Sultan Knish: All the Pravda
In the Post-American World ruled by the teleprompter and the trending topic, nothing that Obama says actually matters. His only power is over American allies, and only those allies who are willing to endure him and listen to him. And that is a diminishing number … it was about a conniving liar who was using us as a pretext in whatever game he was playing.
Russia is not exactly in the same league. It's doubtful that Putin was worried about what Obama would or wouldn't agree to. Ever since Hope and Change took an oath on a mirror, Moscow has been casually slapping around Washington D.C. or swatting it away like a pesky fly. That isn't about to change now.
The only thing that Obama really needs from Russia is for the reformed reds to avoid causing him any problems … That makes the tradeoff a fairly simple one. Russia avoids creating a crisis until after election day and in return they will get the same charming fellow in the Oval Office who won't care what happens afterward to all the small country with funny names.
It's a sad testament to the Republic that these days our political system has converged with the Russian one. Some twenty years after the Soviet Union fell, the American and Russian leaders have a good deal in common. They both oversee mafia states that spend money wildly for their 1 percent who are in power or close to those who are, while playing class warfare games with business titans when they aren't hitting them up for cash.
Propaganda is the only thing on television. Enemies of the state are forever being denounced in the most vulgar and violent language. Nationalization and federalization are passed off as reform programs, when they are actually payday programs to shove as much money and power to the right people as possible. And the goal of those in power appears to be a perpetual one party state run for their own benefit.
Obama and Putin are both petty tyrants living in a house of mirrors, czars of their own egos, corrupt and corrupting forces that hang around the necks of two great nations. They don't quite understand each other, though both are lawyers and bag men for their respective syndicates, neither do they respect each other. But they both know how to play the game.
FP: I wrote a long time ago an article on my technical web site about the similarity between the Soviet and American systems much before Obama came along:
What struck me after living in the US for a while, was the similarity, at a very fundamental level, between the US and Soviet systems: while the means by which they attain their objectives differ, the objectives themselves are, for all practical purposes, the same: control and exploitation of the public. Both systems indoctrinate with propaganda from childhood. But because the Soviet system had coercion at its disposal, the propaganda did not need to be convincing: if you stepped out of line, the government came hard after you. That’s why propaganda could be blatant and absurd, and the public was fully aware of it and did not believe it, only pretended to. That is also one reason why the Soviet system collapsed.
The US system cannot use coercion (well, not at the Soviet level, at any rate, but the way things are going, give it time), so it must rely solely on propaganda, which must be believed. This means it’s got to be very subtle and psychologically simple and attractive, rather than blatant and absurd, to be at once unobtrusive and effective. It’s no coincidence that the mother of marketing and advertising originates here. If you step out of line, the government does not need to come after you: business, the media, and even the public itself will. They cannot jail, torture, or disappear you (the system is testing the waters, though), but they will try to marginalize you, and make it very difficult to function professionally and socially. And at least insofar as members of the public are concerned, they are enforcers without realizing it. Quite elegant.
Otherwise put, under Soviet “communism”, everybody must believe without questioning in the party, which almost nobody did; under US “capitalism”, everybody must believe without questioning in “the market”, which almost everybody does (I use quotes, because neither system is the true thing, as they pretend).
Neither system has changed much since then. But it does get worse:
Bill Katz: OBAMA AND THE ISLAMIST
Still more about the true nature of the man who would be president again. Who is Barack Obama, and where do his sympathies lie? It is remarkable, isn't it, that more than three years into his , we're still asking the same questions...and getting no real answers from the mainstream media.
The two met in South Korea on Sunday, Eastern Time, to discuss Syria’s civil war and Iran’s nuclear weapons program, but they also talked about the president’s two daughters, Malia and Sasha, Obama said during a press conference, according to a White House statement.
“The bottom line is that we find ourselves in frequent agreement upon a wide range of issues… [and] because he has two daughters that are a little older than mine — they’ve turned out very well, so I’m always interested in his perspective on raising girls,” Obama said.
One of Erdogan’s two daughters, Sumeyye, is entering Turkish politics via her father’s Islamist party, according to the Turkish press.
She wears Islamist-style clothes that obscure her hair and shape.
We repeat the same comment we made in regard to our first post this morning. "Res ipsa loquitur." The thing speaks for itself.
How did the United States of America ever slip this far down?
FP: You ain’t seen nothing yet. (see next)
Barry Rubin: The Government is Not a Magic Box
Roosevelt’s statement might have been appropriate for his time. But what happens when after decades of continuous growth the once-small government becomes a country in itself?
What happens when a government through the power of the purse and of regulations can ensure reelection?
What happens when the “fail-safe” institutions of the media, the educational system, and the entertainment industry are enlisted in its ranks, as well as the use of crony capitalism to create “captive corporations” through massive subsidies that don’t even accord with the public interest?
What happens when the functions formerly held by elected officials are usurped by appointed officials and their agencies?
What happens if all of the elected and appointed officials caught up in their own culture of accumulating control for their “team” become less responsive than ever?
Then government does become an “alien power,” or at least a power in the hands of a class or caste that wants to impose its way of life and thinking on everyone else. That is the real “class warfare” going on in America today.
FP: Rubin describes here the decline process of dominant powers, no matter how hard their founders strived to prevent it, as the US founders did. The world has belabored under the illusion that societies advance from non-democratic, unfree systems to democracy and freedom, while history shows that the opposite is true.
“No one can say to me after hundreds of hours of discussing peace with Abu Mazen that he is not a partner because he doesn’t want peace,” Olmert says at J Street annual conference.
FP: He could not convince Israelis of this—incompetence, opportunism and corruption did not help--and the only ones left to dump this nonsense on are American and Arab anti-Semites—how fitting—after all, they don’t have to live with the consequences which they desire for Israel. Had Sharon not split from Likud and then died Olmert would have never become PM. How he ever became anything is a one of the stains on Israel.
And here is the party which he came to lead:
Livni complains of deceptive SMS, phone campaign by Mofaz; party's Elections C'tee says won't extend vote beyond 10 p.m.
Late Friday, when no one was paying attention, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton informed Congress that she had issued a national security waiver on US aid to Egypt. So it's official now - Egypt will get its $1.5 million in military aid.
I've already discussed the problems with that here. The arms will eventually get into the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood, and some of them will likely end up in the hands of Hamas. But of course, what's important to the Obama Administration is appeasing Islamists at every turn.
One argument that's been made in favor of the military aid is that if we curtailed it, our relationship with Egypt would essentially be over. So what? What kind of 'relationship' do you think we have with a government that held U.S. citizens for a $5 million ransom? For all we know, unblocking the aid might very well have been part of the deal for their release.
FP: Egypt should hold more Americans for ransom and start violating incrementally the peace treaty with Israel to guarantee that the aid keeps flowing. How the mighty superpower has fallen. Pathetic.
German public television ZDF (Second German Television) broadcast an uncritical, 42-minute interview with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in which the Iranian denied the Holocaust.
The fact that Ahmadinejad and the Iranian leadership are far less isolated than they ought to be is the ultimate proof that anti-Semitism is alive and well in the world today.
FP: This in the nation responsible for the Holocaust where Holocaust denial is illegal.
Veteran dissident, Kurds quit Syria opposition meeting; some groups are wary of Syrian National Council.
FP: Arabs will be Arabs, about the only unifying factor is hatred of Jews. I reiterate that regardless of what does or does not happen, if Assad falls—and that is a very big if now—Syria will be taken over by Islamists, whether immediately or over time.