Tag Archives: george friedman

America takes another step towards war with Iran, towards the dark side of its soul

Summary:  All we need do is to strike Iran with all our hatred, and our journey towards the dark side will be complete.

After years of propaganda the US population has become eager for war, much like the people of Europe were in 1914.  The wars of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st barely touched America, leaving most of us ignorant of war’s terrible consequences.  We cannot even see the rising fear of the US among the world’s peoples, shown in this June 2006 poll by the Pew Research Center — including supposed allies like Pakistan (see details here).

We’re at a point like early 2003 when our geopolitical experts casually discuss the likelihood of war, in a by-now familiar delusional way.  No matter how good, card-carrying US geopolitical experts must shill for the next war (see examples for the Iraq war here).  As in this report by George Friedman of Stratfor:  “Rethinking American Options on Iran“, 31 August 2010 (logical and well-written, as usual).  It has many levels worth examining.  Note the three key elements.

(1)  Our grasping at straws, such as Friedman’s belief that following a massive US strike at Iran …

  • the US military can reliably take down Iran’s military and keep the Strait of Hormuz open.
  • the risk of reprisals by Hezbollah has been “mitigated.”
  • a Iraq government will be “quickly formed and Iranian influence quickly curtailed” (before or immediately after a strike).

(2)  Our myopia concerning Iran’s retaliatory options.   Friedman discusses the 3 mentioned above, but Iran is not limited by our lack of imagination.

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Statfor discusses “The 30-Year War in Afghanistan”

Summary:  Here is an interesting analysis by Stratfor of our expedition to Afghanistan.  Note how — deep in this report — Friedman mildly mentions that crushing al Qaeda is not our goal in Afghanistan.  Now that we’re enmeshed in a failing war, the war’s advocates can quietly slide away from the Big Lie.  Other posts about the war are listed at the end.

The advocates of Af-Pak War, Stratfor amongst them, have devised a long series of reason for the war.  Al Qaeda was first and primary, of course — preventing it from staging another 9/11 (although Afghanistan was of little relevance to 9/11), punishing it, preventing it from conquering Pakistan.  As Friedman said in February 2008:

It is a holding action waiting for certain knowledge of the status of al Qaeda, knowledge that likely will not come. Afghanistan is a war without exit and a war without victory. The politics are impenetrable, and it is even difficult to figure out whether allies like Pakistan are intending to help or are capable of helping.   Thus, while it may be a better war than Iraq in some sense, it is not a war that can be won or even ended. It just goes on.

With the government now admitting that only a few hundred al Qaeda remain in Afghanistan, new reasons for the war must be found.  Friedman, as always a window to the thinking of our elites, attempts to explain.  The result is excellent analysis, concluding in a muddle.  Perhaps he does not dare to follow his own logic and recommend withdrawal of combat forces — with continued financial and military support.

The 30-Year War in Afghanistan“, George Friedman, Stratfor, 29 June 2010 — Red emphasis added.  This report is republished with permission of STRATFOR

Introduction

The Afghan War is the longest war in U.S. history. It began in 1980 and continues to rage. It began under Democrats but has been fought under both Republican and Democratic administrations, making it truly a bipartisan war. The conflict is an odd obsession of U.S. foreign policy, one that never goes away and never seems to end. As the resignation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal reminds us, the Afghan War is now in its fourth phase.

The Afghan War’s First Three Phases

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Stratfor: “Flotillas and the Wars of Public Opinion”

Summary:  As I wrote 3 years ago, America has made many geopolitical mistakes, some very serious.  Nothing critical for a superpower, so long as we do not make too many.  But Israel operates far closer to the edge.   Small, geographically and economically vulnerable, surrounded by enemies, and heir to millennia of western antisemitism (Passages from Luther’s On the Jews and Their Lies could be read with applause at some American universities).  This insecurity makes them more likely to take bold gambles — and increases the odds of mistakes having horrible consequences.  They may have just made a big mistake, with potentially horrible consequences.

The forces at work were described in The Fate of Israel (July 2006) and Will Israel commit suicide? More rumors of a strike at Iran (December 2007).    Stratfor describes how this plays out today.

 “Flotillas and the Wars of Public Opinion“, George Friedman, Stratfor, 31 May 2010 — This report is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

On Sunday, Israeli naval forces intercepted the ships of a Turkish nongovernmental organization (NGO) delivering humanitarian supplies to Gaza. Israel had demanded that the vessels not go directly to Gaza but instead dock in Israeli ports, where the supplies would be offloaded and delivered to Gaza. The Turkish NGO refused, insisting on going directly to Gaza. Gunfire ensued when Israeli naval personnel boarded one of the vessels, and a significant number of the passengers and crew on the ship were killed or wounded.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon charged that the mission was simply an attempt to provoke the Israelis. That was certainly the case. The mission was designed to demonstrate that the Israelis were unreasonable and brutal. The hope was that Israel would be provoked to extreme action, further alienating Israel from the global community and possibly driving a wedge between Israel and the United States. The operation’s planners also hoped this would trigger a political crisis in Israel.

A logical Israeli response would have been avoiding falling into the provocation trap and suffering the political repercussions the Turkish NGO was trying to trigger. Instead, the Israelis decided to make a show of force. The Israelis appear to have reasoned that backing down would demonstrate weakness and encourage further flotillas to Gaza, unraveling the Israeli position vis-à-vis Hamas. In this thinking, a violent interception was a superior strategy to accommodation regardless of political consequences. Thus, the Israelis accepted the bait and were provoked.

The ‘Exodus’ Scenario

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