October 19, 2011 § Leave a comment
I recently read an article from the Telegraph by Nile Gardiner titled ” Barack Obama’s disastrous first 1,000 days” which basically sums up Obama’s disastrous term and the consequences Americans must now feel. While I agreed with the vast majority of what Mr. Gardiner wrote there are parts in which I felt makes Niles Gardiner seem out of touch with reality.
This is where I feel Niles loses his sense of reality and just begins rambling like every other news media:
And President Obama’s record on the world stage has also been poor. Despite two high-profile successes in taking out al-Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and more recently Anwar al-Awlaki (both upon the foundations of President Bush’s war on terror), US foreign policy under Obama has been a confusing mess. The shameless appeasement of Iran has allowed the rogue state to advance perilously close to nuclear weapons capability, while the naïve “reset” approach towards Russia has only encouraged a more aggressive and assertive Moscow. At the same time, traditional alliances with Great Britain and Israel have been downgraded, and key allies in eastern and central Europe thrown under the bus to feed the Russian bear. While America’s defences have grown weaker, China’s military might have grown significantly stronger, as have the offensive capabilities of hostile regimes in both Asia and Latin America, including Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela.
What stands out immediately is Gardiner’s illogical stance with Iran. It’s as if Niles has suddenly forgotten past events or even aware off what is going on. With a quick google search my friend you’ll get a shitload of material where Obama & Pals denounce Iran at every corner and sign new sanctions against the country like no tomorrow. Just how has Obama been appeasing Iran at all?? All that I see here is an attempt to create fear and war monger sadly it doesn’t end with just Iran. Apparently, we should all be afraid of Russia, China and Hugo Chavez. Hugo fucking Chavez. It’ shit like this that just me totally in rage. What Niles is basically saying is the Amerika must continue its crusade against evil doers and cause more lawless wars. Niles mentions Obama’s terrible management with the economy but says nothing of the illegal wars his administration is part of (Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia). It’s because of individuals like you that military spending is through the roof, individuals like Mr. Gardiner continue to spew fear and hate that truly isn’t needed. You wanna change they way our world is don’t be a warmonger!
June 13, 2011 § Leave a comment
To put up a valiant resistance against a foreign invader has been the rule rather than the exception throughout history. The resistance put up by people all over Iraq and Afghanistan is no different. It has cost the lives of thousands of troops since the wars began. Politically and economically things are not much better in either country: Iraq is plagued by sectarian violence between the Shia, Sunni and the Kurds while Afghanistan hardly fits the definition of a nation-state with tribal violence and the consistent attacks on coalition troops by the Taliban and allied forces in Pakistan. Like Vietnam, Afghanistan is a death-trap for foreigners and Barack Obama’s plan to send 17,000 more troops will do nothing to alleviate the situation, indeed it will only make it worse. This will only drain American power and wealth but will alone, not lead to a collapse of American hegemony. The United States still has the most nuclear weapons, the most aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines and with over 1000 bases around the world the United States military is unrivalled. For the fiscal year of 2009 the U.S military budget rose to “$515.4 billion, adding emergency discretionary spending and supplemental spending brings the sum to $651.2 billion” this adds up to about 45% of the world’s military spending . There is no denying that this path is unsustainable in the long-term, therefore the United States needs to withdraw from Iraq, Afghanistan and all countries currently occupied by America bases. A return to a traditional American foreign policy developed by the Founding Fathers whereby the United States would not get involved in foreign conflicts is required for its own survival. American armed forces would never be used to support the military-industrial complex supporting corporations that is detrimental to the American taxpayer.
Early 2008 was the beginning of the current global financial crisis. Stock markets have fallen, large financial institutions have collapsed or have been bought out and governments have had to resort to massive rescue packages to bail out their financial systems. The United States is among the countries coping with the financial crisis and many speculate that this crisis will diminish the country’s status as the world leading superpower. However, it should be noted that this is a global financial crisis and other ‘rival’ countries that could usurper the United States as the leading powerhouse have to deal with problems far greater than those afflicting America. Historically, the United States has been to able to withstand serious breakdowns in the orderly function of the global financial system. “In 1987 the Dow Jones share index fell by more than 20% in one day. In 2000, the dot-com bubble burst. Yet both times, the US picked itself up, as it did post Vietnam.” This is in contrast to other countries who are faced with the same problem and are unable to regain their economical footing. The EU has created for itself many more problems than the United States could ever have.
The Euro is a recent creation that has not been proven to survive major economic downturns; this current crisis will test its strength. With the addition of former communist countries in Eastern Europe which have always had fragile financial systems and rely heavily on foreign investments, Europe is in trouble. Austrian banks have invested over 270 billion in Eastern European countries, totaling “over 70% of its GDP”. The Polish and Hungarian housing markets and currencies have crashed with aid being requested from the IMF, “Hungary …secured $26 billion in loans from the IMF, the EU and the World Bank“# while Poland‘s “zloty declined more than 17 percent against the dollar and 6.8 percent versus the euro” Romania recently requested a loan of almost 20 billion dollars due to its currency (leu) dropping “more than 14 percent against the dollar and 3.2 percent against the euro” The Baltic States are also in a horrible economic and political state with the government of Latvia falling recently after receiving a “$9.43 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and as part of the deal to cut public spending and increase taxes”. Hungary, Belarus, Ukraine, Latvia, Serbia, and Romania have all taken IMF loans in an effort to withstand the economic crisis and more European countries are following the same path. Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland are all destined to face economic hardships and none of them would be able to survive better than the United States.
June 1, 2011 § Leave a comment
Although, China may not be the top economic power for sometime it has the world’s most deadliest air pollution. A World Health Organization (WHO) report estimates “that diseases triggered by indoor and outdoor air pollution kill 656,000 Chinese citizens each year, and polluted drinking water kills another 95,600” Air pollution in China has also been linked to soaring birth defects in the nation where, “Around four to six per cent of all children born in China each year have physical defects, including congenital heart disease, cleft palates and water on the brain. Of those, around 30 per cent die and 40 per cent are disabled.” China’s water quality doesn’t fall behind either with, “nearly 40 percent of the water in 28 major lakes also registered level six ratings — meaning it was too polluted for even farm irrigation” Due to intense environmental degradation in an effort to increase revenue the country is yearly at odds due to flooding, “the real concern was not the rain but the fact that there was no topsoil, there were no forests, and there was no ground cover to hold the waters in place in the mountains where the Yangtze originates” These environmental problems continue due to conflicts between the levels of government where, “Local governments, often face a conflict of interest because they benefit economically from heavily polluting industries” and the removal of statistics in order to save face, “China’s State Environmental Protection Agency engineered the removal of the statistics…. because the government the government feared the figures could trigger social unrest” In closing China needs to make enormous investments in the environment in order to avoid major disasters.
May 27, 2011 § Leave a comment
The rise of China in the last 30 years has seen monumental changes in the way the world functions. The market reforms that began in China during the late 70’s have shown a growth of 10 percent per year with economists saying that such a rapid growth may overcome the US economy, “The implications of China’s continued rapid growth include China’s overtaking the U.S. in overall GDP terms sometime around 2040. Such a large and fast-growing economy will change global patterns of production, trade, and pricing, and also implies adjustments in the balance of global military force projection capabilities.” However, by examining China’s economic practices and environmental problems it is clear that China is not a rising economic star that will topple the United States as an economic powerhouse.
Through calculations by the World Bank it appeared that China was close to catching up with the United States however through revised calculations, “The size of China’s economy is overestimated by some 40 percent”. These revisions included, the prices of goods and services that a country produces and compares countries GDP by converting each country’s product into dollars. This new revision provides a greater insight at China’s society where, “Under the new estimates, the number of Chinese living on less than $1 a day …is nearly 300 million. The earlier estimates put that figure at 100 million.”This puts the difference in U.S. and Chinese living standards much larger than previously thought, “the United States has the largest and most technologically advanced economy in the world, with a per capita GDP of $43,500. China’s per capita GDP is $7,600”Through the manipulation of its currency China is able to enhance its international competitiveness, “Economists are saying Beijing has kept its currency artificially low to keep the prices of its goods cheap and generate trade surpluses”This tactic has violated all established currency manipulation standards putting China at odds with the US, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) who argue “the yuan is undervalued by 40%”If China continues to artificially manipulate its economy the country will be hurt in the long run due to an overheated economy and inflation increases. As such both the United States and China are facing the sever problems with their country, with China undervaluing their currency and with the United States continuing to print out money (despite having such a high deficit) it is difficult to say which country is doing better overall if in both scenarios their real economy is never shown. With its population this poor, China will not be able to raise enough revenue for the vast military build-up needed to challenge the United States and this is excluding the vast environmental problems China faces which will discussed in the next part of this series.
May 25, 2011 § Leave a comment
The American Founding Fathers believed that the United States of America would be a beacon of freedom for the entire world. Sixth US President John Adams told Congress that America “goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.” That was a self-evident truth for almost a century until in 1898 when under shadowy pretexts, the United States declared war on the Spanish Empire and came out victorious four months later and in possession of Philippines, Cuba and a number of islands. It became embroiled in both the First and Second World War although most citizens were against America’s entry in the European fray. American Marines were stationed all over Latin America throughout the 20th century propping up murderous regimes in their fight against communism and on the behalf of large companies.In Korea and Vietnam tens of thousands of men were lost in undeclared illegal wars. After the fall of communism in the early 1990s however, many believed an era of peace would begin: the end of history was upon us. George W. Bush Sr. nevertheless took the opportunity to invade Iraq and Bill Clinton bombed Somalia and Serbia. All these military operations were conducted under the pretext of spreading the American values of ‘peace and democracy’ but have not been without consequences.
In the past few years, much has been written about the eventual decline and fall of American hegemony with many holding the belief that a ‘New World Order’ will soon arise without America as a central and pivotal player. The actions taken by the United States in response to the September 11 attacks by the Republican Bush Administration are believed to have led to the current problems facing the entire world. With the economic rise of China, the endless wars in the Middle East region and the with the financial crisis occurring in the United States one can sense the eventual collapse of the leading global imperial power. However, despite these conditions occurring in the United States it would be ignorant to simply state that China will become the next super world power. China also has a stream of problems ranging from its economy, its environmental conditions and the rising social problems occurring in the country. As such each of the social factors will be examined in the following blogs posts and eventually we will see whether or not China is indeed the next world power and will replace the American Hegemony.