Archive for February, 2008


February 22, 2008

Abstract: To save the planet while allowing most people to become richer, new technologies have to be invented and made mandatory. The EU has played that game, but the USA has obstinately kept on sticking to its old addiction of mindless waste and deliberate consumption. This created imbalances in the US economy leading to the credit crisis, the collapse of the US dollar, a probable recession, poverty, bad health care, and, some will say, invading another country for oil… Besides, interfering destructively with all good-natured attempts at modifying for the best the sorry trajectory of the world’s ecology. To domesticate the reticent Americans, taxes on the European model should work miracles, as they did in Europe. That is part of what change really means. Not just words.

The esteemed Paul Krugman (Princeton, NYT) compared the percentage of GDP of diverse sectors of the economy in 2007 versus the average over the period 1980-2000. He found that “the main thing at this point is high consumption is offset by a high trade deficit”. (

In other words, the USA wastes too much, lives above its means from the charity of foreigners, and does not export enough. Countries that have got in this predicament did not end up well. It happened to many in the 20C, Argentina being a spectacular example. It could be argued that this combination of waste and dependence upon foreigners is part of what happened to the Roman empire.

Krugman then wondered what to do. We present here a necessary part of the solution. It is not very original. There are many countries in Europe, and a few are large, and they have encountered similar problems in the past, and they hit on that same basic solution, which is a mix of Added Value Tax (AVT, a French invention), which strikes down exaggerated consumption, and high taxes on energy (another French invention which has been imitated all over Europe). 

US citizens may feel an existential void if threatened with a dearth of stuff, so one should be careful, lest they have a fit, like the spoiled children they are proud to be. But they may consent to make the US economy more efficient, and more able to export. By doing this, a useful change for the better, their psychological condition should improve, and they should open their minds to another way to experience life more compatible with the survival of the biosphere.

In 2004, the USA emitted per capita 20.4 ton of carbon dioxide per year, and France 6.2 (yes, less than three times less!). Since then the difference has got worse, France reducing its emissions, according to the Kyoto Treaty, while the US has enjoyed a rampage of waste. Meanwhile, to ensure future supplies of ever more CO2, the USA chose to invade the country with the largest oil reserves (except maybe for Saudi Arabia). Whereas the most controversial French energy activities have been to build two nuclear reactors of the new third generation (one in Finland), and to push with the European Union for ever stricter carbon emission restrictions, worldwide. France having the world’s best health care system, and armed forces in combat in even more countries than the USA, and an industrial variety as large as the USA, EFFICIENCY PAYS (with the sort of lifestyle US citizens love).

Thus, clearly, its present system having turned into a dismal failure, the USA should follow the European way and capitalize on its know how and great universities to invent and develop futuristic energy procurement and conservation systems, instead of dispatching storm troopers to fetch oil.

But this is easier wished than done. The entire US economy has been manipulated for generations to serve powerful corporations such as car manufacturers rather than public transportation, with giant metastatic suburbia, and car drivers, or frequent fliers, taking subsidies for their birth rights, screaming loudly when a penny goes to railroads. All too much of the US economic activity is directed to plane companies and car companies. So great have been these subsidies that these sectors became addicted to them, fat, lazy, numbed out.

Just two examples. In the fifties, General Motors bought the San Francisco Bay Bridge, tore down the railroad that occupied one of the decks, to replace it by a freeway going the other way, and, thus, mission accomplished, sold it back to government. Ever since the San Francisco Bay transportation has been a big traffic jam, as intended. Now for airlines: after 9-11, the US government gave billions to US airlines, whereas the EU allowed no subsidies to its airlines, which were left to mind their business more efficiently. Consequence: Air France and Lufthansa are now by far the largest airlines in the world, many smaller European carriers are even more profitable, all operating efficient new planes. Meanwhile Europe is building thousands of miles of ultra efficient very high speeds train lines (so fast they could cross the USA itself in half a day).

Hence to develop new, more efficient energy sources and usage in the USA, ASAP, one will have to manipulate a full arsenal of government guided activities, removing some, adding others. And not just words. One will have to use tax incentives as carrots, while using a carbon tax and an energy tax as sticks: greed and fear, that’s how to do it. The enormous taxes on energy in Europe, give both an incentive to be ever more efficient, and a safety reserve if an energy supply catastrophe strikes energy taxes are huge not only in the UK, a net energy exporter, but even in Norway, one of the world’s largest energy exporters).

The history of man is the history of energy usage, and especially of Western civilization. By 1,000 CE, Western Europe had the highest energy usage per capita in the world. This energy opulence allowed to free man from slavery (to lords and nature).

But now energy is getting tight, and there is a huge amount of waste (as said above, the USA is three times more wasteful than France, per head). This has to stop: there is no justice in having the USA with 4% of the world population, using 25% of the energy, a lot of it taken from abroad, and most of it polluting the entire planet. The way out is not to economically shrink, but to technologically grow, as the EU is already doing (in 2008, Germany, although as north as Canada, was the number one solar energy nation!).

Of course the economic switch to greater efficiency through higher technology has to pay for itself (otherwise it would not be self propelled). First one has to be conscious of the enormous subsidies old industries profit from (it’s not just from distribution of money, but of laws; e.g., ethanol from corn is mandated, although it’s an ecological horror, while less ecologically incorrect ethanol from sugar cane is barred by tax barriers), Those subsidies are protected by armies of paid lobbyists (nearly half a million of them in the USA alone). By removing those subsidies for an unsustainable past, one makes it so much easier to pay for the future.

The Europeans have found a strategy to make planet-saving and riches-spreading new technology more profitable quicker. The EU imposes new standards onto itself, and then the world, to fight the greenhouse effect. Thus it forces itself to develop new technologies (for example carbon emission which are above 300 mg per kilometer in the USA, have been lowered by law in EU to 185 and now 135). Then the EU sells its newly fanged wares (That only more advanced European technology can develop first). It’s good for European jobs, and good for the world. Strenuous EU emission standards for cars have been adopted by China, making it illegal to buy inefficient US cars (!).

This European way is not new. It is one of the greatest European superiority strategies of all time: USE ETHICAL PROGRESS TO FORCE TECHNOLOGICAL PROGRESS, ALLOWING ECONOMIC SUPERIORITY. In other words a process which starts with better manners, ends with a chicken in every pot.

That BETTER ECONOMY FROM BETTER ETHICS TRICK was clearly used by the Franks when they outlawed slavery around 660 CE (they understood its importance at the time: from the German point of view, ethics and economy were tied up by family farming, and they looked down on Roman fascism and its giant agribusinesses). The abolition of slavery forced Europe to chose the high technology route that the Roman empire had given up on.

Now the entire planet has found useful to integrate more and more of the ideas that allowed Europe to take off during the last 15 centuries. Democracy is just one of those ideas, and, clearly, it was preceded by strength and technology (the Franks destroyed the Arabo-Berbero-Syrian armies in a series of battles and wars in 8C Francia, accompanying economic lift, and requiring new, very heavy taxation to pay for the high tech armies of the Franks).

China and India, among others, have understood this, and their success has not escaped notice. The most successful developing countries opt for developing new high tech. For instance, South Africa is inventing “pebble bed” nuclear plants, a completely new technology designed specifically for exports all over the developing world (they are super safe, and never stop). India, having little uranium but lots of thorium, is developing a uranium-thorium breeding scheme which is entirely appropriate to its precarious energetic circumstances.

Sweden has been using a carbon tax for more than a decade, and it’s just a matter of time before the entire EU follows suit. To limit senseless addiction to consuming and reduce fraud, the Europeans use the mighty AVT. The USA has no choice, but to follow what has worked well in dozens of advanced industrial nations.

But, all too often, per the nature of the USA as a big island, and a long settled habit to compare itself to various derelict dictatorships (instead of comparing itself to what’s comparable to itself, the most advanced democracies), Americans often find hard to learn from the outside (something a future president Obama should be able to remedy).

Presented with these solutions, Krugman evoked Saint Augustine to justify doing nothing for now (“Make me without sin, oh Lord, but not yet”). Well, that was a very telling example. Saint Augustine was one of the worst anti-intellectuals and anti-Judaists of all times, in truth one of the greatest criminals against mankind, and this statement of his reflects how he could live with himself so well. His hypocrisy allowed him to do so, conveniently blinding him, and made him the scourge he became for civilization. The hardest in a new task is often just to get started, to make the first step.

The massive energy and consumption taxes the USA needs could be, and would have to be, staggered very progressively. They will allow to reduce taxes in some other areas (say on capital, and the poor, as the EU has done).

The bubble economics, its hedge fund managers, and the tail of the financial sector wagging the entire economy, a sorry mess (engineered by Rubin, Clinton, Greenspan and Bush) weakened the USA. Only taxes reflecting the new (for the US) philosophy of reducing waste and changing the future towards efficiency will allow the USA to join the world, reduce the imbalances, and develop in a sustainable way. It’s a necessity, because the rest of the world cannot be expected to work hard and sacrifice, while the Americans are having an orgy, and burn the house down. A related point is that, as justice spreads and six billion people from the developing world get to enjoy some of the amenities Americans take for granted, grave ecological damage to the entire planet will only be mitigated by using technologies that, at this point, are still in the domain of science fiction.

In conclusion: reducing US consumption and carbon emission, while boosting US exports and efficiency, and providing more jobs and security, can be viewed as one problem which will need a change in the US tax system. Against waste, towards a more economic future. That is part of what change means, or it will be more of the same. Americans are getting intoxicated on the idea of change, but change means changing their own behavior, ultimately a change in the law of what is proper and what is not, and the easiest such change is in the tax law.


P/S: So far, to reduce the lending crisis, which came from too much lending, the US president and congress have decided to make it easier to lend some more. So let’s not overestimate the capacity of US decision makers to understand the universe. In a related show of selfishness, the US (through the IMF and the World Bank), forced South East Asian countries, which were experiencing a bout of over-investment (thus diminishing returns, leading to a confidence crisis), especially in real estate (thus comparable to the present US crisis), to rise interest rates sky high. That was supposed to invite foreign investors to come back, and stop the collapse of the currencies. Instead it collapsed the South East Asian economies. Following once again Saint Augustine (id est, I will not do as I preach, but just the opposite, the fundamental saying of priests, and one of the reasons why religion is so big in the USA), the USA, although now in a very similar crisis, is acting according to the exact opposite strategy, namely collapsing interest rates. As we try to explain above, this very short term alleviation of symptoms will not change much. Ultimately, US citizens have to relate to the world in a different way, because the transactions they have among themselves have impacts on third parties (this is the set up for pigovian taxes (after Arthur Pigou, 1877-1959, a Frenchman); theory has proven such taxes more efficient than regulation or markets (the carbon emission trading has turned silly)).

Patrice Ayme.


February 9, 2008

Abstract: we establish a useful distinction between fascism (a combat reflex, and fundamental tactic), and totalitarianism (more general than fascism).

Roger Cohen points out that (East German) totalitarianism is remote to East German teenagers (IHT, Feb. 4, 2008). Indeed the East German regime, towards its end, was totalitarian. But earlier on, communism (Soviet style) was certainly not only totalitarian (as defined by the authors of the words, Gentile and Mussolini) but it was also, in its Lenino-Stalinian version, what we call fascist. Totalitarianism has to do with having just one mind for the multitude, fascism has to do with using that mind to kill.

(OK, this is my own terminology. “Total” means the whole, everybody agrees to that one. For the idea that fascism is deadly, I go back to the Romano-Franco-American symbolism: a murderous axe, surrounded by We The People, ready to strike: a lethal symbol, which the Romans, and then the Franks, brandished, for, by now, more than 25 centuries… This is not how the Twentieth Century Italians used “fascismo”… but what did they know? Not much, that’s for sure…)

The term “totalitarianismo”, employed in the writings of the philosopher Giovanni Gentile, was popularized in the 20th century by the Italian fascists under Benito Mussolini. The original meaning of the word as described by Mussolini was a society in which the ideology of the state had influence, if not power, over most of its citizens.

Fascist is more of combat reflex, when the group fight as if of one mind, the later being strongly provided by the leader. It’s blatantly exhibited by threatened, or threatening, baboon troops. Fascism is how baboons win wars against lions at the watering hole. Fascism is much stronger than totalitarianism, because it implies the later, Verily, it works by using the later. The mind of the average member of the troop becomes part and parcel of the mind of the leader, allowing the troop to fight as one super organism (discipline makes the strength of human armies too, for the exact same reason). So great is this combative advantage (the facist instinct), that it has got to be anchored in human ancestry as inherited psychobiology.

Mussolini, originally a wily socialist politician, invented his own fantastic, self serving elucubration of what he called “fascism”. Although he claimed antique Rome’s fascism as an ancestor, Mussolini style fascism had little to do with historical fascism (as found in antique Rome, the Franks, and revolutionary republics of the 18C, the USA and France). Those had to do with justice and the “E Pluribus Unum” principle. Nor did fascism, Mussolini style, had to do with the ethological reflex that the term “fascism” should depict (to be denied at civilization’s risk).

The fascist reflex is generally activated by terror. Maximal deadly fight against maximal deadly terror is a euphemism for fascism. (That is why overdoing it in “the fight against terror” will activate the fascist reflex.) Looked at it that way, fascism can be a good thing (that was the point the Roman republic and its Merovigian, and Franco-American successors made).

The fascist reflex can also be abused by autocrats to establish a totalitarianism they profit from.

Stalin admitted having killed dozens of millions of Soviet citizens as he was doing his thing (outdoing the Nazis). The Nazis were actually out-fascized by Stalin. If Hitler was a fascist, so was Stalin.

Many people and thinkers who wanted to be viewed as of the socialist persuasion insisted to call Stalin’s fascism, “totalitarianism”, as if there was a difference. In this they followed Hitler, and Stalin, and Mussolini, who all had interest to claim there was a huge difference, a deadly contrast between Stalinism and Hitlerism. Thus they were themselves justified to use each other to go out and kill (whoever they decided was in the way, or they liked the teeth of).

This illusionary, erroneous contrast between “fascism” (as defined by Mussolini) and “totalitarianism” (as defined by the Soviets) also allowed a lot of “left” thinkers (especially countless French philosophers, such as Sartre, Althusser, etc…) and, on the other side, Nazi thinkers (Heidegger, etc…) to claim that they were right when they promoted totalitarianism, war, dictatorship and deadly methods of mass coercion (in other words, fascism), so as to fight … the other side. In the same way flying butresses in a cathedral “fight” each other, as they lean against each other. They could be, precisely because they were the same. That illusionary difference also served as excuse and conceptual background to justify holocausts such as the one which occurred in Cambodia (the instigators of the later had been instructed in Paris).

ONLY EVIL CAN DEFEAT EVIL, SO IF ONE WANTS TO BE EVIL, NOTHING LIKE DEPICTING ONE’S OPPONENT AS EVIL FIRST (on a miniature scale, this tactic has been successfully used by both sides in US politics in recent decades, something Obama seems to be alluding to). Many so called socialists, by depicting their opponents as “fascist” implicitly wanted to proclaim that they were as far from fascism as could be imagined (an application of the “big lie” technique dear to Hitler). Whereas in truth our semantics replace them where they belong, as pure and simple fascists.

All these categories, terror, totalitarianism, and fascism need to be made very precise, because not only are they at the core of the war against terror, but not having studied them carefully in a timely manner led to both the fall of the Athenian democracy and of the Roman republic (with civilization shattering consequences). Another lack of timely study led to the fall of France, in 1940, and the near end of civilization, while the USA basked in treachorous obliviousness until Japanese Zeroes showed up over Pearl Harbor for Christmass 1941.

Western Civilization in the Middle Ages survived and thrived, because the Franks, and their successor regimes, were able to keep in check the totalitarian and fascist tendencies both in their ruling states, and in the Catholic church (they could do this, because Francia was ruled by philosophical meta principles higher than Catholicism or fascism). The case of Islam, a totalitarianism and fascism squarely directed against the democratic, anti theocratic core of the West, is of course completely different: it was made to call a paradise the very pitfall the Franks had extracted Romanitas from, so it made a virtue out of hell.

In 2003, as more than 80% of the US population totally accepted to be of one small nasty gullible mind with Bush about invading the other side of the planet, for oil, while claiming it was to be good, totalitarianism was in action.  More awareness of the symptoms of totalitarianism would have helped to awaken to its occurence. Totalitarianism is often the last stage before fascism, and, indeed, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died.

P/S 1: The definition of totalitarianism from Gentile: “Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato.” (“Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State”.) So nobody has to die, versus the fact that fascism, as identified in Rome, was symbolized by a terrible looking weapon (an axe, soon generalized by the Franks as a double battle axe).

P/S 2: Arendt and Hayek, to their credit, argued that there was not much difference between Hitlerism and Stalinism: both were totalitarian. But, in light of the considerations above, one should have pointed out more strenuously that they were both of this sort of totalitarianism whose justification is the extermination of the opposition (murder): in other words, according to our own semantics, fascism.

Patrice Ayme


February 4, 2008

 Abstract: The Clintons, during an eight year presidency, made the rich richer, and started the present war with Iraq (confirmed by several H. Clinton votes as a senator). THAT’S IT! Besides this, the CLINTONS DID NOTHING. We describe below why it will be more of the same next time Clintons come around, to the deep secret delight of their smoking and fuming pseudo opponents.

 All what changed during the Bush-Clinton rule, besides smoke and mirrors, was ever more war against the planet. Bush the Father became Vice President, the all important right hand man of Reagan, 27 (TWENTY SEVEN) years ago (the own dad of that Bush had a personal, and immensely lucrative relationship with … Adolf Hitler … truth is more violent than fiction!) Inbreeding of a ruthless, brazen elite has made the USA into a very strange place. It’s high time to get out of that trance with the past. For the planet, yes, but also for the USA.

 The Clintons promised health care reform 16 years ago, as they were running for the White House. What happened? Well, nothing. They caused a lot of antagonism, and used the controversy they had created to do nothing (it’s a new sort of machiavelism: empower your apparent opponent (but secret ally) by enraging him to death). Here is a quote from Paul Krugman, a writer and economist who is no Obama lover (“Lessons of 1992”, New York Times, 01/28/08):

 “… Mr. Clinton promised health care reform… This turned out to be a disaster. Much has been written about the process by which the Clinton health care plan was put together: it was too secretive, too top-down, too politically tone-deaf. Above all, however, it was too slow. Mr. Clinton didn’t deliver legislation to Congress until Nov. 20, 1993, by which time the momentum from his electoral victory had evaporated, and opponents had had plenty of time to organize against him. The failure of health care reform, in turn, doomed the Clinton presidency to second-rank status. The government was well run … but as Mr. Obama correctly says there was no change in the country’s fundamental trajectory.”-

 Well, the entire problem of the USA has been the “fundamental trajectory”. The US has been behaving as if, alone among the concert of nations, it had nothing to learn from anybody. This is reflective of a general inability to learn from the other side, fundamentally arising from a self persuasion of intrinsic purity and superiority. In one word: hubris.  

 So the Clintons’ presidency did not do any health care reform. Were they too busy doing something else? If so, what was it?

 What did the Clintons’ presidency achieve? Well, Rubin (head of Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, great sub prime crisis architect, and also Clinton Treasury Chief) told Clinton in 1992 what he would be doing as president. Clinton said: “You tell me if I want to be reelected I should keep the bond trader happy?”. Well, he was, because he did.

 That’s good, to keep the bond traders happy: it keeps interest rates low, and you have to be nice with rich people, worldwide (because most bond traders are overseas). But is that all the Clintons could do to help the USA? Make nice with the Rich? The Clintons did not make any health care reform, but they created the BUBBLE economy (“irrational exuberance”, Greenspan nicknamed it in 1996, half way through the Clintons’ presidency).

 The Clintons also went to war against IRAQ. As Clinton boasted during the debate with Obama (01/31/08): “In 1998 we bombed them for days”. She seemed really happy about that, she was beaming: nothing beats a good bombing, and especially not reasoning with one’s adversary. The Clintons did not just bomb: they instituted continual war, harassment and blockade against Iraq. They did not dare go to the last step, themselves, but then, in several votes, in 2002, Senator Clinton incited G. W. Bush to invade Iraq (she claims she did not want the US to be forced to obey the UN Security Council, apparently forgetting the USA has right of veto on any decision of the Security Council; so she deliberately voted to give full powers to Bush without having him to justify himself to anybody).

 The Iraq invasion could be viewed as the ultimate aim, conscious or not, of the Clinton strategy: don’t negotiate, just attack, antagonize everybody. Just as with the Clintons’ pseudo effort with health care. To this day, the USA will not talk to Iran. Instead it has Europe’s “Big Three” do the talking for them (it reminds one a bit of Munich, where the US was conspicuous by its absence, and France and Britain were left to talk to Hitler alone, with the implicit message that the USA could not care less).

 Now Hillary Clinton has positioned herself to stay in Iraq indefinitely, because she will withdraw troops only if it’s “RESPONSIBLE” (she said in the debate with Obama). Well, that is Bush’s, and Mc Cain’s point, entirely. They both withdraw troops everyday, and are very “responsible” about it, and if it’s irresponsible to withdraw, well, they don’t. But if Clinton is going to be Mc Cain light, why not get the real thing?

 People may wonder what motivation the Clintons would have to go on with the Iraq war. Well, what motivation had the USA to go to war against Iraq under the Clintons? Well, the same motivation that Great Britain had in invading Iraq: OIL. And keeping oil men, and their derivatives, happy.

 Other suggestions of Hillary Clinton, such as freezing interest rates are completely unworkable, and would be totally unjust (as Obama correctly pointed out, free market interest rates would then rise enormously, so there could not be any new home purchase. Clinton has got to know that, everybody knowing a bit of finance and international law knows that, so she deliberately misrepresents reality by omitting this significant negative change; besides, the US would be in default, and the dollar would collapse.)

 The Clintons did nothing much during their eight year presidency. By comparison, Nixon set up with “Federal financial assistance” the “Health Maintenance Organization” system, unique in the world, a national health care were the rich profits financially from sickness and death. Nixon found some spare time to do this during Watergate, while extricating the US from Vietnam, and fighting the huge inflation the Vietnam war had caused. While the Clintons stayed 8 years in the White House, playing the saxophone as they let the economy drain, exporting all its jobs overseas, Nixon did a lot during 5 years (OK, mostly in the wrong direction, but the point is that, contrarily to what the Clintons’ rule showed, a president can do a lot.)

 The HMO system set up by Nixon, with the attending insurance industry, destroys ever more US health care (now # 37 and sinking). The Clintons did nothing about it.

 The Clintons talked lots about ecology, but they did nothing, there, again. This is not just a question of having clean air, and the fact the US emits about one-third of the world’s CO2. Doing nothing about US inefficiency also STRATEGICALLY WEAKENED the USA. Under the Clintons the inefficiencies in the US economy grew, as proven by the apparent, otherwise unexplainable, rise in “productivity” (GDP loves waste: the bigger the traffic jam, the more productive, as far as GDP is concerned). So doing, the USA fell further behind Europe and even the rest of the world, in many technologies and industries (China adopts EU standards, so the USA cannot sell its over-polluting cars in China, a problem the Germans, French and Japanese do not have with their own cars).

 Bush extended all the Clinton policies to their logical conclusions. The Clintons had saved some money for him, as they did not invest in infrastructure whatsoever. Of course a modern infrastructure is what an economy makes. The US is now clearly relatively less competitively industrialized than, say, France.

 What were the Clintons after? Well, B. Clinton, soon after his presidency, earned more than 40 million dollars just in speaking fees, and H. Clinton declared more than 20 million dollars in her personal stock portfolio, a few years ago (they assuredly own much more than that, these are two items we observed passing by). This does not look good in comparison with all past US presidents, but one, all the way back to Truman (neither Nixon nor Reagan nor Carter used their presidential prestige as a piggy bank). OK, the Bushes are a different problem alltogether, in the scale of their impudence: having got money from their collaboration with Hitler (!), as a family, they keep on going with their fundamental trajectory, empowering themselves (the Carlyle group, doing business in and from the Middle East, etc…)

 The Clintons are probably sincere: they believe that all can be done is micro tweaks to the US trajectory, and they may as well have a good time doing it. It’s true the neoconservative attack machine gave them no respite (but that is a smokescreen, as we said: the true work of the Clintons is to do nothing fundamental).

 The problem, for the rest of the US population, though, while the Clintons were amusing themselves, doing nothing important and efficient, was that the entire world was moving fast past the USA. If this continued, if change was not brought in a timely and controlled manner, the US economy could get in very dire straights.

 A modern house can be made 15 times more efficient than an old one. The US is covered with inefficient houses. The EU mandates efficiencies, and not just in housing. The entire US railroad system has to be rebuilt.

 All of this crisis of US energy inefficiency, means economic opportunity, if grabbed early enough, and spells disaster if, as under the Clintons, the solution is viewed as more US military action in Iraq, or more money in Wall Street.

 Iraqis have plenty enough reasons to hate Americans: get over it, and pass the buck to the United Nations (this is the meaning of withdrawing from Iraq).

 According to Adm. R. Mullen, Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, military spending should rise to about 2 billion dollars a day. Payments to Iraqis and replacement of worn equipment are augmenting quickly. According to the commander of the Marine Corps, “We are making do … but we see some needs on the horizon.” (Source of all this: Wall Street Journal, February 4, 2008). In other words, the life energy of the United States of America is draining in the sands of Mesopotamia.

 The Bush administration, out of money and imagination, has been saving a few hundreds of millions by savaging the US MENTAL infrastructure (from biology to high energy physics). For example the budget for thermonuclear fusion was cut down to zero, leaving the monopoly of that highly strategic field completely to Eurasia. This sort of diplomacy (the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor being an international project), with the knife (as in Iraq), removes ever more goodwill for the USA. At the Bali climate change conference, all of the planet’s governments were disgusted by the US attitude. To the point that, when the Papua New Guinea representative told the USA to “get out of the way”, everybody applauded, and the US had to submit.

 For the USA to stop being just reactive (hence submissive), it will take more than the tinkering the Clintons, and their secret neoconservative friends, propose to do ad vitam eternam.

 As the US keeps on rebuilding in Mesopotamia what will be bombed tomorrow, probably by the US itself, it’s as much which is not built in the USA, by the USA, for the USA. Sisyphus should get out of making war in Mesopotamia. It’s unlikely that the Clintons, who started the massive air war against Iraq, would suddenly change, and learn to become more constructive. Clintons have been consistently reproaching Obama to want to talk to opponents (instead of what? Bombing, the Clinton way? Demonizing one’s opponents, an old Bush-Clinton tactic?)

 For the longest time, for all too long, the USA was put to sleep by all the advantages its victory in WW II brought (in a war that killed more than 70 millions, mostly in Europe, the USA suffered only 418,500 dead, and no damage to its infrastructure; by comparison France had lost entire cities to bombings, and only a handful of railroad engines still worked; most of the core of Europe had been devastated; it’s hard to believe, but repairs for the damage caused by WW I, yes, the First World War, is still ongoing!) All other countries have known immense turmoil, and the wisdom most have gained is that it is better TO PREVENT THROUGH CHANGE, INSTEAD OF BEING VICTIMIZED BY CHANGE. The planet is under immediate threat, and it could quickly turn into a military threat, if ecological panic gets out of control (what about $ 500 oil? And rising seas?) This crisis is also an opportunity, even an economic opportunity. The USA has to lead CHANGE, not just try to conserve a past which is now dead.


Post Scriptum: 

1) Note on the Anglo-Saxon obsession with waging war and hatred in Iraq: the Anglo-Saxons have been making war in Mesopotamia for more than 90 (ninety) years. Now the USA is making its largest investment ever, or anywhere, waging war in Mesopotamia. Clinton calls this “RESPONSIBLE”. How come? Simple: Iraq has the largest oil reserves (behind, or not, Saudi Arabia), and the USA has the world’s most INEFFICIENT economy, dying for oil. One deep cause of Anglo-American furor against the Ba’ath party in Iraq was that the Ba’ath had broken the monopoly of the British Iraq Petroleum Company (by signing with a French company), then the Ba’ath nationalized the IPC, and Iraq grew vigorously (after the 1968 revolution). The Anglo-Saxon hatred against Iraq runs very deep. The British Manual of Military Law of 1914 opined that the “rules of war” applied only to conflict “between civilized nations … they do not apply in wars with uncivilized States and tribes”.

In a War Office minute of 12 May 1919, Winston Churchill argued for the use of gas: “I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas (in IRAQ). We have definitely adopted the position at the Peace Conference of arguing in favor of the retention of gas as a permanent method of warfare… I am strongly in favor of using POISONED GAS against UNCIVILIZED TRIBES. The moral effect should be so good that the loss of life should be reduced to a minimum. It is not necessary to use only the most deadly gasses: gasses can be used which cause great inconvenience and would spread a LIVELY TERROR and yet would leave no serious permanent effects on most..”

Need I say more?

2) OK, I could put in doubt the sense of reality of the Clintons. Clinton, a huge white guy with a white wife and a white daughter, has long gone all around claiming he was “the first black president”. With the Clintons white can be everything: white is black too, and the blacks themselves seem redundant. Why to want black, when you can have white, and, come to think of it, it’s also black? Emperor Clinton has no clothes, but they are black.

Patrice Ayme

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