28 February 2006

Brave men died in our Revolutionary War to give us the opportunity to do business with dictatorial, undemocratic monarchs

An editorial that makes the case that putting an undemocratic government in charge of our ports is a bad deal, in terms of both economics and security.
The United Arab Emirates itself is made up of several small Islamic kingdoms, each with an unelected emir, or king, who inherits a throne. In turn, the most powerful of these is chosen as the unelected leader of the entire UAE.

There is no religious freedom and little if any freedom of speech or press. It is this unelected, undemocratic monarchy which owns the company that will control operations at our ports.

While much of the hysteria over this economic arrangement is just misdirected rabble rousing and/or silly jingoism (i.e., the canard that they have had dealings with Al-Qaeda, when our own government has been in cahoots with the likes of Al-Qaeda and other monstrous barbarians), the author here is on the mark for pointing out that the U.S. is turning over assets to a "unelected, undemocratic monarchy". A monarchy that rules over a nation where freedom of expression is limited and where up to 90% of the country's workers are migrants, who according to Human Rights Watch are exploited, with charges of salary withholding and sexual abuse.

But I'm not singling out this deal, by any stretch. In fact, this is another perfect illustration where our sovereigntry is being parceled out, piece by piece, to a globalist, corporatist agenda. A "new world order" where the interests of the corporatists and the globalists are not always in sync with the hearts and minds of American workers, or any denizens around the globe, subserviant to a plutocratic cartel.


I just can't agree with the last paragraph, Naum. The reason I can't is that, well, "change happens."

I don't mean to be so simplistic, but we've witnessed in one century a collapse of a European Imperial System that dominated, suffocated and held back cultural progress in so many countries (just look at the Muslim situation in Third World countries)(and for Trav, yes, I know the US took part, but that's miniscule compared to Britain, France, Germany (post 1871), Russia and Belgium.
This is bigger, in my opinion, than the collapse of the Roman Western Empire in AD476. And you know what effect that had over the next 700 years. We're having to deal with this in a much quicker manner.

The European Imperial collapse has created tremendous, significant changes to all cultural and economic entities, not to mention the United States (like a tidal wave so to speak). The choice many face is tyranny, illiteracy and poverty, or "change" to democratic, and a capitalistic culture that can provide food, security, and freedom to those who never had it. Just look at India and the progress it's made in the last 20 years (and a rosy forecast over the next 20 years).

The view you seem to express, and correct me if I'm wrong is more or less isolationism. I just can't accept that.

I know that means significant changes to the way America has matured through the 20th century. But just as an Agricultural economy eclipsed and collapsed between ca1880-1920, other economies must also change. Already China has the steel market (actually for 30 years); the Middle East, and others have oil and petroleum; Japan has once again taken the auto market. Our natural resources are difficult to mine, considering environmental and economic concerns.

I don't know all the answers, but I'm convinced that Democratic change is essential to progress and helping the 3/4 of the worlds population claw their way out of abject poverty.

I'm thinking I've ventured off your main point about global capitalism.

I guess the big question is what can we, the United States offer to our workers that will provide security for the workers? Sure, better leadership, modernizing the economic structure (I listened to an auto expert comparing how Toyota is run as a corporation compared to the Big Three; interesting); education especially.

I think the first thing we should do is institute another education plan the US did in 1947. Go back to science, math, and english. Forget the PC shit, muticulturalism crap and even foreign language for K-8.
Anyway, sorry to be long....have a nice day.
NY, I should really devote more time to these posts, as I really need to flesh out the last point.

Bottom line is, that our government (and governments around the world) are increasingly subserviant to a corporate agenda that is many cases (not all, as it is not a 100% "black and white" case as "true believers" from either viewpoint paint these matters) diametrically opposed to the public interest. Worse, the democratic checks and balances are usurped and decisions made to suit CEOs instead of workers.

Yes, globalization is inevitable, but the question is not whether it can be halted, but whether or not it will be based on principles eloquently put forth in our U.S. Constitution (and enacted and enforced as such, as legislation without enactment is akin to… …well I won't get vulgar here…) or will it be dictatorial edicts issued by non-democratic entites, as things are shaping up.

Just look at UAE, a monarchy, where a privileged elite slurp up wealth at the expense of 90% migrant worker base, deprived of rights, and who face incarceration, exploitation and abuse without any legal recourse.

But tell me again how consistent our policy is on foreign dictatorships… …how like, Saddam Hussien, we wish to purge from the earth and rekindle free peoples and representative governments… …oh, sorry, I guess that's a selective policy still, based on U.S. economic (or other geo-political strategic concerns) and not the interests of freedom and justice for all…
Your last paragraph is a challenge to the UN. But we know that won't happen. I won't argue the sarcasm in your last post either, as that will ruin an otherwise good discussion.
I will, however, go back and read of the emergence of the Capitalist economy and its influence on governmental systems and human progress. That may be helpful for understanding how the world will change in the next century.

One more thing-I'm tired of writing Yadda after Neocon. Therefore, I'm only Neocon again. Don't ask why I did that in the first place.
Have a nice day.
N, have to call you out here… …my last paragraph isn't so much a "challenge to the UN", but recognition of the inconsistent U.S. policy — i.e., some dictators are acceptable (see Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uzbekistan, Iraq & Saddam prior to 1991, etc...). As I type this, President Bush is answering question about supporting Musharif (sp?) in Pakistan and fostering democracy. Is this for real? Have Americans really lost their minds or conduct so many deep rationalizations that their leader can bark "democracy" and Pakistan in the same sentence? Truly unbelievable.

Capitalism/free markets are not necessarily equated with freedom and democracy. One only has to look at China, where while free markets have been embraced in recent times, there is no freedom of expression, one must "register" to have a web site like this, and any criticism of the ruling political party is forbidden. Freedom of religion is still under assault, and Christians are targeted for acting out thier faith.

Again, let me reiterate, when America attacks and kills Muslims, and then changes the justification afterwards (first, WMD, then reasoning went about "bringing democracy to Iraq"), it reeks of blatant hypocrisy, considering the dictators and tyrants aided and abetted by America. While many Americans may go about their daily business, fat dumb and happy, without any regard for this schism, you can rest assured that many others around the world are incited by their perceived view of tilted injustice.
Well, Naum, while I understand your argument, as I've heard you voice this over the last 6 years (six years we've been doing this!); I just can't prescribe to it.

I know you'll vehemently disagree, but inconsistency is simply reality; especially in the face of a completely useless United Nations, and the challenges of the Cold War. We have to deal with these scum at times in order to accomplish something greater.

I'm sure you also find it disgusting that many of these same countries preside on the UNs Human Rights Commissions? Yes indeed it is a UN problem; especially now. If there was more backbone, threats of armed conflict, the US may not be in the situation of playing footsie with them.
Pakistan is the perfect example.

And of course, your last paragraph, again is just not good enough. We've discussed that a million times so I just won't do it.

Oh yes, the comment on Capitalism and freedom. I'd disagree to a point.What was China like before 1976? Over 100 million killed under the socialist tyranny of a communist maniac, and nothing accomplished, except for free bus service perhaps (in case Seth reads this). Today, at least we can say China has been influenced by free markets and democide has stopped, although government still holds absolute power. I wonder what changes will occur when the old generation dies out.
Have a nice day, Naum.
A valid point… …I would counter that whenever the truth is hidden (which goes for the unprecedented secrecy conducted by Bush 43…), it creates an enviornment ripe for such genocidal tragedy to erupt. Freedom is more than free markets, and without freedom of expression, the vine on which the other hangs is a precarious one.

>> Oh yes, the comment on Capitalism and freedom. I'd disagree to a point.What was China like before 1976? Over 100 million killed under the socialist tyranny of a communist maniac, and nothing accomplished, except for free bus service perhaps (in case Seth reads this). Today, at least we can say China has been influenced by free markets and democide has stopped, although government still holds absolute power. I wonder what changes will occur when the old generation dies out.
"...especially in the face of a completely useless United Nations, and the challenges of the Cold War. We have to deal with these scum at times in order to accomplish something greater."

There are too many (dubious) assumptions here to address neocon. I guess I can only ask: why is the UN inept? I just wrote a paper on this last night, I am not happy with it, and will rewrite and expand upon it becuase our International Conflict theory class was given another week to write the paper.

In my paper I argue that the UN is often inept because the US, and the other members WANT IT TO BE INEPT.



"Oh yes, the comment on Capitalism and freedom. I'd disagree to a point.What was China like before 1976? Over 100 million killed under the socialist tyranny of a communist maniac, and nothing accomplished, except for free bus service perhaps (in case Seth reads this). Today, at least we can say China has been influenced by free markets and democide has stopped, although government still holds absolute power. I wonder what changes will occur when the old generation dies out."

I just watched a video on Burma yesterday in my international conflict resolution class. I believe your argument is highly naive Neocon. Unicol, an American company, is supporting child slave labor in Burma. Stalin once said that if given the chance, Capitalists would create their own rope to hang themselves--or in this case others. Yahoo turned over emails to Chinese authorities which the authorities used to imprison a dissenter. The only reason work conditions in China have gotten better with Wal-Mart is because of the bad image it gives people here. Otherwise it would continue unabated. Lets not forget, the free trade deal that Clinton signed was only a couple of years after Tiamen square, do you really think the American elite who run this country give a fuck about Chinese democracy? When I lived in the former USSR I saw old US plants--I believe they were proctor and gamble plants. The Cold War was not fought because of such high ideals as freedom and democracy. Sure there were some American politicians even presidents who felt this way, but the underlying reason was because the USSR was a threat to "our" "national interests". i.e. "our" meaning the business elite, and national interests meaning control over natural resources. Why do I say this? Because America consistently supports ruthless tyrantical regiemes (including Hitler himself) when it has a business interest. If the Cold War was over freedom and democracy, why did America during the Cold War, as it did before and still does today, support dictators and actively overthrow democratically elected regiemes. Underneath all of the highly naive phrases that the elite peddle to the people, such as "freedom and democracy" is an excuse for American empire.

Continued from above....

There are a million examples which hammer home how increbily naive your above statment about China truly is Neocon. What strikes me in my International Conflict Resolution class is that it is made up of 70% active soldiers. They have the same view about American foreign policy that I do! I said to one marine yesterday how shocked I was about this--I was expecting all of the soldiers to be flag waving patriots who saw only the good in America, and justified away the bad (i.e. Neocon and Mondo). The marine said that only low level grunts feel that way, the higher ups, the more educated, see American foreign policy for what it really is. Now, this is only one persons opinion, so it can't be given much weight, but it is shocking to me how even educated soldiers hold these same opinions. (anyway, I am digressing and blabbering)

I am sure there have been emperical studies done about the postive influence of capatilism on dictatoral regiemes. When I find it I will post it here. I am willing to bet that the influence is slim to none. It is an excuse to make money off of tyrantical, dictatorial regiemes.

But, judging from my other emperical studies I have posted before, if I did find this study, this will not change your mind about Americas role in the world one way or the other. I remember how my emperical study that I found about how Americas alleged role in spreading democracy was a myth, was largely ignored by you and your conservative compatriots.

That study said the only successful democracy after 10 years, of the 35 countries America has intervened in since WW2, was Colombia. Now after studying Colombia all semester I understand that even this one success is largely a failure.

Here is the study again:

"Why Gun-Barrel Democracy Doesn't Work "


Neocon, you are a really smart guy, I am really mean and disrespectful to you often, which I probably shouldn't be. I often take all of my marginazation and anger out on you, which I shouldn't. It is easy to forget you are a real person when there are no visible consequences to my razor sharp words.

Your view on the world is incredible, and never ceases to amaze me (and frustrate me). Unfortunatly, your view is also so very common here in the US. I am not really attacking you, I am attacking a whole set of beliefs which most Americans like you, hold and cherish.
Boy, for one who has intellectually graduated from this site, you've sure written a mouthful.
I would address the UN comment, but I won't. Why drive over a bridge that's broken?

I will address the China comment, however, which is not wrong, or naive at all. I simply pointed out that China, with capitalism and free markets is much better than China under a ruthless socialist/communist system (mass genocide; over 100 million). Now, admittedly, I'm far from qualified to describe how much of an impact it made, and I admit that freely. BUt I made clear in my statement that this was the only issue; not child labor, human rights violations, wealth of the populace...I didn't say it was peaches and cream in China, nor that everyone citizen was a happy middle class Joe Schmoe.
Now come on, Trav, read the context for which I've written it, and then read my comments. I AM naive, Trav, as are all of us. I don't pretend to be.

And thank you for your last paragraph. As you well know, I and many others feel exactly the same about a whole set of beliefs that many others like you hold. YOu, however, are much more cordial than the schmuck from last week.
Have a nice day, Trav.
Without freedom of speech rights or any semblence of freedom of press, how can you make that statement.

Sure it probably is better for some at top of the pyramid, and yes, perhaps hunger has been alleviated in parts. But who can know for sure, and who knows how many losers there are. Or how many people disappear or drop out of sight, then it's reported that they were run over by a truck accidentally or some other state issued release w/no public verifiability.

>>I simply pointed out that China, with capitalism and free markets is much better than China under a ruthless socialist/communist system (mass genocide; over 100 million).
Valid point, Naum; especially in China where over a billion live, and a few million can "disappear" easily.
The question asked is how I can make that statement? Easy...because I want to incite civil discussion.

You prefaced the whole argument by using China as an example of how Capitalism doesn't equate to freedom. Very valid point; I understand completely.
But we have to realize that prior to 1949, China's government institution was a complete mess. After 1949, it was a very organized, ruthless sytem that killed tens of millions, effectively used slave labor (and child labor no doubt) and basically failed its goals of industrialization and agricultural sustenance.
Over the last 30 years, it has reorganized to a more capitalistic (though far from being close to even a representative capitalist economy) economy and has improved tremendously (in comparison to the old system). I'm fully aware that China, as a communist regime, continues to suffocate its people under a blanket of dominance and suppression.
Remember, it took hundreds of years for
the concept of individual expression to emerge in the Western World; the World today has been forced to adapt in less than 100 years after the collapse of the old imperial system. There are no rules, or procedures, so to speak.

I don't find it illogical, Naum, to assume that in the last 30 years we haven't seen the mass democide previously witnessed in China-nor that the people are "worse off" than before. Not to say, they're necessarily better off, but when we compare the two eras of Chinese history (1949-1976; 1976-present); which is more improved?

Again, I'm pondering whether the passing of the old generation of communist Chinese leaders will fuel real fundamental changes in expression, speech, and religion to compliment and accompany the maturing capitalist economic process (Does this make sense)?
You've correctly made the point that Capitalism doesn't equate with Freedom.
So I ask (for the sake of civil discussion), does Capitalism-more than any other economic process- encourage, or influence the growth and development of personal freedom?
I would argue that it's the other way around, that freedom/freedom of press/speech encourages and incites a capitalistic/market oriented meme to propagate. Free markets necessitate free people. But mercantilism can flourish in spite of draconian restrictions, and it can be argued that the corporatists and globalists of today are eager to advance "mercantilism" and not really interested in true "free markets".

The recent Dubai port fiasco is a microcosm of this predicament - examine a grossly distorted hiearchy where a fiefdom prosper immensely, growing even more super wealthy, while the vast majority of workers toil without protections and without citizenship rights (most are migrant workers on "guest worker" pass type deals, similar to what many wish to establish in the U.S.).
Touche. As I was writing my post, I began to think the same thing. It wasn't until after the reformation period that this economic theory took precedence.
Furthermore, it seeded here in the US only because the colonists were essentially independent from the British crown.
I agree with you. have a nice day.
i came for a fight, and got a reasoned argument.

I had a long argument with someone else these past few days


I mentioned you neocon, indirectly:

A neocon I know brings up Clintons failure of Rwanda for the reason for being a neo-con.

Anyway, best wishes, I will stop in from time to time. I am impressed how civil you have become neocon! you need to teach me that :)

I am impressed how reasoned these arguments between you and Naum are.

Maybe I was simply foolish and egotistical to say I "outgrew" this site, maybe you guys just outgrew me...
Trav, thanks for the kind words; however, I must correct your indirect quote you made of me. In fairness to Clinton, it was everybody who failed Rwanda. The Republicans, the Dems, the isolationists, and even the Neocons, not to mention the UN in particular.
I still remember the debate between Gore and Bush in 2000, in which they both excused our inaction....
Anyway, thanks again, and come back for good dialogue.
I am sure there are things about me, lots of things, that annoy you about me.

I don't know it this is consious or not, but for the past four or five postings to me, you write broad statments, I disagree with those broad statments, then you say "well, I didn't really mean that..."

I think in a debate you start out with broad statments then define them later. Neocon, you are using these tendency as a debate tactic. When I go on my own polemic about what my initial reaction is to what you write, you say "read my posting more carefully, I really didn't mean than." and very effectively neuter the entire rest of my argument. As I think I stated here or on wikipedia (can't remember which)--my life, my work, right now in lawschool consists of reading text and sucking out the exact meaning of every word and phrase. I am going to continue to casually read your words, often in a lazy manner, and interject my own opinion on the broad topic. Otherwise, I would never post here if I had to carefully read every word for its exact meaning. It would feel to much like work.

My postings above were on topic. You brought up China and capatilism, and I responded about my feelings about the subject. I apologize if I didn't get your exact meaning. That in no way neutralizes the validity (or non-validity) of what I said though.

I am late for class. Good lord I hate lawschool.
wikify this site?
I hate how we can't correct what we wrote. Why not allow users to edit their posts, better yet wikifiy this web blog naum...

your right mondo....you can edit what you wrote.
members can correct their posts... under Administration at the top
Browse your comments...

Thanks mondo
Click the google sites above to help give naum some money guys.

Everytime you visit this site, click the google sites to say thank you to naum. I have a google adverstised site, and it is hard to even keep the cost of the site going from the google wages.
it is very intresting and im in 8th g rade so yea
from becky the whale

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