Wednesday, December 13, 2006

America's Map for the 21st Century?

Wanna See My Map?

This is my definitive map of Talibanistan, Darfur's genocide, the Korean Peninsula, the Taiwan Straits, Palestine, and Iran's nuclear sites, (not to mention the future of our domestic American economy and infra-structure). It's all rolled up into ONE!! Wanna see it?

This is why we are impotent on the world stage. On 12 September 2001, we were the world's last global power. On 20 March 2003, when Bush began his un-provoked, unnecessary, largely unilateral invasion and unplanned occupation of Iraq (UULUIUOI), we began our current long and interminable descent from being a 1st rate world power into some middling ranking.

How would you describe it? Are we not merely the number one spectators of the world scene in the already grossly disfigured 21st Century? (When we are not distracted by Paris Hilton?) Maybe the United States has become the number one complainer, pleader, griper, accuser, etc. Because that is all we can be as long as our sword is buried in I-Rock.

The diplomacy we can conduct is laughable. Bush and Cheney have turned Teddy Roosevelt on his head. With them at the helm, our U.S.A. is reduced to talking loudly and carrying a wimpy, drooping stick in front of us.

Baker and Hamilton's ISG Report directs the United States to be more multilateral with Syria and Iran? Yeah, a good idea whose time has come last came on 9-12-01. But that means we'll be asking them to help us pull Bush and Cheney's chestnuts out of the range of fire in Iraq's free-for-all. So that we can have a graceful exit?

I don't know how many carrots we have left, but our big stick is stuck in the desert of Iraquagmire. As Frederick the Great once observed,
Diplomacy without arms is like music without instruments.
Until Bush and Cheney leave the stage or we leave Iraq - whichever happens first - America's international audience will wait impatiently and not altogether politely for the musicians to arrive.

13 Moderated Comments:

Blogger GetaLife-ReadUrNews said...

New Orleans is somewhere in this map.

12/13/2006 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger HILLBLOGGER & Hillblogger Jr said...

Vigilante,

No need to be alarmed about US carrots and sticks yet. America still has plentiful in its arsenals.

But as in every endeavour, good management of assets and good managers are key to making an enterprise viable.

Anyway, thought you should know that Northrop Grumann has re-devised Frederick the Great's maxim, i.e., "90,000 TONS OF DIPLOMACY", "FOUR AND A HALF ACRES OF U.S. TERRITORY WHEREVER AND WHENEVER IT'S NEEDED".

12/13/2006 08:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sorry hillblogger but I have to disagree with you about the arsenal. Both personal and equipment, at least with the army which I'm most familiar with, has long since been stretched beyond the safe point. What I have been reading is that Army repair depots are packed with worn out equipment and, the real killer, spare parts are in short supply. I can state first hand that the troops are tired and stressed.

12/13/2006 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger Indicted Plagiarist said...

According to the BBC this morning, there were two or three reecent opportunities for U.S. reapprochment with Iran.

12-Sep-01
In Iran, vast crowds turned out on the streets and held candlelit vigils for the victims. Sixty-thousand spectators respected a minute's silence at Tehran's football stadium.

With Taleban soldiers on the Iran border, 2001 Iran came close to a war with the Taleban

Some of Iran's leaders also sensed an opportunity. America quickly fixed its sights on the Taleban in Afghanistan with whom the Iranians had nearly come to war just three years earlier.

With a common enemy in the Taleban, the two found grounds to co-operate.

After the Afghan war, US negotiators worked closely with Iranian counterparts to form a new Afghan government.

Some of the talks between US and Iranian officials moved beyond Afghanistan and there was hope that it could lead to tentative re-engagement and eventually a restoration of relations. . .


Another potential opening came in May 2003.

America's swift march to Baghdad the previous month had led to fears in Tehran that it would be next.

So Tehran made a dramatic - but surprisingly little known - approach to the Americans.

Iran's offer came in the form of a letter, although Iranian diplomats have suggested that their letter was in turn a response to a set of talking points that had come from US intermediaries.

In it, Iran appeared willing to put everything on the table - including being completely open about its nuclear programme, helping to stabilise Iraq, ending its support for Palestinian militant groups and help in disarming Hezbollah . . .

What did Iran want? Top of the list was a halt in US hostile behaviour and a statement that "Iran did not belong to 'the axis of evil'".

The letter was the product of an internal debate inside Tehran and had the support of leaders at the highest level.

"That letter went to the Americans to say that we are ready to talk, we are ready to address our issues," explains Seyed Adeli, who was then a deputy foreign minister in Iran. But in Washington, the letter was ignored.

12/13/2006 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger mariamaria said...

Very cool map. We have an activist community forum group which also wants to bring our troops home now...
come check us out..
http://www.thepeacetrain.org/

12/13/2006 09:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/13/2006 12:27:00 PM  
Anonymous pekka said...

Vigil, you are in a game shape! You hit this baby out of the ball park again.

Very seldom does history hand for a leader greater chance to make hay than was handed to G.W.Bush. However, right from the start his swagger and corresponding language managed to turn off foes and friends alike. Add to this his inability to comprehend the neccessity of using diplomatic tools as an integral part of the U.S. foreign policy, and one can easily see troubles ahead.

You have rightly refered to the Palestanian question which, left unaddressed, will keep the region hopelessly volatile. What does Bush do to correct the bad situation? He stops talking to anybody but to his pals in Israel. That he saw the military action in the center of the Middle East as the panacea, goes a long way of illustrating his mind boggling ignorance. American credibility in the region is non exsistent and will propably remain so to an unseeable future. I hope, that this peace and democracy mission of his is not going to lead into an inevitable looking regional mayhem.

Lastly, American friends are few and far apart. Paradox is, that you show me one and you show me another crazy, megalomaniac, sociopath just like Dubya. One buddy of his that comes to mind is the Polish President Lech Kaczynski. This super nationalistic, Bibble thumping, and the regular pain in the EU's ass, deserves to become Dubya's pool boy in his Paraguayan hide-away-ranch when this nightmare is over.

12/13/2006 06:05:00 PM  
Anonymous pekka said...

Oh rats, I forgot to ask if that penis enlargement really works? My wife is happy as it is but the landlady things more wouldn't hurt.

12/13/2006 06:08:00 PM  
Anonymous MLB said...

In my humble opinion, by establishing a minimal relationship with Iran, we could bring a profound change to its government's behavior. Talking to Iran would have a positive effect on its domestic politics, encouraging the large portion of Iranian society that seeks a liberal regime, moderate nuclear policy and normalization of relations with the West. We need to encourage its people and government to start changing by winning their hearts and minds, not by bombing them. Iran is a unique country in that part of the world, and its people need to be respected.

The preemption policy of this administration has brought us disastrous results. We should use our brains before acting and not make the mistakes we've made in the last six years.

12/14/2006 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger LTE said...

Your excellent article brings home an obvious point: We are in the process of losing two wars, not just Iraq. We have many more troops in Iraq, yet it was the guys in Afghanistan who really attacked us on 9/11. We should transfer most of the troops from Iraq to Afghanistan.

What will happen in Iraq will be the same whether we pull out now or later. Staying in Iraq at this point is mainly to save face for the neocons, who hope that if somebody else pulls out after 2008, the blame for the mess can be shifted to the new administration for not staying the course. In contrast, it's important to really build a nation in Afghanistan.

12/14/2006 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger LittleBill said...

Can't compete with all of the regional and historical knowledge of your more learned contributors. All I can add is that I can't imagine how our servicemen and women individually can come out of coming home, only to be sent back to hell time after time after time, as functional and happy human beings. If Bush and his followers do not pay for what they have done in a hell of their own, there is no God.

12/14/2006 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger HILLBLOGGER & Hillblogger Jr said...

Hi Beach Bum,

I'm actually referring to the biggest sticks of them all, i.e., nuclear weapons, warheads, and the more offensive weaponry from US floating assets in international waters.

12/15/2006 04:38:00 AM  
Blogger M.D. said...

The long-term (cynical) prognosis: permanent bases, a permanent low-level civil war, and permanent profits for big Oil.

Do we do anything about ghetto in the U.S.? No. We will send in more troops to maintain a low-level stability. We will live with the permanent ghettoization of Iraq. Anyone with half a brain and the means has already gotten out of there. A bunch of liberals care very deeply about what happens there, but the rest of the country will put up with a lot worse.

12/15/2006 08:45:00 PM  

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