The U.S. is in free fall

By Ted Belman

I am sorry to say it, but it is true. 911 changed everything.

The US has proved no match for the Islamists in the world. The US is no longer calling the shots anywhere.

    – Lebanon is now part of the Syrian/Iranian alliance.
    – Iraq may be stabilized for now but there is no way the US can get out without turning it over to Iranian control.
    – Pakistan is no longer a US ally.
    – Georgia has been dismembered and is now in the Russian Camp
    – Iran is proceeding unmolested to develop the bomb
    – The US Roadmap is going nowhere.
    – Turkey is also flexing its muscles and its independence from the US and Israel. It can no longer be counted on.
    – Afghanistan wouldn’t last a day if NATO pulled out.
    – Venezuela in in the Russian/Iran camp

Where does that leave the US?

First of all Georgia which was very important to the west because it was the only western ally on the Black Sea that could be used to link the oil reserves in the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea to the West, yet the West was not able to mount a response to ward off the Russians. The Russians, flush with oil money, have no reason to go soft on the Americans. Russia will apply pressure on its former colonies in Eastern Europe. And we can forget about Russian help in preventing Iran from developing the bomb. In fact Russia and Iran will pull closer together with the idea of dominating the entire area down to the Persian Gulf.

The US had cultivated relationships with the “stans” to the east and west of the Caspian Sea all of whom are sandwiched between Iran to the South and Russia to the North. No doubt Russia and Iran have plans to wrest them from US control.

Meanwhile the allies cultivated by the US, namely Al Fatah , Egypt and Siniori in Lebanon are of no consequence.

The US must have a new game plan. It is unlikely that it will abandon the field to Iran and Russia.

So it seems to me that if the US wants to stay in the game, it must conquer Iran. She should use its troops in Afghanistan and Iraq to do the job. These two countries don’t matter any more. They will go the way of Iran.

It is also time for the US to call on Egypt to use the $40 billion given to them in military aid and the million man army to do the land fighting in Iran. The Egyptians could cross over to Saudi Arabia and then travel eastward to Iraq and Iran.

Israel has become once again very important to the US. Israel would destroy Hezbollah, Hamas and Syria all of whom are allies of Iran.

I don’t see how such a war can be avoided.


After writing this article I came across a WSJ article of August 13, Welcome Back to the Great Game, which makes the same point.

    [..] And make no mistake, it’s about countering U.S. power at its furthest stretch with Moscow’s power very close to home.

    The pivotal geography of the Caucasus offers the Kremlin just such an opportunity. Look at a map, and the East-meets-West, North-meets-South vector lines of the region illustrate all too clearly how the drama now unfolding in the Caucasus casts Moscow’s shadow all across Central Asia and down into the Middle East. In effect, we in the West are being challenged by Russian actions in Georgia to show that we have the nerve and the stamina to secure the gains not just of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but of the entire collapse of Soviet power.

    Between Russia and Iran, in the lower Caucasus, sits a small wedge of independent soil — namely, the soil of Azerbaijan and Georgia combined. Through those two countries runs the immensely important Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, which delivers precious oil circuitously from Azerbaijan to Turkey and out to the world. This is important not just because of the actual oil being delivered free of interference from Russia and Iran and the Middle East, but also for symbolic reasons. It says to the world that if any former Moscow colonies wish to sell their wares to the West directly, they have a right to do so, and the West will support that right. According to Georgian authorities, Russian warplanes have tried to demolish the Georgian leg of that pipeline several times in the last days. Their message cannot be clearer.

    Besides their own pipeline, Georgia and Azerbaijan offer a fragile strategic conduit between the West and the “stans” of Central Asia — including Afghanistan — an area that the Soviets once controlled in toto. We should remember that an isolated Central Asia means an isolated Afghanistan. Look at the countries surrounding Afghanistan — all former Soviet colonies, then Iran, then Pakistan.

    The natural resources of Central Asia, from Turkmenistan’s natural gas to Kazakhstan’s abundant oil, cannot reach the West free of Russia and Iran except through that narrow conduit in the Caucasus. Moscow’s former colonies in Central Asia are Afghanistan’s most desirable trading partners. They are watching the strife in Georgia closely. It will tell them whether or not they will enter the world’s free markets without a Russian chokehold on their future — or, whether they, and their economies, are doomed for the foreseeable future to remain colonies in all but name. And it won’t be long before Moscow dictates to them exactly how to isolate Kabul. Moscow is perfectly aware, even if we are not, that choking off the bottleneck in the Caucasus gives Iran and Russia much say over our efforts in Afghanistan.

    In Iraq too, the Kremlin’s projection of power down through Georgia will soon be felt. Take another look at the map. If Russia is allowed to extend its reach southwards, as in Soviet times, down the Caucasus to Iran’s borders, Moscow can support Iran in any showdown with the West. Iran, thus emboldened, will likely attempt to reassert itself in Iraq, Syria and, via Hezbollah, in Lebanon.

    We could walk away from this challenge, hoping for things to cool off, and let the Russians impose sway over the lower Caucasus for now. But no one will fail to notice our weakness. If we don’t draw the line here, it doesn’t get easier down the road with any other border or country. We would be risking the future of Afghanistan, and the stability of Iraq, on the good will of Moscow and the mullahs in Tehran. This is how the game of grand strategy is played, whether we like it or not.

I interpret the situation exactly the same only I go forward to say that the US must conquer Iran to turn the tables.

August 18, 2008 | 19 Comments »

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  1. part of Americas free fall is the American economy. Here’s how I see it going down.

    It is easy to be pessimistic about American economy. The hard part is timing the downturn. The problem is well known from shorting on stock market: many companies are obviously overvalued, but can still rise up enough to wipe out the bear.

    American economy was always, in a sense, a vampire. It attracted huge foreign investments and then defaulted cyclically. Americans have Las Vegas casinos, while the world has its own casino – America. The foreigners played on American stock market, railroads, junk bonds, currency, dotcoms – you name it. To call it “investment,” even “speculative investment,” is a misnomer: we’re talking about high-stakes gambling. The money doesn’t even fund the companies in IPOs, but mostly applies to the secondary – purely speculative – market. In the end, foreigners always lost their investments. The boom cycle seems to be about 30-40 years, and the last major crisis took place in the early 1970s, reverberating into the S&L crisis and the 1987 stock market crash.

    Obviously, the three times increase in stock market indices since 1994 and up to five times increase in real estate valuations reflect a market boom. Such increases are unsustainable. The looming social security crisis when the baby boomers retire also assures an economic downturn.

    The government attempts to cut down on taxes and welfare proved unsuccessful. America, as any democracy, continuously increases the allowances for its voters until the economic dead end. The government expenses rise continuously, almost always faster than GDP, and are resilient: the expenditures keep rising when GDP slows down.

    The US dollar is overvalued as any brand-name item. For decades, it was the currency of choice for foreign governments, companies, and commoners. The US, accordingly, was able to issue staggering amounts of currency without the fear of being inundated by it: foreigners kept dollars as reserves and savings, and did not threaten the run on the American market. That situation is changing rapidly since late 1980s as US brokers appeal to previously passive investors. Foreign pension funds and governments seek higher profits by investing in America rather than simply maintaining cash reserves in US dollars. Japanese and the oil Arabs, untouched as yet by American economic crises (their riches accumulated after the 1970s US default), are especially active investors. Chinese government can always unload its massive dollar reserves onto the US market. The euro undermined the dollar as the major reserve currency. American financial sanctions against Iran also suggested the Muslims to switch to euro and Swiss francs. The dollar inflation is huge, about 390% from 1972.

    Though the American dominance in the high-tech is unrivaled, it is actually not American. Only a relatively small educated class prospers from the high-tech. Another small number of denizens profits hugely from the Casino America, offering financial services to foreigners and hapless locals, both of whom lose consistently. The majority of Americans are employed in the industries which cannot compete with the foreign ones. That’s why the American economy is disproportionally service-oriented: its industries went bankrupt. Scores of Mexican immigrants with no competitive skills weigh the American economy down. The similarity with Ancient Rome is striking. There, too, a small part of the economy was highly competitive while most citizens lived on the government handouts.

    Though the US economy is relatively free from regulation, its most important aspect – wage – is heavily regulated. The minimum wage in America drives industrialists out of business. If the least skilled worker receives $8 per hour, then a much more skilled industrial worker expects three times as much, and entrepreneurs have to move their factories to China.

    Outsourcing the high-tech jobs to places such as Israel and India presents little problem to America so far. No other country managed to develop the high-tech clusters: many companies working in the same area, venture capital, excellent universities, and attractiveness to highly qualified foreign workers. The problem comes from counterfeiting and reverse engineering the US products. Another critical factor is the demand for high-tech gadgets: recently, Microsoft encountered relatively sluggish sales of its Vista platform to existing Windows customers, as they are satisfied with their current OS and don’t want to invest in switching. Manufacturers of hard goods are already familiar with this problem: Volvo is so reliable that many owners of old cars refuse to upgrade, and mobile phone users don’t rush to replace their handsets with the newest devices. The market for high-tech improvements can be saturated.

    The US “financial” (gambling) industry can be struck hard by the foreigners and small domestic investors becoming temporarily wary of speculative investment.

    American economy is overleveraged: from sub-prime mortgages to resurging junk bonds. Many stock corporations have liquidity far below the market price of even the IPO valuations, and their investors are latent losers. The US economy is highly vulnerable to even small downturns. The government has long recognized that problem, and fights it with interventions, essentially absorbing the losers’ debts and embezzlers’ profits with taxpayers’ money. From the New Deal semi-socialist programs which converted a short-term recovery into prolonged recession, to the giant S&L bailout, to the government-propped buyouts, such as the recent Bear Stern’s, the government hides the losses from the public view to retain credibility and avoid its nightmare, the run on the US dollar. That’s sort of what Enron officials were charged with.

    The American economic ripples are a part of the worldwide crisis which has recently broke out in Japan, Malaysia, Great Britain, and other countries. The governments grew bigger, tax more, spend more, and regulate more. For decades, booming economy and the technological revolution provided a sufficient pace for worldwide GDP growth despite the opposing trend of growing governments. Still, the US disposable income grew by merely 1% a year for the last 35 years.

    The current international income disparity is abnormal. In the late eighteenth century, English farmers lived not much better than freehold Chinese farmers. So the situation will slowly return to the historical norm. Abnormal profits are only made in monopolies: either regulatory or based on some other advantage. Now the US economy enjoys monopolistic advantage in the high-tech. The income trickles from the top earners down through the American society, but also the know-how and jobs trickle to other countries. America will prosper in absolute terms, but decline compared to other nations which develop faster. They are still unlikely to reach the American income, GDP, and budget figures for considerable time, but the gap is closing. Some countries can form the blocs which collectively exceed the US GDP.

    The US Army is heading into a major trouble. It staked everything on the cutting-edge weapons but their costs increase faster than GDP, squeezing the budget. All other high-tech goodies become cheaper, but it’s different with weapons where good is never enough, and the army always looks for the best. The law of marginal utility kicks in, and the costs of slightly better weapons skyrocket. The US Army, therefore, might not be so terrifying soon. Or, a major war might shake the excessive gadgets off, and the army would settle on good rather than hyper-advanced weapons.

    For all its booms and busts, America will remain a wealthy and important country at least for decades, but its relative importance in international affairs will decline from the unsustainably high post-WWII level.

  2. With the death of Judeo-Christian values in the West, many Westerners believe in little. That is why secular Western Europe has been unwilling and therefore unable to confront evil, whether it was Communism during the Cold War or Islamic totalitarians in its midst today.
    -Written by Dennis Prager, man who was brought up as an Orthodox Jew.

  3. America may be doing bad, but it is still a great nation. The biggest threat to the US is from within, namely the secular Left, they assault Christianity and Christians who support Israel (They were quite rude to Pastor Hagee, kind of weird to say a man who has given millions of dollars to Israel is an anti-Semite). The United States was founded by tolerant open minded Christians and if they are weakened, the United States will no longer be friendly to Israel or the Jewish people. That is why Jews and Christians made the American Alliance of Jews and Christians orginization, to ensure that does not happen, once we fix our internal problems, then we can once again become be the sleeping giant, that when roused to anger, people back down.

  4. As America falls, so will the Jews. Sooner or later the Jews will be blamed for all of Americas woes. There is no reason to believe that History will even in this instance make exceptions:

    Here is one aberration of writings on the wall so to speak.

    U.S. Holocaust Museum Accused of Falsifying History of Nazi-Palestinian Alliance

    Press Release – Aug 14, 2008
    Holocaust Museum Watch

    The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), the nation’s leading educational institution on the Holocaust, has posted on its website a biography of the Holocaust-era Mufti of Jerusalem ( that distorts the historical record of the Holocaust.

    The father of Palestinian nationalism, the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Hussayni, was a terrorist and a Nazi collaborator, indicted at the Eichmann Trial. The Museum wrote a web biography which presents al-Hussayni as a moderate supporter of non-violence. Falsifying and omitting key facts from the historical record, including photographs of Hussayni conferring with Hitler, the Holocaust Museum attempts to exonerate him from well documented charges of Nazi collaboration. The Museum’s website states that his “controversial…relationship with Hitler’s government…has led some to label him a Nazi collaborator and war criminal….”

    When the Museum blurs the line between facts and opinion, it opens the door to Holocaust denial. The Holocaust Museum’s standard for historical truth cannot be what “some” say, since some say there was no Holocaust. The Museum’s entire mission depends on disseminating the facts of the Holocaust. They have now joined deniers in attempting to whitewash parts of the historical record that they seem to find politically difficult. Changing history throws the Museum’s credibility into question.

    The Mufti’s Lasting Legacy Ignored by Museum

    There are direct historical links between the Nazis, the Final Solution, Husayni, the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda. The Museum’s policy is to be silent about current Muslim antisemitism. Now it has chosen to falsify these historical roots in the Mufti’s biography. Accordingly, it chose an academic well known for denying any link between Nazism and the current Islamic terror organizations to misrepresent the genocidal activities of the Mufti.

    Conclusion: It is very serious when the Museum creates a false historical record.

    The Museum website calls the Mufti a “moderate voice for peace” and states that his collaboration with Hitler was “inconclusive” and his work for the Nazis was “ineffective.”

    * A British inquiry found Husayni responsible for the 1936-39 reign of terror against Jews and Arab moderates in Palestine. The violence led the British to close Palestine to Jews fleeing the Final Solution. The Mufti spent the war in Nazi Berlin working for Hitler.

    * The Jerusalem court that tried Eichmann found in its Judgments, Part 50: “It has been proved to us that the Mufti, too, aimed at the implementation of the final solution, viz. the extermination of European Jewry.”

    * The Mufti recruited 20,000 Muslims for the Handschar divisions of the Waffen SS that annihilated 90% of Bosnia’s Jews. Yugoslavia convicted him of war crimes. He fled to Egypt where he recruited fleeing Nazis and helped found modern Islamic terrorism through the Muslim Brotherhood and the PLO.

    Contact: Carol Greenwald, Chairman, Holocaust Museum Watch. 301-657-2072

    How come levinson or Jerry haven’t picked this up or is all they care about is OBAMA?

  5. “I am sorry to say it, but it is true. 911 changed everything.”

    Actually Ted, it was the creation of the FEDERAL RESERVE BANK in 1913 that changed everything. Since that day, countless wars have been fought. Right after 1913, 1916 produced World War I. The roaring 1920s was prosperous. Then the depression of the 1930s and World War II sprung up with the rise of Hitler and his axis powers. After Hitler was defeated, Israel was re-established and the U.N. World Bank created. You saw Nixon’s failed attempt during Vietnam. World War III occurred from 1948 to 2001. We are now in the beginning phases of World War IV in the aftermath of 911. It was MONEY that changed everything – not for the best, but for the worst. Whether it’s a surplus of money among the wealthy or lack of money among the poor – MONEY drove everyone mad. All of our idolatries begin with THE LOVE OF MONEY. I love America and Americans, Israel and Israelis, but HATE what the love of money has done to all of us.

  6. This warning was interpreted by the London Arabic daily Al Quds as a warning to Tehran that an attack is impending by the US, some European nations and Israel.

    I’m still waiting for peskin or Gwynne Dyer to put up $60,000 against my $10,000 that neither the US nor Israel will attack Iran before the end of the year.

  7. DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources report that the Iranian satellite carrier space launch Sunday, Aug. 17, was prompted by a joint caution to Tehran from Saudi King Abdullah and Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.

    After their meeting Saturday, the spokesman of the presidential palace in Cairo, Suleiman Awwad, said: Iran should not present on a silver platter the “justifications and pretexts for those [US and Israel] who want to drag the region down a dangerous slope.”

    This warning was interpreted by the London Arabic daily Al Quds as a warning to Tehran that an attack is impending by the US, some European nations and Israel.

  8. Ted in your critique of Americas failing World positions don’t forget Americas failing economy! This will be her real Achilles heal. Between Iraqi and Afgan theaters and the hundreds of billions going off shore. America will be if she already isn’t, bankrupt. A cold war Type conflict with a Russia with full pockets and Islam still plodding along, could be a boon or it could reduce America to a sidelined observer, pretty much helpless.

    Israel receives access to American missile warning system

    The friendly US Administration refused Israeli request for integrating her missile warning system with the American satellite-based one. but after years of diplomatic battles – and months of very intensive battles – agreed to deploy the US warning stations in the Negev. Those stations will be manned by American personnel.
    The new facilities would increase the warning range from the current 500 to 1,200 miles, and allow Israel enough time to react to Iranian missile launches. The deployment is scheduled for early 2009 but would be delayed as usual.
    The project’s purpose is unclear. It can be both a way of comforting Israel into living with nuclear Iran, and the means to counter the Iran’s retaliatory strike after Israeli attack on its nuclear facilities.


    Jordan officially resumes relations with Hamas

    Unofficially, Jordan always communicated with the terrorist group.

  9. Bland,

    why should we? To please the Israelis? The more I hear Israeli Jews badmouthing America, the more I’m convinced we should just let them go to hell — a Russian hell, an Iranian hell… who cares? The Jews don’t seem to care about anyone but the Jews.

    Comment by BlandOatmeal — August 17, 2008 @ 9:16 pm

    Our great Liberal sage Hillel of whom you have no respect for as he was a RABBI, said “If I am not for myself who be be for me” I think it is about time and it might just shut some of you antisemitic WASPS up!! Since when is Christian SUPPORT of Israel dependent on How polite or nice we view America? Should we toe the WASP, line in all things and never forget to say yes Master and kiss your WASP asses forever? If anything old Oat or Goat, I think America will be needing a very strong and dominant Israel soon and In a conflict over who gets hegemony over whom and what, I am not sure our interests actually lie in the American Camp. At the very least I can see us at least demanding and getting what is in our long term interests, and it isn’t money.

    The Jews don’t seem to care about anyone but the Jews.

    I wish it were true ,as it ought to be!!

  10. Ted,

    I agree the U.S. star is descending as the Russian star rises.

    The media which should be focussing on this to better inform the public, have been failed to do so.

    The media has been pretty much focussed on the election campaign and in that regard, that focus has been limited in a number of respects which limitations have come under much criticism on these pages.

    As regards the distraction of Russia’s invasion of Georgia, the media has focussed on expressing general concern with Russia’s aggression, what facts or pretexts led to Russia’s decision to invade and that Russia is ignoring words and efforts by the Bush administration to get Russia to withdraw, thus painting Bush as weak and ineffective.

    The American media has thus failed to put this Russian invasion of Georgia into the context of overall Russian policy in the region and Middle East and thus the media fails to address the greater ramifications of Russian policies and actions that negatively impact the strength of America and the wellbeing of Americans.

    The media has great sway on American public opinion. Given the media’s self limiting attention to details outside the context of ramifications to Americans, it is not surprising that the American people do not see the deeper and broader picture of what is happening to America as a result of Russia’s flexing its muscles both as regards Georgia and other former vassal states and events in the Middle East.

    You have suggested that America press Egypt into service to attack Iran. I cannot see America doing that let alone doing it successfully. Why not press Saudi Arabia to ally with Egypt and the U.S. to attack Iran?

    That will not happen with Pres. Bush or the next president unless American interests are directly attacked by Iran and Americans suffer real pain.

    You say that:

    Israel has become once again very important to the US. Israel would destroy Hezbollah, Hamas and Syria all of whom are allies of Iran.

    Could Israel start a war to destroy Hezbollah, Hamas and Syria, without igniting a war against Israel from all the Muslim Middle Eastern nations? Can Israel do it without aid from the Americans?

    If Israel were to engage in such war, would they correct the mistakes of their war against Hezbollah and in correcting those mistakes would they wreak even greater death and destruction on the civilian populations which are the shields for these terrorist organizations and states?

    As for the WSJ opinion, the writer has not stated what kind of line America should be drawing and what American muscle should be employed to back that line up.

  11. First of all Georgia which was very important to the west because it was the only western ally on the Black sea that could be used to link the oil reserves in the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea to the West, yet the West was not able to mount a response to ward off the Russians.

    Firstly, let’s straighten up little bit the history. Georgia has been conquered and annexed to Russia yet in the beginning of the 19th century, when America was yet busy playing cowboys and gun-slingers (at least according to Hollywood) in the Wild West. Since then Georgia and Russia were sticking together, though not without occasional skirmishes, until the breakup of Soviet Union. Both Russians and Georgians are Greek-Orthodox. Under Stalin (himself Georgian) Georgia did relatively well (as much as it could be under Soviet regime) compared to Russia itself and other Soviet republics.

    What’s going now is that Moscow (the old-timer) and Washington (the new-comer) are quarreling about control of the oil pipeline passing through Georgia. It is not much different from two dogs fighting for the same bone however with a twist that one dog (Moscow) perceives the bone is on his territory on which the other dog (Washington) is an intruder that came out of blue. The passionate Saakashvili’s babbling about freedom, kindergartens, and rock concerts in the recent press conference with Rice are for credulous “masses” in the West while Georgian themselves barely understood what he was carping about. My guess is that Ms. Rice and here colleagues in Washington were embarrassed to see how their stooge, this idiot Saakashvilly, took their “freedom” propaganda at its face value.


    The US must have a new game plan. It is unlikely that it will abandon the field to Iran and Russia. So it seems to me that if the US wants to stay in the game, it must conquer Iran.

    You are right, it’s all began, or at lest it looks so, with 911. Presumably Sadam Hussein was a culprit; hence Washington launched its “Freedom” conquest of Iraq. Now it does not looks so anymore, but who cares since “Freedom” and “Democracy” in Iraq are more important than what happened on 911. Also, Iraq’s “liberation” kicked Russkies out from there, however it is really a small-change “by-product”, really insignificant compared to “bringing freedom to Iraqi people”! Before 911 Iraq and Iran were balancing each other. “Freeing” Iraq annulled this balance. Three thousand years history of Iran taught them that countries to the east of its border were always eventually turning out to be enemies. Now it is USA instead of Iraq is their enemy. But, what the heck, it is all very simple (isn’t everything simple in Washington, eh?) – let’s now conquer Iran too, and kick the Russkies out from there too, as we did in Georgia. Isn’t the world wonderful and simple? It is a shame that Moscow does not understand this wonderful simplicity, does not cooperate, and dares to invade Georgia.

    What about Saudi Arabia – the real culprit of 911 and the major mover behind rising Islam in the world? Why not to conquer, or, better, destroy Saudi Arabia? At least no power balance will be deranged. Well, this is not so simple (hurray, there is something not simple in Washington!), because Saudi Arabia has too many friends in Washington, actually every institution or government agency of any import is their friend – isn’t it wonderful how money makes everybody friendly!

  12. Blandoatmeal, Blandoatmeal, Blandoatmeal, we are all interconnected. The Jews care about Jews because they are family, but they remain aware of the world of the “other.” So, they comment upon it. It seems to my poor little mind that America has treated Russia quite poorly, thus giving up an opportunity to civilize the depressive. predatory Russians. If there is any system that fits them better than Communism, it is unbridled Capitalism. Would America have done a better job of integrating Russia, then this whole Georgia thing might not be happening.

    Furthermore, and so on, I take your remarks as poorly thought out. It is not the Jews who are critical of America; it is a handful of politicians, Jews and mostly not Jews. It is not, nor has it ever been, the Jews who are responsible for the dirty, nasty quality of the world, but “politicians” or “leaders” as a class who have brought the most suffering to this planet.

    My view is that anyone who wishes to be a “leader” is probably not worth having as one. My example is taken from the Lubavitcher movement in which their last leader, Rabbi Schneerson, had to be approached multiple times before accepting the position of “Rebbe.” At last, when he finally accepted, his first act was to sit down and cry at the lose of his personal freedom and the responsibility that had been thrust upon him. He was one of the most successful leaders the world has ever known. And the measure of the man: as far as I know, he destroyed no one who ever came in contact with him.

    Kindly redirect your ire. No one deserves the Russian hell or the Iranian hell.

  13. Some outspoken liberals have exclusively criticized the West, mainly the USA, because they think that its great power is so overwhelming that by unilaterally disengaging, peace will become a reality. Set the example, pull out of Iraq and change policy in the ME and, like a miracle, everyone else will follow suit. This is naive and dangerous rationalization of a policy of isolationism and cowardice.

    Seeing the USA in a steep decline with regard to its influence over world affairs will mean that liberals who now go as far as blaming the crisis in Georgia (against all reason they refer to arms sales to Georgia as the provocation for that war) on the US will have to pressure their friends who they now call victims (Russia, the Arab countries, North Korea, Iran, etc) to make peace and stop their onslaught. The absence of the West will not stop the march of the Russians, Arabs and Iranians.

    I think that BlandOatmeal is delusional – he cannot understand the connection between oil, power and exercising the right to impose the rule of dictators and Islamic fundamentalists on the people of the West – a prime target for these people. How does he know that the Japanese and the Chinese don’t care? China has its own battles with Islamists who want to separate in their northwest provinces and Japan is an independent nation that does not want its lifeline controlled by Russia or Iran.

  14. Since there is a global market for oil and it has to be sold to someone, one may argue that the US shouldn’t care who they get their oil from and that the US may just as well get out of the Caucasus and the ME and let Iran and Russia control it. Those who believe so might just as well conclude that it is no business of the US who controls eastern Europe. Afterall it is very far from the US.

    You can see where this mentality gets us. Is there anyone but Buchanan that would suggests the US abandon its hegemony.

    Does the US need to be the go to guy in international politics or does it just want to be a bystander.

  15. BlandOatmeal, if what you were saying was true, then the leader of the founder of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, an man who hates the Jews named Vladimir Volfovich Zhirinovsky, would not so desire Russia to conquer the Middle East and Iran. As I said, you get nu jobs in all countries, judging Israel because of the words of some Israelis is stupid. Come up with a better reason to cut off support to Israel, you will not find one since the evangelical Christians in the United States are just as pro-Israel as any Zionist Jew, and they have a strong electoral voice in American politics.

  16. Bland
    Are you suggesting that America can allow Russia and Iran to totally control Caspian oil and ME oil? Leave Israel out of it.

    It upsets me that you suggest the only reason for the US to care about this is so that Israel is protected. What nonsense.

  17. Russia does not need Middle Eastern oil; and to a large extent, neither does the U.S. If the EU, the Chinese and the Japanese, who are dependent on that oil, don’t mind the fact that the Russians are taking over the area, why should we? To please the Israelis? The more I hear Israeli Jews badmouthing America, the more I’m convinced we should just let them go to hell — a Russian hell, an Iranian hell… who cares? The Jews don’t seem to care about anyone but the Jews.