The Cepia Club Blog

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.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Apology for Following Sloppy Formatting

Sorry about the crazy spacing of the following entry, "Present at the Destruction." I wrote the article on OpenOffice, which I had never used before in combination with Scribefire. I hope this Clublog's readers will forgive and endure. TJK

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Present at the Destruction

REF to Libertarian Internationalism at:

The U.S. Secretary of State in the
first years of the Cold War, Dean Acheson, titled his memoirs Present
at the Creation
. As a key
architect of US foreign policy in reaction to aggressive Soviet
actions in Eastern Europe (such as the Czeck coup of 1947 and the
Berlin Blockade of 148-49), Acheson helped devise a grand strategy
building on a policy of containing Soviet power within its own sphere
of influence, designed to stop its spread into other areas of the
world vital to US political and economic survival.

the United States' position or dominance in international
organizations created at the end of World War II, primarily the
United Nations, the World Bank, the General Agreement on Trade and
Tariffs, and the International Monetary Fund, the Truman
Administration used goodwill among friendly nations with the hedge of
the supreme US dollar to create and promote common political-economic
interests with other nations in Europe, Asia , and the Americas.

natural and manufactured interests in “the common good” of
non-communist nations insured a massive measure of global security
and stability. It was remarkable that one of the key elements of
this stability—Western Europe—shed its millenia long tendencies
for great power wars, even world wars, in the interests of continued
independence, greater prosperity, common security, and the prevention
of the “communal civil wars” that characterized the balance of
power diplomacy of European history. While outside of Western Europe
US security policy mostly relied on bilateral (nation-to-nation)
alliances, the anchor of US foreign policy in Europe, the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), was formally established in
April 1949 on the initiative of European countries.

(there were, unfortunately, few women involved) like President Harry
Truman, Secretary of State and later Secretary of Defense Gen. George
C. Marshall, political appointees such as Acheson, diplomats like
George Kennan and Chip Bohlen, and Establishment insiders, namely
John J. McCloy and Robert Lovett, were shrewd and capable thinkers,
visionaries in fact, of long-range foresight and long-term solutions.
Their life-times of public service, in the military and government
(Truman was a grass-roots political organizer and county administror
in Missouri before becoming a senator), and in private business
(McCloy was chief executive of the largest bank in the US) gave all
of these and other less well-known individuals the experience, the
skill, the talent, and the effectiveness to manage huge global
endeavors (McCloy and Lovett ran the War Department as assistants and
Marshall was Army chief of staff throughout World War II).

international system that these leaders created, implemented and
managed, sometimes as private individuals, governed US foreign
affairs from 1945 until 2001. Yes, 2001: From the last year of
World War II, throughout the Cold War and 10 years beyond the
self-termination of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. From
1991 through the very moment when the first airliner crashed into
the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, 2001, US
foreign policy, including the Era of Globalization, remained
consistently based on using a multi-lateral (many nations) approach
of soveignty, development, security, and stability. This practice of
diplomacy applied to democratic nations as well as “friendly”
dictatorships, monarchies, and despotisms.

constant maintenance of the international system had one primary
goal: Maintaining the United States as the dominant
political-economic center of power. As the center of power, US
foreign relations reserves to itself more political, diplomatic,
economic, and if necessary, military choices than any real or
potential competitor or enemy. In foreign policy, more options
between the conditions of peace and war provide far more security and
stability than getting trapped and cornered in unpleasant or
disastrous policies (Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon, and Iraq are more
prominent examples). The US pursued these means of foreign policy
for one ultimate end, and the right one: For the direct national
secuirty interest of the United States of America and all the safety
of all its citizens.

might not be too premature six years after 9/11/2001 and five years
since the clouds of war in Iraq began hovering over the American
people, to make some sort of preliminary conclusion about US foreign
policy. It is my opinion that we have been witnessing the end of a
successful 60 years of US foreign policy. We could be all witnesses
of the destruction of an international system that had far more
restraint and interest in avoiding war, instability, and human
destruction. As a reference, US involvement in Vietnam severely
damaged America's security and position.

though the United States under some brilliant foreign policy of
Richard Nixon and his key advisor Henry Kissinger staved off total
disaster for US security, significant things did change with which we
still suffer. For examples, the US became embroiled as a central
player in the conflict between Arabs and Israelis, and assumed an
entirely negative role in Africa, in response to Soviet policies made
more bold and confident by US failure in Vietnam. Massive wage and
price inflation in the early 1970s from the financial cost of the
war, and in the form of an oil embargo, began a 35-year shift into
massive government intervention into the US economy. Those events
also ended the international financial system based on the
gold-standard US dollar and the world then entered the mythical
world of “fiat” phoney money. Concerning the oil embargo
mentioned above, US policy in the Middle East allowed the
oil-producing nations in the world to “discover” their weapon of
high-priced oil. That trend toward the oil-producers manipulating
whole national economic structures has only grown.

the world created by Truman, Acheson et. al. survived the Vietnam
War, but only barely. With US policies in the world concerning
nuclear proliferation in Iran, ballistic missile defenses in Eastern
Europe (challenging post-Soviet Russian interests), the domestic
turmoil in the US over the Iraq War, the financial cost of the war
and the hoped-for post-war, but even more, the moral costs and
consquences of the loss of American and Iraqi lives is going to
present penalties to US national security.

based on ignorance on any side (it is still quite possible that the
Bush Administration has or believes it has information governing its
actions unknown to the public; possible and not improbable), or
malicious greed and fear of US and world leaders, these policieswill
inevitably impact the entire future of the world, no matter what
happens form here-on or at the conclusion of these policies. It DID
happen following Vietnam, and in ways that may not be easily
recognized or acknowledged.

question for the present generation of world leaders, and the present
generation that will grow up to replacement, is will the
international system correct itself into a stabilizing form, with or
without US supremacy? If we are witnessing the intermission or
finale of a relatively successful system and on the whole a peaceful
world, we need to anticipate on what comes now as soon as possible,
and then decide what to do about it.

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Monday, August 06, 2007

Shadows on the Wall of History

Sixty-two years ago today, a single plane delivered a single bomb and obliterated an entire city. This tale of tragedy and suffering is well-remembered by history. The plane was a B-29 Superfortress. The bomb: the first of two atomic weapons ever used in combat. The city was a hapless and unlucky port and industrial center that should never be forgotten by future generations, Hiroshima. The second bomb followed three days later. In two days, over 100,000 had been instantly killed. From the scores of thousands of wounded would later come the after-effects of disease, deformity, suffering, and more dead.

The human costs of the bombings were no more or no less great than a total span of 5 days of bombing, three years apart, by the massive conventional fleets of planes that created man-made hurricanes of flame, heat, and gas in the German cities of Hamburg and Dresden. But in the land of Japan in August 1945, the nuclear era began. Total war, man’s insane pursuit of more efficient and “better” ways of violence, destruction, and the suicide of morality, had been finally achieved. It was so quick, relatively cheap, easy, and effective.

In the closing statements of the first Nuremberg trial of the senior Nazi Party leadership in 1946, “Hitler’s architect” made a plea to humanity. Albert Speer, the single most capable and competent Nazi bureaucrat who ran Germany’s arms industries, was on trial for his life, faced with charges of crimes against humanity and crimes of aggressive war. It is not clear whether his plea was a shrewdly calculated court-room drama for leniency, or a deep moral guilt within him needing to be expressed. He said words to effect that humanity’s achievements in science and economics, wedded to politics and war (particularly missile technology and atomic technology) created a threat to the continuation of civilization on earth, and to the very survival of all life on the planet.

We have been fortunate so far in the nuclear age that such weapons have not been used since 1945 in anger. Several times during the Cold War, by accidental procedures, irresponsible foreign policies, and public threats of statesmen unbalanced by paranoid fear and insatiable greed, the world came to the brink of a holocaust. Cooler heads and sheer luck intervened every time to prevent nuclear war. Since the early 1970s, other nations beside the club of five nuclear powers (the US, Russia/USSR, Great Britain, France and China) have acquired nuclear weapons. Three nations have voluntarily dismantled their nuclear arsenals (South Africa, Kazakhstan, and the Ukraine). But four others (India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel) in very unstable relations with their neighbors have such weapons. India and Pakistan even had low-level combat between them which threatened to become nuclear combat. One nation (Iran) is suspected to be close to having them. The fear and greed that prevails toward these nations within the minds of their regional neighbors forces other nations to seek the protection of another nation’s nuclear deterrent (e.g. South Korea and Japan relying on their alliances with the US to deter North Korea).

Only the mutually assured destruction of incalculable and unacceptable levels if nuclear combat becomes a reality keeps the cork on the gun. It is a policy in international relations that rests on a tower of cards. It might one day fall. When reasons and logic breakdown, the consequences cannot be imagined. The greatest fear is that no one knows how to end it, or where it would end.

The time has come for all nations to seek the common safety for their people within a new international system. It cannot be world government or global empire, since these things would only produce police states, dictatorships, oppression, and darkness for all humanity. Securing the common safety of nations and peoples begins with admitting our difficulties, proceeds to dialogue, and is secured by finding the common interest all humanity has in liberty, prosperity, security, and peace. The key to building this new system lies not in parliaments or palaces. It begins at the grass roots, within and between communities.

The leaders of the world are unwilling to place the interests of the people before their own private interests. Therefore, the people must secure to themselves the knowledge to understand the problems, but only the action of the people, beginning at home, can change the leaderships of nations. It is a firm belief of The Cepia Club’s that people in neighborhoods and communities, if they can surrender their fear and greed, and canreach out to the people close to them, and help one another overcome common prejudices, common problems, difficult issues, and build fellowship, then the world has a chance for peace.

The process begins with the individual. Awareness and activism, a “community ending public ignorance and apathy” is the way to prevent another Hiroshima and Nagasaki or worse. Time is short. The process is beginning. But everyone who cares about their family and friends and the places and things they love has to become involved. Think smarter, act now! It is the only way.

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

US Military Aid Programs in the Middle East

Last week, the Bush Administration announced an unprecedented military aid program for purportedly friendly governments in the Middle East. The program is currently understood to be grants of US taxpayer-funded equipment, for which immediate or long-term payment is not asked nor sought. The amounts are staggering when considering previous military assistance programs to the heretofore “pillars” of the American security system in the region.

First, the US is giving approximately $20 billion dollars of fairly modern equipment of various types to the six Arab states in the Persian Gulf who are loosely confederated into a regional security and cooperation pact known as the Gulf Cooperation Council. These states include oil-producing giants with otherwise under-developed and un-diverse economies, i.e. Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. Debate in the US Congress over the aid packages have hinted at such issues as to why such states need grants when they make hundreds of billions of dollars between them in oil revenues on world history’s highest price for the commodity (unadjusted for inflation)? This debate is not unjustified, but rather insignificant to the foreign policy consequences of the policy.

Even more staggering in terms of its unprecedented dollar amount of aid, are the sums of miliary aid to the pillar states, Egypt and Israel. Egypt has received large and generous military aid packages in the past, but has always trailed gifts to Israel in terms of dollars and quality of equipment. Egypt’s new aid program increases with this aid program almost two fold to approximately one billion dollars worth per year for the next ten years. Israel of late has been receiving at times almost as much now granted to Egypt as a regular feature of US taxpayer “generosity,” but under the new program Israel will receive around $13 billion over the same 10 life-span of the program

Furthermore, and more shocking, since Israel’s Arab enemies (of whom only Egypt and Jordan have extended diplomatic recognition and relations to Israel) will now get such massive amounts of aid, Israel’s compliance in the program awarded the Israeli Defense Forces the most technologically advanced weapons now deployed by the US armed forces. One such weapon is the hyper-superior air domination fighter, the F-22 Raptor, the most stealthy predator fighter jet yet deployed anywhere in the world.

Although the Israeli-American Public Affairs Committee, in reality a political action lobby, exerts unprecedented influence for a foreign power within the halls of the US Congress, in recent years American Administrations have sometimes had to strong arm the Israeli government into cancelling weapons technology transfers and US-licensed armaments to such nations as the People’s Republic of China, a Communist totalitarianship. It has been suspected, but undeclared, that Israel transferred advanced weapons and designs to nations openly hostile to American interests.

Does selling the most dominant US weapons systems to Israel, when considering Israel’s history of proliferation, make much sense? An honest person would say, no, it does not make sense at all. These transfers are not even considering Israel’s already superior military equipment and the dominance of military “moral” effects over its enemy.

In 2002, the US conducted a regional-wide military exercise in and offshore of the US. The war game involved scores of combat naval ships, tens of thousand of troops, and hundreds of aircraft, and an large simulation on computer systems. US deception in the short-term fooled the public into believing the war games were conducted against an imaginary country thought to represent Iraq (which was invaded several months later). The truth came out, however, that the war game was focused on a US-Israeli war in the Middle East. The “opfor” (opposing force) commander was former Marine Lt. Gen. Paul Van Riper (sp?). Using imaginative and original strategy, on the first day of the “war,” the Opfor delivered a crushing preemptive strike against the US forces commanded by traditional-thinking officers. In reality, the war game ended on the first day as US loses would have immediately ended all hope of an easy and quick victory over Israel. As narrow “indoctrinated” leaders are apt to do, the Opfor acts of the first day were written off as unfair, the Opfor was restricted to follow a pre-destined script, and the US side won its glorious triumph. The reality of the result should be clear: Israel is such an armed and militarized state (with mandatory conscription for all young people, of both genders, long into their middle years) that easily defeating Israel in any type of armed conflict would be rather unlikely.

The comforting thing about the story is, however, that it is improbable such a war would happen. It is provided as illustration only. The real underlying consequences for US foreign policy, and stable security in the Middle East, is the actual strengthening of the chances of armed conflict in the region with the military aid program.

The program is justified by the so-called experts for two reasons. First, there is the threat of Al Qaeda, Ussama bin Laden’s terrorist network which would exploit the new American weapons if it successfully overthrew its sworn enemies, the very monarch-dictatorships suppressing the freedom of their own people in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. This scenario is not at all unfeasible. The second supposed reason is a possible war with Iran over its revisionist and radical Islamists foreign policy, and its development of nuclear weapons.

The Cepia Club’s Libertarian Internationalist paradigm relies on four pillars: liberty and sovereignty for individuals AND their countries; economic freedom and prosperity for the same; the common security of all; and the development of strong, local communities in which cooperation for the common good among diverse peoples of all types and viewpoints is encouraged and developed. The new arms program is a direct contradiction to our belief that the common safety through cooperation of all nations is paramount to peace.

Sending such unprecedented amounts of military aid to a region completely lacking in international and internal stability, let alone peace, is only destructive to the vision of LI. Arming countries already suspicious and aggressive to each other will only further decay the sinews of restraint from open warfare since each side now can fear its neighbors even more. Such fears lead to miscalculation of policy choices because everyone will not wait to be attacked first. The lesson of military preparations and plans in the years leading up World War I should be clear. When the irrelevant cause of war occurred (an assassination of a man of no real importance to history at the time) no one wanted to be the last country at war for fear that if they waited they would be defeated. The results of that war and those errors in decision-making are a testament to the foolishness of militarized countries: paranoid and greedy at the same time.

If there is to be peace, at least in the Middle East, then smart policy, then a mutual agreement to enter security and cooperation talks (in politics, economics, culture and society) is the first step. Such a process needs to open to all and organized at once. At least with people talking and working out their differences, with each nation and group allowed its right to speak and be heard, there is less immediate chance in some respect for a holocaust of conventional and WMD war in the Indian Ocean Area. Read more details about The Cepia Clubs Libertarian Internationalism proposal at:

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Obama on Aug. 1, 2007

Obama on Wed., Aug. 1, 2007, made one of those "major foreign policy statements" that Presidential candidates give in place of lack of experience and credentials in foreign affairs. From the evening news and in today's papers, Obama's major parts were the war on terrorism and the lack of help from nuclear power Pakistan. Obama said that if Pakistan will not invade Taliban sanctuaries in Pakistan, as President he would more or less invade Pakistan as an immediate alternative. The comments in the press from analysts and the foreign policy experienced Democratic candidates Richardson and Biden were on the order of: Obama betrays a lack of experience and foolishness in foreign policy.They were shocked that he would even make the statement as a candidate, saying a strategy like that is something a President doesn't even talk about; he or she just does it. Provoke a war or cause internal instability in a third world country armed with nuclear weapons? That does not really sound like experience or creative or ability in foreign affairs, at least not the kind we need in a President.

Taken with the Tue., July 31, 2007 Clublog entries on the need for a foreign policy election, and a President with experience, creativity, subtlety, executive management, and wisdom, and the specific entry on Obama's lack of these, perhaps what we said the day before Obama's speech was not too far off. Obama fans will still be Obama fans, though. The Cepia Club neither endorses nor opposes candidates in any elective government race, but we will do our best to prevent our thinking and hopefully people will seek more ideas about the subjects on their own and take action.

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