Feb 29, 2024
Feb 29, 2024
I'm boy king blunderbush
My brain is pickled mush
With my WMDs I can shoot
Only me myself in the foot
Which I keep in my mouth
World over, north to south.
A blunderbuss is defined as an instrument of violent intimidation that shoots off from its muzzle in multiple directions without aim or target. What a close fit with the current American president! Shortly after taking office he screamed from rooftops the new security doctrine of America. His sensible predecessors had strived for and ensured America's primacy and discreetly indulged in amoral interference all around the world to perpetuate American hegemony, except when countered by the Soviets. His father had actually invaded Panama and Iraq and established the dominant unipolar American status. The inept incompetent had to blow his own trumpet and disturb the peace of the world and awaken the sleeping muezzins who reciprocated the screams from minarets the world over.
Not being satisfied with a general notice to the world that it would not allow the emergence of a competing power like the former Soviet Union and that America would take preemptive military action including the use of nuclear weapons to thwart the ambitions of any such nation, he then singled out Iraq, Iran and North Korea as an axis of evil. His cabal of chicken hawks who believe that hubris can compensate for intelligence, strategy and policy, rushed into Afghanistan and Iraq without adequate troops and postwar plans.
The unwillingness to commit troops and risk potential casualties led to the use of the Northern Alliance and drug warlords as surrogates. The net result is lack of meaningful reconstruction due to the skimming of donor money by corrupt Afghan leaders, crooked contractors and bogus NGOs which pay expatriates exorbitant salaries while paying Afghans less than five dollars a day. All this, while relying on a double dealing Pakistan has led to the resurgence of the Taliban given sanctuary in the tribal belt. The dissatisfied common Afghans are further incensed by intrusive home raids oblivious of Islamic customs, indiscriminate aerial bombardment, evidence of inhuman torture of prisoners, ridicule of the prophet and desecration of the Koran. The blood and treasure costs and the American frustration in the absence of instant gratification is leading to the unraveling of Afghanistan, destined to revert to a failed state and a refuge for drug dealers and terrorists.
A similar blunder of insufficient occupation troops led to the looting, criminal rampage and native and foreign insurgency in Iraq. Once again scared troops full of hate became trigger happy and shot up civilians and friendly Europeans. Their impotence to prevent deaths of colleagues by improvised explosive devices led to ethnic hatred, name calling and intrusive home raids and prison torture. The indiscriminate killing fueled the insurgency and widened the internal divisions within Iraqis. The backing of ethnic and religious factions by surrounding neighbors with divergent vested interests will fragment Iraq and make it a haven for terrorists just like Somalia.
It is bad enough that the neo-con foolishness has led to our being amBushed in the Middle East, but what is worse is our being hoodwinked in Korea and further antagonizing Iran, China and Russia. China like Pakistan has played a double game as far as Korea is concerned. While China would prefer a non-nuclear Korea, it is not threatened by a nuclear North Korea. It has publicly pretended to facilitate negotiations while definitely refusing to use viable threats of economic deprivation to make North Korea toe the line. There are some experts who feel that China has secretly encouraged North Korea's intransigence, thus throwing America into a hole that it cannot dig out of.
The foolish obstinacy of the Bushed administration has led to rejection of direct talks and a mutually acceptable compromise. The same folly is being repeated with Iran by refusing direct negotiation. The obstinate folly of the idiots at the helm is that they keep making the same mistakes again and again with the hope of a different outcome. This total lack of plasticity of behavior puts them significantly below the sea slug Aplysia on the evolutionary ladder. Eric Kandel won the Nobel Prize in Medicine by showing that the slug can modify its responses at a single synapse after repeated false alarms of blowing at its gills. Thus it has the memory to remember that repeated alarms are false and modify the response at a single synapse. What this tells about the number of synapses in the brains of the current administration and their memory capacity, I leave the reader to figure out.
In the past when trade deficits with Japan ballooned, America indulged in Japan bashing. The Japanese have an unusual psyche. They will ruthlessly and mercilessly bully the weak as in their imperial era, but will forever meekly respect the one who licks them as America did. The Chinese are pragmatic but also more proud and have vowed "Never Again". This explains their violent suppression of Tiananmen Square, threats to nuke Los Angeles and firing missiles over Taiwan. As we all know America is now dependent on China to fund its current account deficit and allow the consumer to indulge in profligate spending to keep the American economy going by keeping interest rates low and not bursting the housing bubble created by Greenspan. Under these circumstances it is showing cavalier foolhardiness to gratuitously insult the Chinese leadership.
This is precisely what the Bush league did by refusing to grant Hu a state visit, allowing him to be heckled on the White House lawn without removing the protester, manhandling him on and off stage by Bush and holding hearings on China's human rights violations throughout his visit. The White House protocol chief needs to educate the ignorant shrub that it is patronizingly demeaning to put an arm on the back of a visiting dignitary especially if he is shorter and doubly insulting to pat him on the back unless the parties concerned are gay lovers. Hu left America and had his revenge by visiting Saudi Arabia to begin weaning it off from America's teats and further diversifying China's energy supply. There is talk that China is going to give Iran full membership in the SCO and thus create a powerful bloc to oppose America and expel its influence from energy rich Central Asian states, the Grand Chessboard designated by Brzezinski.
The shortsighted American manipulated and funded revolutions are being reversed in Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan. Thus the annoyance caused to Russia by meddling in its near abroad and expanding NATO to its front steps by including Poland and other former East European satellites of the Warsaw Pact has yielded no lasting benefits. On top of this, in rants by Cheney about Russian energy policies to expand its power are vacuously criticized despite America following similar behavior with military violence in Iraq and possibly Iran. This led to a sharp rejoinder by Putin exposing American hypocrisy and increasing Russian animosity. Russia is ganging up with China in the SCO and locking America out of Central Asia. Kazakhstan will not leave the Russian orbit because of its large ethnic Russian population. Russia and China are backing corrupt tyrants in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan just as America does the same in Azerbaijan. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are too poor and dependent on Russia economically and too close to China geographically to jump to an American orbit.
Even the right of center, new German Chancellor rejected America's point of view and signed agreements wit Russia to further solidify their energy relationship. She and the British equivalent of the Attorney General publicly chastised America and asked it to close the shameful Guantanamo Gulag. Jack Straw, the British Foreign minister was replaced for objecting to a military solution to the Iran nuclear problem. Russia and China blocked the use of Chapter7 in the UN Security Council to invoke sanctions against Iran and sunk America's plan to prevent Iran from going nuclear.
Finally in our own backyard, we have newly alienated Venezuela, Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. Cuba has been a thorn for half a century. There is a civil war in Colombia. Even Chile and Brazil are looking towards China. Never in the history of great powers has a blunderbush been used to shoot one's own nation in the foot. Now we have a burning bush and America kneeling in prayer not out of respect or love, but in desperation for relief as the stock market and dollar are collapsing which I predicted.
More by : Gaurang Bhatt, MD