Thursday, November 01, 2007

Expert Opinion

The Senator once again prepares to use the only tool in his box. Bob Schieffer is pretending to be surprised and/or interested.

When he's not fantasizing about being the Miracle Whip in a Coco Crisp-Yorvit Torrealba manwich, or trying to out-butch Larry Craig and Mitch McConnell, confirmed bachelor Huckleberry Graham can be found shamelessly burnishing his foreign policy credentials at the end of the administration's knob.

I think Russia's sending all the wrong signals to Iran. When the Russian president goes to Iran and does a news conference with the Iranian president, embraces him, calls for other nations not to consider attacking Iran, it sends the wrong signal. I think the United Nations efforts to sanction Iran have been pitiful because of Russian --Russia and China vetoing a resolution. The European Union has some sanctions; they're fairly weak. We're having stronger sanctions, but they're unilateral. So in this regard I agree with the following, that the diplomatic efforts to control Iran need to continue, they need to be more robust, but we're sending mixed signals. The UN is becoming ineffective when it comes to regulating rogue regimes, and Russia is sending all the wrong signals as far as I'm concerned, so I understand why the president had to do what he did unilaterally.

Yeah. Gee, if you didn't know better you might start to think that Russia and China have actively cultivated a geopolitical stance that conforms more to their interests than to ours. Indeed, you might even say that these interests are at cross purposes to ours.

The rise of a powerful and wealthy resources-based corporate state in Russia ("sovereign democracy"), its rapidly expanding control over global strategic resources, and the resultant loss of leadership and control of the global oil market by the West's oil majors are developments that move directly against the very foundations of the US-led oil-market order and the wider US-centric global economic order. This is because Russia is quite literally fueling the rise of the powerhouse economies of the East and helping to achieve a new global center of economic power in the East.

It was also Russia that fundamentally led, along with its key partner China, the opposition to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. It has been Russia first and foremost that has taken leadership among its strategic partners since then to continue to stand firm inside and outside the United Nations in a hugely successful strategy to force the full and mounting geopolitical, economic and military burdens of Iraq on to US and British shoulders alone.

Thereby, Russia has taken the lead in proving that the US-dominated geopolitical order can be successfully opposed. Consequently, it has clearly been primarily under Russia's leadership that the US-dominated global oil-market, global economic and geopolitical orders are being transformed, circumvented and opposed by growing numbers of the world's nations.

So Graham is either woefully unaware, willfully obtuse, or just being a cynical jerkoff here. Putin is sending the exact signals he means to send; whatever dispute there may as to the goodness of his soul, the man is reputed to be a master chess player, and seems temperamentally disinclined to leave much of anything to chance. He is sending us signals, and only a complete donut-head would fail to notice that. He did not go to Tehran to shake down the Iranians by embarrassing them with the threat of sanctions; he went to let them know that he can do bidness with them, and deal with us on his own terms.

Now, we are all in agreement that mullahs with nukes is an immensely undesirable situation. But setting aside Ahmadinejad's cartoonish anti-Zionist rhetoric, the fact is that Iran is surrounded by unstable and/or hostile neighbors, several of which (Pakistan, India, Russia, and of course Israel) have nuclear arsenals. So of course they're going to want the capability, partly for the symbolic effect of deterrence, but also as a symbol of national achievement, and again keeping pace with unreliable neighbors.

And we wring our hands with lurid tales of crazed mullahs lobbing their new toy at Tel Aviv or the Eiffel Tower, but maybe Vladimir Putin knows something that Huckleberry Graham (he of the "five rugs for five bucks" Iraqi marketplace shopping spree) doesn't. After all, as much of a nuisance as we regard these guys, they're in Pooty-Poot's backyard. And with a weakening dollar and oil pushing past $90/bbl, unilateral sanctions have very little real leverage.

What's the answer? I don't know, and neither does Graham. I do know that, even if air strikes were somehow insanely decided to be the best course of action, I'd rather have Keifer Sutherland drive back from a bender at Scores than give the Cheneyites any more tasks involving people's lives.

1 comment:

woodguy said...

It's becoming more and more apparent with each passing day that Putin while emerging from anesthesia after a lobotomy could outmanuever Shrub at his absolute best. The governments around the world see this and are running from us like Shrub from an algebra class. I fully expect that oil will soon be traded in Euros, sending the rest of the world scurrying from any alliances that they've had with us and currying favor with those who, unlike our Leader, seem to have a real grasp on reality.

The Democrats, if they take the WH, will of course be left to clean up the ensuing catasthophes to follow, not that they are without blame. If the dollar tanks any further and Japan and China call in their IOUs it will be the beginning of the end.

That being said, you did yourself proud with the opening sentence of this post--it's a classic. On that note, did you ever hear this phrase from Robert Reich (describing someone, probably Shrub): "He is a whirling dervish of egocentric obnoxion."?