US on a downward slope?

Now it is quite rare when you have really interesting analyses in the press. So here is one on that argues against the likelihood of an American century:

the tables appear to be in the process of being turned: the US, instead of seeking to isolate Iran, is now likely to need Iranian and Syrian support in helping to sort out the debacle in Iraq. Taken with the failure of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the continuing disaster of the occupied territories, we can see that the US is in retreat.

North Korea and East Asia, Venezuela and Latin America, Europe, etc. the author provides a concise grasp of all the challenges awaiting the US.

Hizbullah administered a decisive blow to the US. Why can’t Lebanese understand this? This is not just a local victory but an international victory and we’re still hiding behind our own sectarian shadows.


21 Replies to “US on a downward slope?”

  1. “Voting “no” were the United States, Israel, Australia, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau. Abstaining were Canada, Ivory Coast, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.”

    Hehehe …

  2. So from what you say ramzi, Hizbullah should only be respected if they act like gods making no mistakes whatsoever perfect meaning that:

    1- under Hizbullah the way war happens (unlike how it happens normally throughout history) is that you don’t have civilian and other losses (you know because they are perfect)
    2- they are so perfect, omnipotent, powerful that when they engage in war, they make sure that the opponent cannot touch any of the infrastructure.
    3- they have special shrinks for peole who are not to happy with the situation because “it’s not their war”, and these shrinks calm these people down.

    Then you can call it a victory because everything is so perfect in this perfect world.

  3. N.B. : how does the killing of people in Lebanon changes the fact that the US took a blow? So the more people get killed the more US strategy is being fulfilled?

  4. re callipyge: WE are the alternative. we will look forward to it, if we ‘make’ it. If we sit and think “yeah, well, i’m not part of this nor am I part of that” then you won’t look forward to anything.

    All I’m saying is that what Hizbullah presents today is something you can start from. Then Hizbullah’s limitations can be bridged, because you’re part of the process.

  5. Hizballah can be bridged?

    I suppose Assad can be bridged too. And Mubarak.

    Why the whole rotten ME can be bridged by the citizens of the ME. Happens all the time.

    Peace and prosperity are spiraling out of control in the ME. Authoritarians and tyrants don’t have a chance.


    Well, don’t let reality intrude on your pleasant thoughts.


    A lot of Americans think the people of the ME are delusional. They think that any effort to foster self government in that region is a waste of time.

    You shouldn’t give those people ammunition.

    Or perhaps you should.

    A Hizballah government in Lebanon would be wonderful. Sharia is the best law system in the world. Empowering the rulers and opressing the citizens is the best way to prevent civil war.

    Saddam’s Iraq is proof of that.

    Welcome to the New ME. Same as the old ME.

  6. But was it worth the while to loose +1000 people to give a blow to the US and Israel (who in the US, the hawks or the surfers in California?)?

    Answer my question Bech. I personally do not think it was a worth the while–I think it was a mistake and a grave one. So if I have a view, I am sure you also do. Or will you escape again? Or was the killing collateral damage to the higher goals of the hezb?

  7. The neo-conservative argument was that you could bring self government to the ME by overthrowing despots.

    I guess it is unanimous. Overthrowing despots is a stupid idea.

    US policy from now on should be support of despots. Or is that a bad idea too?

    Any suggestions on what US policy should be given that:

    1. It is bad to overthrow tyrants.
    2. It is bad to support tyrants.


    My take is that if the ME is allowed to fester America will take some nuke hits and then turn the ME into a glass parking lot.

    I’d like to prevent that.

    Perhaps it is something you folks would like to see.

    The fact that you are promoting Hiz as a “bridge” is not encouraging.


    Well people get the government they deserve. I guess Lebanon deserves to be a Hizballah state.


  8. I won’t escape and will answer point by point:

    But was it worth the while to loose +1000 people to give a blow to the US and Israel (who in the US, the hawks or the surfers in California?)?

    I don’t get the surfer joke, but I think you ask the question wrongly. permit me to be a bit fussy here but the “was it worth” argument simply cannot be made. It just doesn’t mean anything “was it worth” here. As if these guys were thinking “ok so you know we have possibly this and thatguy who will die, so the hell with it, let’s give the prisonners bck, you know what? Let’s just disarm it’s easier like thi nobody dies there is no fighting then”

    Political decisions and processes simply do not abide by this consideration. They are strategic and short term when they are made, and most of the time, you don’t take a decision, you suffer one depending on realities that outgrow you.

    Answer my question Bech.

    so i did

    I personally do not think it was a worth the while–I think it was a mistake and a grave one.

    Well of course, I personally think we should prioritize environmental policy in Lebanon. Prop up the consumer protection group at the ministry of economy and clean those fields full of pesticide that are causing cancers to most of the Lebanese. that would be worse it. But what are the political priorities? What are the realities? I never thought hizbullah was here to play. everything has been grave anyway in your country since it was created.

    I think we should demystify people’s understandign of what were the challenges facing this piece of land. And it’s going to be a long process. We need a social history of “Lebanon”.

    So if I have a view, I am sure you also do. Or will you escape again? Or was the killing collateral damage to the higher goals of the hezb?

    What are Hizbullah’s higher goals? How are they different from any political entity’s higher goal? you tell me. I’m curious to know what you think.

  9. Ramzi, I’m sure you’re an intelligent person but your question is absolute & absolutist blackmail (laced with propaganda-fed flaws). I know people who died. Many. Their families are not posing the question that you are posing because it is unthinkable: they know who did the killing; history has not ended; and those who suffered this massive loss certainly don’t like their loved ones to be used as pawns in emotionally-charged political arguments.

    Callipyge, is the present status quo really so utopian?

  10. Rambler:

    What is a propaganda fed flaw??? What do you mean? Am I unpatriotic? Was I been brain washed by Uncle Sam???

    For me, to yell and shout 24/7 that this was THE victory, THE blow to the zionists as it were, is an insult to what has happened this summer and to all the things we lost, starting with the too many lives. The fact that people died must be discussed (over and over again) and reminded especially to those who gloss over it.

    I really do not understand what you wrote, I am sorry, I guess I am not smart enough.


    I regret to inform you that your message is not passing at all. If you want to defend the hezb you could do it in a much better way. I have been reading some stuff by hezb people themselves and they have convinced on many issues 8while you have not on a single issue). Instead you polarize me against them even more.

    I am here because I consider myself to be your friend and I know you can do much better than this. I like reading you a lot but I think you need to have (at least) one feet on the ground.

  11. Ramzi, as long as you talk in riddles and half written sentences, i will never know what you “have learned” and been “convinced” of and i really don’t know what is polarizing you.

    Also, I think you don’t understand my points. Which kind of hurt me a bit, because I take great pains to express myself clearly.

    All else being equal I hope you explain yourself better. Or just take the time to give me more detaisl about what is bothering you and what do you think is good.

    Plus, can I meet your hizbullah friends? Is it a cool experience to know hizbullah people? Because I know none

  12. It should be clear that what we understand as the “victory” of the Hezbollah is not a victory in the classical sence of the word.
    Bishara has a clear way of defining it: we are in an age of “asymetrical wars” meaning that one power is so much more powerful than the other that there is no possibilty for the smaller one to really achieve a victory over the other.
    In this light says Bishara a “victory” is achieved solely when the smaller power succeeds in preventing the bigger power to achieve its goals.
    This is exactly what happenned this summer for the first time in israeli/arab history.

  13. rambler: never said anything about the status quo being fine and dandy. A free and independent and prosperous Lebanon appears more and more like a utopian unattainable concept to me though.

    I guess I’m more of a pessimistic pragmatist than an idealist.

  14. callipyge, better than being a pessimistic idealist, believe me. my head hurts & a secluded bark hut in the bush with only a coiffured canine for company is looking more & more appealing…

    ramzi, i guess i subscribe to bishara’s definition of victory as quoted by savonaroll above, but my point was that implicit in your argument is that hizballah was responsible for the murder of the lebanese, effectively vindicating the israelis. that’s the propaganda reference in a nutshell.

  15. Check this spread to meet my hez friend. He is also in other posts. Please note that I do not necessarily agree with everyting he says.

    Well Bech I am your average reader with a univerity degree, not too ignorant nto too knowledgeable and if I am not convinced you have to ask yourself serious questions about your rhetoric.

    Like many other things in life we need to agree on the space of mesurment as it were. I chose the number of innocents people killed (or the ability to protect your country men). This is the highest priority for me and (asymetric or not) before provoking a conflict (for good reasons) you have to account for this factor, i.e., the innocent people.

  16. It’s quite a surprise that despite all the documentation available on the subject some people still believe that Hezbollah actually provoked this summer’s aggression and that it was not a pre-planned Israeli policy that only waited for an excuse, and possibly provoked it.
    Ideology? Effects of mainstream media propaganda?

  17. Ramzi it is mentioned several times on the blog. Dig in the archives.

    The Israelis planned this war and said that it had nothing to do with the prisonners. The Americans oversaw the whole process very confortably.

    One needs to understand in which world Hizbullah lives, instead of focusing on some “hidden agenda” Hizbullah has.

    I would strongly advise you also not read too much into Totten’s blog that has a very very static image of reality. Even if there is some Hizbullah dude explaining himself. There are another couple of thousand dudes we can listen to, and plus, my aim is not to defend Hizbullah!! but to explain a situation.

    I am not here to convince to love Hizbullah! This is total non-sense. I criticized Hizbullah several times if you check the blog. But there are a couple of things I think people don’t understand about Hizbullah, and I like to focus on what people don’t understand. Because this is where we have to make improvements if we want to make things better.

    As for the rest of what you say, all you do is make empty arguments. You did not say one single thing that effectively criticize what I am saying.

    I also have that feeling that if you really understood what I was saying then you would be agreeing. believe me.

    And stop blackmailing me with the civilian issue, this is really absurd.

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