Sunday, December 18, 2011

Eric Margolis and Stratfor's George Friedman discuss US policy on Egypt

There are two narratives regarding Egypt that are developing in the United States. One honest, and one dishonest. The United States being the United States, the honest one is probably in the minority. Articles from Eric Margolis and George Friedman of Stratfor illustrate these two narratives.

Let's look at Eric Margolis' article "Time to apologize for the West's shameful support of dictatorship in Egypt"
Egyptians clearly want democracy and parliamentary government, as do people across the Arab world. But Egypt’s mighty military-security establishment and its western backers do not: they are fighting a bitter action to slow down real democracy and to safeguard their privileges and power.

Egypt’s military gets nearly $3 billion in US funds and arms each year, plus millions more in “black” money from CIA and the Pentagon – in addition to millions in economic aid. The US supplies all of the military’s key weapons systems and retains control of the spare parts keeping them operating. The most important US intelligence and security agencies maintain large stations in Cairo to protect the regime. Half of Egypt’s food imports are financed by the US.

Many of Egypt’s key generals “trained” at US military colleges and defense courses where they were vetted by CIA and DIA. As with Turkey’s large armed forces – at least until nine years ago – Egypt’s military was joined at the hip to the US defense establishment and arms industry. In exchange, Egypt agreed to become a tacit ally of Israel.

Given Egypt’s role as a virtual US protectorate, the flood of hypocrisy now issuing from Washington, London, Paris and Ottawa over their alleged support of Egyptian democracy is striking. For the past thirty years, these powers have ardently backed Egypt’s notably ruthless, brutal dictatorship whose security forces used torture, rape, and murder to terrorize its citizens.

While Egyptians want democracy, the military wants political figureheads and the right to intervene in politics to protect its interests aka “national security” – the same demands used for decades by the rightwing Turkish military to block democracy. Egypt’s generals insist there be no investigations of human rights abuses. Washington is trying to sustain the Egypt-Israel alliance that all Egyptians detest.
There is not much to add to Margolis' statement, except that when he says that the Western backers of Egypt's dictatorship are fighting to prevent democracy from arising in the country, it raises the question of how that works, how these Western backers of Egypt's dictatorship justify their efforts to prevent Egyptian democracy.

George Friedman gives us a look into the perspective of current Western colonialism in his article "Egypt and the Idealist-Realist Debate in U.S. Foreign Policy".
Then pose this scenario: Assume there is a choice between a repressive, undemocratic regime that is in the interests of a Western country and a regime that is democratic but repressive by Western standards and hostile to those interests. Which is preferable, and what steps should be taken?

These are blindingly complex questions that some observers — the realists as opposed to the idealists — say not only are unanswerable but also undermine the ability to pursue national interests without in any way improving the moral character of the world. In other words, you are choosing between two types of repression from a Western point of view and there is no preference. Therefore, a country like the United States should ignore the moral question altogether and focus on a simpler question, and one that’s answerable: the national interest.

Egypt is an excellent place to point out the tension within U.S. foreign policy between idealists, who argue that pursuing Enlightenment principles is in the national interest, and realists, who argue that the pursuit of principles is very different from their attainment. You can wind up with regimes that are neither just nor protective of American interests. In other words, the United States can wind up with a regime hostile to the United States and oppressive by American standards. Far from a moral improvement, this would be a practical disaster.
Friedman's basic argument is that an Egyptian democracy would be repressive by Western standards so the United States is in an ambiguous position in that it supports a colonial-style dictatorship, but is, in the minds of US officials such as Barack Obama, saving the Egyptians from a democratic government that would be repressive.

When Westerners like Barack Obama and George Friedman tell the story, the colonial dictatorships that the US implements to save countries like Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and others from repressive democracies just happen also to follow US directions on policies that the US considers important. It just happens that if these countries did not follow US direction in their foreign policy, Israel as a enforced Jewish political majority state would not be viable. Friedman's entire article does not mention Israel. Obama often speaks before Jewish audiences in the United States without whom he could not be elected and tells them that the viability of Israel is his primary foreign policy objective.

Does Friedman believe that a democratic Muslim majority regime in Egypt would necessarily be repressive by his or Western standards? I can't read his mind. It is a stupid thing to believe if he really believes it. More likely this is an example of directed reasoning. The US has to oppose democracy in Egypt for Israel to be viable. He wants Israel to be viable. So he believes what he has to believe to advocate US opposition to democracy in Egypt. It is quite possible that he does not even notice it happening in his thought process.

It's striking how little has changed. Friedman writes an article that could have been used to justify Great Britain's colonialism a century ago. Whether he is lying primarily to us or to himself, Friedman's reasoning is ultimately motivated by the idea that preventing fewer than six million Jews from suffering the indignity of losing their majority state the way white South Africans have outweighs the right of over 80 million Egyptians to control the policies of their government.

65 comments:

lysander1 said...

In fairness, I have to point out three things.

1) An unmentioned lever of US influence is it's ability to exclude countries from the global economy and banking. This could be endured by Iran. It would destroy Egypt. No mater who would run Egypt, they will be told in private what's in store for them if they deviate from the program.  Egypt might be able to get away with opening the Gaza crossing. But abrogating camp david and joining Iran, Syria and Hezbollah would be out of the question. The collapse of the USSR makes it easier for the west to do this and it shows in policy. I don't think Mubarak could have been persuaded to close Gaza in, say 1985, although he was clearly collaborating with the US at the time. Just not so brazenly as last year.

2) Western control of international media is another lever. In a hostile country every infringement of human rights is highlighted. Every ethnic, or sectarian division, is exacerbated. In friendly countries this is hushed to the extent possible. That's actually a way to tell if Saudi Arabia's recent alleged displeasure with US policy has any reality behind it. If it did, the western press will suddenly notice KSA's rule is less than democratic. If only a couple of stories pop up, it's probably just a warning shot.

3) It has to be emphasized that the Egyptian military has gotten used to being in charge since 1952, and would not easily give that up with or without US influence. It is doubtful Nasser would have dealt with public protest any more leniently than now. True, Nasser was, and still is, much more popular than Mubarak, but it is hard to say how popular. Certainly the Muslim Brotherhood hated him.

Lidia said...

1) It is NOT given. Cuba was able to stand up to USA even without USSR help
3) There is NOT a leader who has 100% popularity in class society. The question is - which part of population is against the ruler. Anyway, without USA/Israel support, Egypt generals would be much less able to suppress masses.

George Carty said...

No, I think Friedman's reasoning is ultimately motivated by the idea that right of fewer than six million Jews to stay alive outweighs the right of over 80 million Egyptians to control the policies of their government.

Zionist propagandists claim (I'm unsure though whether they're telling the truth, expressing a delusion, or outright lying) that the Arabs/Muslims are hell-bent on exterminating the Israeli Jews.

Some of the most extreme even claim that Muslim aim to physically liquidate the entire Western world!  (This is often expressed as "We are all Israelis now!")  Perhaps they believe the West will never be safe unless Islam is eradicated completely, but are aware that even if all their other claims regarding the aggressive nature of Islam are accepted, the final backstop of "better dhimmi than génocidaire" would obstruct their plans for a total war against Islam.  (As Islam is the most tenacious belief system in all history, it could only be destroyed by genocide on an unprecedented scale.)

Arnold Evans said...

Zionist propagandists claim (I'm unsure though whether they're telling the truth, expressing a delusion, or outright lying)

I'm pretty sure that's also motivated reasoning.  In other words, that's what people tell themselves and others because it leads to a conclusion they are otherwise motivated to reach.

South Africa is a very powerful example, as every hysterical prediction made by Zionists was also made by Apartheid proponents.

When someone says the alternative to an enforced Jewish political majority state is genocide of Jews, that is almost exactly the same thing as Friedman saying the only alternative to US rule is "repressive democracy".

I'm also not sure if its outright lying or delusion, but again, it would be a stupid thing to actually believe.

Arnold Evans said...

It would destroy Egypt. No matter who would run Egypt, they will be told
in private what's in store for them if they deviate from the program.


The reason Westerners are asking for and receiving assurances from the military dictatorship that it will maintain control over foreign policy is that fundamentally, this is much less an effective technique on accountable governments than dictatorships.

With a competitive political system, what is said in private comes to be discussed in public.  It is really much harder to pull off these secret threats.

The US can't speak openly about the Middle East even internally, and so its policies require Middle Eastern dictatorships that can also operate in secret.

If George Bush and Barack Obama are put into positions that they have to openly, against Egyptian opposition, call for denying food to the people of Gaza, it would be politically difficult even for them.  It is easier all around if these things are done in secret, and that requires or is heavily aided by dictatorships.

In a hostile country every infringement of human rights is highlighted. Every ethnic, or sectarian division, is exacerbated.

Western media matters a lot more in the West than it does in other countries.  If Egypt holds elections and there is a consensus that the announced winners really got the most votes, Westerners highlighting civil rights infringements matters a lot less.

Iraq, despite being destroyed and hardly able to play any international role at all because of the sanctions, and US policies over the last 20 years, has Maliki in office mostly immune to Western claims that he's repressive.

Of course, he was installed in office by the occupation government with some direction from voters.  His successor will be both more independent of the US and still immune to Western criticism.

But another interesting point is that when Friedman says repressive democracy, he means that he is going to call any Egyptian government that does not cooperate with Israel "repressive". He'll be following the rest of the Western media in that and highlighting every negative item as you said.

But if that's what the Egyptians voted for, nobody has any reason to care what Friedman considers repressive. Especially since Friedman does not represent a perfect government according to US or Egyptian values.

It has to be emphasized that the Egyptian military has gotten used to
being in charge since 1952, and would not easily give that up with or
without US influence.


Interestingly, US calls for "reform" are exactly calls for Egypt's military as well as other US' colonial governments to cede control to civilians of all aspects of control EXCEPT foreign policy with respect to Israel.

Egypt's military seems to be going along with that.  To the degree Egypt's military transfers control of domestic affairs to civilians but withholds control of foreign affairs, which Obama and Friedman seem to be going for now, that proves that there is no independent military impulse to generally hold control, just a US impulse to prevent civilians from having accountability over the specific policies where the US disagrees with the people of Egypt.

George Carty said...

I think that if any Islamist party gained a significant role in the Egyptian government, there's be no more ads like this.

Could Western governments be gambling that any even-partly-Islamist government in Egypt would fail spectacularly by wiping out the country's tourist industry?

George Carty said...

Firstly, the Holocaust means that Jews are taken more seriously when they claim their opponents want to exterminate them.  Deaths in British concentration camps during the Boer War (the nearest equivalent to the Holocaust for White South Africans) simply weren't on the same scale.

Secondly, you mentioned that American liberals (especially Jewish-American liberals) are torn on the subject of Israel/Palestine because support for Jewish causes and opposition to colonialism are both core liberal values.  Is the same true of the wider Middle East, with "secular government" substituted for "Jewish causes".  After all, it seems clear to me that "repressive democracy" basically means "a government which introduces Shari'ah law with the support of the people who elected it".

Lidia said...

Does GC mean that during the Boer war BLACKS were slaughtering Whites? Last time I have checked, one group of white colonialists was fighting another group of the white colonialists, and both were mass-murdering non-whites. Hitler was a pupil of British  colonialists, and openly admitted it. So, the comparison is just as baseless as holocaust industry (Ahmadinejad is Hitler and so on), or as hysterics of aparteid defenders before aparteid end.

And "repressive democracy" for USA imperialism means ANYTHING which is against their hegemony. They call CHAVES a dictator, no more no less.

George Carty said...

No, the victims of British concentration camps in South Africa were of course whites killed by other whites.

However, since the British (hypocritically) justified the Boer War on the grounds that the Boers were mistreating South African blacks, it is at least conceivable that Apartheid apologists could view those Boer War civilians who died in British concentration camps as martyrs for the white supremacist cause.

Pirouz_2 said...

"An unmentioned lever of US influence is it's ability to exclude countries from the global economy and banking. This could be endured by Iran. It would destroy Egypt. No mater who would run Egypt, they will be told in private what's in store for them if they deviate from the program.  Egypt might be able to get away with opening the Gaza crossing. But abrogating camp david and joining Iran, Syria and Hezbollah would be out of the question. The collapse of the USSR makes it easier for the west to do this and it shows in policy. I don't think Mubarak could have been persuaded to close Gaza in, say 1985, although he was clearly collaborating with the US at the time. Just not so brazenly as last year."

I disagree with this statement. To begin with, the main problem is usually being ignored. The main problem of economies such as Egypt and Iran is the colonial structure that has been dictated on them (ie. single product [or at most very few products] which cannot feed the country and even in the production of that single product in most cases they are largely dependent on the West). In Iran this is oil, in Cuba this was Sugar and tobacco, in Egypt (as far as I know) it was cotton. The main ailment of the economy is caused by imperialism and therefore it can only be exacerbated by it. I am right now reading an economic article about the trend of privatization (dictated by WB/IMF or in other words by the Western hegemony) in Egypt and its disasterous results. It is actually not a very good way to spend my time because basically it is an EXACT REPLICA of the disaster that I personally witnessed with my own eyes in Turkey, so the article really gives me nothing new.
Is this the type of "access to global economy" that the US would deprive us from? If that is the case then I think that the Egyptians must do everything in their power to get USA to exclude them from global finance (ie. IMF/WB) and the global economy!
Another important point that most people disregard is that Egypt does not live on US "charity". I don't know anything about the Egypt's economy, however, I know that they don't have either oil or gas (I mean in an amount large enough to sustain the economy and feed the people), and contrary to many people I would say that this is probably their blessing and not a short coming. Since they dont have any significant oil or gas, they must be producing "something". The problem is that in all likelihood this "something" cannot probably feed the population and it has to be sold and exchanged with "money" so that the money can be spent on foreign imports which can feed the hungry and treat the sick. This is where US can exert its pressure just as it has been doing to Cuba (ie. sanctions and preventing Egypt from selling its "single product" and buying its needs from the global market). Well just as Cuba survived, Egypt too can survive. To begin with not all of the globe is controlled by US (Iranians will bear witness to that), if you cannot sell your products to Western influenced countries there will always be other countries to which you can sell your product. it is a very hard path to walk in but IT IS THE ONLY PATH
You have to remember, it was the West which created this sick economy in Egypt and therefore it will be foolish to expect them to help Egypt get rid of that economy.
The way forward is not relying on US help to give access to the global economy (on the contrary that is the exact way to hell) but rather to go down the way of economic diversification, producing the needs of the society, self-sufficiency and poppulation control.

Lidia said...

Of course, Arabs were not Germans, but they WERE natives in colony, the same as Blacks in Africa. So, the comparison of Zionism with SA aparteid is right, but comparison of Palestinians with Brits is not so.

Regarding Hitler - he said many times that British Raj in India was his inspiration. Of course, it does not mean he had no others - after all, colonial history is rich of possible examples. Anyway, Hitler was NOT going to replace Slaves with "Arians", but to enslave natives. The plans were clear enough (Plan "Ost")

Lidia said...

As far as I know Egypt was a bread basket of ancients, Rome, for ex. Sure it could feed itself. 

During "perestorika" we were told that USSR was "cut off" the world economy and how we all would benefit from "returning to civilized world". The result was deindustrialization, the ruination of the agriculture and depopulation, among other "benefits".

Pirouz_2 said...

A few weeks ago I checked Egypt's economy, and according to wikipedia Egypt is a net importer of staple food items such as wheat and corn (guess from where?? LOL... from USA!!), so at the moment they cannot produce their own food. However, the fact that they import food stuff from USA, means that they are paying for it with something else that they produce. In my humble opinion they have to search for ways to increase their wheat production as a main priority, in the mean time if USA does not allow them access to global market for importing food they should try their luck with trading with fellow 'renegade' countries such as Iran, Syria, ALBA and some of the BRICs.

George Carty said...

My understanding of Generalplan Ost is that the good quality land would go to German homesteaders, while the poorer quality land would become large estates owned by Waffen-SS veterans.  These estates would initially be worked by gangs of Slavs, but these in the longer term were slated to be replaced by German labourers.

George Carty said...

I think Egypt's current inability to feed itself is partly down to sheer overpopulation, and partly down to the loss of the annual Nile floods due to the construction of the Aswan Dam.

As for the Soviet Union, it was the Communists themselves who ruined Soviet agriculture (think "Trofim Lysenko") -- they were a net importer of food as early as the 1960s.  As their industry was so specialized for war production (a necessity when you're trying to compete militarily with the whole of NATO with a GDP no larger than Italy's) that its consumer goods were worthless junk, the only way it was able to pay for its food imports was by selling oil and gas.

When Saudi Sheikh Yamami decided to massively increase oil production in the 1980s, he dealt the death blow to the Soviet Union by vastly diminishing its main source of hard currency.  (And note how Russia's later rise in stature under Putin was largely down to HIGH oil and gas prices...)

Some of the post-Communist suffering was due to the fact that (unlike the Chinese, who perhaps were in a better position thanks to the overseas Chinese) the Russians botched their transition back to capitalism.  By privatizing state-owned industries before a meaningful market system was in place, they allowed well-connected oligarchs to snap them up for a small fraction of their true value.

However, most of the heavy industry was inevitably going to close as it was part of the unsustainably large Soviet military-industrial complex.  Perhaps the American economy may go a similar way from its oversized military-industrial sector?

George Carty said...

No, autarky is the WRONG way to go, as shown by North Korea (pitifully backward compared to South Korea) as well as by Nazi Germany (which wanted to be self-sufficient, and sought to become such by way of genocidal expansionism).  As for Cuba, they apparently suffered almost as much privation as North Korea -- is that not too high a price to pay just to defy the Western powers?

Why cannot other Third World countries do what China did under Deng Xiaoping, and embrace globalization under their own terms, rather than either suffering in isolation or becoming neo-colonies of the West?

George Carty said...

I imagine tourism is probably a major source of foreign currency for Egypt -- as I mentioned further down on this thread, I suspect the West is counting on that to curb the introduction any Islamic moralist policies.

Lidia said...

yes, sure, aparteid whites and Zionist Jews were just 'reacting" to some horrors (50+ years past in case of SA) and because of that abusing natives. A nice try, but it does not hold any water. Both white and Jewish supermacism and racism have been in force LONG before they cried about their need for colonies. Both Boers and Zionists were just garden variety colonizers, no more no less.

I believe that Slavs were going to be enslaved by Nazis for long, because they could not work all land with only German labor.

George Carty said...

(On the Nazis totally Germanizing the East)

They could eventually, given thanks to their extreme natalist policies (think of the Lebensborn programme), or if that didn't work, by forcibly resettling acceptably "Aryan" people from the occupied territories (such as Dutch or Scandinavians) in the East.

Lidia said...

1) USSR was importing fodder, not food. The consumption of meat was relatively very high in the USSR
2) Capitalism in Russia could be ONLY such sort, because of imperialist division of labor. It could not be otherwise. China is not different form other third world states - mass misery and a handful of very rich. If it is success, I doubt it, and it seems that Chinese mostly agree with me and not you. Anyway, Chinese capitalism is based on imports, and the core states are not in shape now to pay for mass consumption of goods which are cheap, but now are out of reach for growing number of the poor.
3) Please, do NOT try to whitewash capitalism - given its "wonderworks" even in the core states it seems ridiculous. "Good" capitalism was only possible on the account of capitalists afraid of "bad example" from USSR. Now capitalism returns to its true colors even in the USA or Germany.

Lidia said...

Given USA heavy subsides for agribusiness, I am almost sure that USA imports beggared Egypt domestic production (as in Mexico) or at least prevented Egyptians  from  feeding themselves.

Lidia said...

1) North Korea did just fine, even after USA ruined it. NK is a victim of the imperialism, NOT of autarky. 
South Korea would never be permitted by imperialism to prosper (i.e to have subsidies for fostering its own economy) but for SK role as a counterpoint to the North Korea.
2) Nazis were NOT for  autarky, they were for "normal" imperialism, and they were NOT different form earlier imperialists in such regard.
3) Cuba WAS not defying imperialism under Batista. Do you know what it was like? 
4) About China you could read my recent post, and, anyway, now China is under attacks from USA, and only its historical ties with USSR (a-bomb and such) and its big size still give China some chance, but not much anyway, as its model of export economics is coming to new state of things.

Lidia said...

Colonialism of Egypt is NOT a matter of past. It returned almost fully under Sadat. Imperialists mostly ruined native economies of non-imperialist countries to turn them into depending and and source of surplus value. India was ones a great maker of cloth, and Brits turned it into importer of British goods. Gandhi knew it well and called for homespinning as a tool of anti-colonial struggle. 

Pirouz_2 said...

George;
What you write is VERY inaccurate. There is no "right way" of doing the capitalist economy (or some sort of a magic wand) that S. Korea and China have done and the rest of the developing world have missed.

1) Comparison of N. and S. Korea is a big mistake. First of all N. Korea is very heavily sanctioned. Secondly, S. Korea is a place where the West accepted to make a sacrifice from its own people's living standards in order to bring up the S. Korean life standards and use it as an advertisement for capitalism. This cannot work in other parts of the world. If you compare the poppulation of S. Korea vs. the rest of the developing countries, you will see what I mean.

2) Cuba's suffering was precisely because they did not go down the road of self-sufficiency. After the Cuban revolution the main goal was set as to change the Cuban economy from the single-product (in this particular case bi-product) colonial economy into a diversified healthy economy where Cuba would produce its own nation's needs. USA literally forced Cuba to go under the USSR hegemony. Once Cuba was under USSR hegemony (something Che Guevara was very much against) it was made by the USSR to preserve its economic structure and rely on sugar and tobacco production.
SO CUBA DID NOT GO DOWN THE PATH OF SELF-SUFFICIENCY AS YOU PUT IT.
Once the Eastern block was dissolved, Cuba's only customer for Suggar was gone.  Since the country had NOT gone down the road of self-sufficiency it could not produce its own food stuff, and HAD to sell sugar and tobacco to be able to buy food and everything else. And USA, taking advantage of the abscence of USSR, literally choked Cuba to the point of starvation by sanctioning any trade with Cuba.

As a matter of fact these sanctions are the most important reason why countries MUST go down the road of self-sufficieny.

By the way, I don't have time to go into details, perhaps I will do it some other time, but in terms of privatization leading to thievery and oligarchy, China is no different from Russia (and I mean none at all). What Deng Xiaoping did to China was PURE disaster for the vast majority of the Chinese just for the benefit of a very small elite. If you are interested, I would highly recommend some writings by Minqi Li, on the subject.

George Carty said...

Japan was also able to modernize successfully -- so successfully in fact that it is now considered a fully First World country.

What do you argue for countries that are incapable of being self-sufficient?  Are you arguing that such countries should cull their own populations until they are small enough to be supported by their own resources alone, or are entitled to engage in genocidal expansionism to seize control of more resources?  You're sounding rather like the Nazis or the Imperial Japanese now.

As for contemporary China being worse than Mao's China -- I never heard about tens of millions of Chinese starving to death under Deng (as they had done under Mao)...

Pirouz_2 said...

George
The writing field is getting too narrow so I'll post your reply as a new comment rather than a reply.

Pirouz_2 said...

George;
"Japan was also able to modernize successfully -- so successfully in fact that it is now considered a fully First World country."

Modernization of "Japan" started long before WWII. It was so much so that by the time WWII, Japan was such an industrial country that it could build its own modern navy, submarines, RADARs, aircraft carriers, fighter aircrafts and every thing else. If you look at all the industrialized countries and their history NONE OF WHICH industrialized by openning its market to foreign produced goods. So Japans industrialization is not the result of what happened there after WWII.

This "comparative advantage" has become a fancy name for making peripheral countries "comparatively advantaged" in producing raw material and providing slave-labourer (as in China, India, Mexico, Vietnam, Bagladesh, Argentina etc etc.) for the core countries, while the core countries become "comparatively advantaged" in making finished products and collecting the large share of profit and become rich.
In essence core countries are "comparatively advantaged" in being masters and the peripheri is "compratively advantaged" in being slaves!!
The main point that you are missing, is the fact that in order for one person to be "rich" many many people have to be destitute. There is no alternative, if some one is the owner of means of production and many people have to work on those means of production to produce "profit" for the owner of means of production, if the goal is to increase the rate of profit with no limit, this only means ONE THING: people who do not own the means of production have to be destitute.

You may -only under certain conditions when the rate of profit is high- manipulate the distribution of the newly produced products and sacrifice from your abundant 'profits' so that you can make the life standards of the working class in the core countries increase and in so doing make the system in the core countries more stable (especially when there is an increasing global threat to your system called "communist threat"). But as soon as the rates of profit decrease (as it inevitablly has to), you no longer can afford high living standards for the working class even in the core countries. And even when you can afford to increase wages in the core countries and you do so to contain the "communist threat" -as it was done in Japan and in S. Korea- you do so at the cost of shifting the brunt of misery on to the working classes of the peripheral countries.

Bottom line is this: YOU CANNOT MAKE THE MAJORITY OF THE COUNTRIES "JAPAN". IN ORDER TO HAVE ONE "JAPAN" YOU HAVE TO HAVE MANY MANY "IRANS", "EGYPTS", "TURKEYS", "MEXICOS", "CHILES", "BRAZILS", "INDIAS" AND "CHINAS".

"What do you argue for countries that are incapable of being self-sufficient? 
Can you a little bit more specific as to which countries you are exectly referring to?
And no I am not suggesting that over-poppulated countries must "cull" their population; actually I am surprised that you say this, you live in the West have you never heard of "condoms" and "contraceptives"?!?!?!
The problem of increasing population is a VERY well known concept in "ecology", are you suggesting that ecologists are genocidal maniancs that propse that states cull their population??
And again you miss the point that there is a VERY STRONG correlation between poverty (which is the direct result of capitalism),the need for child-labour and the tendency to make multiple children!
All we are saying is that we should get rid of the system which causes poverty and requires child-labour, in so doing you can see that using condoms become very easy and common and population will become manageable without the need for "culling".

Lidia said...

Just to be more precise - Japan was an imperialist state - like USA, UK, Germany, and because of it took part in the WWII. 

George Carty said...

Japan though was forced to sign unequal treaties with Western powers though just like the other countries of the Far East -- it was because of its development that it was able to first throw off these restrictions, and later on become an imperialist state in its own right...

Lidia said...

So, GC has a nice piece of advice  to any country - turn imperialist and prosper :)  

Capitalism means that "development" could be only reached on the expense of the "non-developed" majority. So, GC just confirmed the point of Pirouz-2 (and mine)

Facts are stubborn.

Pirouz_2 said...

George;
Your answer puzzled me so much that at first I didn't understand what you meant. In fact I am still not 100% sure as to what your point is.
I think you are saying that Japan came to where it stands now despite the West. Is that what you mean? And I guess you want to say that as opposed to countries such as S. Korea, Japan became Japan in its own right?

Well first of all that is sort of irrelevant to what I said. What I said was that Japan just as the Britain, just as Germany, just as France, just as USA, came to where it is right now at the cost of  China, India, Iran, Egypt, Mexico etc. being where they are right now.

In other words -as I said before- in order to have one Japan you have to have many many miserable countries. Therefore this idea to give a prescription for all developing countries that they should follow "Japan's" example is simply NONSENSE because in order for one person to become rich he has to victimize many, so you cannot recommend to its victims, that they should become thieves too so that they can prosper. In order for a thief to prosper, many people have to be robbed. If everyone is to be a thief, who will there be to be robbed so that the thief can prosper? In other words not everyone can become a thief; the whole "beauty" of being a thief is that the others should be victims. If there are no victims, thievery would lose its meaning and prosperity would vanish. Prosperity exists because there are people to be robbed!

As for Japan becoming Japan in its own right and despite the West: well you can argue the same thing about the British, the Germans, the French, the Americans, etc. None of these countries became industrially advanced with the help of another country. Did the British help the Germans or USA so that they could scientifically advance and become a world power? Did the French help the British to become world's superpower in the 19th century? No; to the contrary, they fought one another like mortal enemies! In fact the whole history of capitalism is about the brutal fights and rivalries between various sects of capitalists. And no capitalist becomes a capitalist by the help of other capitalists (S.Korea, and post WWII Japan are exceptions, the explanation for such cases lies in the exceptional situation after WWII and the need of the US imperialism for "advertisement" and allies in the face of the growing communist threat) . So to be perfectly frank, I am still at a loss as to what it is that you mean?

Once the rulling elite of a country gains an independent capitalist consciousness of its own, it starts to work to increase its own wealth (not the whole nation's wealth, but only the elite's own wealth) and to defend its own economic interests against rival groups of capitalists from other countries.
So what is new about that?

George Carty said...

Come to think of it I think Japan was a bad example -- not just because it became imperialist but also because the standard of living for ordinary people remained very low there.

A country can be imperialist and still be poor -- Fascist Portugal would be another such example.

лидия said...

Portugal would be much more poor without colonies. Angola's people were sure much more poor.
Of course, some imperialists are more wealthy than others. Inequality is a bread and butter of capitalism, not only within of states, but also between the states.

George Carty said...

What do you mean? Portugal is second only to Greece in terms of troubled economies within the Eurozone, and Greece not only had no colonies but was itself a colony (of the Ottomans) for about 400 years...

лидия said...

Why compare Portugal with EU? What about Angola? And Greece was not a colony, more like a province - or was Palestine a colony of Ottomans?

Greece is poor, but not as poor as Haiti, and some EU states had no colonies on their own but they all take part in robbing the Third world countries - for ex, by banks and such and in colonial wars waged by NATO. If not by sending troops, then by another means.

George Carty said...

Haiti is a special case, as it was a Caribbean former slave plantation island (and as we all know, Caribbean slavery was far more murderous than American slavery, especially post-1808 American slavery) where the slaves rose up and exterminated their white masters.

The ruling (white) Great Powers could never forget or forgive this and waged a merciless economic war against Haiti for over a century.

лидия said...

Not, Haiti is really very typical case - just look into every non-imperialist state which also is not a happy lackey of imperialists - like South Korea which was permitted to do something that an average former colony was not - to defend its economy from so-called "free trade" (usually the goal was to deter them from "bad example" of non-capitalist experiments). Bangladesh is not better off, for ex. Or Mali. Or - you name it.

sheen said...

Dont forget the soviet union....

лидия said...

Imperialism's apologists usually try to smear USSR as "imperialist". On the contrary, USSR was helping anti-imperialist struggles all over the world, and in the WWII USSR was ATTACKED by Hitler (if somebody does not know elementary history facts, one should not be so arrogant)

George Carty said...

Soviet imperialism was post-WWII -- the countries of the Warsaw Pact/COMECON were more thoroughly controlled from the Kremlin than any US puppet regime was controlled from Washington.

Third-Worldists like yourself deny Soviet imperialism because the Soviet puppet states in Eastern Europe (unlike most Western colonies in Africa and Asia) were industrialized -- but the industry in Eastern Europe was built primarily to feed the Soviet war machine, not to increase the local standard of living.

George Carty said...

Even Cuba isn't as wretchedly poor as Haiti, despite being under a US blockade for over 50 years. Admittedly the only way Carribbean Islands can escape poverty is through either tourism, tax haven status or (Guadaloupe, Martinique etc) being part of France. ;)

And Bangladesh is desperately poor not just because of British colonialism, but also due to 24 years of quasi-colonial Pakistani rule, a bloody war of independence and a natural vulnerability to cyclones. It was also disadvantaged by the way the Raj was partitioned -- Bangladesh would have had a lot better prospects for development if Kolkata had been inside its borders.

Arnold Evans said...

The problem with the idea that the US favors secular government is that the supposed western opposition to shariah has been weighed against western opposition to governments that could threaten Israel and the western opposition to shariah has been shown in comparison to be relatively non-existant.

Saudi Arabia is more repressive and less secular than any elected Egyptian government could be, including the one Egypt's representatives put to referendum that was supported by over 60% of Egypt's voters and which the Egyptian military, with open Israeli support and certainly with tacit US support, overthrew.

The "Saudi military" which is no more or less an appendage of US imperial policy than the "Egyptian military" could remove the Saudi dictatorship more easily and more justifiably than the Egyptian democracy was removed.

US policy in the Middle East is not guided by support for secularism, it is guided by the bigoted idea that Jews are more important than Muslims.

Arnold Evans said...

One excuse or another, but the local standard of living in Moscow was much closer to the local standard of living in East Berlin or Warsaw than the local standard of living in Connecticut was to the local standard of living in Mexico or Mali.

лидия said...

As a matter of fact, people said back then that in Baltic republics standard of living was higher than in Russia. Look at them now.

лидия said...

Yes,because Cuba is not a USA neocolony unlike Haiti. So, it means that the only way Carribbean Islands (and others) can escape poverty is by NOT being a neocolony. Of course, imperialism does its best to punish such states,
Bangladesh is desperately poor because it is a victim of a very modern imperialism. The same is true about every other of neo-colonial states.

лидия said...

I agree, but would say that USA policy in the Middle East guided by colonialism, and pro-Jewish bias is only a part of it - Jews being seen as "Whites". Zionists from the beginning claimed such distinction. Not mentioning that Israel regime is very far from being secular.

George Carty said...

The only reason the US tolerates a repressive Shari'ah regime in Saudi Arabia is because Mecca and Medina are there -- they fear that invading Saudi Arabia would cause the entire Muslim world to come to its aid (even if they hated the Saudi regime) because they would interpret such an attack as an attack on Islam itself.

George Carty said...

How did the local standard of living in Moscow compare though to the local standard of living in Havana or Hanoi (or in Kabul or Addis Abeba, when those cities were under Communist rule)?

George Carty said...

So you're saying that Western countries could not possibly have become prosperous except by pillaging the Third World? Ugh, what a zero-sum view of the world! Sounds more eco-socialist than Marxist to me.

Rhetoric like that certainly isn't going to convince any Westerners that imperialism is a bad idea! On the contrary, it will convince them to defend imperialism to the bitter end.

George Carty said...

Israel isn't governed according to halacha law, not do a majority of Israeli citizens want to replace its current Western-inspired legal code with halacha. This means that it is not equivalent to Middle Eastern Muslim countries in the secularism stakes.

George Carty said...

Cuba under Batista wasn't as poor as Haiti either.

лидия said...

What do you know about Cuba before the revolution?
Anyway, if some state is a bit less poor does not meant it is prosperous.

лидия said...

Under "communist rule" does not mean "USSR colony". As a matter of fact, USSR help was really getting them better off. One need also look into the time from the beginning of peace and the level of destruction after imperialist was. Kabul was in a state under imperialist aggression, if you forgot. But still USSR helped with health care, education and such. You could look for data regarding USSR help for Cuba and such.

лидия said...

Of course, they could not, and they are not. It is a fact. And I am sorry, but it is NOT a view. It is a fact. Words like "zero-sum" could not hide the truth. And it is not my fault if you do not know Marxism enough :)
Regarding views, you try very hard to call it names (rhetoric) and ridicule, but could it be because you do not dare to see the truth? After all, it is very comfortable to see oneself as a clever a hard-working, not a robber or a part of getting the spoils.
But some people could overcome this feeling and come to solidarity - a lot of them do. You could try too :) After all, princes are known sometimes turn into pro- peasant revos, and a heir of a capitalist turned to be one of the Marxism fathers. What is good in being a robber and rapist, it is not safe, it is not good for sanity, and capitalism is not so good either. To change the system and not to have imperialists and their victims is possible and could be even more prosperity (a real one) than your today life.
But if you prefer not to face the truth - so what. The history is full of examples of such behavior. Usually it does not end well to people in denial.

лидия said...

Israel family law is very much religious. I know about people from former USSR getting divorced in rabbinical court (they both were 100% atheists, but this is an only way in Israel). Public transportation is not working in Sabbath. Who is Jew is decided by Halacha - and with Zionist Jewish legalized racism it is very important. And so on
About the "majority" - do not forget, that this "majority" is a direct result of colonization and ethnic cleansing. So, they represent colonialism, and this Zionist colonialism is impossible without Judaic "basis" - from the definition of "Jewishness" to the "justification" of colonization itself.

sheen said...

What facts are you talking about, i never claimed that russia wasnt attacked by the nazis.


Historic facts do show though, that the soviet union was an imperialistic state.

Sheen said...

Actually the soviet union destroyed afghanistan in its attempt to control who was in charge there.


To this day the afghan people look negativly on the russians for their past behaviour, as do the majority of the eastern european states who lived under the soviet yoke.

лидия said...

Actually USA had made Al-Qaida in order to made "its own Vietnam" for the USSR (as Brzezinski bragged in 1996) before USSR agreed to help pro-USSR and progressive government against religious from all over the world fanatics on CIA payroll. The result was not only the ruination of Afghanistan, but 9/11.
And. of course, now Afghan people admire USA.
And what "the majority of the eastern european states" thought in 2009 one could see here, for ex. http://www.pewglobal.org/2009/11/02/end-of-communism-cheered-but-now-with-more-reservations/
Now, after 5 more years of economic crisis I guess the results could be even more interesting
Or see here
"In the survey by Poland's Public Opinion Research Centre (CBOS), respondents were asked whether they thought it had been worth changing from a communist system to a democratic one in 1989. Some 25 percent were of the opinion that Poland should not have made the changes, although 60 percent backed the revolution (the remainder said they did not have an opinion on the matter). In a similar survey just three years ago, 83 percent had said they supported the changes, and just 9 percent claimed to be against them. Meanwhile, in a separate question this year, 59 percent of respondents said they felt that “since 1989, Poland and the Poles have not taken advantage of the opportunities that were provided by the political changes.” Some 27 percent of those surveyed claimed that Poland had indeed “taken advantage of the changes as far as was possible.” http://www.thenews.pl/1/9/Artykul/137537,Poll-oneinfour-Poles-would-prefer-communist-state#sthash.lDXgLAaH.dpuf

лидия said...

Historic facts show imperialists USA and others fighting for colonies and markets, also for not letting imperialist rivals to get "their" loot, and against independent states (USA against Philippines, UK against China and so on). USSR had never did it .
And if sheen "never claimed that russia wasnt attacked by the nazis" - good to him, because a lot of imperialist apologists do exactly this. .

sheen said...

>Actually USA had made Al-Qaida

Actually they didnt, as shown by Ghost Wars and Holy War Inc.

This is a myth which has been debunked quite some time ago, you shouldnt be repeating it.

The facts show that soviet efforts to keep afghanistan within their sphere of influence brought about terrible destruction to that nation, the soviet airforce behaved quite violently towards residential areas and ruined their infrastructure.

Also by all means, lets look at the views of the poles towards russia

http://www.pewglobal.org/2013/09/03/global-opinion-of-russia-mixed/



Oh dear, it seems only a minority have a favourable of russia.


Your own poll also shows that most see the change from communism to democracy as good.

sheen said...

The ussr most certainly did, they violently behaved in an imperialistic fashion against there neighours. Considering russia long imperialistic past this likely didnt surprise them too much.

лидия said...

Brzezinski sure said that Islam extremism was nothing serious comparing to the end of the USSR (he said it 1996). I suppose Bzezinski knows a bit more about USA romance with religious fanatics than "sheen" - unless B is now posting under the nick of S LOL
Poles hated Russians long before USSR. So what? Their iconic shipyard is bankrupt now, unlike under "communist tyranny"
And the majority of Poles still happy with it is diminished quite visible in only 3 years - and it is not as if Polish economy is for something better now.
On the other hand, Poland' s rules now support coup in Ukraine, even though it is made by people who are openly and proudly calling themselves heirs of the mass-murderers of Poles (including little children)

лидия said...

USSR mass-murdered millions in Philippines and turned it into their colony. USSR did nothing like this with its neighbors, esp even though some of neighbor states had a history of attacking USSR/Russia. Poland, for ex, used the intern problems in Russia in 17th to attack it and even grab the power - long before Russia had done anything against Poland. .

Arnold Evans said...

This is moving off topic but I'm fine where it stands now. I'll leave the last word to лидия and delete further posts on this subject by Sheen or aliases of that.

лидия said...

Yes, Arnold, we are a bit off topic now :)
I hope you are well and will post more.