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And another graph that explains the migrant crises of 2016-2100
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Population 1950-2015-b

The demographers of the United Nation’s Population Division have quietly released their World Population Prospects: 2015 Revision report.

Above is a graph I put together from their new data that explains much about the “Migrant Crisis” of 2015.

As you can see, way back in 1950, the population of the Middle East was only 18% as great as the population of Europe, while Sub-Saharan Africa was only 33% as large. Even in 2000, the Middle East had only 49% of the population of Europe, while Africa had almost caught up to Europe with 88% of its population.

But from 2000 to 2015, the Middle East added 124 million people, making it now 65% as populous as Europe.

In this century alone, Sub-Saharan Africa has added 320 million people, making it 130% as populated as Europe.

Some of this information about the past is new. For example, the U.N.’s estimate of the population of the continent of Africa back in 2010 has grown by 13 million people, or over 1% between the 2012 Revision and the 2015 Revision. When it comes to population, the past just isn’t what it used to be.

But what about the future?

As a general pattern, the U.N. has found, the completeness of the counts tends to be worse in the fastest growing countries. Thus, the harder the U.N. has looked at Africa in this decade, the more people and more new babies it keeps uncovering.

It turns out that while the total fertility rate in Africa is falling, it’s falling quite a bit more slowly than the U.N. had expected before its disturbing 2012 Revision.

Sub-Saharan Africa simply isn’t behaving like the rest of the world:

Screenshot 2015-09-19 16.44.14

This U.N. map of total fertility rates can be found here. I reviewed the deep structure reasons for Sub-Saharan Africa’s anomalously high fertility here.

The upward adjustment in Africa’s population projections in the 2012 Revision of World Population Prospects came as a shock. But the 2015 Revision forecasts Africa’s population in 2100, about one lifetime from now, to be another 5% higher than the U.N. projected just back in 2012.

And here’s my full graph of the U.N.’s 2015 Revision numbers:

Population 1950-2100-b


The U.N. now projects that, despite lower fertility in some Muslim countries such as Iran, the population of the Middle East will surpass that of Europe in 2045 and reach 937 million by 2100.

As for Sub-Saharan Africa, the U.N. foresees the population growing to 3,935,000,000 (3.9 billion and change) by 2100. (The total population of Africa and the Middle East will be 4,872,000,000.)

That’s probably not going to happen due to some combination of (A) intelligent self-restraint, (B) mass migration, and (C) Malthusian Nightmares (war, famine, disease, etc. etc.) keeping the population of Sub-Saharan Africa in 2100 from being more than six times as great as Europe, which would be an 18-fold increase in 150 years.

Keep in mind that there’s not a one to one relationship between population growth and emigration. In general, people try to assess whether the future at home looks brighter than the present. But people in Africa and the Middle East can see their countries’ futures will be more crowded and constrained.

Personally, I hope the reason that this graph doesn’t prove accurate is largely (A) intelligent self-restraint. But at present, white people don’t seem to be making much of an effort to facilitate and encourage reasonable family planning in Africa. Because that would be, you know, racist.

Which is the worst thing in the world, much worse than the U.N.’s population forecast.

Almost 7 billion people live in countries poorer than U.S., 6 billion in countries poorer than Puerto Rico
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Out of the 187 countries represented by spheres, highlighted countries from bottom left to top right include: Pakistan is the pink sphere, Nigeria black, India indigo, Indonesia dark red, China mint green, Brazil blue, Mexico brown, Poland purple, UK yellow, Germany green, and USA red-white-and-blue red.

It’s hard for Westerners to grasp how many people there are in the rest of the world, which is why we often treat frivolously data points that ought to be thought-provoking, such as the Gallup Poll’s finding that 640,000,000 adults want to immigrate. To increase awareness, here’s a graph I’ve created based on the International Monetary Fund estimates for 2015. It shows that almost seven billion people live in countries with lower per capita GDPs than America’s $56,000 (red sphere), most of them much lower.

On the vertical axis is GDP per capita (PPP), while on the horizontal axis is the cumulative world population at that GDP level or lower.

Each country’s population is proportional to the area of its disk.

The IMF doesn’t break out data for Puerto Rico, but it would fall on this graph between Mexico and Germany. One estimate of its per capita GDP is $29,529, while another is $34,938 (due to massive subsidies since the 1950s intended to persuade Puerto Ricans to stay home). In either case, over six billion people live in countries with lower per capita GDP’s than Puerto Rico. Yet, somewhere around 5/8ths to 2/3rds of all Puerto Ricans now live in the Fifty States.

And they’re still coming.

Poland, with a slightly lower GDP than Puerto Rico, represents a non-impoverished country that has been flooding wealthy London with jobseekers who underbid from Brits from the North. With Poland at least there’s some hope that the immigrants might actually return home someday. In contrast, nobody (except Puerto Ricans) seems to think Puerto Ricans will ever go home.

But the take-away lesson is that six billion people live in countries poorer than Poland and Puerto Rico.

By the way, Qatar, host of the 2022 World Cup, is literally off the chart at $144k per capita GDP, by far the highest in the world in the IMF tables. If helping out refugee Arabs is the world’s highest priority, why hasn’t the 2022 World Cup in Qatar been moved (to, say, 2010 host South Africa) and the $200 billion Qatar had budgeted to throw itself a party been freed up to help Qatar’s fellow Arabs and Muslims?

Under the fold is the data for this graph (downloaded from the IMF):

Country GDP Per Cap K Population (Mil) Cumulative Pop
Central African Rep. $1 5 5
Dem. Rep. of Congo $1 82 86
Malawi $1 18 105
Liberia $1 4 109
Burundi $1 9 118
Niger $1 18 136
Eritrea $1 7 143
Mozambique $1 27 170
Guinea $1 12 182
Guinea-Bissau $1 2 183
Madagascar $1 24 208
Togo $2 7 215
Comoros $2 1 216
Ethiopia $2 93 308
Burkina Faso $2 18 326
Kiribati $2 0 327
Sierra Leone $2 6 333
Rwanda $2 11 344
Mali $2 16 361
Haiti $2 11 371
Solomon Islands $2 1 372
Benin $2 11 383
Afghanistan $2 32 415
Uganda $2 39 454
Zimbabwe $2 13 467
South Sudan $2 12 479
Senegal $2 15 494
Vanuatu $2 0 494
Nepal $2 28 523
Tajikistan $3 8 531
Chad $3 12 543
Tanzania $3 49 592
Papua New Guinea $3 8 600
Lesotho $3 2 602
Micronesia $3 0 602
Cameroon $3 23 625
Djibouti $3 1 626
Kenya $3 44 670
São Tomé $3 0 670
Côte d’Ivoire $3 23 693
Marshall Islands $3 0 693
Tuvalu $3 0 693
Kyrgyz Republic $3 6 699
Cambodia $3 16 715
Bangladesh $4 160 875
Yemen $4 28 903
Ghana $4 27 930
Zambia $4 16 945
Sudan $4 38 984
Mauritania $4 4 987
Honduras $5 8 996
Pakistan $5 190 1,186
Nicaragua $5 6 1,192
Moldova $5 4 1,196
Tonga $5 0 1,196
Myanmar $5 52 1,248
Lao P.D.R. $5 7 1,255
Timor-Leste $5 1 1,256
Samoa $5 0 1,256
Uzbekistan $6 31 1,287
Vietnam $6 92 1,379
Nigeria $6 179 1,557
India $6 1,276 2,834
Bolivia $6 11 2,845
Cabo Verde $6 1 2,846
Republic of Congo $7 4 2,850
Guyana $7 1 2,851
Philippines $7 101 2,952
Armenia $7 3 2,956
Angola $7 25 2,981
Guatemala $8 16 2,997
Georgia $8 4 3,001
Swaziland $8 1 3,002
Morocco $8 34 3,036
Bhutan $8 1 3,037
El Salvador $8 6 3,043
Ukraine $8 43 3,086
Belize $8 0 3,086
Fiji $9 1 3,087
Paraguay $9 7 3,094
Jamaica $9 3 3,097
Bosnia $10 4 3,101
Sri Lanka $11 21 3,122
St. Vincent $11 0 3,122
Indonesia $11 255 3,377
Dominica $11 0 3,377
Egypt $11 88 3,466
Namibia $11 2 3,468
Ecuador $11 16 3,484
Tunisia $12 11 3,495
St. Lucia $12 0 3,495
Albania $12 3 3,498
Peru $12 32 3,530
Jordan $12 7 3,537
Grenada $12 0 3,537
Mongolia $12 3 3,540
South Africa $13 55 3,595
Serbia $13 7 3,602
Dominican Rep. $14 11 3,613
China $14 1,375 4,988
Colombia $14 48 5,036
FYR Macedonia $14 2 5,038
Iraq $14 37 5,075
Algeria $14 39 5,114
Thailand $15 69 5,183
Maldives $15 0 5,184
Turkmenistan $15 6 5,189
Costa Rica $15 5 5,194
Montenegro $16 1 5,195
Brazil $16 204 5,399
Libya $16 6 5,406
Venezuela $16 31 5,437
Barbados $16 0 5,437
Palau $17 0 5,437
Botswana $17 2 5,439
Suriname $17 1 5,440
Iran $17 79 5,519
Azerbaijan $18 9 5,528
Belarus $18 9 5,537
Bulgaria $18 7 5,545
Mexico $18 121 5,666
Lebanon $18 5 5,670
Mauritius $19 1 5,672
Turkey $20 78 5,749
Panama $20 4 5,753
Romania $21 20 5,773
Croatia $21 4 5,777
Uruguay $21 3 5,781
St. Kitts and Nevis $22 0 5,781
Argentina $22 42 5,823
Antigua $23 0 5,823
Chile $24 18 5,841
Gabon $24 2 5,843
Russia $24 144 5,987
Kazakhstan $24 18 6,004
Latvia $25 2 6,006
The Bahamas $26 0 6,007
Malaysia $26 31 6,038
Hungary $26 10 6,047
Poland $26 38 6,085
Seychelles $26 0 6,085
Greece $27 11 6,096
Equatorial Guinea $27 1 6,097
Portugal $28 10 6,108
Estonia $28 1 6,109
Lithuania $28 3 6,112
Slovak Republic $29 5 6,117
Slovenia $31 2 6,119
Cyprus $31 1 6,120
Czech Republic $31 11 6,131
Trinidad $33 1 6,132
Israel $33 8 6,141
Malta $35 0 6,141
Spain $35 46 6,187
Italy $36 60 6,248
New Zealand $36 5 6,252
Korea $37 51 6,303
Japan $38 127 6,430
Oman $41 4 6,434
United Kingdom $41 65 6,499
Finland $41 6 6,504
France $41 64 6,568
Belgium $44 11 6,580
Iceland $45 0 6,580
Denmark $45 6 6,586
Canada $46 36 6,621
Germany $47 81 6,703
Austria $47 9 6,711
Sweden $47 10 6,721
Australia $48 24 6,745
Taiwan $48 23 6,769
Netherlands $48 17 6,786
Ireland $51 5 6,790
Bahrain $53 1 6,791
Saudi Arabia $53 31 6,823
United States $56 321 7,144
Hong Kong SAR $56 7 7,151
Switzerland $59 8 7,160
San Marino $62 0 7,160
United Arab Emirates $65 10 7,169
Norway $67 5 7,174
Kuwait $71 4 7,178
Brunei Darussalam $72 0 7,179
Singapore $85 6 7,184
Luxembourg $93 1 7,185
Qatar $144 2 7,187
The Gambia
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Radio comedian Will Rogers is often said to have sagely advised, “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” Western Europe has found itself in a hole over the last generation, having imprudently admitted large numbers of Muslims. Germany’s two-pronged solution:

- Double down

- Bully Germany’s eastern neighbors into the same mistake so German politicians don’t look so bad in comparison to the Eastern European politicians’ attempts to learn from the Western European politicians’ mistakes.

From the NYT:

Eastern Bloc’s Resistance to Refugees Highlights Europe’s Cultural and Political Divisions
By RICK LYMAN SEPT. 12, 2015

WARSAW — Even though the former Communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe have been asked to accept just a fraction of the refugees that Germany and other nations are taking, their fierce resistance now stands as the main impediment to a unified European response to the crisis.

Poland’s new president, Andrzej Duda, has complained about “dictates” from the European Union to accept migrants flowing onto the Continent from the Middle East and Africa.

Slovakia’s prime minister, Robert Fico, says his country will accept only Christian refugees as it would be “false solidarity” to force Muslims to settle in a country without a single mosque. Viktor Orban, Hungary’s hard-line prime minister, calls the influx a “rebellion by illegal migrants” and pledges a new crackdown this week.

The discord has further unsettled a union already shaky from struggles over the euro and the Greek financial crisis and now facing a historic influx of people attracted by Europe’s relative peace and prosperity.

When representatives of the European Union nations meet on Monday to take up a proposal for allocating refugees among them, Central and Eastern Europen nations are likely to be the most vocal opponents. Their stance — reflecting a mix of powerful far-right movements, nationalism, racial and religious prejudices as well as economic arguments that they are less able to afford to take in outsiders than their wealthier neighbors — is the latest evidence of the stubborn cultural and political divides that persist between East and West. …

Few migrants, in fact, are particularly interested in settling in Eastern Europe, preferring to head to Germany or Scandinavia, where social welfare benefits are higher, employment opportunities greater and immigrant communities better established. In that sense, migrants are aligned with leaders in Eastern and Central European capitals, who frequently argue that the 28-member bloc should focus first on securing its borders and figuring out a way to end the war in Syria before talking about mandatory quotas for accepting refugees.

But that’s not the point, the point is to use the Muslim influx to crush resistance in Eastern Europe.

But as often as not, the political discourse in these countries has quickly moved toward a wariness of accepting racial and religious diversity.

“This refugee flow has outraged the right wing,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “If you scratch the surface, why are they so upset? It’s not about jobs or the ability to manage them or social welfare. What it is really about is that they are Muslim.”

Unlike countries in Western Europe, which have long histories of accepting immigrants from diverse cultures, the former Communist states tend to be highly homogeneous. Poland, for instance, is 98 percent white and 94 percent Catholic.

“And the countries that have very little diversity are some of the most virulently against refugees,” said Andrew Stroehlein, European media director for Human Rights Watch.

But we have a plan for fixing that.

Even mainstream political leaders eager for closer ties to Brussels, the European Union’s headquarters, feel pressure to appeal to this growing nationalist wave.

“By toughening up their rhetoric and showing a strong hand toward the Roma minority, facing down the E.U. and refusing a common solution to the refugee crisis, they are trying to outbid the far right and keep the traditional political parties in power,” said Zuzana Kusá, a senior research fellow at the Institute for Sociology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences.

It’s called representative government.

In Hungary, Mr. Orban has taken a particularly uncompromising approach, demanding more help from Brussels in dealing with the tens of thousands who continue to enter his country while insisting that Hungary is under no obligation to endanger its traditional Christian values by accepting large numbers of Muslims.

Advice to Mr. Orban: When talking to the American media, don’t say “our traditional Christian values,” say “our traditional Judeo-Christian values.”

What exactly is all this frenzy to crush Eastern European dissent about, anyway?

Part of it, no doubt, is to inflict upon the East the bad decisions made in the West. The East can’t be allowed to learn from the mistakes of the West, because that would signify that the decisionmakers in charge in the West have made mistakes. And that would raise questions about whether they should be replaced with better decisionmakers. And we can’t have that.

If you are Japan, China, South Korea, or Taiwan, pay attention to what’s going on. You may think you are insulated, but, if, say, Hungary can be broken on the Wheel of Diversity, your time may come, too.

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To understand what’s at stake regarding the Mediterranean, here’s a graph I made from the numbers in World Population Prospects: The 2012 Revision: Volume II: Demographic Profiles, which was published in 2013 by the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat.

The United Nations’ population projections for the continent of Africa are on p. 10 of the paper document (p. 36 of the PDF); the data for the continent of Europe are on p. 23 (p. 49 of the PDF).

(Now, of course, these UN projections are based on the highly arguable premise that the emigration rate out of Africa will decline steadily. The million or so Africans currently massed in Libya waiting to set sail for the EU, where they will invite their relatives back home to join them, would probably not agree with that heroic assumption.)

P.S., I’ve created an updated graph showing the numbers from the U.N.’s new 2015 Revision. In it, I break out population forecasts for Europe, Middle East (North Africa & West Asia), and Sub-Saharan Africa.

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From the Jewish Journal of Greater L.A. (via MondoWeiss):

David Brooks’ Son Is In the Israeli Army: Does It Matter?
by Rob Eshman
2 days ago

One of the more interesting nuggets buried in a long, Hebrew-language interview with New York Times columnist David Brooks in the recent Ha’aretz magazine is the revelation, toward the very end, that Brooks’s oldest son serves in the Israel Defense Forces.

“Brook’s connection to Israel was always strong,” the article reports. “He has visited Israel almost every year since 1991, and over the past months the connection has grown even stronger, after his oldest son, aged 23, decided to join the Israel Defense Forces as a “lone soldier” [Ed. Note: a soldier with no immediate family in Israel].

“‘It’s worrying,’” says Brooks, ‘But every Israeli parent understands this is what the circumstances require. Beyond that, I think children need to take risks after they leave university, and that they need to do something difficult, that involves going beyond their personal limits. Serving in the IDF embodies all of these elements. I couldn’t advise others to do it without acknowledging it’s true for my own family.’”

Chatter immediately heated up over this fact, which until now hasn’t cropped up in any Google searches. Many commenters praised Brooks’ for his son’s service. Others maintained that he and the New York Times have the duty to reveal the fact that his son is serving in the IDF as it personally colors his commentary on Israel and Middle East issues.

Between 800-1000 Jews from abroad serve in the IDF, according to an IDF spokesperson. It is not illegal for an American citizen to join a foreign army– unless that army is at war with America. Nor does joining a foreign army require one to relinquish citizenship. …

In 2010 the web site reported that the New York Times senior correspondent in Israel, Ethan Bronner, had a son serving in the IDF. …

Here is the original Hebrew text from Haaretz:

הקשר של ברוקס לישראל תמיד היה חזק – הוא מגיע לארץ כמעט מדי שנה מאז 1991 – ואולם בחודשים האחרונים הקשר התחזק אפילו יותר, לאחר שבנו הבכור, בן 23, החליט להתגייס לצה”ל כחייל בודד. “זה מדאיג”, הוא אומר, “אך כל הורה ישראלי מבין שזה מה שהנסיבות מחייבות. וחוץ מזה, אני חושב שילדים צריכים לקחת סיכונים כשהם יוצאים מהאוניברסיטה, ושהם צריכים לעשות משהו קשה, שכרוך גם בלפרוץ את גבולות ‘העצמי’. שירות בצה”ל מגלם את כל המרכיבים האלו. אני לא יכול לייעץ לאחרים לעשות זאת, מבלי שהדבר יהיה נכון גם למשפחה שלי”

Leaving aside the specifics of the Brooks family (which are pretty interesting: Brooks’ wife not only converted but changed her first name from Jane to Sarah) …

This is a good example of a general theme of mine: in 21st Century America, you can roughly divide white men up into conservatives and liberals based on their predilections toward loyalty. Everybody feels loyalties, but conservatives tend to be more motivated than liberals by loyalty or team spirit. And conservatives tend to experience their feelings of loyalty in a fairly natural concentric fashion, with their feelings of loyalty diminishing as they go outward to people less like themselves.

Of course, there is a sizable degree of social construction involved in defining natural-seeming loyalties, similar to the inevitable splitter and lumper questions in any field. For example, George Washington was involved in first splitting the British Empire, then in lumping the 13 colonies. But, as Plato might have said, Washington turned out to have been more or less “carving nature at the joints,” so his social constructions have endured better than, say, the British Commonwealth or the United Arab Republic.

White male liberals, in contrast, pride themselves on a certain degree of disloyalty, possessing a set of loyalties that leapfrog in disdain over some set of people not all that far off from themselves. (Of course, all other kinds of liberals besides straight white males are encouraged by the media to subscribe to crude forms of ethnocentrism, such as demanding amnesty for their co-ethnics.)

As an American, I want other Americans, especially other Americans of power, influence, wealth, and talent to see themselves as on my side, the American side. That doesn’t seem too much to ask. I particularly want Americans of influence who are by nature conservatives to train their innate urges toward loyalty to overlap with my loyalties toward my fellow American citizens.

In contrast, if, say, Noam Chomsky doesn’t feel terribly loyal toward American citizens, well, I don’t mind all that much because he’s not by nature all that conservative. Loyalty is not a big part of Chomsky’s personality, nor are his loyalties naturally concentric. There are good things you can say about Professor Chomsky, but “you’d want him in your foxhole” is not the first one that comes to mind. Expecting loyalty from Chomsky is like expecting loyalty from your cat. People don’t give their cats names like “Fido” or expect them to defend their homes from intruders.

In contrast, there are a lot of more naturally conservative Jewish-Americans whom you would definitely want on your side, not on somebody else’s side. They like being loyal. But these days, nobody expects them to be loyal to their fellow citizens.

I would like to see our society engage in more social construction to get naturally conservative Jews like the Brookses to be more loyal to their fellow American citizens and less loyal to their foreign co-ethnics.

In particular, I favor criticism. Being criticized rationally for your poor behavior tends to encourage you to improve your behavior. But criticism of Jews for Jewish-typical failings such as excessive ethnocentrism is a career-killer today.

It’s like calling an angry black woman an angry black woman, except that angry black women tend to be more angry than powerful. In contrast, when Gregg Easterbrook wrote one sentence of criticism of Jewish movie moguls in 2003 in, of all places, Marty Peretz’s The New Republic, Easterbrook was immediately fired from his sportswriting job at Michael Eisner-controlled ESPN that accounted for half of his income. This is even though Easterbrook’s older brother Frank Easterbrook is a heavyweight federal judge. But nobody fears nepotistic vengeance by people named Easterbrook, while Eisner’s actions certainly served pour encourager les autres.

It didn’t always used to be this way. For example, as a child of the 1970s, I’ve often thought about Henry Kissinger. His career and personality have always been controversial, but I think it’s safe to say he is a man of parts. Further, I’m very glad in retrospect that Henry Kissinger was on our side, the United States of America, rather than on the side of the Soviet Union or of Israel.

My impression from reading between the lines in Kissinger’s immense memoir of 1973-74, Years of Upheaval, is that Kissinger had always been very concerned during his younger days about the possibility of accusations of dual loyalties, and that he resolved to overcome them by … not having dual loyalties, by just being loyal to the United States. And to his own fabulous career, of course, but back in the post-WWII era, loyalty to Americans in general tended to help you in your career.

Kissinger’s single loyalty drove the nascent neoconservatives wild with rage, but the neocons weren’t quite as organized and influential back then. Overall, back in the 1960s-1970s, the fact that the only thing simple about Kissinger was his single loyalty greatly benefited his career domestically by allowing him to become the right hand man of the experienced and cynical Richard Nixon.

And, more strikingly, it allowed him to play the role of honest broker in his shuttle diplomacy negotiating the disengagement of Israel’s army from the armies of Egypt and Syria after the 1973 war. That Anwar Sadat (and even Hafez Assad) came to see to see this Jewish-American as representing the interests of the United States rather than of some complicated mixture of American and Israeli interests proved highly useful to the United States (and even to Israel).

In today’s atmosphere, however, the idea that Henry Kissinger had to carefully police his own loyalties to prove, not unreasonably, to gentiles his loyalty to the United States sounds shockingly retrograde and anti-Semitic.

Consider another conservative Jewish man of considerable powers, Michael Bloomberg, who is a couple of decades younger than Kissinger.

I wrote a lot about Michael Bloomberg when he was mayor of Gotham New York City: $30 billion in the bank, gives billions away in charity, had a 44,000 person “private army” (in his words), owns a worldwide computer network that his employees use to spy on finance guys, etc. Basically, Bloomberg is like a real world version of Bruce Wayne.

Do you want Bruce Wayne to feel, deep down, he’s on your side, or do you want Bruce Wayne to be most loyal to some other people halfway around the world? Of course you want Bruce Wayne to be on your side.

Bloomberg was a good mayor of New York because he feels a lot of loyalty toward New Yorkers. He wanted to be President of the United States too, but he would have been a disaster at that because of his lack of loyalty toward the American people. And that’s a shame because guys like Bloomberg ought to be a valuable resource for my country. Just a generation ago or so they would have been cautioned to keep their ethnocentrism down and their citizenism up, but we’re way past that age now.

For instance, in 2006 Bloomberg, who had 11 digits of net worth, went on the radio and announced that illegal aliens should get amnesty so that he doesn’t have to pay more money in monthly dues to have the fairways manicured at his Deepdale Country Club (which is possibly the most exclusive and notoriously underused golf course in America: members have included President Eisenhower and the Duke of Windsor). Conversely, he flew to Israel to accept the world’s first ever “Jewish Nobel Prize” from some Russian oligarchs.

But we’ve been almost wholly disarmed from shaming the Bloombergs into being more loyal toward Americans than toward Jews.

These are the kind of things where it should occur to a Bloomberg: wow, I’m really going to get laughed at if I do this kind of stuff. I should try to behave better, like I care about Americans rather than Israelis, so I’m not such a butt of jokes.

But, here’s the thing. Nobody gets the joke. It never occurs to Bloomberg that he’s making a fool of himself. Because who would dare joke about such matters? Bloomberg is one of the World’s Greatest Victims, and if you don’t wholly believe that, if you crack a smile, your career will get crushed like a bug (as happened to Rick Sanchez, formerly of CNN, for laughing at the suggestion that Jon Stewart is a fellow minority).

• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Jews, American Media, Israel 
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A friend writes:

A few notes on the implications of China displacing the United States as the world’s number one country over the course of the 21st Century:

1. The Chinese business cycle will become the world’s business cycle (replacing the U.S.). It will be a huge shock the first time a recession hits the U.S. because China goes into a downturn. How might this work? A recession in China slashes Chinese demand for imports. Some of those imports are from the U.S. Others are from other countries, that in turn buy less from the U.S.

However, all of this is a bit indirect. The more likely (and powerful) mechanism is that a financial panic starts in China and spreads. There is plenty of history showing that financial panics typically don’t stop at national borders. The East Asian crash of 1997 was one example. The Great Recession was/is another. By contrast, the Argentine Great Depression of 2001-2003 was mostly limited to Argentina (Argentina is not a global economic power). Note that even in the 19th century, economic crises swiftly spread around the world.

2. China’s incessant demand for commodities drives global commodity prices up, and China’s exports drive the prices for manufactured goods down. Of course, this is already happening. Given that the U.S. is a net importer of commodities (by far) and an exporter of manufactured goods this is bad for U.S. terms of trade. Basically, China is a direct competitor to the U.S. in world trade and China’s growth tends to impoverish the U.S. Note that many economists already believe that the gains from cheap imports from China, have been more than offset by China’s impact on commodity prices (food and fuel).

Tangentially, does it seem like restaurant prices are going through the roof? A Cobb or chef salad at a diner now seems to start at $13.95. And how much am I supposed to be tipping these days?

3. At some point, China may become a political model for countries around the world. Given that China is a one-party state with a mixed economy, this will pain all sorts of folks on the left (and the right). Basically, the western political and economic model will lose credibility in favor of China’s. Of course, this is already happening. Notably, the ability of the West to influence the third-world, has substantially declined because of the willingness of China to provide political and economic support without the strings demanded by Europe and the U.S.A.

An NYT op-ed writer is already denouncing India’s new prime minister Modi for showing an interest in how things are done in China.

4. China may emerge as a dominant military power. History says that military power cannot be separated from real economic power. The dominant military power of each modern period has been the dominant manufacturing power. That meant the UK until around 1900 and the U.S. until around 2000. China is the leading manufacturing power of the world today. The gap separating China and the U.S. will only grow (much) larger over time. Manufacturing is crucial for war for two reasons. First, manufacturing provides the national wealth required to pay for war. Second, manufacturing (the manufacturing infrastructure) provides the means for actually producing the weapons needed for war. Note that services are not a substitute for manufacturing in this context. Services are not (typically) tradable and don’t provide the convertible currency income needed to fight international wars.

More specifically, the U.S. may end up fighting an aircraft carrier war with China at some point in the future. History suggests that the U.S. Navy could lose just quickly as Britain did in WWII. On December 10th, 1941 the Japanese sunk the Prince of Wales and Repulse in just a few hours ending British naval power in the Pacific. Conversely, the U.S. ended Japanese naval power with the destruction of Kito Budai (the main Japanese fleet) in the Battle of Midway. Like it or not, America’s carrier fleet could be destroyed just as quickly and just as decisively [and without nuclear weapons]. In one day (less), both the reality and perception of American global power could essentially evaporate.

5. China may become a dominant setter of technology standards. After all, if China is the dominant producer and consumer of some technology, why wouldn’t China’s standard(s) become the world standard(s). Of course, the dissemination of technology standards is never that simple. The rest of the world is metric, but that hasn’t driven metrification in the U.S. Conversely, the U.S. uses 120 volts, 60 cycle power. Most of the rest of the world does not. Even when the U.S. electric utility business dwarfed any other country, the ROW (Rest Of World) didn’t rush to embrace U.S. standards (120 volts is too low, 60 cycle is correct). All that having been said, China may become influential with respect to new technology standards even if the old ones don’t change much.

6. China may become a dominant source of technology innovations. That hasn’t happened so far. Only a handful of new technologies can be said to have been “invented in China”. However, this is to be expected. The early years of U.S. economic growth were mostly imitative. Indeed, the U.S. was notorious for violating foreign copyrights and patents and refusing to pay for the privilege (Dickens hated the U.S. for years). Japan was widely derided for years (decades) as a producer of cheap copies of American goods. When that stopped being the most profitable model for Japanese firms, they (Japanese manufacturers) invested heavily and successfully in innovative products and moved upscale. The same process can be observed in South Korea and Taiwan now. China will inevitably follow.

The notion that America has some inevitable advantage in “creativity” is popular, but I have a hard time even defining “creativity,” so I don’t put all that much faith in this theory of American dominance.

7. China will almost certainly become the dominant financial power in the world. China is already the world’s largest creditor and holder of foreign exchange reserves ($3.95 trillion). The U.S. is the world’s largest debtor. It’s obvious that creditors gain power and debtors decline. Sadly, the “supply-side” right is so obsessed with tax cuts for the rich and “free trade” (unlimited outsourcing) that they deny what’s self-evident to everyone else. Of course, the welfare-state left is just as unwilling to admit that debt and deficits aren’t free and hobble a nation over time.

8. More subtly, the Chinese language and culture may gain influence worldwide. At some point, Chinese authors, playwrights, movie producers, musicians, and artists may become highly influential globally. Chinese may become the mandatory second language for everyone (as English is now). In my view, the Chinese language is likely to gain global market share (for economic reasons) considerably faster than Chinese artists and musicians.

“Mandarin immersion” grade schools are popular among SWPLs since they act as NAM Repellents, but I haven’t seen much evidence that white people are actually learning to speak Chinese. For example, in 2013, only 520 high school students in America who say they didn’t grow up speaking Chinese got a 5 on the Chinese Language and Culture Advanced Placement test, which is higher than I would have thought, but still not much.

It remains to be seen if China can produce books, movies, songs, etc. that the rest of the world yearns for. Conversely, their no doubt at all about China’s ability to produce globally competitive goods.

A decade ago it looked like the Chinese would become competitive in movies. Zhang Yimou’s film “Hero” was spectacular, but the Chinese film industry hasn’t made much of an impression since.

Lately, Hollywood blockbusters have routinely included a segment filmed in China (with perhaps a shout-out to Russia in the plot), because China and Russia are developing American-style movie-going cultures where youths go to opening weekend movies. For example, Transformers: Age of Extinction opened this weekend with $100 million in America and $92 million in China (with $22 million in Russia). (Here’s my 2011 review of the previous Transformers movie.)

So, Hollywood’s strategy is simply to assimilate China into the Blockbuster Borg. So far, it seems like it’s working to head off the Chinese threat.

The American college admissions system is an important leverage point. The Chinese crave the status of American university degrees, which allows Americans to encourage the Chinese to learn to jump through the various SWPLifying hoops they choose to erect. Or they can just accept the Chinese money and test scores, no questions asked.

• Category: Economics, Foreign Policy • Tags: China 
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Rev. Right comments:

Jay Carney, White House spokesman, yesterday: 

“The reason why there is unrest is because of the film…it is not in response not to United States policy, and not to, obviously, the administration, or the American people, but it is in response to a video, a film that we have judged to be be reprehensible and disgusting…This is in response to the film…The cause of the unrest was a video…These protests were in reaction to a video that had spread to the region…This is not a case of protests directed at the United States writ large or at U.S. policy, this is in response to a video that is offensive to Muslims.”

Nothing the matter with American foreign policy, the whole problem is that some gold-chainer posted something on YouTube. Who could have foreseen that?

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
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I realize the national conversation isn’t supposed to be about the Commander-in-Chief’s strategic decision-making, but I want to peer back deep into the mists of time to March 17, 2011 when I was idly browsing on the Internet only to discover that, with negligible public discussion, much less a Congressional declaration of war, President Obama had launched America into a war with a country that had been considered one of the success stories of recent American diplomacy. In puzzlement, I blogged:

Are We at War with Libya? 

In theory, this shouldn’t be all that hard to blast Gadaffi’s air force and tanks in open desert. There’s a difference between a land war in Asia and a land war in North Africa. We already won one of those 68 years ago, against a better general than anybody working for Gadaffi. 

But, then what happens? I don’t know.

I still don’t know.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming: Let’s Talk About How Mitt Romney Is a Big Doo-Doo Head Instead.

Forty-five years ago, Romeny’s dad, a leading GOP candidate for the 1968 Presidential nomination, came out against the Vietnam War. When asked why he had supported it after returning from a quick visit in 1965, he said he’d been “brainwashed” by the diplomats and generals. This proved the end of his White House hopes. His son drew the lesson that caution in the face of the Establishment was crucial. 

The problem we face on foreign policy is the Establishment monoculture in Washington: in the run-up and follow-up to the Iraq War, many of the sensible people were purged and the loonies rewarded.

Obama is one of the few to benefit from being right: he gave one speech against the Iraq War and got the White House. Howard Dean gave a hundred speeches and got a life of leisure. Hillary Clinton was for the war and got to be Secretary of State.

Today, the acceptable limits of foreign policy discourse in America are set by: 

- The good old military-industrial complex
- Saudi bribery
- Liberal Democratic Zionists
- Right 2 Protect liberal crypto-imperialist/busybodies
- Angry Likudniks
- Quasi-CIA “democracy” endowments that organize color-coded revolutions
- Foreign policy thinktanks (who are more important the more activist the foreign policy)
- White guys who need to serve in the military so they can get affirmative action points to become firemen
- Yahoos who should be apprised that when football isn’t on TV, professional wrestling can always be found year-round, so there’s no need to watch the news
- Oil companies (who are left to quietly play the “Can’t we all just get along?” Rodney King role)

They are all overseen by a national media that sometimes seems most concerned about the looming threat that an isolationist Father Coughlin could arise again.

So, the only feasible foreign policy alternative to stake out is: “The President’s foreign policy isn’t quite crazed enough!”

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: War 
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Trying to guess what Mitt Romney really thinks about anything can be a full time operation, especially when it comes to foreign policy, because of Mitt’s rather insular career. 

I had hoped that the personal key to Mitt’s foreign policy was how his father George Romney had scuttled his run for the 1968 GOP nomination by saying that he had supported the Vietnam War after his 1965 visit to that country because he’d been “brainwashed” by the brass and diplomats. Mitt’s sister says that from this incident, Mitt learned never to say anything too clearly. I had hoped that he had also learned from his beloved father to be skeptical about the conventional wisdom. 

An NYT article t oday reveals that there might be another personal key to Mitt’s foreign policy: 

But in 1976, the lives of Mitt Romney and Benjamin Netanyahu intersected, briefly but indelibly, in the 16th-floor offices of the Boston Consulting Group, where both had been recruited as corporate advisers. At the most formative time of their careers, they sized each other up during the firm’s weekly brainstorming sessions, absorbing the same profoundly analytical view of the world. 

That shared experience decades ago led to a warm friendship, little known to outsiders, that is now rich with political intrigue. Mr. Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, is making the case for military action against Iran as Mr. Romney, the likely Republican presidential nominee, is attacking the Obama administration for not supporting Mr. Netanyahu more robustly. 

The relationship between Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Romney — nurtured over meals in Boston, New York and Jerusalem, strengthened by a network of mutual friends and heightened by their conservative ideologies — has resulted in an unusually frank exchange of advice and insights on topics like politics, economics and the Middle East.

Uh, oh. 

I’m a big admirer of Bibi. The main problem I see with Bibi is that he happens to play for a different team. And he already has no shortage of boosters and rooters on our team pushing him and his team forward at our team’s expense. We don’t really need Bibi, with all of his other advantages, having a special backdoor friendship with the President of the United States in which he can exert his energetic personal magnetism over Mitt’s Mormon blandness.

It’s like if somebody was interviewing to be the next coach of the Indianapolis Colts and he mentioned that he frequently had long, heartfelt talks with Bill Belichik of the New England Patriots. I don’t know, maybe that would work out well …

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
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Hugo Chávez, right, with Cuba's president, Raúl Castro, last week.Chávez Strengthens Cuban Ties With Plan for Ice Cream Factory 

Venezuela, one of Cuba’s closest allies, announced a plan to produce a favorite brand of Cuban ice cream domestically.

Alert Rick Santorum to this new strategic threat!

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
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From Foreign Policy:

False Flag 

A series of CIA memos describes how Israeli Mossad agents posed as American spies to recruit members of the terrorist organization Jundallah to fight their covert war against Iran. 


Buried deep in the archives of America’s intelligence services are a series of memos, written during the last years of President George W. Bush’s administration, that describe how Israeli Mossad officers recruited operatives belonging to the terrorist group Jundallah by passing themselves off as American agents. According to two U.S. intelligence officials, the Israelis, flush with American dollars and toting U.S. passports, posed as CIA officers in recruiting Jundallah operatives — what is commonly referred to as a “false flag” operation.

Jundallah is supposedly a Sunni terrorist group from Baluchistan, the desert on both sides of the Iran-Pakistan border, that blows up people in Iran to show their opposition to Iran being a Shi’ite state. Perry goes on:

The memos, as described by the sources, one of whom has read them and another who is intimately familiar with the case, investigated and debunked reports from 2007 and 2008 accusing the CIA, at the direction of the White House, of covertly supporting Jundallah — a Pakistan-based Sunni extremist organization. Jundallah, according to the U.S. government and published reports, is responsible for assassinating Iranian government officials and killing Iranian women and children. 

But while the memos show that the United States had barred even the most incidental contact with Jundallah, according to both intelligence officers, the same was not true for Israel’s Mossad. The memos also detail CIA field reports saying that Israel’s recruiting activities occurred under the nose of U.S. intelligence officers, most notably in London, the capital of one of Israel’s ostensible allies, where Mossad officers posing as CIA operatives met with Jundallah officials. 

The officials did not know whether the Israeli program to recruit and use Jundallah is ongoing. Nevertheless, they were stunned by the brazenness of the Mossad’s efforts.
“It’s amazing what the Israelis thought they could get away with,” the intelligence officer said. “Their recruitment activities were nearly in the open. They apparently didn’t give a damn what we thought.” 

Interviews with six currently serving or recently retired intelligence officers over the last 18 months have helped to fill in the blanks of the Israeli false-flag operation. In addition to the two currently serving U.S. intelligence officers, the existence of the Israeli false-flag operation was confirmed to me by four retired intelligence officers who have served in the CIA or have monitored Israeli intelligence operations from senior positions inside the U.S. government. 

… The [2008 CIA] report then made its way to the White House, according to the currently serving U.S. intelligence officer. The officer said that Bush “went absolutely ballistic” when briefed on its contents. 

“The report sparked White House concerns that Israel’s program was putting Americans at risk,” the intelligence officer told me. “There’s no question that the U.S. has cooperated with Israel in intelligence-gathering operations against the Iranians, but this was different. No matter what anyone thinks, we’re not in the business of assassinating Iranian officials or killing Iranian civilians.” 

Israel’s relationship with Jundallah continued to roil the Bush administration until the day it left office, this same intelligence officer noted. Israel’s activities jeopardized the administration’s fragile relationship with Pakistan, which was coming under intense pressure from Iran to crack down on Jundallah. It also undermined U.S. claims that it would never fight terror with terror, and invited attacks in kind on U.S. personnel. 

“It’s easy to understand why Bush was so angry,” a former intelligence officer said. “After all, it’s hard to engage with a foreign government if they’re convinced you’re killing their people. Once you start doing that, they feel they can do the same.” 

A senior administration official vowed to “take the gloves off” with Israel, according to a U.S. intelligence officer. But the United States did nothing — a result that the officer attributed to “political and bureaucratic inertia.” 

“In the end,” the officer noted, “it was just easier to do nothing than to, you know, rock the boat.” Even so, at least for a short time, this same officer noted, the Mossad operation sparked a divisive debate among Bush’s national security team, pitting those who wondered “just whose side these guys [in Israel] are on” against those who argued that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” 

The debate over Jundallah was resolved only after Bush left office when, within his first weeks as president, Barack Obama drastically scaled back joint U.S.-Israel intelligence programs targeting Iran, according to multiple serving and retired officers. …

What has become crystal clear, however, is the level of anger among senior intelligence officials about Israel’s actions. “This was stupid and dangerous,” the intelligence official who first told me about the operation said. “Israel is supposed to be working with us, not against us. If they want to shed blood, it would help a lot if it was their blood and not ours. You know, they’re supposed to be a strategic asset. Well, guess what? There are a lot of people now, important people, who just don’t think that’s true.” 

In tribute to Obama, you gotta figure that this realization probably wasn’t as big of a surprise to him as it was to Bush.

Anyway, lately, I have a hard time getting too worked up over this kind of thing. It’s a little bit like when some college football team puts together a dynasty and then, surprise, surprise, gets suspended by the NCAA (e.g., USC). They just kind of wanted it more. These days, Israel just kind of wants to win at the Great Game more. It’s their hobby.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
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I’ve long felt that Americans aren’t really cut out for world domination. We tend to be a cheerful, positive-minded, naive, and insular people, while the imperial mission demands vast reserves of worldliness and cynicism. 
The Derb points me toward this Washington Examiner article by Sara A. Carter, “Afghan Sex Practices Concern U.S., British Forces” and related blog commentary on the popularity of homosexual pedophilia among those Pathan soldiers and interpreters who claim to be our allies. (Although the British officers who are old public school boys might be less baffled than they are admitting to their American counterparts.) In from the Cold comments:

And, the impact of those experiences is already being felt in portions of Afghanistan, putting American forces squarely in the middle of complex moral, social and sexual issues. A source at Army Special Operations command tells In From the Cold that Afghan women, emboldened by the presence of U.S. troops. have complained about beatings they’ve suffered at the hands of their husbands. The domestic violence reportedly stemmed from the inability of the women to become pregnant and produce sons, highly valued in Afghan society. 

When U.S. civil affairs teams (and other special forces units) quietly investigated the problem, they quickly discovered a common denominator. Virtually all of the younger men who beat their wives (over their inability to become pregnant) had been former “apprentices” of older Afghan men, who used them for their sexual pleasure. Upon entering marriage, whatever the men knew of sex had been learned during their “apprenticeship,” at the hands of the older man. To put it bluntly, some of the younger Afghans were unfamiliar with the desired (and required) mechanics for conception. 

To remedy this situation, the Army called in its psychological operations teams, which developed information campaigns in Pashtun areas, explaining the basics of heterosexual relations and their benefits, in terms of producing male offspring. It may be the only time in the history of warfare that an army has been required to explain sex to the native population, to curb the abuse of women and young boys–and retain U.S. influence in key geographic areas. 

Army psy op specialists declined to discuss their efforts in great detail. But one of the “preferred sex” campaigns was (reportedly) a direct result of the 2009 survey, and the problems encountered by NATO troops working with their Afghan counterparts.

I’m not sure I totally believe this (although the “dancing boys” stuff is definitely true — the Taliban are more averse to it as being un-Islamic, which is one reason they got popular in the 1990s when two major pre-Taliban warlords started a civil war over a youth), but this example of Your Tax Dollars at Work is too good to pass up.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Invade Invite in Hock 
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The Book Review Editor of the NYT, Sam Tanenhaus, thumbsucks over the Growing Threat of Republican Isolationism despite finding little evidence of that menace among GOP presidential candidates, who, with the exception of Ron Paul, mostly express the Invade-the-World conventional wisdom:

Right, Less Might 

Sam Tanenhaus is the editor of The New York Times Book Review.

THE Republican debate Tuesday night included many heated exchanges, but relatively few on the subject of foreign policy. There was instead surprising unanimity, whether it was Mitt Romney and Rick Perry debunking foreign aid, Ron Paul warning that America has become an empire, or Michele Bachmann, in what now seems an ill-timed critique, objecting to President Obama’s having “put us in Libya.”

Obviously, Bachman was wrong because, since then, Obama killed Gadaffi, which therefore permanently debunks all skepticism about the wisdom of America starting a war with Libya. The bottom line of sophisticated globalist thought is: Who kills whom? Obama started an international war with Libya, and then conclusively proved he was right to do so by killing the ex-leader of Libya.

Collectively, the candidates were channeling a broad shift in thinking on the right about America’s global responsibilities. It has been only a few years since George W. Bush labeled himself a “war president” leading a crusade for worldwide democratization. And the sentiments were not his alone. In December 2004 a majority of conservative Republicans agreed “it is best for the future of our country to be active in world affairs,” according to the Pew Research Center. 

In 2011, a roughly equivalent majority believe America “should pay less attention to problems overseas and concentrate on problems at home.” 

In a time of severe economic woe — a “national emergency,” as Mr. Obama termed it in mid-September — foreign policy issues often lose their immediacy.

Well, foreign adventurism not just loses its “immediacy,” it’s objectively harder to pay for.

But with the exception of impassioned support for Israel, conservatives have been embracing a retreat from the greater world that recalls the isolationism of a bygone age in which belief in American “exceptionalism” combined with distrust of other countries and “entangling alliances,” even with other democracies. The most conspicuous example is the strong anti-interventionist sentiment in the period leading up to World War II, when conservatives flocked to rallies organized by the America First Committee, with its slogan “England will fight to the last American.”

In other words, skipping over the implied logical links … Nazis!

… Of course that was before Mr. Obama’s election and the rise of the Tea Party movement. Its ascendancy is “proof positive of the rise of isolationism on the right,” Lawrence F. Kaplan, a columnist for The New Republic and co-author, with William Kristol, of “The War Over Iraq: Saddam’s Tyranny and America’s Mission,” wrote in an e-mail. “It’s no coincidence that the Tea Party has adopted the Don’t Tread on Me flag as its own,” Mr. Kaplan added. “My bet is they have the federal government, not far-away Islamists, in mind.”

My prejudice is for “Don’t tread on me … and I won’t tread on you,” but that just shows what a prejudiced ignoramus I am. All the sophisticates like Kaplan and Kristol believe in “Don’t tread on me while I tread on you.” What could possibly go wrong?

Even as the Republican presidential contenders have tapped into isolationist anxieties, they have sat for foreign-policy tutorials with holdovers from Mr. Bush’s presidency, many of them standard-bearers of the aggressive interventionism that Tea Partiers reject. Mr. Romney’s team includes the authors Eliot A. Cohen and Robert Kagan, both identified with the Iraq war. Mr. Perry has met with Donald H. Rumsfeld. Herman Cain has professed his admiration for the writings of John R. Bolton, a hawkish figure in the administrations of both Bushes. 

In other words, the Establishment maintains its chokehold on Republican elites despite all that we’ve learned in the last few years.

This position assumes that America, which remains, after all, the world’s one superpower, has no choice but to assert its leadership in a complex world — as, perhaps, Mr. Obama demonstrated in his Libya policy. He followed a middle course criticized by neoconservatives, who found it too timid, and by isolationists, who warned against “mission creep.” But it seems to have been vindicated last week with the death of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.

Who kills whom. What more do you need to know?

By the way, new cell phone footage suggests Gadaffi was sodomized while being lynched. Ha-ha, what a loser! I’ve watched enough TV detective shows to know that, unlike in the bad old days, prison rape is now considered a great topic for gloating jokes. (This evolution of social norms must be part of what Steven Pinker calls The Civilizing Process.) This new information about Gadaffi’s end just proves how right Tanenhaus and the rest of respectable opinion are, and how wrong sickos like Ron Paul are for not wanting America to be involved in things like this.

So, forget “Who kills whom?” The new international cosmopolitan standard of right and wrong that only scary kooks like Pat Buchanan express doubts about is “Who sodomizes whom?”

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Cold War 
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With John McCain issuing a vague death threat against Vladimir Putin following NATO’s hit on Gadaffi, it’s worth considering that McCain is an elder statesman of mainstream Republicanism, while Patrick J. Buchanan is a terrifying extremist. We similarly saw this back in August 2008, when little Georgia, then proposed for membership in NATO, invaded Russian-held territory. McCain responded with bellicose support for the aggressor, while Buchanan thought it was nuts for the U.S. to get militarily involved 600 miles south of Stalingrad.
As I mentioned in my review in VDARE of Buchanan’s Suicide of a Superpower, Buchanan is one of the few people in Washington who took the end of the Cold War as a signal for anything other than self-congratulation. The struggle with the Soviets meant we had had to do many things that were painful, costly, dangerous, or distasteful; therefore, Buchanan reasoned in the early 1990s, let’s now stop doing them. 
For example, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization had been an improvisation made necessary by superpower conflict. It had preserved the peace by heightening the stakes to a “balance of terror” via a mutual defense pact. It had done its job, so it was now time to wind it down. 

“As Russia had gone home, some of us urged back then, America should come home, cede NATO and all the U.S. bases in Europe to the Europeans, and become again what UN ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick called ‘a normal country in a normal time.’ Our foreign policy elites, however, could not accept that the play was closing after a forty-year run …”

That heresy made Buchanan an outcast among the Serious Thinkers, to whom NATO wasn’t an adventure, it was a job. (Brussels is lovely this time of year.) Their slogan became “NATO must go out of area or go out of business.”
Hence, globalist leaders have gone looking far afield for wars, such as bombing Serbia and Libya, to keep NATO “relevant.” The U.S., Buchanan points out, also repeatedly violated its pledge to Mikhail Gorbachev not to expand NATO “one inch to the East,” in return for which the last Soviet leader agreed to West Germany taking over East Germany. Moscow’s resentment of NATO backstabbing was then cited as proof that Moscow has a Bad Attitude, which requires NATO to encroach even more upon their natural sphere of influence.  
But, as Buchanan points out in Suicide of a Superpower, this empire-building-on-autopilot has reached economic, political, and geographic limits. The U.S. spends more on its military than the next ten countries combined. And the strategic logic of expanding NATO to unstable and unimportant countries such as Georgia or Ukraine, as once planned, is derisible. 
There’s the public history of modern Europe that lauds the expensive international institutions that keep bloodthirsty nations from starting new wars, and then there’s the hidden history: Stalin’s massive ethnic cleansing in 1945 of nearly all Germans from Eastern Europe left Europeans with relatively little to fight over (other than their domination by the extra-European superpowers, the Soviet Union and the U.S).
Ross Douthat’s column in the New York Times last Sunday does a good job of summing up the Buchananite critique of Pinkerian optimism. (Although Douthat doesn’t mention Buchanan, he does namecheck the Derb). Buchanan and Douthat both cite Jerry Z. Muller, who wrote in 2008:

“The creation of ethnonational states across Europe, a consequence of two world wars and ethnic cleansing, was a precondition of stability, unity, and peace. With no ethnic rivals inside their national homes, European peoples had what they had fought for, and were now prepared to live in peace with their neighbors.”

To say that Buchanan is pessimistic about American foreign policy, however, is to miss the key point: there isn’t much reason to fight. Sure, we should continue to promise to defend Taiwan with our Navy, but are the Chinese really going to try to conquer Taiwan? Both sides are making too much money doing business with each other to have time for a war. 
Or, imagine that a majority in Ukraine decide to reunite with Russia, while a minority rebel. Would the American public agree to fight the Russo-Ukrainian army fighting the rebels? Would we be willing to reimpose the draft to liberate West Ukraine?  (Buchanan helped out way back in 1967 with Richard Nixon’s hugely popular decision to phase out conscription.) Buchanan thinks the idea of the U.S. going to war in the ex-Soviet Union is politically absurd. 
Thank God lunatics like Buchanan are marginalized while thoughtful statesmen like McCain are accorded the respect their wisdom has earned.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: War 
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The Washington Post’s banner headline is:

Report: Afghan nation-building effort in peril 

Karen DeYoung 4:25 AM ET 

EXCLUSIVE | Hugely expensive U.S. effort has had only limited success and may not survive an American withdrawal, according to the findings of a two-year congressional investigation to be released Wednesday.

I figured that out from watching a movie on VHS in September 2001.

Fun fact:

The report also warns that Afghanistan could slide into a depression with the inevitable decline of the foreign military and development spending that now provides 97 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

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From the NYT:

NATO Attack Destroys Much of Qaddafi Compound 


TRIPOLI, Libya — In a sudden, sharp escalation of NATO’s air campaign over Libya, warplanes dropped more than 60 bombs on targets in Tripoli on Tuesday, obliterating large areas of Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi’s Bab al-Aziziya command compound.

Obama’s basic foreign affairs philosophy appears to be that it’s stupid to invade some third world country when you can score just as many political points by shooting or exploding one guy (along with various bystanders, of course).

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
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Cuba is finally getting around to approving second through fifth golf courses for foreign tourists. The country has 2100 miles of coastline, and there’s nothing golfers like more than playing next to the sea. There’s a recently discovered golf course grass that thrives despite salt spray, so it’s become easier to build courses next to the ocean than in the past. 
After 50 years of Castro, Cuba is so ridiculously poor that all sorts of financially feasible win-win deals could be worked out between the U.S. and Cuba. Back in 2008, I suggested Baseball Diplomacy to President Bush. Perhaps Obama could try Golf Diplomacy?
But, you never hear much about Cuba as a foreign policy topic. I guess it’s too close to America to think about.

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From Wikipedia, about Kaddafi’s 1980s invasion of Chad to the south, which led to classic battles between Libyan tanks vs. the impoverished black country’s Toyota pickup trucks:

The Toyota War is the name commonly given to the last phase of the Chadian–Libyan conflict, which took place in 1987 in Northern Chad and on the Libyan-Chadian border. It takes its name from the Toyota pickup trucks used as technicals to provide mobility for the Chadian troops as they fought against the Libyans.[6] 

The War Nerd explains what a “technical” is:

Habre’s rebels took it from the Libyans in a battle which might’ve been the debut of one of the major new weapons systems of the late 20th century, the “technical.” If you’ve read up on Somalia, you know that a “technical” is just a Toyota 4wd pickup with a big machinegun or grenade launcher welded onto the bed. 

Wikipedia goes on:

The 1987 war resulted in a heavy defeat for Libya, which, according to American sources, lost one tenth of its army, with 7,500 troops killed and 1.5 billion dollars worth of military equipment destroyed or captured.[7] Chadian losses were 1,000 troops killed.[5]

… Apparently formidable, the Libyan military disposition in Chad was marred by serious flaws. The Libyans were prepared for a war in which they would provide ground and air support to their Chadian allies, act as assault infantry, and provide reconnaissance. However, by 1987, Gaddafi had lost his allies, exposing Libya’s inadequate knowledge of the area. Libyan garrisons came to resemble isolated and vulnerable islands in the Chadian Sahara. Also important was the low morale among the troops, who were fighting in a foreign country, and the structural disorganization of the Libyan army, which was in part induced by Gaddafi’s fear of a military coup against him. This fear led him to avoid the professionalization of the armed forces.

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A friend writes:
In my opinion, Jimmy Carter decided to buy a foreign policy success.  One with zero content.  But I guess noticing that Sadat has kicked out the Soviets years earlier, that the Suez canal was already open, that even before Camp David  the Mossad had already tipped off Sadat about an assassination plot hatched by Qaddafi – Palestinians backed by Libya  – that’d be cynical. Begin thought that Sadat was satisfied, someone he could live with. And Sadat was satisfied. The purpose of the ’73 war had been regaining the canal and self-respect among the Egyptian military, who had been totally humiliated in 67.  That had been achieved.
Real peace happens when the players have decided that they have compatible strategic goals.  That had already happened before Camp David. I guess someone people think that signing treaties is what really defines peace, but of course that is nonsense.   Peace was already a fact well before we paid anyone off.
In much the same way, people seem to think that some clever diplomat caused the rapprochement between China and the US  in the early 1970s. Some silver-tongued devil.  But the real cause was the Soviet threat: they came real close to a nuclear strike [on China's nascent nuclear weapons capability.]  In those circumstances, even _I_ could have been an effective diplomat, even if I had continually addressed the Chinese  as  the “Yellow Peril” in the negotiations.
That reminds me that my son had one of those excruciatingly meta assignments in high school history that have become fashionable: how has the “historiography” of events has changed over time? E.g., how did Northern views of abolitionist terrorist John Brown change from 1859 to 1862 to 1885 to 1975? (The history of history is a great topic for grad school, but just absurdlyhard for high school students who need to learn history first.)
This one was about how have views of the Camp David Accords changed over the last three decades? 
The answer, he found, was that nobody’s views had changed at all. The kind of people who had liked it in 1978 — Washington, Israel, American Jews, and a few at the top of the Egyptian government — still liked it 30 years later. The kind of people who didn’t like it in 1978 — Palestinians, other Arabs, Russians, and American Arabists — still didn’t like it.

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The deal struck at Camp David in 1978 was, very roughly, that, in return for no more war, the U.S. would give Israel $3 billion per year and Egypt $2 billion per year, or $50 per Egyptian per year. That wasn’t bad money back then. 
But the payoff hasn’t gone up since then. And the population of Egypt has doubled, so now rather than $50 per Egyptian per year in 1978 dollars, the bribe is now $25 per Egyptian per year in crummy 2011 dollars.
Meanwhile, the wealth of the American wing of the Israel Fan Club has skyrocketed. This is not a secret in Cairo: they can go to the Forbes 400 website and do the math.
This doesn’t mean that a new Egyptian government would want war with Israel. War is stupid; it kills people and breaks stuff. War doesn’t pay. 
On the other hand, perhaps under a new regime, the Egyptian border guards who currently keep the Egypt-Gaza Strip border locked down pretty tight might get, say, a little sleepy. And maybe a few shipments of longer range missiles might get through to the hotheads in Gaza, with unfortunate but predictable incidents to follow. 
War doesn’t pay, but maybe, ambitious younger men in Egypt might be thinking: Peace can pay. And a lot better than a stinking $25 per head. Mubaruk just wanted to die in luxury and hand his throne over to his son. Younger men might have more to prove.

If peace was worth $2 billion per year in the 1970s, they might reason, what would it be worth in the 2010s? $20 billion? Younger, more energetic Egyptian politicians with less to lose might  have some strong opinions on this subject.

But how could the Egyptians intimidate Israel? Perhaps they could co-opt the Jewish State. After all, if Egypt were to demand an order of magnitude cost of living adjustment up to $20 billion, then it would only be right and fitting for Israel to get $30 billion from the U.S. taxpayers. 

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
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Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.

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