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The Cepia Club Blog: The Cepia Club believes individual awareness and activism can lead to a peaceful and prosperous world. This blog contains the pertinent literature, both creative and non-fiction, produced by the Cepiaclub Director and its associates.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

More on Presidential Politics

More on Presidential Politics
Clublog–July 31, 2007

In the June/July issue of Foreign Affairs, the premiere of the premiere magazines on US foreign policy, Obama's name appeared as the author on the lead article of the issue. Romney appeared as the author of the immediately following essay. Both Obama and Romney attempted to express their foreign policy vision and positions. Some things about both leading candidates, Foreign Affairs magazine and its publisher, the Council on Foreign Relations can be explored further. This entry builds on the two entries from yesterday (July 31st) on the 2008 Presidential election.

From reading Obama’s foreign policy ideas, and from other public campaign statements, a person should ask: "Yes, regaining America's position and influence in the world is definitely necessary, but what are your ideas for making that work? What are the details, please? Enough ‘bright and shining’ phrases (from the Neil Sheehan book, The Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Van and the US in Vietnam). I want something concrete and practical.” The entire FA article was a very long sound-byte. There was far too little of specific or practical programs or policies. Nothing comprehensive tied together a workable and good grand strategic theme, all of these impressions, of course, being merely my opinion.. Unfortunately, if Obama had the lead article, and Romney's came second, the US therefore might have the two Establishment-picked candidates that will be on the ballot in Nov. 2008 You can look back at anointed” ones who received strong Council of Foreign Relations approval. They usually turn out to be the major party nominees. It might be because David Halberstam's “powers that be” in the media pick up on that support and carry it further. It is a widely known fact that numerous owners and managers of media organizations possess some connection to the CFR.

We are losing our republic of enlightenment to the democracy of the mob. And mobs are always incited by influential groups and individual manipulating and exploiting them for their own ends. It gets worse and more disheartening every two and four years. Policy gives way to politics (not at all related to "the politics of war and peace,” called grand strategy). Common good is overcome by partisan spoils. But in the end, the real benefits accrue to those smart enough to exert influence subtly, behind the scenes, both parties and the political system. These “opinion makers” already own or have access to a lot of wealth. While national policy has the marriage of the Military-Industrial-Legislative Complex (which includes food and energy consortiums) dominating government operations, it is the “Opinion Complex” within that which produces the propaganda generate public consent for it. Such control of the print and broadcast media consortiums are one critical reason why freedom of speech and equality of access and use of the Internet world is so important for the future of liberty: It defies control in its current form and disseminates dissent and alternative facts.

A recent example of the MIL and Op-ed complexes is the 2006 elections and the actions of the Congress that was elected. It should not surprise anyone that so little progress has been made on US foreign policy and the current wars: The new Congress is the same made of the same political class that was either reelected or reinforced with more of their own kind. The failure of executive and legislative (and, one can clearly see, judicial) leadership on the global war on terror, Afghanistan and Iraq–stemming from the complete selfishness of both parties–remains the true core of all problems or war policy and its implementation. The reason should be all too clear: There is too much at stake for the entire complex to disrupt the domestic system as it is. Consequently, gridlock is costing thousands of dead and wounded, Iraqis AND Americans, and allies, every month.

What I have heard or read from the Democratic Party candidate, Obama and Clinton completely ignore other, potentially more dangerous US foreign relations. I would like any candidate from either party to talk sensibly about the potential benefits and the avoidable dangers of China, not rail against cheap labor and Chinese products "invading" this country. I need to see how they view the growing closeness of China and Russia, and in particular, do they see, understand, and have a plan for avoiding a power struggle with nuclear “mega-power" Russia? Such a problem looms. It may not portend another Cold War, but lack of common understanding and conflicting interests adds more instability to the international system.

Closer to home, no one at the Presidential-level of politics, excepting Richardson and ironically President Bush himself, has a practical vision on immigration or a very real grasp of the what the future is for America within the Western Hemisphere. This hemisphere is our own troublesome “near abroad” which requires creative vision and policy. On that vision and understanding, Bush's executive and policy-making experience as governor of the immense state of Texas prepared him, as did Richardson's service as governor of New Mexico and US Ambassador to the UN have prepared him.

People may wonder why I haven't even mentioned Edwards. The answer is simple: I haven't heard one single sensible foreign policy statement from him. The closest he came to that was admitting his error in voting for the Oct. 2002 war authorization act against Iraq. He did not, however, go far enough to state why he voted for it (as did Mrs. Clinton and other candidates now regretting their support for the war, none of who will admit why). More than anything else, as the Democrats mistakenly learned in the 1992 Presidential election, those who voted against authorizing force in the Gulf War to evict Iraq from Kuwait lost the primary struggle with the lack of support cited by analysts. Tsongas, et. al. voted against it and lost. Gore voted to support President G.H.W. Bush in the Gulf War, the US won a crushing but incomplete victory, and Gore became Vice President. It was the wrong lesson to draw from that experience. Such fickle fortunes make the fates of people and nations.

It is a cynical game, but all politics are local politics. It is even so with international politics, but that level hams the people themselves in more bloody and violent and otherwise costly ways. In every situation when things are done for personal or partisan interests, good policy, the common good of the people, and good strategy lose.

In every possible way, the fate of the US and the fate of the world are directly linked and mutually dependent on each other. As the US Presidential election can impact the world, what happens elsewhere in the world causes some direct impact on the US.

I believe that if people come up with some idea big enough, that idea can apply universally up and down the food chain. Of course, I'm talking about Libertarian Internationalism, or Liberty International for short (a shameless sound-byte way to present it), but as we say, "The Cepia Club is all about reason, logic and good strategy.” Or we think we are.


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