Friday, April 13, 2007

Questions for our Debate

I spoke last night at George Washington's Elliott School along with Michael Lind of the New America Foundation and GW's own Amitai Etzioni, on "Foreign Policy After Bush."

Despite all the talk about debate and change mouthed by our politicians, I still haven't heard several critical questions being addressed.

The first is the purpose of American power. We have the capabilities to deploy force anywhere in the world and we can make ourselves a power in any region of the world. To what purpose? And more importantly, who should pay for these capabilities? Will the American taxpayer continue to provide a blank check?

The second deals with trade-offs. We don't want nuclear technology to spread, we want to cut down on emissions, we don't want to pay high prices for energy. Unless we accept the unrealistic fantasy that India and China and the rest of the developing world are happy to forego a middle-class lifestyle for their citizens and will continue to accept brown-outs and lack of infrastructure, either we have to share hydrocarbons (and the market does this by raises prices), or burn a lot more coal, or accept that more countries will obtain nuclear power (and possible platforms from which to develop weapons). Something will have to give.

Finally, what steps are we going to take to ensure our position as our relative power declines in the next several decades? Assuming U.S. supremacy will last indefinitely doesn't seem to be an effective strategy.

Food for thought.

I personally fear unemployment and under-employment as I am getting older.

I am one of the most educated people in the United States; advanced degrees, papers, patents, working in a technical field.

My job is actually related to production of goods in US.

You guys are discussing what to do with US power while many many people like me are worried about good-paying jobs for themselves and their children.

And please do not reply with the trite about moving up the value chain and getting more education.
I think that's the point of Nick's question, Anonymous 1:45--why Americans aren't debating why to pay for all of this to be able to deploy power around the world if there is no national benefit.

And yes, you should recognize that there is an economic motive at work: all those DC guys are in the business of hiring out that US power and getting paid for it no matter what happens to you.

Michael Lind made that point pretty clear.
America, under the fascist totalitarian dictatorship that is the Bush government, is risking the same demise that destroyed the former Soviet Union.

A brutal imperialistic criminal cabal of tyrants funnel an exceedingly disportionate amount the wealth and resources into warmaking; depriving the population of the social, societal entitlements, backrupting the government and the nation financially, (not to mention morally) and eventually crumbling under the unholy weight of various military quagmires.

If America is ever to restore it's credibility as a defender of freedom and democracy - it will require that our new leadership endeavor to pursue many more efforts focused on peacemaking, and far far fewer bent on warmaking.

We can always resort to the terrible swift sword if circumstances truly demand it, and all American would and always have supported such efforts, - but wars should be the VERY LAST RESORT.

Occupations, colonizations, religious reformations, nation building, crusades, and deceptive, bloody, costly, poorly concieved, woefully mismanaged and un-accounted for wars of CHOICE and PROFITEERING should never be tolerated, or accepted. NEVER AGAIN!!!

"Deliver us from evil!"
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