take our requests seriously.

The remaining neighbors (China, Russia, Iran) all have various grievances against the US, resulting from our Afghan policy. China is heavily reliant on Iranian oil, for example. Russia and Iran both feel betrayed, since they both provided varying degrees of support for our excellent adventure, only to have the US consistently attempt to marginalize them and ignore their interests. Moral suasion is unlikely to work with them, and Kissinger knows that--which is why he speaks of putting them between a rock and a hard place, rather than appealing to their consciences.

Now, Maguire thinks the Taliban will be able to "simply run out the clock by playing its neighbors against each other." Good luck with that. Iran and Russia have long experience with the Afghan quagmire and their interests have far more in common with our own interests than do the interests of Pakistan--which makes our decision to cut them out as much as possible especially foolish. But there's also a big difference: we can withdraw; they can't. And the Taliban knows that, too. The Taliban knows Russia and Iran have some common interests in Afghanistan, especially since Russia is out of the empire building business. They also know that China will be inclined to seriously listen to Iranian and Russian concerns. Russia, India, China and Iran all know that supporting the Taliban offers them no benefit but that hanging together to pressure the Taliban does. The Taliban cannot count on these hardheaded customers being as stupid as the Bushie Administration was.

This is why Kissinger favors a "multilateral diplomacy." Yes, we can simply pull out, which would put maximum pressure on Russian and Iran, in particular, but would also risk leaving our interests unaddressed. OTOH, a multilateral diplomacy would hold out a significant carrot to Russia and Iran--US support in dealing with whatever situation emerges in Afghanistan once we leave. It would also open the door to further cooperation in other regional concerns.

fdcol63

@Ignatz at 11:47 AM:

Exactly. We need to re-evaluate the notion of "nation building", and engage in it after defeating the enemy only if they had a somewhat modernized, industrial society before we went in and there's some shred of hope that we can change the "hearts and minds" of the people by being nice afterwards. We should consider tribal cultures like Afghanistan as a lost cause.

The only benefit to remaining in Afghanistan at this point, IMHO, is to continue to kill as many Islamists as possible, gather intelligence, and to disrupt the Taliban and AQ as much as possible within Afghanistan from planning and conducting another 9/11 or worse.

But I see no real hope of convincing the majority of the Afghan people to become our "friends" or build a modern society that looks even remotely democratic.

ObeliskToucher

Another strategy for leaving Afghanistan is to use Karzai's next denunciation as the pretext for a "That's it... we're out of here, you kleptomaniac poseur!" speech and then promptly leave. Since it's unlikely that his administration will survive our departure *whenever it is*, no harm done.

sbw

So what is it that a Neocon believes in other than the flavor of the day?

And what does a nation have to do for the United Nations to consider it a failed state?

When will reality matter in either case?

Ralph L

I suspected Obama's surge would be a waste of lives and money. The American people might have supported a small, continuing commitment to attrit the crazies(t) and keep Al Queda out, but now most people are ready for us to leave, me among them.

Why do people fight so hard for such a worthless land and "country"?

Ignatz

--Most of what Kissinger has to say should be obvious to anyone with half a brain.--

No doubt you caught the gist instantly.

Those of us with a full tank quit listening to the old detente pushing chump some time ago.

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A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Wednesday also indicate that the economy overall remains issue number one to voters, with other economic issues - unemployment, gas prices and the federal deficit - taking three of the remaining four spots in the top five.

cathyf

You know, I have to compliment our custom jersey spammer for actually reading the site enough to post relatively intelligent commentary.

(Of course I'm still chicken to click on your link because I'm wondering what sort of trojan/virus/nasty awaits there!)

glasater

Since this thread seems to be winding down somewhat, I felt this speech worth mentioning:

Final Remarks of Geert Wilders at His Trial

I really appreciated the read and found it inspirational.

anduril

glasater, what Wilders is saying is precisely why I maintain that the US needs to stop allowing the immigration of Muslims--because their believes are inimical to the truths on which this nation was founded. It can be done, but it will require political courage.

I would have appreciated his words more if he had dared to attribute the phrase "the truth will set you free" properly.

anduril

Ugh. Beliefs.

daddy

Thanks for that link glasater.

Concur with your impressions. What a brave man is Wilders.

anduril

Outstanding read from John Kass: On race and crime in the City of Tribes.

glasater

Thanks daddy. I got the speech from this forum connected to Asia Times.

Found "Spengler" several years ago via a RCP link and have headed there from time to time to learn what is going on outside of the US.
He's basically a "money" guy but does have a religious philosophical side that can generate some healthy but good arguments at the link above.

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