Xah Lee's Unixism

Morten Reistad firstname at lastname.pr1v.n0
Sat Sep 11 08:01:34 CEST 2004

In article <10k4ee1l5tavtf9 at corp.supernews.com>,
SM Ryan  <wyrmwif at tango-sierra-oscar-foxtrot-tango.fake.org> wrote:
># I just don't get it. The stated agenda is either misstated, or grossly
># misimplemented.
>You haven't been listenning carefully enough. The agenda is to destroy the UN.
>Neo-conservatives recognise that if the UN becomes powerful enough to deal with
>people like Saddam Hussein, then it can deal with Bush as well. People
>like Kissinger are still running around as big shots in America while other
>countries consider him a war criminal.

This is not the stated agenda; but it may sound plausible. There is enough
UN-bashing going around to support it.

>There are actually idiots that believe the US will remain the most powerful
>military forever (or until God ends the world a few years from now). The
>rest who know that power is fleeting have two options: construct a world of
>comprehensive cooperative political structures, or batter any possible opponents
>so they cannot attack the eventually weakenned US.
>The first choice was the one (more or less) followed by the US since about 1945
>through 2000. It has a long history of success behind: while not yet of that scale,
>the notion of uniting disparate political units to a larger whole for mutual
>security and mutual trade has worked time and time again: modern England out of the
>old feudal lords, or the US out of thirteen colonies. Up side: long term peace and
>stability for your grandchildren. Down side: your own power is eclipsed by the
>centralised power.
>The second choice has been followed by the US since 2001. Again there is a long
>history behind, always ending in failure: Persian empires, Roman Empires, Chinese
>empires, etc. You can never inflict enough damage on your opponents so that once
>you do weaken they cannot strike back and eviscerate your corpse. Up side: you
>continue to live in wealth and luxury as long as you die before the bill comes due.
>Down side: your grandchildren will curse your name if they survive.
>So why follow a course known to end in disaster? Pride? Greed? Delusion that
>the end of the world is nigh and God will forgive warmaking and genocide?

Unilateralism can work for a while; as long as you switch back before it is
too late. Look at Holland and Britain for examples of successes.

But it still does not explain Iraq, except as a bungled attempt at
unilateralism. It expecially does not explain Bremer. Bremer is a PHB. 
You would expect someone like Patton. Perhaps the right people didn't want
the job? 

To get in control of a hostile country requires you to take hard action
immediatly. When someone blows a bomb you set a curfew in that province
for months, and shoot everyone that doesn't respect it; meanwhile you walk
through the whole place looking for the culprits. Perhaps they didn't have
stomack for this brutality? 

>There is a second agenda which is also being implemented successfully. Conservatives
>want to dismantle government because it interferes with their private pursuit
>of profit and power (see also Miliken and Quatrone). Actually repealing the legal
>framework has been unsuccessful: no matter how appealing their claims about taxes
>and regulation, when push comes to shove, most people want a government that's
>powerful enough to provide for the sick and old, stop quacks from killing patients,
>stop manufacturers from killing customers, and to have water and air that are not
>fatal to touch.
>So since 1980 the conservatives still whine about big government, but they are quite
>happy to increase the government size and expenditure. While cutting taxes. The net
>effect is a government that is increasingly in debt. The long term goal is to get
>the government so heavily indebted that it can no longer borrow money. Then it will
>collapse of its own dead weight.

A weak central government is also a stated goal, but not a mainstream Republican 
one. The official policy is a strong, but limited one.

-- mrr

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