Thursday, June 4, 2009
CHUTZBAH - June 4, 2009
I am constantly amazed at the magic mirror like those at fun houses, in which US sees ourselves. In this mirror we are immensely powerful, both economically and militarily. We see our president issuing orders to other states in the way that imperial EU used to deal with their retainers, if not their serfs. There seems to be no sense even in Obama that the Iranians might still retain resentment over the way Ike’s CIA participated in overthrowing (in 1953) the only reasonably democratic government they ever had. But the DC regime is still nursing their wounds over the Iranian outrage in 1973. So then they issue dicta in which the unspoken words “or else” come over, both from US and Israel. And this to a far more impressive opponent than any of those to whom each of us has lost wars in the previous decades. On top of this, US seems to be the only country that does not know that the Cheney regime has left our military in a state of total collapse, except for the services that can bomb or shell from a safe distance. The story of US economic might was already an illusion ten years ago. Obama is already stinting on the costs of avoiding a Great Depression, and even people called Dems are unwilling to borrow the money to try to reduce the disaster by a million or two unemployed. So the threat to exploit that kind of muscle is a bluff. US is already cutting back on deals that mean money and jobs to EU and China to save nickels, so who is afraid of a boycott and who is willing to join us in a boycott? Nixon was afraid of having US appear as a paper tiger, but our present stance is more like the picture of a tiger projected on a screen, not even a material presence. It is bad to come across looking weak, but it is far worse to rattle the saber one does not even have. And even N. Korea looks like it is up to calling the bluff Obama inherited from Bush.