Posts Tagged ‘End of Empire’
The worm turns….or twists in the wind, according to your view. It really was international Banksters that lit the fuse under Mubarak with their wholesale looting, so it’s almost fun to watch them scurry around trying to find someone to bail them out of this mess. Too bad power and wisdom don’t go together. And in the end the people pay with misery for the blunders of their bosses.
“Obama scrambles to limit damage after Frank Wisner makes robust call for Mubarak to remain in place as leader…..Frank Wisner, President Barack Obama’s envoy to Cairo who infuriated the White House this weekend by urging Hosni Mubarak to remain President of Egypt, works for a New York and Washington law firm which works for the dictator’s own Egyptian government. Mr Wisner’s astonishing remarks – “President Mubarak’s continued leadership is critical: it’s his opportunity to write his own legacy” – shocked the democratic opposition in Egypt and called into question Mr Obama’s judgement, as well as that of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The US State Department and Mr Wisner himself have now both claimed that his remarks were made in a “personal capacity”. But there is nothing “personal” about Mr Wisner’s connections with the litigation firm Patton Boggs, which openly boasts that it advises “the Egyptian military, the Egyptian Economic Development Agency, and has handled arbitrations and litigation on the [Mubarak] government’s behalf in Europe and the US”.”
Three US warships dispatched to Egypt signal that Washington is stepping up efforts to secure the embattled regime of Hosni Mubarak.
The IMF’s Epic Fail on Egypt (naked capitalism)
Over the last week, we’ve had the spectacle of the Western media speculating about what is going on in Egypt in the absence of much understanding of the forces at work (this article by Paul Amar is a notable exception).
Needless to say, there has also been a great deal of consternation as to how the West’s supposedly vaunted intelligence apparatus failed to see this one coming. This lapse is as bad as the inability to foresee the collapse of the Soviet Union (it’s arguably worse: a lot of people profited from the Cold War, and they’d have every reason to fan fears and thus look for evidence that would support the idea that the USSR was a formidable threat. By contrast, one would think that conveying word that the domestic situation in Egypt was charged would have led to more intense scrutiny which ought to have served some interests (like various consultants and analysts). That suggests the US was so wedded to Mubarak that anyone who dared say his regime was at risk would get “shoot the messenger” treatment, and thus nary a discouraging word was conveyed).
Driving Through the Gates of Hell and Other American Pastimes in the Greater Middle East
At TomDispatch.com, Chalmers Johnson describes our national dilemma- an Empire we lust for but cannot afford- and gives some good advice to avoid a precipitous collapse.
When I read such self-evident articles however, I wonder how one settles down to write one? Are we not so entangled in our hypocrisy and hubris that even the obvious will certainly be ignored? It’s like trying to intervene in a head-on collision or advising a down hill skier after he’s gone over the precipice.
If the United States were able to avoid the abyss in our near future, it would have changed course decades ago. The US chose instead to cannibalize itself- to feed off the poor and corrupt the elite beyond Faustian excess. The American Dream has become a well established nightmare. We are past the time for good advice, only the Eulogy remains to be written.
Johnson writes: “Our unwillingness to retrench, no less liquidate, represents a striking historical failure of the imagination. In his first official visit to China since becoming Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner assured an audience of students at Beijing University “Chinese assets invested in the United States are very safe.” According to press reports, the students responded with loud laughter. Well they might.”
However soon the funeral of American expectations may come, it is clear the wake has already begun.