Thursday, March 08, 2007

On Iraq and politics

Two of my recent commentaries on Iraq and related political issues have been posted online:

In the February issue of Chronicles:

It’s the War, Stupid!
Election 2006 and Beyond
by Leon Hadar

Political analysts, consultants, and “scientists,” envious of the success of economists in turning the study of wealth creation into a scientific discipline and a lucrative profession, are always searching for rules and laws to explain and discover certain regular and logical structures in human efforts involved in winning, preserving, and expanding power. Elections provide a wonderful opportunity for the members of this “profession” or “industry” to win fame, fortune, and, yes, power. Consultants dispense advice to candidates; pollsters “measure” public opinion; academics think-tank about the recent debate between the candidates; journalists cover the horse race; and pundits produce sound bites for 24/7 cable-television news.


In addition to the hundreds of seminars, studies, articles, and books that result from each election campaign, there is the occasional theoretical model to be “discovered” by the clever political scientist or witty pundit. Couched in statistics and scientific mumbo-jumbo, the model then gives birth to the inevitable “rule” that tends to be recycled to death and transformed eventually into conventional wisdom or even a political axiom. For example: If it rains in southeast California on Election Day, you can expect that a majority of short white men between the ages of 27 and 38 who live in Upstate New York will vote for Republican candidates. ((Read the rest)

And in the February 26 issues of The American Conservative:
February 26, 2007 Issue
Copyright © 2006 The American Conservative

Persian Gulf of Tonkin Incident

Spoiling for another fight, the United States may try to provoke Iran.

by Leon Hadar

The Iraq War has produced many, sometimes contradictory, historical analogies, ranging from Munich to the fall of Saigon, as pundits highlight their dubious relevance to Mesopotamia.

Following President Bush’s Jan. 11 speech on U.S. policy in Iraq, in which he accused Tehran of meddling and threatened to “interrupt” the flow of support to Iraqi insurgents, Sen. Chuck Hagel added a new analogy: Nixon’s decision to expand the war in Vietnam into Cambodia as part of a strategy to “interrupt” the flow of support to those other insurgents, the National Liberation Front, from sanctuaries along Cambodia’s eastern border.

“[O]nce you get to hot pursuit, no one can say we won’t engage across border,” Hagel told Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during a Foreign Relations Committee hearing. “Some of us remember 1970 and Cambodia, and our government lied to us and said we didn’t cross the border,” he said. “When you set in motion the kind of policy the president is talking about here, it is very, very dangerous.”

But Cambodia was never a regional power in Southeast Asia in the way that Iran is today. Like North Vietnam’s anti-U.S. strategy in South Vietnam in the 1960s and ’70s, Iran has the military power and policy influence to disrupt U.S. policies in neighboring Iraq, with the Shi’ite militias it supports playing a similar role to that of the Vietcong in South Vietnam.

Thus the correct historical analogy may not be Nixon’s secret air campaign and incursions into Cambodia, but the Tonkin Gulf incident—the alleged pair of attacks by North Vietnamese naval forces against American destroyers that President Lyndon B. Johnson used to win public support and congressional approval for escalating the confrontation with North Vietnam.(Read the rest)

1 comment:

weknow said...

It was a relief almost to see another post after this one. Something straightforward that enter-tained and would provoke response. Then this one would stay unblemished because it is at the crux of so many things in and out of the rabbit hole.
Someone said that there are perhaps 50 people
on the earth who are truly hip to what goes on. That means 500 to 5000 who know more than they need or want to know. 50,000 to 500,000 who know what they have to know. That leaves me in the 1/10 to 1% of the world's population that gropes in the dark with what they think they know and that the world cares nothing about.
In my book "Truth and Reconciliation 2020", some of the ideas I have expressed in this blog are used to try to move forward towards 2050 and beyond. Meanwhile a process is moving forward(divorce) that will remove me from my family and home because my earning power is low in the New Era Economy. Luckily my kids that I was homemaker to have the tools to make it in that $100 an hour world. Personally I would be content to sell the Oldies somewhere on earth or the galaxy. "I heard this song, don't know the name, don't know who does it but it goes like this..." That is my highest utility on earth; I've been waiting since 1985 for tele-video to make it real and I can't believe it still doesn't exist (ever try to play a song or audition a singer over a cell phone). But I digress.
Eugene Burdick laid out in his book "The 480"(a thinly disguised fleshed out version of the 1960 Kennedy campaign) how nascent computer marketing techniques would make political science quantifiable. We are 40 to 50 years beyond that now.
There are so few people of meaningful ability aound to problem solve and run things. Most leaders and elites create a problem or two for every one they solve.The consequences of the current false flag operation are so immense that it's hard to get a handle on. I can guess and intuit why it was needed but it's still heartbreaking and inhuman to cope with. My book was a response to this crisis, stay with me and I'll give you one point.
The study of wealth creation has not turned into a scientific discipline anymore than political science though it can be rewarding and entertaining. The American financial system has been in positive mode since 1941 with only circular corrections that seem to keep it healthy. My Google travels yesterday through Thomas Fleming (not the T.F. I thought he was) took me to good ol' Ludwig von Mises and memories of my dad's gold bug newsletters and Ed Hart's innumerable lec-tures (to John Bollinger's dismay) on FNN about classical economics. It's been quite a ride keeping the house of cards intact but the naysayers have been bankrupted again and again, only being saved by the notion of "a stopped clock is right twice a day"
"Okay so what's your point." The first one is free. I need a candidate like Barack Obama that becomes so popular before the election that he is able to bring people to ideas rather than ideas bringing people to the candidate (Iraq war to Dean). Everyone from the GM boardroom to the poorest precinct knows that we have to have a backstop health and welfare plan for this nation to go forward politically and economically; to again be a role model to the world. Dennis Kucinich had a health care model that involved some kind of HMO model and a 7 1/2% percent payroll tax. This would be a huge hit on the economy so it needs to be coupled with a universal service draft of 2 years for everyone sometime between the ages of 17 and 24. This would give the hands on manpower to attack some of the problems which face us and the world in the next 50m years. You leave the rest of the health care system alone to be an incentive for people to better themselves.
Again it requires a candidate so popular that it would fly. Because face it baby, you got a lot of people that are going to need assisted living and have no way to get it. I wrote a song about it a while back called "People Gotta Move". It's a call to the world, not just America to put your head up and take a step.
Thank you for providing this space for me to pour my thoughts into and please know the respect I have for you in doing so.

William Hope Bacon

"The Eastern world
It tis explodin'
Violence flarin'
Bullets loadin'