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johnm33

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ggelsrinc

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #51 on: November 15, 2013, 01:50:07 AM »
In my opinion, America doesn't have an empire, but it has a responsibility to the world. America isn't the whole world, but the people who have power in the whole world have a responsibility to protect it. I'm just a minor player in that process.

JimD

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #52 on: November 15, 2013, 04:57:44 PM »
I saw this and thought of this thread http://www.examiner.com/article/if-the-us-was-attacked-by-a-criminal-empire-analogy-to-confront-us-iran-history


Johnm33,

Without question if any country had treated the US in a manner that the US has treated Iran America would erase it from the face of the earth.

This is one of the great ignorances of the American public.  That the Iranians hatred, mistrust, fear and contempt of the US is justified.  The US deserves to be hated by the Iranians.  We earned it.

But, that is not going to change our strategic position in the middle east.  Our empire has needs (along with the needs of our allies) which preclude treating the Iranians as anything but adversaries.  The Iranians were a colony of the Western powers essentially from the discovery of large amounts of oil until the revolution in 79.  Since then they have been struggling to maintain their freedom and trying to figure out how to protect themselves.  The western powers, most notably the US, have not yet given up on regaining control.  Time is not really on the Iranians side in this struggle as they were one of the first major areas of oil production and most of their resources are depleted.  They must diversify their economy and find other ways of generating income as that from oil and gas declines.   

If Americans were under the type of threats that the Iranians are we would stop at nothing o build nuclear weapons.  Oh, wait, that is exactly what we did.  If I were an Iranian the only way you would stop me from building nuclear weapons would be to invade, take over my country and kill me.  Having the Israeli's or American bombers fly by and flatten a few buildings or keep assassinating my nuclear scientists (as we have been doing for years) would only prove to me the need to finish building those weapons as fast as I can.

America especially, and our main allies to some extent, are not going to stop stripping resources from weaker countries as doing so is essential to maintaining the American, and their, way of life.  The high one gets from consuming 25% of the worlds resources while having 4% of the world's population makes the kick of crack cocaine equivalent to a cup of decaffeinated coffee.

Speaking of which, it is time for another cup.   
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #53 on: November 18, 2013, 09:37:11 PM »
It looks like we are on the cusp of a critical stage of the Syrian civil war and it does not look like Assad is going to lose any time soon or maybe at all.

The regime forces are on the offensive and pretty much rolling up the rebels at this time.  It appears that the government has set its sights on retaking the parts of Aleppo it lost to the rebels.  A number of towns on the periphery of Aleppo have been retaken from the rebels as well as a critical military base.

In a recent attack the Syrians killed the leader of the main moderate rebel group as well as one of its other top 2 leaders.  As the commander of this group was credited with partly successful efforts to get the Al-Qaeda rebels to cooperate with the more secular rebels his death will likely result in further conflict between rebel groups.

The decline of the rebel cause can be attributed to several factors; one is the importation of Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon and Revolutionary Guards from Iran whose fighting ability is tops in the conflict; two is that the Kurds have joined the conflict in strength and are attacking the Al-Qaeda rebel groups as they recognize that they have no future in a rebel controlled country ran by Sunni extremists.  Plus they have likely decided it is time to go with the winning side to obtain some sort of concessions for their support to the regime (might not get much there).  It is also possible that they are shooting for autonomy as similar to what the Kurds have in Iraq (Kurdish autonomy is the trigger for another big conflict as the Turks, Iraqi's and Iranians are opposed to a Kurdish state and will fight its creation).  The Kurds now control extensive territory and are being supported by Kurds from Iraq;  three, the infighting between the secular rebel groups and the much more fierce Al-Qaeda groups is seriously depleting their forces.  They are killing significant numbers of each others forces thus putting the rebel groups in the position of fighting three different adversaries. Not a winning combination; lastly the Turks have significantly shut down the flow of arms through their territory to the rebel groups and this will significantly degrade their fighting ability as time goes on.  And having the Russians holding the fort on the diplomatic front does not hurt either.

Should Assad's forces recapture Aleppo it will not end the civil war, but it will be a crushing defeat for the rebels and one very difficult to recover from.  And at that point it will be very difficult for the rebels to again mass the support needed to win even if the fighting goes on for years, as one should expect to happen.

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2013/nov/18/ml-syria-kurdish-gains/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-24984365
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

ggelsrinc

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #54 on: November 19, 2013, 02:37:19 AM »
I saw this and thought of this thread http://www.examiner.com/article/if-the-us-was-attacked-by-a-criminal-empire-analogy-to-confront-us-iran-history


Johnm33,

Without question if any country had treated the US in a manner that the US has treated Iran America would erase it from the face of the earth.

This is one of the great ignorances of the American public.  That the Iranians hatred, mistrust, fear and contempt of the US is justified.  The US deserves to be hated by the Iranians.  We earned it.

But, that is not going to change our strategic position in the middle east.  Our empire has needs (along with the needs of our allies) which preclude treating the Iranians as anything but adversaries.  The Iranians were a colony of the Western powers essentially from the discovery of large amounts of oil until the revolution in 79.  Since then they have been struggling to maintain their freedom and trying to figure out how to protect themselves.  The western powers, most notably the US, have not yet given up on regaining control.  Time is not really on the Iranians side in this struggle as they were one of the first major areas of oil production and most of their resources are depleted.  They must diversify their economy and find other ways of generating income as that from oil and gas declines.   

If Americans were under the type of threats that the Iranians are we would stop at nothing o build nuclear weapons.  Oh, wait, that is exactly what we did.  If I were an Iranian the only way you would stop me from building nuclear weapons would be to invade, take over my country and kill me.  Having the Israeli's or American bombers fly by and flatten a few buildings or keep assassinating my nuclear scientists (as we have been doing for years) would only prove to me the need to finish building those weapons as fast as I can.

America especially, and our main allies to some extent, are not going to stop stripping resources from weaker countries as doing so is essential to maintaining the American, and their, way of life.  The high one gets from consuming 25% of the worlds resources while having 4% of the world's population makes the kick of crack cocaine equivalent to a cup of decaffeinated coffee.

Speaking of which, it is time for another cup.


Do you bother to study history, like the history of Iran? I've studied it from it's ancient history and all the way up to it's modern history, because it's a fascinating place with fascinating people. Since your focus tends to be around the US and Iran, go to wiki and read the recent history since WWI!

You say:

Without question if any country had treated the US in a manner that the US has treated Iran America would erase it from the face of the earth.

This is one of the great ignorances of the American public.  That the Iranians hatred, mistrust, fear and contempt of the US is justified.  The US deserves to be hated by the Iranians.  We earned it.


So give specific examples! Include in your examples the history of all the assassinations prior to the Shah! Include the history of who exactly discovered crude oil in Iran and what benefit it was to the Iranians when discovered by foreign corporations! Spell the whole story out in details from encyclopedias!

The Iranians were a colony of the Western powers essentially from the discovery of large amounts of oil until the revolution in 79.  Since then they have been struggling to maintain their freedom and trying to figure out how to protect themselves.


Explain how attacking an embassy and taking hostages was protecting themselves from America! Embassies aren't sovereign territory of the nation where they are located, so how is attacking a stronger foreign power's embassy protecting yourself?

By the way, the US wasn't even a player when oil was discovered in that area and again, why is it trade is viewed as one a way street from certain people's perspective with any commodity from crude oil to bananas? Why isn't it in the interest of a nation to trade the resources they have an abundance of, for things they don't have an abundance of? It isn't practical to make everything wanted locally in our world.

You say and let's try some easy ones:

keep assassinating my nuclear scientists (as we have been doing for years)


There is no government in this world claiming that, so prove the US assassinated Iran's nuclear scientists, because you have accused the US of doing it.

You say:

America especially, and our main allies to some extent, are not going to stop stripping resources from weaker countries as doing so is essential to maintaining the American, and their, way of life.  The high one gets from consuming 25% of the worlds resources while having 4% of the world's population


Prove that statement to be true and include definitions of resources and consumption! Materials destined for trade aren't consumed, nor is the energy required to make the product. The consumer is the people getting the product, not making it or the nation that makes it. The production costs shouldn't be considered as consumption in an area not consuming the product. When the consumer purchases a product or service, that cost represents everything that went into making it possible, regardless of who was involved in doing it. When you get that good at bookkeeping, let me know!

The US trades with nations and if I had my way, we wouldn't be trading in our free trade manner and would require fair trade standards to not cut the American people short. The US is not pigging down a quarter of the world's resources and it's ridiculous to claim they are.

 


Bruce Steele

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #55 on: November 19, 2013, 04:29:48 AM »

ggelsrinc

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #56 on: November 19, 2013, 08:01:50 AM »
29% of all Co2 emissions in the last 150 years . Nothing to brag about

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2009/06/01/204179/us-responsible-for-29-of-carbon-dioxide-emissions-over-past-150-years-triple-chinas-share/


When America was producing cotton, tobacco and cod, were they consuming it? When America was supplying the world with steel following WWII, because all the steel mills were bombed elsewhere, was America consuming the steel? Consumers consume, so is that too hard to understand? Coal exported from America is not consumed by us.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #57 on: November 19, 2013, 09:18:46 AM »
Consuming it?
Consuming the
Consumers consume,
Is that to hard to understand?
   ( no I think I got it )
Consumed by US

ggelsrinc

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #58 on: November 19, 2013, 10:25:21 AM »
Consuming it?
Consuming the
Consumers consume,
Is that to hard to understand?
   ( no I think I got it )
Consumed by US

Then post evidence America consumes 25% of the world's resources and has only 4% of it's population! That is the discussion and what equation needs to be established to rate nations for their carbon emissions.

The consumer consumes the product or service and all costs related to it, even if manufactured and transported from abroad. Is that too hard to understand? 

TerryM

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #59 on: November 19, 2013, 03:46:30 PM »
gg


If we used your method and absolved carbon emitters who are producing for export wouldn't that direct all the tar sands CO2 into the US ledger - that's a heavy load for the country. It also seems as though those countries with a positive balance of trade would benefit from your calculation while those with a negative balance would be responsible for more emissions. The US wouldn't do too well that way, but China would certainly be found blameless.
Terry

ggelsrinc

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #60 on: November 19, 2013, 04:20:38 PM »
gg


If we used your method and absolved carbon emitters who are producing for export wouldn't that direct all the tar sands CO2 into the US ledger - that's a heavy load for the country. It also seems as though those countries with a positive balance of trade would benefit from your calculation while those with a negative balance would be responsible for more emissions. The US wouldn't do too well that way, but China would certainly be found blameless.
Terry


Have you seen the pipeline plans for those tar sands in Canada? Do you think they are going only to the US?



The US is stupid for having a trade imbalance, but the idea of charging a nation for providing resources to other nations in the world is equally as stupid. The US does not consume 25% of the world's resources and resources are anything, including the costs to move them to the consumer. Even the wealth gathered during the process is a resource, so who is making the money? Trade imbalances are based on currency exchanges, but consumption is based on the use of a certain mass of a material when discussing resources. Trade is negotiated between nations by agreement, so if it turns sour, stop agreeing to trade. Trade should benefit both nations or it isn't good trade.

JimD

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #61 on: November 19, 2013, 07:29:19 PM »
Within 3 minutes on Google I found 5 sources on US resource consumption which put the US share at 23-25% of global.  US population is currently 4.3% of global.

..Do you bother to study history, like the history of Iran? I've studied it from it's ancient history and all the way up to it's modern history, because it's a fascinating place with fascinating people. Since your focus tends to be around the US and Iran, go to wiki and read the recent history since WWI!...


Really?  I mean, Really?!

Well then let's just limit ourselves to Wiki.  But we'll push your date back to the beginning of colonialism in the 1700's as that is when the colonial empires of the British and Russians started showing up.

There were 4 main Russo-Persian wars in the 18th & 19th centuries.  And the Anglo-Persian war in the 1850's.  Britain was primarily, at that time, interested in protecting trade routes to India.  Once established in Iran (we are talking late 1800's now) Britain, through the process of bribing local rulers who did not want to lose power, began the process of granting exclusive commercial rights to British companies to establish banks, print currency, explore for minerals, run transit lines and even grow tobacco (standard colonial mechanisms backed up by the British military).  Significant territories were lost in these conflicts never to be recovered.

One of these companies (a forerunner to BP) discovered oil in 1908.  In 1913, the British government maneuvered its way to a contract under which all Iranian oil became its property. Six years later it imposed an “agreement” that gave it control of Iran’s army and treasury. 

The Russians occupied northern Iran in 1911 and the British occupied western Iran during WWI.

In 1921 Reza Khan, the former general of the Russian controlled Persian-Cossack Brigade overthrew the Iranian government and became the Shah. The British then withdrew their troops (the colonial man is now in charge).

In 1941 the Russians and British reoccupied the country (just securing the oil resources you know) and replaced the Shah with his son Reza Pahlavi.  He retained absolute power (within the guidelines of being a ruler of a colony) until there were, lo and behold, democratic elections for a Prime Minister in 1951 when Mohammad Mosaddegh was elected.

Mosadegh was a reformer and a nationalist (not something a colonial power was going to be fond of).  Amongst the many reforms he instituted was the nationalization of the Anglo-Persian oil company.  As you might imagine this did not go down well with the British (and the Americans who were in the process of picking up responsibilities for many British colonies as this was the time of British retrenchment following WWII).  So, big surprise, the British and Americans decided that Mosaddegh must be a communist (sound familiar).  So, true to form, Mosaddegh was overthrown in a coup orchestrated by the CIA and MI6 in 1953 known as Operation Ajax. The US (via the CIA) became the prime colonial power at this point and the Shah was reinstated in power.

.. In August 2013 the CIA formally admitted that it was involved in both the planning and the execution of the coup, including the bribing of Iranian politicians, security and army high-ranking officials, as well as pro-coup propaganda.[11][12] The CIA is quoted acknowledging the coup was carried out "under CIA direction" and "as an act of U.S. foreign policy, conceived and approved at the highest levels of government."..


Not wishing to make that same democratic mistake twice the Shah, with the training and assistance of the CIA and the US State Dept, instituted absolute control over the country via his security service (SAVAK) and the military.  The CIA was directly involved in training the SAVAK which was infamous for its use of torture and assassination of anyone who might be a dissident.  Besides picking up the benefits of profiting from the Iranian oil concessions the US thus gained a great location for placing listening posts along the southern border of the Soviet Union which were staffed by CIA personnel.

Of note, and something which helps explain why the Iranians are not very friendly with the Israelis, is that in the 1960's training of the SAVAK shifted from the CIA to the Mossad who not only performed training but conducted joint operations with SAVAK.

The Ayatollah Khomeini, started out as a religious nationalist opponent of dictatorship in the 1950's.  He was eventually imprisoned in the early 1960's (by the CIA trained SAVAK), eventually released and fled into exile. You can imagine what he thought of the US.  One of his prime complaints about the US was our insisting that US military personnel be exempt from local courts when they committed crimes (sound familiar?).

In 1979 the country erupted in revolution and overthrew the Shah and Khomeini came into power.  The US Embassy hostage crises ensued.  CIA and State Dept personnel in other parts of the country fled via various escape routes, some with Canadian help, some by crossing the border into the Soviet Union, and others by hiking cross country out of the country. (this is from personal knowledge).

In 1980, with backroom support by the US and Saudi Arabia, Iraq invaded Iran with the goal of occupying territories and as a means to lessen the threat of Shia influence in Iraq and Saudi Arabia.  This war was the longest conventional war of the 20th century and resulted in as many as 1 million Iranian dead, including as many as 100,000 child soldiers (who were used to clear paths through the Iraqi mine fields for the assault troops during mass attacks - just like WWI in a sense - I have looked through folders of pictures of the carnage following such attacks.  Unforgettable).  During this war the US facilitated the shipment of large amounts of arms to the Iraqi's to include chemical weapons used on Iranian troops.  US intelligence provided satellite overhead information on Iranian troop placements to help the Iraqi's use the chemical weapons to effect.  Additionally the Saudi's, with US urging, shifted many billions of dollars to the Iraqi's to help fund the war.

In 1987 in a desperate attempt to end the war the Iranians attempted to close the Persian Gulf to oil tanker traffic and thus starve the Iraqi's of revenue.  Note that at this time the Iranian Air Force was smaller than the complement of a US aircraft carrier.  Iraq at this time was receiving aircraft and parts from the Russians, training and repair expertise from the French and the US navy was providing tactical intelligence on Iranian assets and their locations to help Iraqi targeting of Iranian ships and facilities.  Though badly outgunned the Iranians held their own.   Tanker attacks by both the Iranians and Iraqi's continued for some time until the Kuwaiti's asked the US to reflag their tankers as US vessels. This resulted in the US Navy becoming directly involved in the conflict via operation Earnest Will which was the naval escort of US flagged Kuwaiti vessels.  Iran subsequently sank two of these vessels and not long after the US shot down a civilian Iranian airliner killing all some 250 persons aboard.

...On 24 September, US Navy SEALS captured the Iranian mine-laying ship Iran Ajr, a diplomatic disaster for the already isolated Iranians. On 8 October, the US Navy destroyed four Iranian speedboats, and in response to Iranian Silkworm missile attacks on Kuwaiti oil tankers launched Operation Nimble Archer, destroying two Iranian oil rigs in the Persian Gulf.[35] During November and December, the Iraqi air force launched a bid to destroy all Iranian airbases in Khuzestan and all remaining Iranian air force. However, Iran managed to shoot down 30 Iraqi fighters with their jets, anti-aircraft guns, and missiles, allowing the Iranian air force to survive to the end of the war.[35]

 Bodies of Iranian students killed in an Iraqi Bomber Attack on a school in Borujerd, 10 January 1987.
On 28 June, Iraqi fighter bombers attacked the Iranian town of Sardasht near the border, using chemical mustard gas bombs. While many towns and cities had been bombed before, and troops attacked with gas, this was the first time that the Iraqis had attacked a civilian area with poison gas.[129] One quarter of the town's then population of 20,000 was burned and stricken, and 113 were killed immediately, with many more dying and suffering health effects over the next decades.[117] Saddam ordered the attack in order to test the effects of the newly developed "dusty mustard" gas, which was designed to be even more crippling than traditional mustard gas, in addition to the area for suspected Kurdish rebels. While little known outside of Iran (unlike the later Halabja poison gas attack), the Sardasht bombing (and future similar attacks) had a tremendous effect on the Iranian people's psyche....


Following the 1979  revolution the US imposed sanctions on the Iranians and has orchestrated a series of sanctions since via various means.  The original sanctions were upgraded in 1996 and UN sanctions were imposed 8 different times.

Now most of the sanctions in recent years are related to the Iranian nuclear program.  We will set aside the arguments about whether the Iranians are justified in attempting to build nuclear weapons (though you know if we were in their position we would not take no for an answer).  Let's just look at its history for a moment (I'll highlight a few items in bold).

The nuclear program of Iran was launched in the 1950s with the help of the United States as part of the Atoms for Peace program.[1] The participation of the United States and Western European governments in Iran's nuclear program continued until the 1979 Iranian Revolution that toppled the Shah of Iran.[2]

After the 1979 revolution, a clandestine nuclear weapons research program was disbanded by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (1902-1989), who considered such weapons forbidden under Muslim ethics and jurisprudence.[3]Iran has signed treaties repudiating the possession of weapons of mass destruction including the Biological Weapons Convention,[4] the Chemical Weapons Convention,[5] and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).[6]...


Note that a clandestine nuclear weapons program during the time of the Shah could not have been conducted without US/Israeli knowledge and likely US assistance. 

..Iran's first nuclear power plant, Bushehr I reactor was complete with major assistance of Russian government agency Rosatom and officially opened on 12 September 2011.[8] Iran has announced that it is working on a new 360 MW nuclear power plant to be located in Darkhovin. The Russian engineering contractor Atomenergoprom said the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant would reach full capacity by the end of 2012.[9] Iran has also indicated that it will seek more medium-sized nuclear power plants and uranium mines in the future.[10]

In a 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, the United States Intelligence Community assessed that Iran had ended all "nuclear weapon design and weaponization work" in 2003.[11] In 2012, U.S. intelligence agencies reported that Iran was pursuing research that could enable it to produce nuclear weapons, but was not attempting to do so.[12]

In November 2011, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors criticized Iran after an IAEA report concluded that before 2003 Iran likely had undertaken research and experiments geared to developing a nuclear weapons capability.[13] The IAEA report details allegations that Iran conducted studies related to nuclear weapons design, including detonator development, the multiple-point initiation of high explosives, and experiments involving nuclear payload integration into a missile delivery vehicle.[14] A number of Western nuclear experts have stated there was very little new in the report, that it primarily concerned Iranian activities prior to 2003,[15] and that media reports exaggerated its significance.[16]...


Over the years there have been a number or Iranian nuclear scientists assassinated.

Attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists

In a January 2012 article in Salon magazine, Glenn Greenwald noted the killing of at least five Iranian nuclear scientists during 2010 and 2011, by unknown attackers, with no apparent outcry in the Western media.[355]

According to Iran, and privately confirmed by unnamed U.S. government officials, the attacks on the nuclear scientists and facilities are being carried out by an Iranian dissident group called the People's Mujahedin of Iran. According to the officials, the group is financed, trained, and armed by Mossad.[356]...


I suggest reading the entire page on their nuclear program as one can see the effect of government influence on media reporting and that this is a complicated story.  And one might keep in mind US insistence on Iraqi WMD efforts when the IAEA found the opposite and who ended up right.  Credibility means something.  Just because if we the US were in their position we would build weapons does not mean that they are doing so (though it makes some strategic sense for them to do so).  Though I am not a big fan of nuclear power they do have the same justifications for developing a nuclear power industry as do dozens of other countries.  Their oil resources are depleting and they need to transition away from a total reliance on such resources.

In 2010 the Iranian nuclear program was hit by the most sophisticated computer virus seen to date in the world.  Many reports have indicated that development of this virus required tens of millions of dollars and the work of an extremely large staff of computer experts thus making it certain that it was government sponsored.  This virus did extensive damage to their centrifuges.

Stuxnet is a computer worm discovered in June 2010 that is believed to have been created by United States and Israel agencies to attack Iran's nuclear facilities.[1] Stuxnet initially spreads via Microsoft Windows, and targets Siemens industrial control systems. While it is not the first time that hackers have targeted industrial systems,[2] it is the first discovered malware that spies on and subverts industrial systems,[3] and the first to include a programmable logic controller (PLC) rootkit.[4][5]...


..In May 2011, the PBS program Need To Know cited a statement by Gary Samore, White House Coordinator for Arms Control and Weapons of Mass Destruction, in which he said, "we're glad they [the Iranians] are having trouble with their centrifuge machine and that we – the US and its allies – are doing everything we can to make sure that we complicate matters for them", offering "winking acknowledgement" of US involvement in Stuxnet.[22] According to The Daily Telegraph, a showreel that was played at a retirement party for the head of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Gabi Ashkenazi, included references to Stuxnet as one of his operational successes as the IDF chief of staff.[19]...

..On 1 June 2012, an article in The New York Times said that Stuxnet is part of a U.S. and Israeli intelligence operation called "Operation Olympic Games", started under President George W. Bush and expanded under President Barack Obama.[23]

On 24 July 2012, an article by Chris Matyszczyk from cnet[24] reported how the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran e-mailed F-Secure's chief research officer Mikko Hyppönen to report a new instance of malware.

On 25 December 2012, an Iranian semi-official news agency announced there was a cyberattack by Stuxnet, this time on the industries in the southern area of the country. The virus targeted a power plant and some other industries in Hormozgan province in recent months.[25]
...


So where does this leave us?  Do the Iranians have reason to dislike, distrust and fear the United States and its allies or not?  To hate us or not?  To hold us in contempt or not?

Do we really have any reason to fear them, to hate them?  To think that they are any threat to our national security?  Or are we just being bitchy because we lost control of the place? 

I say the case is closed.







http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Persian_War

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russo-Persian_Wars

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Persian_Oil_Company

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammad_Mosaddegh

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1953_Iranian_coup_d%27%C3%A9tat

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAVAK

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruhollah_Khomeini#Early_political_activity

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran%E2%80%93Iraq_War

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanctions_against_Iran

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_and_Libya_Sanctions_Act

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_program_of_Iran

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuxnet





We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

ggelsrinc

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #62 on: November 19, 2013, 07:38:29 PM »
Resources are everything, so try again!

In 1941 the Russians and British reoccupied the country

It's called war and the Nazis were there trying to get resources for war. Is that too hard to figure out?
« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 08:08:56 PM by ggelsrinc »

JimD

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #63 on: November 21, 2013, 05:08:12 PM »
Another interesting read on the internal stresses in America.

Complex human societies, including our own, are fragile. They are held together by an invisible web of mutual trust and social cooperation. This web can fray easily, resulting in a wave of political instability, internal conflict and, sometimes, outright social collapse.

Analysis of past societies shows that these destabilizing historical trends develop slowly, last many decades, and are slow to subside. The Roman Empire, Imperial China and medieval and early-modern England and France suffered such cycles, to cite a few examples. In the U.S., the last long period of instability began in the 1850s and lasted through the Gilded Age and the “violent 1910s.”

We now see the same forces in the contemporary U.S. Of about 30 detailed indicators I developed for tracing these historical cycles (reflecting popular well-being, inequality, social cooperation and its inverse, polarization and conflict), almost all have been moving in the wrong direction in the last three decades.
....


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-20/blame-rich-overeducated-elites-as-our-society-frays.html
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

johnm33

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #64 on: November 21, 2013, 11:43:06 PM »
Long read but the introduction is very interesting, how a critique became a guide, to Empire.
http://www.soilandhealth.org/03sov/0303critic/030317hudson/superimperialism.pdf

JimD

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #65 on: November 22, 2013, 01:00:51 AM »
johnm33

Excellent read (I read the first 40 pages).  I urge others who find this subject interesting to work through the intro as well.  It is very instructive.

Contemplate for a time what might happen if the faction in US politics who want to reinstitute the gold standard got their way.  Also what would happen if the rest of the world cooperated (and could overcome US resistance) and replaced the dollar as the global reserve currency.

I expect that the US can maintain the current system for quite some time into the future.  But we are hollowing out and it seems certain to break down at some point.  What can/will it evolve into and what level of control of the world economy would be left in the control of the US.  All this has big implications for how well (or if at all) the world ends up dealing climate change and the eventual collapse.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

TerryM

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #66 on: November 22, 2013, 05:48:36 PM »
johnm33

Excellent read (I read the first 40 pages).  I urge others who find this subject interesting to work through the intro as well.  It is very instructive.

Contemplate for a time what might happen if the faction in US politics who want to reinstitute the gold standard got their way.  Also what would happen if the rest of the world cooperated (and could overcome US resistance) and replaced the dollar as the global reserve currency.

I expect that the US can maintain the current system for quite some time into the future.  But we are hollowing out and it seems certain to break down at some point.  What can/will it evolve into and what level of control of the world economy would be left in the control of the US.  All this has big implications for how well (or if at all) the world ends up dealing climate change and the eventual collapse.
Agree that this is a must read for anyone trying to understand the absurdity witnessed as US debt increases while interest rates stay in the cellar. Canada managed to avoid an IMF bailout a few decades ago thanks to policies put in place by Paul Martin prior to him becoming PM. As long as the world can be coerced into buying American debt I don't see a way out.
If other governments are financing American excesses & these excesses are spent in part on armaments designed to assure the compliance of these governments how is the circle ever broken?
Terry

JackTaylor

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #67 on: November 22, 2013, 10:26:49 PM »
TerryM
how is the circle ever broken?
Best question I've heard in a long time.

A theoretical simple answer:
When USA Federal Spending (budget) runs less than 90% (or less) of Income (tax receipts) for ten years.
Not that I expect to see it happen.
Too many other countries could collapse well before USA.
Are we the biggest (consumers) supporters of the economies buying USA debt?

Yes it is a BIG CIRCLE.



wili

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #68 on: November 23, 2013, 12:51:17 AM »
"Cluster..." is another phrase that comes to mind.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #69 on: November 23, 2013, 05:39:28 AM »
If other governments are financing American excesses & these excesses are spent in part on armaments designed to assure the compliance of these governments how is the circle ever broken?
Terry

I think the answer there is simple - it breaks when China decides it's time to break it. American capacity for coercion is pretty limited looking at the military history of the US. China seems to be playing a clever enough game to succeed.

ggelsrinc

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #70 on: November 23, 2013, 08:42:50 AM »
"........propaganda" is the phrase that comes to my mind.

Simply looking back on the times since WWII reveals who was trying to create an empire and who was opposing that effort. Communist nations created areas that only succeeded by stop being Communist. Making that connection to empire is rather complicated for some people, especially when the Communists say their aim is to conquer the world. Can someone explain how the Soviet Union became Russia again or when Russia returns islands captured at the end of WWII to Japan? Can someone explain why anti-ballistic missile systems are so opposed in a world with ballistic missiles?

America hasn't built an empire for itself and has built a reputation of opposing empires. All the sour grapes in the world can't change reality.

wili

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #71 on: November 23, 2013, 03:57:19 PM »
Quite instructive to have a specimen of the result of said propaganda with us.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

TerryM

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #72 on: November 23, 2013, 09:00:24 PM »
I'd pushed on into the WW1 chapter but think I'll go back again to the intro. There are so many questions that I still have re. that section that drowning in additional material probably isn't productive at this time.
When other nations are paying America's debts why would we expect anything other than a continuation of fiscal policies that would ruin any other country. If this analysis is correct the only country that could afford the large capital outlays needed to confront sea level rise around the world may be the US. If so convincing American lawmakers that climate change needs to be dealt with is of extreme importance.
A friend has bet heavily against the American Dollar because of the debt increases seen since 2000. I'm going to send her a copy of this article as she may want to at least hedge her position.
Terry

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #73 on: November 24, 2013, 02:07:44 AM »
This post is sort of on topic (at least at the end) and could just as easily be in the topic on Why some deny and others fail to act.

We have exchanged a lot of posts in various topics which refer to and relate to the difficulties in educating the public about climate change and the need to act now.  About how in the face of overwhelming evidence such a large number of people not only lack the will to begin to act, but rather act in ways which make it more difficult for others to act who have made the transition away from passive acceptance of BAU (i.e. the deniers).   I have been thinking about this some in the last few weeks as we all have struggled a bit with a blizzard of posts just full of acceptance of various pieces of BAU, political, cultural, and social propaganda yet seemingly attuned to the reality of AGW.  It is interesting to observe how someone can seem to accept a body of scientific evidence on something like climate change and come to the conclusion we do need to act yet that person can exhibit all the symptoms manifested by the AGW deniers when it comes to subjects which are not in the scientific realm?

Science attracts a certain group of people, I believe, because it has a fairly rigid structure based upon a rule set that can be applied to a wide variety of  events and issues for which data can be gathered and physical processes identified.  It allows pretty definitive answers for a significant range of questions.  Some people are exceptionally good at functioning in this kind of environment or find comfort in its structure.  We are all familiar with those whose scientific IQ's are extremely high and accomplish great things within the confines of scientific rules.  Most all of these people actually think that they are smarter than all the other smart people in the world who are not highly skilled within the realm of scientific thought or who are completely uninterested in it.

A common weakness often pointed out about very smart people who are deep experts in some field is that there is a natural human arrogance that all of us suffer from to some extent which makes us think that because we are smart enough to be an expert in one area that we are automatically qualified to give opinions in any area or topic of discussion which comes up.  There is some name for this which escapes me at the moment - PhD syndrome or something like that - but I think most of us are familiar with this human fault.  In my experience this fault is more openly seen in those whose personal expertise relates to some field of endeavor which is structured around the scientific method.  The ability in a scientific field to actually get an unequivocal answer may be leading many people to assume that the rest of the world actually functions that way.  Having been trained as an engineer my experience is that physicists are the most afflicted with this form of behavior (sort of kidding here).  But all humans suffer from it.

But why does this seem to happen so much more with those who are trained in the scientific method than it does with experts from so many non-scientific disciplines?  I think it lies in the structure of the mental world scientifically oriented people are used to working in. Their world is a model of the real thing and there is a  natural tendency to confuse the two.  We see this in complaints about how various scientists seem to start to view their models (of the climate or whatever) as the real thing and not a representation of what is real.  The deniers use attacks on this weakness to great advantage and posters here at times use it to critique scientists who they think are being too conservative in their projections.   People who are very comfortable using the scientific thought process often try and base their opinions on non-scientifically describable issues via that method.  To do such is not valid and leads to great misunderstandings.  Those who are experts in the non-scientific world intuitively understand that science or the scientific method cannot provide much insight to the problems and questions which occupy their thoughts and that few answers will fall into the bipolar right and wrong framework.   

If we divide the world up into realms where the scientific method can be used and where it can not be it is quite clear, at least to me, that the scientific world, however rich it is in complexity and unknowns, is much smaller, less complex and more explainable than the rest (it is a subset in other words).  Science and math, in the terms my genius son (in math, science and pretty much everything else) put to me, is easy in comparison to the rest of the world and, to him anyway, science is kind of boring.  The complexities of human behavior, feelings, culture, religion, psychology, politics, history, non-scientific cause and effect, conflict, strategy, tactics, economics, finance, etc are vastly more complex than scientific endeavors and to this day we struggle to find rational ways to explain them.  The person with a brain structure strongly oriented toward rigid rule based thought processes is seldom capable of deep thought in the non-scientific world.  And those who are deep thinkers in the non-scientific world seldom operate effectively in the world where rule based thought dominates.  I always try and keep in mind that the old adage in science, "Correlation is not causation", is not always true in the non-scientific world.   

Science is simple because it presupposes a right answer (and I am not trying to be insulting here as I find many aspects of science fascinating and it is nice to have a correct answer sometimes).  It may take awhile to tease that answer out of the fog of data, but it is just in there waiting to be discovered.  And once you know it you are done as it does not change (with a little nod at this point to Newton and Einstein on the difficulty of knowing when you have reached that point).  The rest of the human universe does not adhere to the laws of physics and what has occurred and why is much more difficult to discern.  History as they say is written by the victors (but that does not mean that what is written is what actually happened), why a country is doing something is described by who controls the messaging media (but that does not mean it is the real reason), if you tell a lie enough times loud enough most people come to believe it (deniers anyone), if you send your military to provide disaster assistance to a place which is a functional colony of yours and not to places where disasters occur but you have no economic interest are you providing humanitarian assistance or furthering your empire.  If you grow up having your grade school teachers tell you that your country is THE force for good in the world, that we always oppose the bad guys, that we are for democracy and freedom, etc when the evidence paints a very different picture most will still believe what they were told.  When you send a soldier to war you always want them to believe that what you are sending them to do is morally right and has a higher purpose and governments go to great extent to provide that foundation for their soldiers. But war seldom has a moral foundation and rarely does it have a clear right and wrong. 

Our struggles on the societal/civilizational level about how, or even if, we are going to deal with AGW are foundered on the rocks of the above problem to a great extent.  The science on AGW is clear but it is such a small part of figuring out what we are going to do.  All of the difficult questions still wait for an answer.  How we answer those questions has little to nothing to do with science and everything to do with all those non-scientific factors mentioned above.  If we don't get a better "understanding" of, "what" really happened historically, "why" humans behave the way they do, 'how" various religions (Christian, Muslim, Progress, Jewish, etc) mould (manipulate) our thoughts, "what" the inherent weaknesses of political ideology are, etc. we will never be able to mobilize the global population in a way to meaningfully attempt to mitigate and adapt to AGW. 

The American empire and the budding Chinese empire exist in the same way that AGW exists.  There is a mountain of supporting evidence and no contrary evidence of any consequence.  There are deniers out there arguing about both still, but why they do so cannot be explained scientifically as the "why" is to be found in the non-scientific realm.  The course of what happens and the why when it comes to China and the US are key to the problem (and many other countries are important factors, as well as the general human race) and we must strive to understand the how and why of their behavior and what can be done to change that behavior.  Or disaster awaits us.

And that is the optimistic perspective.  That if we can accomplish this understanding we can effect change for the better.  That is the real fighting not to give up.
 
The pessimistic perspective (or the realistic perhaps) is that we are truly screwed and may as well enjoy ourselves as long as we can and then ride the tiger (which can be quite an adventure until you fall off).
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

johnm33

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #74 on: November 24, 2013, 03:48:39 PM »
 This is the network that needs to be addressed and in whose interest the 'empire' acts, [certainly not the American public] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2051008/Does-super-corporation-run-global-economy.html Zurich uni has done an update, which I can't find, showing that 168[iirc] individuals are at the heart[?] of this enterprise. There's a better treatment in new scientist for anyone with access.

wili

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #75 on: November 24, 2013, 04:32:49 PM »
Jim, your description sound a bit more like engineers than most scientists. Most research scientists are working at the edge of what is known, so they are constantly faced with uncertainty, it would seem to me.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

ggelsrinc

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #76 on: November 24, 2013, 04:41:22 PM »
AGW exists and imaginary empires don't. Proof rests on those making the claim and not those saying the claim is bogus. Writing a book supporting a claim on face value only proves someone is willing to waste their time and not prove their case.

JimD

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #77 on: November 24, 2013, 07:45:49 PM »
Jim, your description sound a bit more like engineers than most scientists. Most research scientists are working at the edge of what is known, so they are constantly faced with uncertainty, it would seem to me.

You might be misunderstanding me a bit (or the other way around).  All fields have areas of tremendous uncertainty and unknowns.  But scientific problems by definition are bound within the laws of physics which (with a lot of effort) can be eventually determined via the scientific method.  This is not the case with non-scientific problems/issues.  In these areas the process or description which leads one to what appears to be the correct answer is often not repeatable.  The influence of the various factors determining the answer do not always interact in the same way or which one is causal  to the other varies.  Economics is a perfect example in that it is very difficult to use its rules and get the same answer two times in a row.  And economics is one of the more predicatable of the non-scientific fields.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

wili

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #78 on: November 24, 2013, 11:46:13 PM »
Got it. Habermas, iirc, makes a distinction for fields of inquiry between various levels of complexity. Basic physics applies to chemistry, and chemistry applies to biology, and biology applies to the socio-biology, but it is rather hard to explain even mouse behavior by directly building up from the interaction of subatomic particles that physics deals with. He argues that there is yet another major step up when you get to human-related fields where you can get direct reflexivity--economic or sociological theories affect the very economies and societies being studied.

In our case, the definition of the term "empire" is ultimately what is being discussed. In science, basic definitions of fundamental terms (temperature, mass...) are generally not in dispute. But in the social 'sciences' and political 'science,' definitional disputes are much of the issue.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

JimD

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #79 on: November 25, 2013, 12:35:31 AM »
AGW exists and imaginary empires don't. Proof rests on those making the claim and not those saying the claim is bogus. Writing a book supporting a claim on face value only proves someone is willing to waste their time and not prove their case.


You are confused on burden of proof as well.

The person making the new claim which purports to overturn the accepted wisdom or the current body of evidence is the one required to provide the proof and/or justification.

That would be you.

That America runs an empire is has been accepted academically for decades.  Dozens of books and hundreds of articles have been written about it.  It is the 97% story just like AGW.

That Americas leaders have been focused on empire is documented going back to the Founders.  And at times they have been completely open about it.

The mechanics of how empires function is well documented in all its forms going back thousands of years.  America has used a large number of those mechanisms and also America has invented some new and pretty clever mechanisms as well.  You might want to actually read the link johnm33 provided us as it is very instructive on this point.

http://www.soilandhealth.org/03sov/0303critic/030317hudson/superimperialism.pdf

I am not making any new claims about the American empire I am discussing the status of it and trends and events impacting it.  That is a big difference.  It is an important subject.

If you can actually articulate your position on this subject feel free and if you can present an intelligent argument I for one would like to see it.  Just squawking "NO!" every time the subject comes up adds no value and no one here thinks you know what you are talking about.

Otherwise why bother coming to this topic if it bothers you so much.   

But if you actually are able to backup your position don't waste your time here.  I suggest that you get a publisher and write the book.  You could make millions and some of the neo-cons who work the empire strategies are always looking for ammunition to add to the smokescreen they put out to disguise what they are doing.  You could be their new darling.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #80 on: November 25, 2013, 02:18:46 AM »
Terry here is an article from a Canadian I think.  Interesting commentary.

http://jacobinmag.com/2013/09/the-decline-of-the-american-empire/
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

ggelsrinc

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #81 on: November 25, 2013, 02:38:23 AM »
AGW exists and imaginary empires don't. Proof rests on those making the claim and not those saying the claim is bogus. Writing a book supporting a claim on face value only proves someone is willing to waste their time and not prove their case.


You are confused on burden of proof as well.

The person making the new claim which purports to overturn the accepted wisdom or the current body of evidence is the one required to provide the proof and/or justification.

That would be you.

That America runs an empire is has been accepted academically for decades.  Dozens of books and hundreds of articles have been written about it.  It is the 97% story just like AGW.

That Americas leaders have been focused on empire is documented going back to the Founders.  And at times they have been completely open about it.

The mechanics of how empires function is well documented in all its forms going back thousands of years.  America has used a large number of those mechanisms and also America has invented some new and pretty clever mechanisms as well.  You might want to actually read the link johnm33 provided us as it is very instructive on this point.

http://www.soilandhealth.org/03sov/0303critic/030317hudson/superimperialism.pdf

I am not making any new claims about the American empire I am discussing the status of it and trends and events impacting it.  That is a big difference.  It is an important subject.

If you can actually articulate your position on this subject feel free and if you can present an intelligent argument I for one would like to see it.  Just squawking "NO!" every time the subject comes up adds no value and no one here thinks you know what you are talking about.

Otherwise why bother coming to this topic if it bothers you so much.   

But if you actually are able to backup your position don't waste your time here.  I suggest that you get a publisher and write the book.  You could make millions and some of the neo-cons who work the empire strategies are always looking for ammunition to add to the smokescreen they put out to disguise what they are doing.  You could be their new darling.


I'm confused? You make the claim, so you prove it!

Can you explain this:

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/11/24/21596267-how-did-that-happen-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-iran-nuclear-deal?lite
« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 02:52:30 AM by ggelsrinc »

ggelsrinc

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #82 on: November 25, 2013, 04:24:24 PM »
Getting back to the subject of Empire - America and the future , can someone explain to me why the US didn't permanently occupy areas of Germany and Japan after WWII?

How did America treat the Philippines after WWII? How did America deal with it's allies who had empires, like France and the UK, as they freed their colonies? Did America invent the Communist threat to our world? The US did not draw the map for countries in the Middle East, because it had no power in the decision to divide the Ottoman Empire.

I think the most sad day lately for America is when we retreated and allowed the Cambodian communist government kill a third of their population, because we could have stopped it.

Speaking only for myself and my assessment of Americans, we don't want bad feelings with anyone on Earth, but if attacked we will defend. Life is miserable enough without creating misery. That black hole over North Korea doesn't appeal to my eyes. I wish it didn't exist.

Wars are hell, but there is a Hell hotter than war.

JimD

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #83 on: November 25, 2013, 05:45:56 PM »
Getting back to the subject of Empire - America and the future , can someone explain to me why the US didn't permanently occupy areas of Germany and Japan after WWII?

Unbelievable.  We did occupy them.  We still do.  When I was serving in German in 1990 there were some 250,000 US troops in Germany and over 300,000 in Europe.  There are still 50,000 US troops in Germany and over 35,000 in Japan.  WWII ended 68 years ago btw.  There are 10,000 in both the UK and Italy.  We controlled Germany and Japan for long periods after WWII and wrote their constitutions for them.  We fit them under our umbrella and used them to our advantage for as long as we could and still do to some extent.     

How did America treat the Philippines after WWII? How did America deal with it's allies who had empires, like France and the UK, as they freed their colonies?

We continued to treat it as a colony as it had been since we took it away from the Spanish following the Spanish-American war.  The fact that we allowed the installation of a puppet government and pseudo free elections in 1946 does not change that the Us controlled the country still.  Part of the structure we put in place in 1946 actually made the country even more dependent on the US than it was before the war.  On top of that we ensured that we could station all the troops we wanted there by making them sign 99 year leases for Clark Air Base and Subic Bay.  Vast additional tracks of the Philippines were under US military control (called reservations) until about 1960.  Sounds like occupation doesn't it.  And let us not forget that the US supported the overthrow of the Philippine govt by Marcos in 1972.  The ill will this created amongst the citizens of our long-term colony eventually resulted in democratic government returning and the US being forced to pull its troops out and give up the big bases.

Of note is that the US is currently putting serious pressure on the Philippines in an attempt to regain our bases there by using the argument with the Philippino's that we can help protect them from the growing Chinese empire.  In other words our empire is better for them than the Chinese one.

The US did not draw the map for countries in the Middle East, because it had no power in the decision to divide the Ottoman Empire.

True but once again you are confused.  The British did that but what we did following the decline of the British empire was pick up the pieces for them and take over running many parts of their former empire (and let them share in the proceeds).  We did the same for some French colonies which led to our disaster in Vietnam.  The UK has been since WWII our most senior (but not equal) ally in maintaining our empire.  They got to keep a lot more than they would have if we had cut them off and our payment was almost automatic support for anything we wanted to do.  This is common knowledge.   No empire has ever willingly given up control of colonies.  They do not "give" them their freedom.  Colonies are let go when the empire does not have enough power to hold onto them.  This is why we are paying such attention to the US as it is starting to lose control.   But just because a country has its own government does not mean it is free as the US controls many countries which are "democratic" as well as many which are dictatorships.

BTW we walked away from Cambodia because we didn't care.  It had nothing to offer us or for us to gain there.  Not to mention we had just got our butts kicked in Vietnam and we were trying to regroup.  There have been lots of genocides around the world in the last 50 years and the only times we got involved to any consequence was when there was something in it for us geopolitically.  Contrary to media propaganda we are not the worlds cop and we don't run around saving people unless there is some gain in it.  This is the reality of how the world works.

Speaking only for myself and my assessment of Americans, we don't want bad feelings with anyone on Earth, but if attacked we will defend....

Nobody attacks the US and no one is going to for the foreseeable future.  This is part of the effectiveness of American propaganda on its citizens.  No one is out to get us and no one threatens our freedoms and liberty.  We use our military to maintain our dominant position in the world.  We intimidate other countries and threaten them all the time.  We have for decades.  We use that military to force compliance from others.  That is a big part of the reason we control and use 25% of the worlds resources and is why the people of the US get to live like rich people.  Because we take more than our fair share.  This is what empires do.  Empires are the manifestation of our basic animal nature in that everyone who is not a part of our tribe is the enemy and you take from them everything you are able to.  The last time US troops defended our freedom in combat was WWII and one can make a good case the collision between the Japanese empire and the US one was inevitable and had nothing to do with defending our freedom but rather which country was going to end up on top in the Asian sphere.  One of us was going to attack the other sooner or later and they struck first.  Germany did not attack us in WWII or WWI.  We declared war on them.

There are books in the library that would help you get up to speed on this stuff.

We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #84 on: November 25, 2013, 05:53:17 PM »
Another great read.

The Geopolitics of a US-Iran Détente

Sanctions, centrifuges and personalities aren’t the only forces pushing Iran and the U.S. toward a détente.

In his pivotal book “Treacherous Alliances,“ Trita Parsi seeks to refute the conventional wisdom that ideology shapes U.S.-Iranian-Israeli relations. Tracing the trilateral relationship from Israel’s creation through the middle of the last decade, Parsi argues convincingly that geopolitics has been the driving force in the trilateral relationship....


Since the end of the Cold War there have been three distinct phases in U.S.-Iran relations. During the first period, which lasted from the end of the Gulf War through roughly 2005, U.S. power in the Middle East was at its peak. American policymakers used this power to construct a U.S.-led regional order that pointedly excluded Iran and Iraq....

....U.S.-Iran fortunes reversed themselves around 2005. At this point, the U.S. had overthrown Saddam Hussein — Iran’s fiercest adversary — only to become bogged down in an insurgency and civil war in Iraq. Iran profited greatly from these developments, which allowed it to construct a so-called “Shi’a Crescent” of influence that stretched from Iraq in the Gulf to Syria and Lebanon in the Levant. Its open defiance of the U.S. also made Iran extremely popular among the Arab street.....

....Starting with the global financial crisis, but only becoming evident with the Arab Spring, U.S.-Iran relations entered a third phase that continues today. During this period, the U.S. and Iran have seen their positions in the Middle East decline precipitously, giving both a strong impetus to reconcile their differences and cooperate in the region.....


...For both Iran and the U.S., the Arab Spring has brought these trends into sharp relief. The revolts that began in early 2011 have forced Washington to abandon some of its autocratic allies, deeply unsettling the remaining ones. It also laid bare just how constrained American leaders are in a post-financial crisis world.

The seminal event of the Arab Spring for Iran has been the Syrian civil war. The uprising against Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad forced Iran to take drastic action to save its oldest ally in the Arab world. While Assad’s grip on power has stabilized, he remains extremely weak. Moreover, the effects of the Syrian civil war have spread to neighboring countries, where they have weakened Iran’s allies in Lebanon and Iraq. More generally, the Syrian civil war has greatly heighted sectarian tensions in the region, which bodes poorly for Shi’a Iran.
...


http://thediplomat.com/2013/11/the-geopolitics-of-a-us-iran-detente/
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

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ggelsrinc

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #85 on: November 25, 2013, 07:00:15 PM »
Empires don't give back land conquered in war, so figure it out! Tell us what the USSR did after WWII! Are they an empire?

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #86 on: November 25, 2013, 07:07:28 PM »
"Empires don't give back land conquered in war"

Actually, they do, for a variety of reasons.

But I have a feeling that, again, we are having basically a definitional problem. gge seems to think that, if an entity isn't acting exactly like the Roman Empire, it can't be an empire. Given that narrow definition, the US is not exactly that kind of empire (though in certain individual circumstances, it does act fairly close to that).
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

ggelsrinc

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #87 on: November 25, 2013, 07:19:53 PM »
Another great read.

The Geopolitics of a US-Iran Détente

Sanctions, centrifuges and personalities aren’t the only forces pushing Iran and the U.S. toward a détente.

In his pivotal book “Treacherous Alliances,“ Trita Parsi seeks to refute the conventional wisdom that ideology shapes U.S.-Iranian-Israeli relations. Tracing the trilateral relationship from Israel’s creation through the middle of the last decade, Parsi argues convincingly that geopolitics has been the driving force in the trilateral relationship....


Since the end of the Cold War there have been three distinct phases in U.S.-Iran relations. During the first period, which lasted from the end of the Gulf War through roughly 2005, U.S. power in the Middle East was at its peak. American policymakers used this power to construct a U.S.-led regional order that pointedly excluded Iran and Iraq....

....U.S.-Iran fortunes reversed themselves around 2005. At this point, the U.S. had overthrown Saddam Hussein — Iran’s fiercest adversary — only to become bogged down in an insurgency and civil war in Iraq. Iran profited greatly from these developments, which allowed it to construct a so-called “Shi’a Crescent” of influence that stretched from Iraq in the Gulf to Syria and Lebanon in the Levant. Its open defiance of the U.S. also made Iran extremely popular among the Arab street.....

....Starting with the global financial crisis, but only becoming evident with the Arab Spring, U.S.-Iran relations entered a third phase that continues today. During this period, the U.S. and Iran have seen their positions in the Middle East decline precipitously, giving both a strong impetus to reconcile their differences and cooperate in the region.....


...For both Iran and the U.S., the Arab Spring has brought these trends into sharp relief. The revolts that began in early 2011 have forced Washington to abandon some of its autocratic allies, deeply unsettling the remaining ones. It also laid bare just how constrained American leaders are in a post-financial crisis world.

The seminal event of the Arab Spring for Iran has been the Syrian civil war. The uprising against Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad forced Iran to take drastic action to save its oldest ally in the Arab world. While Assad’s grip on power has stabilized, he remains extremely weak. Moreover, the effects of the Syrian civil war have spread to neighboring countries, where they have weakened Iran’s allies in Lebanon and Iraq. More generally, the Syrian civil war has greatly heighted sectarian tensions in the region, which bodes poorly for Shi’a Iran.
...


http://thediplomat.com/2013/11/the-geopolitics-of-a-us-iran-detente/


Figure this out, we don't want another country having nukes and the we is this world! We want to go the other way with less countries having nukes.

Let's try this! UK and France give up your nukes! Russia move your nukes out of Europe! North Korea give up your nukes! With the cooperation of nations, we should be able to scale things down to the point that nukes are only needed for planetary defense.

ggelsrinc

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #88 on: November 25, 2013, 07:24:43 PM »
"Empires don't give back land conquered in war"

Actually, they do, for a variety of reasons.

But I have a feeling that, again, we are having basically a definitional problem. gge seems to think that, if an entity isn't acting exactly like the Roman Empire, it can't be an empire. Given that narrow definition, the US is not exactly that kind of empire (though in certain individual circumstances, it does act fairly close to that).

Sure they do <sarc>, as fast as someone changes the name of the game by moving the goal posts. This crap is propaganda, pure and simple!

What country isn't an empire based on your present definition?

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #89 on: November 25, 2013, 07:33:33 PM »
Any country that doesn't have tens of thousands of soldiers in other countries.  :P
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ggelsrinc

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #90 on: November 25, 2013, 08:03:38 PM »
Any country that doesn't have tens of thousands of soldiers in other countries.  :P

You mean like those countries that weren't attacked on 9/11?

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #91 on: November 25, 2013, 08:26:15 PM »
You mean like those countries that weren't attacked on 9/11?

Yes, exactly.
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ggelsrinc

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #92 on: November 25, 2013, 08:28:33 PM »
You mean like those countries that weren't attacked on 9/11?

Yes, exactly.

They don't have to bother with that crap.

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #93 on: November 25, 2013, 09:06:29 PM »
They don't have to bother with that crap.

That's what you get for being an empire. Don't want crap? Don't be an empire. And compost the crap while you're at it.
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ggelsrinc

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #94 on: November 25, 2013, 09:11:17 PM »
They don't have to bother with that crap.


That's what you get for being an empire. Don't want crap? Don't be an empire. And compost the crap while you're at it.


That's what you get in a country no one wants to come to. Try this:

America


We are the United Nations.

Neven

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #95 on: November 25, 2013, 09:17:01 PM »
You were the United Nations. Now you're this:



And the number 1 reason for this:



The US of A is a sick, decadent empire. It has spread its brainwashing disease to everyone I know in Europe and is now determined to body snatch the rest of the globe.

That's just my 2 Eurocents.
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ggelsrinc

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #96 on: November 25, 2013, 09:25:26 PM »
No, I'm only me.

Neven

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #97 on: November 25, 2013, 09:31:39 PM »
No, I'm only me.

If we're going to play games: I was referring to your use of "we", not you as an individual.
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ggelsrinc

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #98 on: November 25, 2013, 10:11:52 PM »
No, I'm only me.

If we're going to play games: I was referring to your use of "we", not you as an individual.

The people in the USA are much bigger/better than any individual, no matter how big someone thinks they are.  Individuals can't change the course of future history and only populations can. If some people want to blame America for it's problems, then they shouldn't waste their time and do it themselves. I'm not wrong for opposing what I consider a propaganda mindset, because it's all belief and not knowledge, even available to be found in common encyclopedias. America isn't as bad as some people claim and we want peace on our Earth.

I challenge the concept that America is an empire, because if my country ever tries to become such an empire during my lifetime, I'll be dead trying to stop it, first in line. What country other than this has ever slaughtered so many of it's citizens over the issue of slavery? Back in the old days we had Presidents who told the leaders of secession movements, we will hang your asses. (excuse my French, Neven) That President came from the South and was the first Democrat in office. Americans don't tolerate dumbshit. (more French)

Neven

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #99 on: November 25, 2013, 10:47:28 PM »
My impression is that you live in the past. Everything you say might have been completely true in the past, it no longer is. For instance, the only reasons that the US deploy so many soldiers in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, are oil, pipelines and heroin. Only an empire that wants to sustain itself would do that. It's wrong and it's not going to work.

The American Dream has turned into a nightmare of consumption and slavery.

I'm sorry, that's how I look at it. But I know a lot of great American individuals that still hold and exemplify the values from the past. But a great many don't, even if they think they do (misplaced patriotism/nationalism, etc).
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