The Dilemma of Backing Militaristic Regimes in Tribal Muslim Countries

By Con George-Kotzabasis—A short reply to:

The subterranean world of Pakistan’s Byzantine politics

By Bruce Haigh Online Opinion Australia

It’s completely unpalatable to the hors d’oeuvres tastes of the left-leaning intelligentsia in this country and elsewhere, who are disgusted with U.S. foreign policy, to realize and acknowledge that America is involved in a long war with an invisible determined, malicious and lethal enemy fighting him on many shifting-fronts in a war without borders. Nor does it acknowledge that only America, with all its fault lines, can defeat ultimately this fanatic Islamic threat that has placed a “gestating” nuclear ticking bomb under the foundations of Western civilization. Nor does it perceive that many Western governments and their peoples do not see the holy warriors of Islam as a great threat and consider this to be America’s war–just another page of its imperialistic interests and goals—which makes it hard for the U.S. to find solid allies in this war. Moreover, this dearth of solid allies is more prominent in Muslim countries which, although they might feel threatened by al Qaeda and its multiple affiliates in the Muslim world, for religious and political reasons cannot commit themselves fully behind America. Hence, it follows that in Muslim countries there are no many horses for courses. As the diplomatic-political course is limited and only one or two horses have a chance to ‘win the race’. That is why the U.S. cannot find and back another more politically favorable horse that could win the race since no such steed presently exists and perforce is compelled to chose one from those available.

Bruce Haigh’s argument clearly implies the latter, although he loathes admitting it openly, otherwise he would have named the winning horses in contrast to the “losing” ones, according to him, of President Musharraf and the deceased Bhutto. But was the American initiative of backing Musharraf and Bhutto a losing policy? The policymakers of the Bush administration were aware–Bruce is not—that in a country such as Pakistanthe ‘military horse’ is the only force of stability. And it often has to rule the country by decree and the suspension of democratic liberties as a safety measure, otherwise the country could fall in the anarchy of tribal warfare and ultimately in the lap of the Islamic fundamentalists.      

Jimmy Carter:America is Ready for a Gay President

By Steve Clemons

 The Washington Note December 14, 2010

 A short reply: By Con George-Kotzabasis

 It’s typical of an enfeebled president like Carter to find a weak branch to perch on. A gay president will consummate Billy Clinton’s “oral sex” in the White House without the necessity of losing his/her memory. It will no longer be sensational news coming from the ‘zip’ of the president; it will be the daily news coming from the Oral, oops, Oval Office.

AMERICA: CINDERELLA AND HER UGLY SISTERS

The following paper was written on June, 2003, and published in my book Unveiling The War Against Terror, on May, 2004. It’s republished here hoping that the readers of  The Global Journal will find it to be of some interest.                    
             
By Con George-Kotzabasis 

Once upon a time, the curiosity, intrepidity, and adventurous spirit of the descendants of a cosmopolitan civilization of Judeo-Greco-Roman origins, discovered a new continent that would grow in time, on the “downside” of Eden, economically, politically, culturally, and morally, into the most beautiful and fairest of her sex. But like all creatures who are made ‘in the prodigality of nature’, she would ineluctably attract, and be victim to, the jealousy, envy, and hate of the  “ugly” world. Thus, the American Cinderella, at the peak and bloom of her economic, political, military, and cultural power, would draw upon herself the wrath and jealousy of her ugly sisters. This is in short the story, of the vicissitudes and the fate of the American Cinderella in a hostile, enviable, and unequal world.        

It is a stupendous fallacy, and tendentious to believe, that America is hated for its so – called economically exploitative policies, and its arrogant foreign policy, both of which, according to its critics, obstruct and prevent nascent nations from also basking under the sun of economic prosperity and political freedom. On the contrary, the main cause for this resentment against America by these nations, as well as by those with pretensions of global power, such as Russia, France, and Germany, which no longer perch on the top branch of the tree of political power, is the overwhelming and unassailable power that America exercises in the economic, political, military, cultural, and scientific spheres, over the rest of the world.

 It is for this reason therefore wrong to premise, that only by changing these so called reprehensible and objectionable policies toward the less privileged nations and turbulent spots of the world, will America be able to stop the waves of hate from crashing against its shores. That ostensibly the emollient to hatred lies in benign actions. Such analysis of the situation, however, is monstrously superficial and deeply faulted. The hatred against America has its roots in the curse of envy. As America’s conspicuous eminence in the above named spheres, like Veblen’s conspicuous consumption, gives rise to envy among all peoples and nations, who cannot at this stage emulate it.

There is nothing unique or unprecedented throughout all history, that strong civilizations have always distended and expanded their dominance by battering old and opening new frontiers. All dominant powers exercised and demonstrated this dominance in vigorous and often violent ways.  Not only in their unquenchable desire to conquer new lands, but also, when they had to defend their vital interests and their domain from the threatening incursions and forays of potential deadly enemies. And just as often this violent action, or resort to arms by these powers, was unilateral and preemptive. The Greek historian Thucydides, in his depiction of the dialogue between the Athenians and the Melians, gives a tour de force instruction about the reality of political and military power, i.e., the weak must submit and pay tribute to the strong, because if the weak were in the same position as the strong, they would have also done the same thing.       

It is the softening of the brain, and not of the heart, that will not concede and accept this reality of power. Moreover, no civilization or nation which possesses such power but is squeamish in using it, will   be able to prevail against its competitors or enemies and eventually, like a lion who is no longer capable to roar, will lose this power and  will cease to be preeminent among nations. And there is no example in history, that a civilization or nation that possessed such power, voluntarily abdicated it. It could only lose it in a clash with a stronger civilization or nation than itself.  

In the present historical juncture with the rise of fundamentalist Islam and its terrorist death squads which threaten the stability, if not the viability, of the nations of Western civilization, especially of America, which is the embodiment, the “cosmopolis” of this civilization, the latter as a strong nation, inevitably has to take up the cudgels and defend itself and the world from this deadly menace. No nation or civilization, imbued with a modicum of amour propre and pride for its achievements, would allow itself to succumb, without fighting back with all its vigor and might, to a dangerous thrust of a horde of barbarians. And one must be reminded, that only America, among all other nations, has the technological wherewithal, the military power, and will, to confront and defeat terrorism and its state sponsors on a global scale. Furthermore, the defeat of global terrorism is pivotal on a war on two fronts. Whose critics, among which are Simon Crean and Kevin Rudd of the Labor Opposition, so simplistically and lamentably fail to see or acknowledge. One cannot decisively defeat terrorism without simultaneously fighting and defeating its state sponsors. Both, the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan and against Saddam in Iraq, had this strategic aim. Which regrettably, was not spelled out lucidly and publicly, either by the Pentagon or the White House. And the destruction of the regimes of the Taliban and of Saddam, were, also, part of a quintessential process of ‘creative destruction’, to use the immortal phrase of the great Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter, for the countries’ future economic and political development.                                                                                     

The war against terrorism however, is not solely the responsibility of America. Because apparently it seems the latter is the main target of the terrorists. It is just as well the responsibility of all the free nations of the world. To replicate the American isolationism of the 1930s, during which the ominous dark clouds of Nazism hovered all over Europe, as the Labor Opposition has done by its statements that Australia should concentrate its forces in the region, when the terrorists have only one region in their deadly sight, i.e., the free world, is to ‘have learnt nothing and forgotten nothing’, to quote Talleyrand. Labor’s stand on this grave issue is totally out of joint. While it is in full agreement that Australia must fight global terrorism, it is calling at the same time that its armed forces should stay within the bounds of the region. Apparently, political senility is the disease that is decrepitating the Opposition on this vital issue. Thus by definition, making it completely unqualified to govern the country in these critical times.

As for the calophonous, cheerful cries, of the not so intelligent cosmopolitan liberal intelligentsia, to make love not war, they unimaginatively forget that only because America has fought and is fighting necessary wars, that it is by the “grace of America”, that the peace-loving of the world can indulge in their predilection for the gratifications and pleasures of the boudoir. Moreover, they conveniently forget, that it was “peccant” America that saved the world from the twin miasma of Nazism and Communism, which threatened to intern and engulf the world in its monstrous death camps and gulag archipelagos.

America as the sole super-power has the moral, political, and historical responsibility to defend the institutions and mores of Western civilization from this mortal threat posed by Muslim fanaticism. As the American political commentator Robert Kagan has brilliantly argued, in the ‘anarchic Hobbesian world where international laws and rules are unreliable’, Immanuel Kant’s   ‘Perpetual Peace’, can only be achieved by America decisively and relentlessly exercising its mighty power against these deadly foes of life, peace, and freedom. And whilst in such exercise, it is wise to have allies from both old and new Europe, to win this war not only in the battlefield, but, also, in the interlocutory of diplomacy, at the same time, America must not allow itself to be trapped in the power plays and procrastinations of its fickle allies, as are played out in the security council of the United Nations. To quote another political theorist Michael Glennon, ‘states pursue security by pursuing power. Legalistic institutions that manage that pursuit maladroitly are ultimately swept away ‘. (Foreign Affairs May/June 2003.)

The security of the free world which is presently threatened by the baneful and atrocious attacks of al Qaeda and its affiliate bodies spread all over the globe, can only be accomplished by America using its military power preemptively and unilaterally, if that is necessary, against these mortal foes.  America, as the embodiment and protector of Western civilization and freedom, has no other alternative but to respond to this challenge of terrorism with all its might. The ghastly specter of fanatic terrorism will not be exorcised by saintly incantations nor by sprinkling with oil its stormy waters. And as no great nation can escape its own destiny, America has no choice but to exercise its military power against this reign of terror, with the wisdom that applies in a Hobbesian world of bellum omnium contra omnes.

Your turn now… 
                     

                     

ALL THE PRESIDENT’S DISABLERS

SEASON’S GREETINGS

A healthy, joyous, industrious, and challenging 2008 to all readers and commentators of this blog. 

A response by Con George-Kotzabasis to:

All the President’s Enablers by Paul Krugman
The New York Times July 20, 2007

The fundamental principle of power and of any political activity is that these should never be any appearance of weakness. Niccolo Machiavelli

The eminent professor of economics Paul Krugman who ditched his solid professorial chair for the ephemeral glitter and celebrity status that accrues from being a peer pundit of The New York Times, ridicules George Bush, in his latest article, of a misplaced confidence that verges to a “lost touch with reality”. Confident to bring in Osama dead or alive, confident toward the insurgents “to bring it on”, confident that the war will be won, when the latest report of the National Intelligence Estimate is so gloomy about the prospects in Iraq and the war against al Qaeda that would make even the most optimistic of Presidents to have second thoughts about his policy, but not George Bush. Krugman states, “thanks to Mr. Bush’s poor leadership America is losing the struggle with al Qaeda. Yet Mr. Bush remains confident”. Such a stand “doesn’t demonstrate Mr. Bush’s strength of character” but his stubbornness to prove himself right despite the grim reality.

But Krugman saves his main grapeshot to fire it against the Republican doyen Senator Richard Luger and General Petraeus both of whom he considers to be the “smart sensible” enablers of the President. He argues that while Senator Luger knows, and indeed, acknowledges, that Bush’s policy in Iraq is wrong, he nonetheless is not prepared to take a strong stand against it. And he cleverly in anticipation of the September report of General Petraeus that might be favourable to the situation on the ground as an outcome of the surge, he launches a pre-emptive strike on the credibility of the general by quoting extensively from an article the latter wrote in the Washington Post on Sept. 26, 2004, whose assessment about Iraq at the time was overly optimistic if not completely wrong. In the article the general wrote, “that Iraqi leaders are stepping forward, leading their country and their security forces courageously” and “are displaying courage and resilience” and “momentum has gathered in recent months”. It’s by such implied non sequiturs that our former professor attempts to discredit General Petraeus. Just because he might have been “wrong” in the past it does not follow that he would be wrong also in the future. And Krugman caps his argument by saying that because of these “enablers” of the President, “Mr. Bush keeps doing damage because many people who understand how his folly is endangering the nation’s security still refuse, out of political caution and careerism, to do anything about it”.

But how serious are these strictures of Krugman against the President and his so called enablers? Let us first deal with the optimism of Bush and his confident statements about the war in Iraq and the struggle against al Qaeda. Krugman is lamentably forgetful that when the President committed the U.S. to take the fight to the terrorists he stated clearly and unambiguously that this would be a generational struggle. And in this long war against al Qaeda and its affiliates and those states that support them, he was confident that America would prevail. Hence all the confident statements of Bush were made in the context of a long span and not of a short one as Krugman with unusual cerebral myopia made them to be. His argument therefore against the President’s optimism and confidence, which he ridicules with the pleasure of one “twisting the knife”, is premised on a misperception. Moreover, did Krugman expect that the Commander-In-Chief of the sole superpower not to have expressed his hopefulness and confidence to the American people, when they were attacked so brutally on 9/11, that the U.S. in this long war would prevail? And is it possible that our pundit to be so unread in history and not to have realized that in all critical moments of a nation’s existence it’s of the utmost importance that its leaders rally their people against a mortal threat with statements of hope and confidence, as Winston Churchill did in the Second World War, that the nation would be victorious against its enemies? Would Krugman have the President of the United States adopt the gloom and doom of the so called realists as a strategy against al Qaeda, its numerous franchises, and the rogue states that support them by sinister and covert means?

Indeed, the liberal’s and The New York Times’  “Bush derangement syndrome…has spread” not only “to former loyal Bushies”, to quote Krugman , but to more than two thirds of the American people thanks to this ignominious coterie of  all the President’s disablers of the liberal establishment, and its pundits, like Paul Krugman. The paramount duty and responsibility of the media, being the Fourth Estate in the political structure of a democratic society, at a time when a nation faces and confronts a great danger from a remorseless and determined enemy, is to morally mobilize and rally its people behind their government and their armed forces that are engaged in war. In the present defensive pre-emptive war–the latter as a result of the nature of the enemy and his potential to acquire nuclear weapons–that has issued from the aftermath of 9/11 and the cogent convincing concerns of the Bush administration of a possible nexus in the near future between al Qaeda and its sundry affiliates with rogue states armed with weapons of mass destruction and nuclear ones, and the portentous and abysmal danger this would pose not only to the U.S. but to the world at large, the media has a “sacred” obligation to unite the American people behind its government of whatever political hue. No errors of judgment or mishandling the planning of the war by the Bush administration can excuse the media from abdicating from this historical responsibility.

There is no fogless war and no one can see and perceive and measure correctly all its dimensions. And the frailty of human nature further exacerbates this inability. But no Churchillian confidence in one’s actions and strategic acumen throws the towel because of mistakes. One corrects one’s errors and keeps intact his resolution to defeat the enemy with a new strategy. (And one has to be reminded that the greatest scientific discoveries have been built on a pile of mistakes.)  It would be an indelible obloquy to one’s amour propre to even consider that these uncivilized obtuse fanatics, and seventy-two virgin pursuers, could come close to conceiving a strategy that would defeat the know-how and scientific mastery of Western civilization and its epitome the United States of America. Only a lack of resolve of its politicians and its opinion-makers, as a result of their fatal embrace with supine populism, appeasement, and pacifism, could lead to such shameful and historic defeat.

America at this critical juncture of its historical and Herculean task to defeat Islamofascism in a long, far from free of heavy casualties, painstaking arduous war  needs a wise, imaginative, and resolute political and military leadership that will overcome all the difficulties and imponderables of war and will strike a decisive lethal blow to this determined suicidal enemy. The new “Surge” strategy of the resolute Bush administration implemented by that “superb commander”, according to his troops, General Petraeus, seems to be accomplishing its objectives. Two prominent and vehement critics of Bush Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack of  The Brookings Institution who had accused the President of mishandling the war, after an eight-day visit in Iraq talking to high officials now believe that we are fighting in “a war we just might win”. And Petraeus, like a stronger Atlas, is pushing the rise of the sun of victory in the up till now dark sky of Iraq. Hence, the courageous actions and sacrifices of U.S soldiers in Iraq are not wasted and will be written with adamantine letters in the military annals. At this momentous noteworthy victory all the President’s and the nation’s disablers will be cast into the pit of ignominy by history

 Your turn now…