Something obvious about today’s world that’s seldom mentioned by our journalists

Summary:   We could publish a newspaper with nothing but old analysis that would tell us more about the world than does the New York Times, because our intelligensia has become lost in its myths — unable to see obvious trends in the world.  Here’s a brief example from the always insightful Eric Kraus (an American expat living in Russia, now publishing at his own website). 

In 2009 Eric Kraus discussed two obvious but as then seldom noted trends.  The passage of time has brought more examples, but few insights in America.

  1. Free elections in the emerging nations increasingly often empower anti-western leaders (Egypt may be the most recent example).  Our habit of overthrowing secular leaders in the Middle East (e.g., Afghanistan in 1992, Iraq in 2003, Libya in 2011) might not benefit us.  Worse, the tide of history might not flow our way.
  2. Our increasingly interventionist foreign policy looks different on the receiving end.  It’s lasting consequences might be (a)  helping to bankrupt us and (b) fuel prolifferation of atomic weapons (see here for details).

“The Gods, too, Enjoy a Good Joke!”, Eric Kraus, Truth and Beauty, 1 July 2009 — Excerpt:

“Democracy” is well entrenched as the new panacea of right wing political rhetoric.  despite increasingly numerous counter-examples, i.e., electoral victories by political factions deeply inimical to the interests of the West — Hamas, Putin, Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Morales — the notion that, if given freedom to express themselves at the ballot box, the People will necessarily return a government embracing inter alia liberal capitalist values and a foreign policy aligned with North Atlantic interests remains deeply flattering to the West.

The Anglo-Saxon press, reliably the handmaidens to the dominant political ideology in their home countries, tends to choose its favoured uprising quite selectively.  the recent coups in Thailand may serve as a useful analogy to the Iranian situation, with a deep gap between a small vocal and Westernized urban middle-class, and a poor, deeply traditional countryside which does not Twitter, has no Facebook page, and feels as estranged from their urban cousins as from the denizens of Western suburbia.

The concept of “le droit a l’ingerence” — the right of the outside world to interfere — which France has attempted to insert into the corpus of international law, is in fact practiced essentially by the strong against the weak.  The likelihood of international peacekeepers being sent to Washington DC is slim indeed.  All great empires, most recently the American and the Soviet, willingly embrace the worst scoundrels, provided that they assisted in the furtherance of what the empire sees as its greater interest.

The very unfortunate Iraqi precedent has shown countries great and small that the possession of a credible nuclear deterrent — and the means for its deliver — provides the only real insurance against the temptation suffered by the great  powers to put their generous military budgets to good use.

Posts about atomic weapons

  1. New articles of interest about Syria’s nukes, 27 April 2008
  2. Stratfor debunks myths about nuclear weapons and terrorism, 8 October 2009 
  3. Stratfor discusses the Jihadist WMD Threat, 14 February 2010 
  4. Conservatives oppose the new START treaty, as they opposed even the earlier version negotiated by Ronald Reagan, 24 July 201

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