It is important for all of us to remain vigilant.
An issue that is somewhat thorny is that of so-called “racial” profiling. This is the belief (or practice) that certain “races” (that is, people appearing to be of certain ethnic origins) should or ought to receive especial attention and scrutiny to prevent or thwart criminal activity. With regard to Islamist terrorism, the “races” or ethnicities targetted are often said or considered to be those of the Arabs and South Asians (namely, Pakistanis).
On the one hand, this makes perfect sense. Read the rest of this entry »
Going along my “use Mexico rather than China” line, using Mexico would be strategically beneficial for The United States. The less we depend on China, the more China will need us and our good will towards them. By swaying the balance in our favor, we will be able to negotiate better deals with China in addition to being able to force the Chinese government to make necessary civil rights reforms. Right now, because we need China as bad as China needs us, we ignore the Chinese government’s atrocities.
Another aspect is geopolitical. (Here I hope Geoff will help me out.) Read the rest of this entry »
The visit of Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of The House of Representatives, to Syria was a major mistake.
Syria is a state that is opposed to The United States and to their interests in a variety of ways and in a number of areas. It supports terrorism through its support of Hezbollah and of various terrorist groups in Iraq. It also assists Iran in Iran’s campaigns and programs that endanger our national security, not to mention regional security in that area of the world and setting aside for a moment Iran’s complicity with the Russia-China Axis. Having mentioned the Russia-China Axis, Syria is a part of that as well. Syria is in effect an enemy of The United States, of their interests, of their allies, and of their allies’ interests.
As evidenced in President Clinton’s diplomacy-mongering, Democrats quite naïvely place substantial trust in diplomacy and negotiations. Read the rest of this entry »
It is almost amusing that for many decades Russia and the United Kingdom lorded over Persia/Iran while enjoying good relations with Israel and only towards the end The United States became involved in Iran and yet since the so-called Islamic Revolution, Iran’s vitriol has been spewed against The United States and Israel with hardly any regard given to The United Kingdom (rather than assigning the title of “the Little Satan” to The United Kingdom, it is used for Israel) as Iran moves more and more into Russia’s grasp.
And of the four entities (The United States, The United Kingdom, Israe, and Russia), the two to not have engaged in imperialism or colonialism are The United States and Israel. And unlike The United Kingdom, which gave up imperialism and colonialism, Russia never gave up on its imperial and imperialist desires, continuing its imperialist policies even while ruling the Soviet Union (indeed, the guise of anti-imperialist communism allowed it to quite effectively expand its empire). So much for Iran’s anti-imperialism!
And, of course, it bothers me that Russia is getting away with it.
Ah well. I hope some day Iran will realize how it is being used by the Russia-China Axis and thereupon attempt to gain true sovereignty by ending within itself all foreign and alien forces such as Russia, China, and Islamism. Considering that the so-called Islamic Revolution could not even deliver on its claim/promise of Irani sovereignty within Iran–and how can Iran be sovereign when it depends on the Russia-China Axis and while the Axis calls the shots–the utter failure of the Revolution becomes apparent.
Which may explain why Iran’s demagogues have always tried to distract their people with fabricated conspiracies and enemies.
“I expect there will be a massive fight for power now in Turkmenistan and it’s likely to take place between pro-U.S. and pro-Russian forces,” said a Russian gas industry source, who declined to be named. “Gas will become the main coin of exchange and the key asset to get hold of.”
Saparmurat Niyazov, the somewhat egotistical iron-fisted ruler of Turkmenistan, who titled himself Turkmenbashi the Great (“Turkmenbashi” means “leader of all Turkic peoples”), died. He left no provision for a successor, and it is unclear who will succeed him, how, and when.
But his death in this former Soviet republic, and the political if not armed conflict that will ensue, shows how Cold War II, between the West, particularly The United States, and Russia, among others, is quite an important factor in politics these days.
Let us see who will win and how the result will change the operations and goals of relevant powers in the region. At least the more Russia has to worry about, the more it gives and gives, extending its resources, and the easier it would be to win by default when Russia implodes.
I am coming to believe that this conflict with stubborn losers would be far easier, perhaps, if we actually embraced imperialism and actively colonized those states in our sphere of influence. Russia and China, to some degree, do this, and so we’re at a disadvantage compared to them. In a way, we’re too nice now. But were we to become imperialistic, all benefits to other states notwithstanding, it simply wouldn’t be the American way.
Time to take off the kid gloves and do what we need to so that we can gain Turkmenistan in the West’s sphere of influence. And to keep it there. As it is, we lost Uzbekistan.
When you regain your strength, geoff, I’d like to hear your perspective. Any others, please chime in!
I may have said this before, but we need to establish what really is going on in the world rather than being distracted by certain elements of what may be a broader, wider, larger movement.
Consider, for example, our obsession with terrorism (specifically, militant Islamist terrorism). The problem is that terrorism is part of a larger conflict: a war between The West and Islamism. (Not all Muslims are Islamists, although “true Muslims” inevitably are.) Along with terrorism, Islamism uses other techniques, some of which are even non-violent. Efforts by Islamist activists to have a special status given to Islam, Muslims, and Islam’s dictates by the governments of The West are one such strategy to bring to pass the triumph of Islam over The West. It is quite interesting (and perhaps one may say, even ironic) that the very states that stripped The Church (whether The Lutheran Church or The Church of England or The Catholic Church) of practically all of its authority and influence and clout in society, have accorded to Islam and its authorities and buildings virtual autonomy and independence. Although church tribunals would have no authority, Islamist courts have been empowered. Whereas asserting one’s Christianity has become something frowned upon, something untoward, something in bad taste, someone asserting one’s Muslim-hood has become something novel, unique, lauded, and applauded. Simply put: rather than making all inhabitants equal, many Western states have made some more equal than others. This granting of autonomy to and even special status to Muslims (meaning, Muslims following the dictates and laws of Islam as interpreted by traditionalists) is all part of Islamism’s goals to triumph over The West. And, indeed, look how they have succeeded! The very people who are ashamed of their Christian past (or even current identity) applaud those who embrace their Muslim-hood to the exclusion of everything else.
Fortunately, confidence in American culture and civilization has been resistant to this pernicious wave of anti-Westernism. But the Islamists keep trying: they keep trying to delegitimize The West, trying to prove that Islam is superior to The West and to its religions (Christianity and Judaism), trying to assert its mission as the “savior” of The West, and of course trying to make the case that The West is utterly lost and needs Islam to be saved. We Americans tend to scoff as such nonsense, for nonsense it is. It doesn’t take someone who is extraordinarily intelligent to see which of The West or the Muslim world has been successful, more true to its values, and a boon to humanity. (For those who may be blinded by some irrational propaganda, the better one is The West.) Indeed, unlike in other Western states, America has proved to be a formidable adversary to Islamism. Rather than infecting The West, The West has been slowly innoculating various segments of the Muslim world in The West against Islamism.
This all means that Islamists, whether militants or not, whether terrorists or not, will try ever the more harder to bring us down. In their world, there can only be one triumphant victor, and they are trying to ensure it is not us.
Orianna Fallaci has been warning us of this state of affairs. It is about time that we listened to her and act accordingly.
I’m going to go on a limb here and express confusion on something. (Usually I like to point out stuff I know, but this issue merits being discussed.)
It is quite easy to understand the modi operandi of states like China, Russia, The United States, and The United Kingdom. It is also easy–for those who are familiar with them–to understand the geopolitical strategies and policies (insofar as one can call them “political”) of militant and non-militant Islamists, terrorists and otherwise.
But one entity that seems to confuse many people is Iran. Now, it is important to understand the motivation, reasons, and ultimate goals of a state in order to determine why the state has such-and-such policy, how the state will implement it, and what other aspects can be expected, predicted, or considered most likely to occur.
The problem with Iran lies in our lack of reliable information close to the decision-makers. Whereas a similar lack of information exists regarding North Korea, we know what to expect from North Korea. North Korea will do what North Korea is wont to do, because that is what it has done for a long time now. The same cannot really be said about Iran. Read the rest of this entry »
We should have taken out Muqtada as-Sadr (سيد مقتدى الصدر, sayyid muqtadā aS-Sadr; titled: حجة الإسلام, Hujjat al-islām, meaning “proof or expert on Islam,” meaning he’s a middle-ranking Shiite cleric).
Within Iraq, one may say that there are two prominent factions: the activists, under as-Sadr, and the quietists, under Grand Ayatollah as-Sistani (السيد علي الحسيني السيستاني, as-sayyid ‛alī al-Hussaynī as-sīstānī; titled: آية الله العظمى, āyatullāh al-‛uZmā, meaning “Great Āyatullāh,” referring to the senior-most level of Shiite clerics).
After a period of time, the activist Shiites, who are organized in political parties and militias, gained control of and prominence in Iraqi politics. As-Sadr is certainly a person to consider. He’s no small fry. But one needs to also see why he seeks this attention. Read the rest of this entry »
A proposal of dividing the world based on the reality of Cold War II
The First World:
The United States, The West, countries allied with them, and proxies thereof
The Second World:
Russia, China, countries allied with them, and proxies thereof
(Explicitly: Russia, China; Iran, Syria, Lebanon, North Korea, Uzbekistan, Pakistan)
The Third World:
Countries not actively aligned with or proxies of either the First World or the Second World
I started the Russia/China/Iran series because I was trying to figure out how to apply economic sanctions to Iran. I did some reading about Russia and China because I wanted to determine how difficult it would be to get them to abandon Iran’s cause in the UN. That’s when I first fathomed how much the geopolitical landscape had shifted since the early 90’s, and how far along the anti-US alliances had come.
That epiphany made me very concerned about our strategy in Iraq, which seems doomed to failure unless the global power struggle is addressed. It also made me moderately concerned about the long-term fate of the US.
Your posts are elevating my concern in both areas. I take some comfort from your hints that people are working the problem, but as far as I can tell we haven’t even slowed the progress of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, let alone reversed it.
One question: If Musharraf ’s government falls, would that give the UN enough justification to invade Pakistan as a continuation of the pursuit of the Taliban and Al Qaeda? Right now he’s ostensibly cooperating, so we can’t touch Pakistan. Would we be better off if the government of Pakistan wasn’t cooperating?
Not that the American people have the stomach for that fight, of course.
(geoff‘s question and some of his statements were addressed in the previos post.)
So, I have two questions.
Asking questions is always good. Read the rest of this entry »
geoff of Uncommon Misconceptions has been doing an excellent job posting on what can be called the Second Cold War: the efforts of Russia and China to check, hinder, diminish, and threaten America’s influence (or, rather, that of capitalism and The West) just as The Soviet Union tried to do during the First Cold War. I do lament that this is something that has not been on the People’s mind lately. (Although I do know that certain agencies of the government have kept this on their mind, seeing it as a continuation of a traditional threat or issue rather than the resurgence of a new one.)
For more information, please read the following by geoff of Uncommon Misconceptions:
- “The real problem with Iran”
- “More on Iran and its relationships”
- “The Sino-Russian clubhouse, and guess who wants in?”
- His comment on “On the question of more troops – addendum”
Now, let us delve a little into international relations. Read the rest of this entry »