Monday, July 24, 2006

The Mighty Fall Further

Jammed off the radar by bad news from Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan and America's other warfare related foreign policy fumbles is another issue that bodes ill for the ability of "the mightiest nation in history" to favorably influence international relationships. As Tom Wright of the New York Times reports, key global trade talks have gone down the flusher.
After five years of negotiations to reduce barriers to international trade, global trade talks broke down today when the United States and the European Union failed to agree to reduce farm subsidies and protective tariffs.

Negotiators from the United States, the European Union, Japan, Brazil, India and Australia were deadlocked after meeting for 14 hours at the World Trade Organization’s headquarters here on Sunday, prompting the director general of the organization, Pascal Lamy, to suspend further discussions.

The general idea behind creating a global economy was to create an economic model in which armed conflict would ebb because it would disrupt trade that contributed to the prosperity of all parties involved. As you might expect, the main point of contention was over America's tariff protection and subsidizing of its farmers, which gives you the big picture of where the Bush administration's warfare-centric neoconservative policies have led us. We can't even hold talks on global trade without turning them in to a worldwide food fight.

Digging Our Way to China

America's standing as an honest broker and an agent of "good" has never been lower. Young Mister Bush has squandered the moral heroism banked by predecessors like Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, and his father, George H.W. Bush. The country of big shoulders that the rest of the world could lean on has become the bully nation. Domestically, the government "of the people, by the people, for the people" has become the official sponsor of special interests, big business, big energy and the military industrial complex.

Commentator Bob Higgins has written a wonderful two-part column titled "Class Warfare at Big Flo's Diner." Bob chronicles the plight of Jane, a middle aged divorcee who works for less than minimum wage as a waitress in a large chain diner type restaurant. Jane works overtime for tips only because her diner chain's bean counting corporate gurus won't allow overtime pay.

Can someone explain to me how a nation that can spend more than a half trillion dollars annually on counterproductive foreign wars and the machinery that supports them let this sort of thing go on within its own borders?

Part of the answer may lie in the reality that on a subsistence of $2.36 per hour plus tips, Jane can't afford to pay the likes of Bob Dole to lobby Congress on her behalf.

Guess who else can't afford Bob Dole class lobbyists. Start with the more than 600 thousand Lebanese refugees created by the ongoing Israel-Hezbollah crisis. And between the Israelis and the Lebanese refugees, guess who can afford lobbyists like Bob Dole.

And guess further who's really driving the policy by which Condi Rice stares at her shiny Italian boots while refusing to push for an immediate ceasefire that might avoid making even more Lebanese refugees, a significant portion of whom are lining up right now in front of Hezbollah recruiting offices.

And we wonder why "home grown" terrorists are popping up lately.

There is no front on which the Bush administration has not squandered the gains of previous American foreign and domestic efforts. How much deeper will they dig us?

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Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his commentaries at ePluribus Media and Pen and Sword.

21 comments:

  1. It seems to me that Mr Bush, who is abvove all else a Corporatist first and a (fill in the blank) Republican/neocon/patriotic American/veteran, second or third, would be extremely reluctant to ever see subsidization of American farms be done away with through elimination of tariffs. The myth of the American farming family is just that - a myth dragged out of the skeleton closet when needed to raise a hue and cry about elminating the estate tax. The reality is that the number of family farms facing destruction through breakup in order to pay off ruinative inheritance taxes is probably less than some percentage of 1% of the total number of farms. The "family farm" myth was created to lower inheritance taxes for the mega-wealthy like the Coor, Sacifes, Hiultons, Bushes and Cheneys.

    The reality of trade agreements like NAFTA, CAFTA and such is the impoverishment of economies with high standards of living, like middle class America, and bring that group's standard of living more in line with the economically poor areas like central and South America, and Southern Asia.

    As for reducing armed conflict through the introduction of a global economy, just how has that been working out for you, Jeff?

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  2. Anonymous7:11 PM

    couldn't have said it better. Bravo.

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  3. Poorly, Lurch. And how about good old Pete Coors getting picked up for DUI?

    Anynomous, thanks for stopping by and posting.

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  4. There you go again, Jeff, making sense. Your best line IMO? "the reality that on a subsistence of $2.36 per hour plus tips, Jane can't afford to pay the likes of Bob Dole to lobby Congress on her behalf."
    Bingo!

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  5. One small speck of hope crept up today from an unlikely source. Arlen Specter is working on a bill that will challenge the Bush administration's "signing statements" misuse (and overuse), asking for the judicial branch to render it unconstitutional to do that. Hey, its a start. . .

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  6. And the other thing about tips, is that there is little incentive to even really hustle for them, since most restaurants pool the pot and divvie it up at the end of the night.

    I have had the darnedest time trying to slip a few bills to a waiter/waitress that was particularly deserving, because the restaurant's policy did not allow it.

    These poor workers are scared to even take an extra fiver under the table, because if they are caught not pooling it, they are out the door.

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  7. Ha! -- "fiver" -- shows the type of place I frequent (actually, I eat by myself mostly, and not in the fanciest of places...).

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  8. I was fascinated by the term "home-grown terrorist". I've been called that a bit recently.

    Apparently being Muslim is enough to convince people that I am thirsting to kill.

    Hard not to get cynical and frustrated in a world where I am now not just condemned for being Arab (I'm not - I just happen to be born looking like I am, which is hardly my fault!), but for being female (women are still not treated with equality - even in the West), and now for being Muslim. I am " a malignant cancer" on the Earth, and I should be "eradicated". I was told to go home, quite a lot recently (I was born here, where should I go?). Then while defending lebanese civilians rights I was told if I care so much, I should go there - I would, except the lovely Israeli gentleman have bombed the airport, blocked the ports, and I cant afford it anyway.

    Tell me, when people say this to others - do they really think it will make us (muslims) turn round and hug them and want to integrate more? This blind hate of "others" is why the world is in chaos.

    How many people hate/displike Muslims and Islam???

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  9. Anonymous8:22 AM

    Why, in the name of God, is nobody compelling Bush fils to resign? It is completely obvious to the whole nation that he both is incompetent and doesn't care.

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  10. Hey, gang:

    Catching up with the thread (I've been getting behind a lot lately, haven't I?)

    Lurch,

    I'm still on the fence about globalization: was it a bad idea or a good idea executed poorly? 5.5 years into the Bush adminstration, I'm no longer willing to cut them slack for anything that started before their watch. This trade deal negotiation that just went bust has lasted almost the entire Bush tenure.

    Zebster,

    That's the part that really hit home for me in Bob's story. Unless we show Washington that big interests can't buy votes, we'll have no representation there at all.

    Tom,

    Yes, it's a start. To date, though, it doesn't seem Specter has been able to garner support in his own party. Maybe things are changing.

    ecclOneNine

    There you go. A congressman can take all kinds of money and perks, but a waitress can't accept a fiver. Man.

    Tahnia,

    Don't give up hope. Not everybody is an ingorant blow hole.

    Anonymous,

    I think because if he resigns, guess who takes his place.

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  11. Hey Jeff, rather than getting behind a lot, it's better to get a lot.... oh, never mind.

    As for globalization being a bad idea of a good idea poorly executed, where's the difference? Is it working properly, the way it was sold to us? No, so let's either go back to the old idea or find a new Plan B. What's going to happen when the middle class can't even afford to live? Are we going to look like New Delhi 40 years ago with thousands of street side beggars?

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  12. Don't know, Lurch. I just don't know.

    What's the real cause of failure. The globalization concept or our broken foreign and domestic policies?

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  13. lol
    thanks
    " ignorant blow hole." i like that - i'm gonna use it!

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  14. I.e., they need to come up for air.

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  15. The failure in the process is the globalization concept. By "leveling" economically you're imputing an average or mean median. To state that those at third world below poverty level will suddenly leap to the living standard of the US middle class (as it was before Bush)is living in cloud cuckoo land, at best and maliciously fraudulent at worst.

    Globalization only serves multi-national corporate interests.

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  16. But Lurch, globalization serves more than merely the multi-national corporations - it also guarantees cheap labor to the moneyed few, who've never gotten over their loss of multiple servants per household.

    The powerful in this country have always resented the middle class, and everything that gives a decent life to the masses. After all, what's the use of power if you can't lord it over your "inferiors"? They really do want to return to the days of having most of us bow and scrape just to get our daily meal.

    Then again, maybe I'm just overly stressed by the persistent uncharacteristic heat wave here in Oakland…global warming? What global warming?

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  17. Well said, Kathleen. I keep forgetting that the world isn't about me, but rather my betters.

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  18. Anonymous8:35 AM

    Is it not easier to negotiate with the "capo dei capi" directly?

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  19. Anonymous,

    So I've always heard.

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  20. Condi Rice represents the political interests of the people of USA and has no hidden religious or ethnic or foreign agenda.
    Chinese and ASEAN Asians have learnt to respect Black woman Condi Rice, who would not sell US interests in exchange for Chinese campaign donations.
    CONDOLEEZZA RICE LEADING "THIRD WORLD WAR" IS A TURNING POINT IN HISTORY-by Kalki Gaur
    (1) The geopolitical perspective of "Third World War" of black woman secretary Condoleezza Rice or that her predecessor Colin Powel is fundamentally different from that of Secretaries Kissinger, Brzezinski and Albright. Bush Administrations defined its foreign policy goals in terms of strengthening America’s Energy Security and control over OPEC oil and gas reserves. Bush Administration is not concerned about promoting the religious interests of Papacy, Judeo Christianity, Judaism and Wahhabi Islam. The religious interests of Reformed Christianity take precedence over interests of Papacy, Judeo-Christianity and Judaism in the US State Department.
    (2) In the "World War Three" United States shall help Israel only when Israel is a willing instrument for the promotion of the national interests of the WASP-led USA. The national interests of USA takes precedence ofer that of Israel, as Israel is just 60 year old nation and UAE, Qatar and Bahrain are just 35 year old nations. It is OK if Israel wants to expand Petro-War to include Lebanon as a Trojan Horse to tempt Iran make a mistake so that President Bush may directly invade, occupy and colonize Iranian Oil as it did in Iraq. However if Israel is embarking upon starting the Lebanon War to weaken black woman Secretary Condoleezza Rice and to sabotage Yankee war-plans on Iran, as a part of the Kissinger-Albright conspiracy to protect theocracy in Iran, which was created by president Carter, than United States should not mind throwing Israel baby to wolves. Israel must learn that Isreal was established by British secret services to control Islamic oil resources.
    (3) In the "World War Three" the Republican Neocons seeks to promote the national interests of Petro-Pax-American Empire and are no longer mouthpiece of Israel. The Catholic religious right conservative conspiracy, Judeo-Christianity and White House Arabists that profited by OPEC have joined forces with Kissinger-Brzezinski duo to sabotage Yankee resolve to bring Theocratic Iran under the control of White House, as it unraveled the President Jimmy Carter’s conspiracy that installed Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran. The conquest and occupation of oil-rich Iran is in the national interest of the United States. Israel, Lebanon and Syria do not have oil and gas and are important only so long as they help or hinder the Yankee conquest of Iran and control of OPEC oil gas reserves. The creation of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Israel and Pakistan at the behest of the secret services of Britain and USA served the sole purpose for USA-UK control over Arabian oil resources, and it continued to this date.
    (4) Kissinger-Albright doctrine harms Yankee petro-interests in the "Third World War." The Kissinger-Albright duo alarmed by the brilliance of Dr. Rice conspiring to undermine the foreign policy of second Bush Administration by stage-managing the Israeli wild card, simply to protect Iranian theocracy that president Carter created in partnership of France and Germany and undermined American influence over Iran as Shah of Iran was a American puppet. Secretary Rice should undertake counter measures to the conspiracy currently hatched by Kissinger, Albright, France and Germany. Remember the publication of the Prophet cartoons at the time of earliar Bush admonishing of Iran. The Israeli attacks on Lebanon and publication of Prophet’s cartoon could be plots of the pro-Iran lobby and Kissinger-Albright duo and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
    (5) Black woman Secretary Dr. Condoleezza Rice is the best Secretary of State had during last 4 decades and she is a better geopolitician and diplomat than former secretaries, namely, Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Madeleine Albright. Dr. Rice is competent to lead USA and win the World War Three. The United States should fight the "World War Three" now in 2006 or 2007 before Iran developed nuclear weapons. Any delay in the start of the World War Three woulc harm the national and geopolitical interests of USA, Britain, India, China, European Union and Japan.
    (6) The World War Three has started just as former Speaker professor of History Newt Gingrich declared. The purpose of the World War Three is to control and occupy the oil and gas reserves of Middle Eastern OPEC oil and gas resources before rival great powers preempts the move. The World War Three is not a war among great powers. The World War Three is a war waged by world powers to invade, conquer and colonize OPEC nations. The interests of Israel matter only so long as it helps promote the Yankee petro interests and nothing more. The sole purpose of Republican Neocons is to promote the interests of Petro-Pax Americana and Secretary Rice is hegemon promoting Petro-Neocon interest of the USA. Hindu India supports the Protestant United States dreams of Petro-Pax-Americana, Crusades of Democracy, Export of Democratic Utopia and rise of Imperial America. God bless Imperial America in Aquarius Age. The Allied Coalition led by Allied Powers United States, Britain and India would win the World War Three, which is not a war among world powers but a war to control, occupy and colonize OPEC oil and gas reserves. President Bush and secretary Rice team as the Agency of History shall lead the United States to the pinnacle of glory and power in alliance with India and Britain. Brown Hindu India fully supports Secretary Rice and protestant president Bush.
    Diplomat Kalki Gaur
    dilomatkalkigaur@yahoo.com
    Blog URLs Http://360.yahoo.com/diplomacyofcivilizations
    http://diplomacyofcivilizations.blogspot.com
    http://www.clearblogs.com/diplomacyofcivilizations
    http://theworldwarthree.blogspot.com

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  21. (1) CONDI RICE IS THE MOST TALENTED WOMEN ON THE PLANET EARTH TODAY
    Ms. Condoleezza Rice the secretary of state for the most powerful country in the world. She is without doubt one of the brightest, most talented women on the planet earth, who just happens to be black. Her ancestors were brought to the United States as slaves, when Arab Muslim Slave harvesters that captured and destroyed their ancestral villages and sold the blacks slave cargo to white Christian slave ship owners on West coast of Africa. Semite Arab Muslims conquered Black lands and sold blacks to white Christians and took over the black lands of Mediterranean North Africa and Africa South of Sahara. East European and Russian Jews immigrants to USA similarly sidelined Black leadership of the Democratic Party especially in New York.
    (2) Jewish lobby led by Kissinger-Albright-Clinton conspiring to sabotage the Bush Administration’s wise policy of petro-imperialism in Iran, by playing the wild Israeli card in diplomacy. Jewish lobby is very unhappy that black woman Secretary Condoleezza Rice like her predecessor Secretary Colin Powell has replaced Ashkenazim foreign policy put into place by secretaries Kissinger, Brzezinski and Albright that purposely sidelined pro-WASP American national interests to promote the hidden agenda of pro-Papacy Judeo-Christian religious right conservative conspiracy.
    (3) Geopolitical Doctrine of Secretary Rice states that the national interests of the United States should be defined to promote the civilization interests of Reformed Christianity and American civilization and economic interests of the Yankee petro-colonialism. The Christian religious right conservative conspiracy and President Jimmy Carter installed Ayatollah Khomeini and ultra-conservative theocracy in Iran replacing modern secular Pahlevi Monarchy. The Kissinger-Albright-Clinton conspiracy seeks to sabotage Yankee invasions of Iran to perpetuate the Theocracy in Iran.
    (4) The artificial states of Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Pakistan were created by British and American secret services on grounds of religion simply to control the Islamic world and the oil reserves of the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Israel is important for Protestant USA not because it is Jewish State, but because it crucial for Yankee domination of Middle Eastern oil and gas reserves for Yankee Petro-Colonialism. It means that Israel must not do anything that might jeopardize the geopolitical interests of Yankee Petro-Colonialism. In the event Israel becomes a liability for Yankee petro-colonialism than the White House should not mind throwing the baby Israel along with the towel to the wolves.
    (5) If Israeli invasions of Lebanon were a Yankee ploy to tempt Iran to invade Israel to justify Yankee invasions of Iran for establishing petro-colonial empire in Iran, then this Israeli invasion of Lebanon makes sense and American must support it as a diplomacy of deception. However, if Israeli invasion of Lebanon are part of an Ashkenazim Kissinger-Albright Conspiracy to discredit black woman secretary of state Dr. Condoleezza Rice then the White House should use the Big Stick to keep Israel in line.
    (6) It is deplorable that Israel’s Lebanese attacks causing diversion to Yankee war on Islamic terrorism and war on Iranian theocracy and war on Islamic nukes. It was plain stupid on the part of Israel to vacate Southern Lebanon after decades of Israeli occupation in 2002, when the United States had declared war on Islamic terrorism after September 11, 2001 attacks, and it might have been part of a Kissinger-Albright plot to undermine Bush’s wars for petro-colonialism and war on Islamic terrorism.
    (7) Christian enemies of the United States had published Prophets Cartoon to sabotage earlier sanctions on Iran. The Israeli actions in Lebanon are simply part of a conspiracy hatched by Jewish insiders and Kissinger-Albright group to discredit black woman Secretary Rice. No one can accuse blacks born of slaves to have any extra-territorial loyalties or loyalty to any foreign potentate or any foreign nation. It stands to reason that the geopolitical assessment of Secretary Rice regarding national interests of the United States are more profound and more logical than the rival assessment of US national interests defined by former secretaries Kissinger, Brzezinski and Albright.
    (8) Former speaker professor Newt Gingrich wisely declared that World War Three has started. The goal of every world power in the World War Three shall be to invade, occupy and colonize leading OPEC oil and gas producers. The World War Three is not a war among world powers, but a war waged by world powers to invade and colonize OPEC oil producers. The Israeli attacks on secular liberal Lebanon threatens the implicit agreement among top world powers to bring leading OPEC nations under the colonial occupation of the world powers in the first quarter of the 21st Century. The purpose of the World War Three is to Partition OPEC nations into spheres of influence of colonial empires led by Six world powers, namely, USA, India, China, Russia, European Union and Japan. The 21st Century shall resemble the colonial 19th Century because of the fight for the oil and gas reserves. United States must invade neither secular liberal Lebanon nor secular liberal Syria, as it would be a foolish diversion from Yankee war on Islamic terrorism and war for petro-colonialism. Israel is important only so long as it helps create sustain and establish Yankee petro-colonial empire in the Middle East.
    (9) It is in the national of interest of the United States during second Bush administration, when the United States enjoyed the unchallenged hegemony and military preponderance as the sole super power. Any delay in the start of the World War Three, beyond 2008 would only harm the national interests of the United States. The Allied Powers led by United States, India and Britain guaranteed to win the World War Three.
    (10) The World War Three shall be fought for Middle East Oil. Had Hitler attacked Syria and Iraq instead of Libya and Africa or had invaded Iran after the conquest of Stalingrad rather than Moscow, Hitler might have won the World War II.
    Diplomat Kalki Gaur
    http://360.yahoo.com/diplomacyofcivilizations
    diplomatkalkigaur@yahoo.com

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