Is the American dream over?

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Inevitable in what way? Because of the internal operations of US politics? Was it as inevitable as it was claimed by some during the cold war that a military confrontation with the Soviets was inevitable?

How exactly did this turn out as planned? Was it planned to extend the political influence of Iran around the Gulf? One does not even have to point out the huge loss of political credibility and the economic damage the US has sustained as a result of this war. 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians apparently do not count anyway.

 

Of all the doomsday scenarios, i tend to believe that peak oil is real. It may not be imminent, but within the next 25 years, it will be undeniable. Gaberlunzi may point out that the tar sands are readily available for exploitation or the equivalent in Venezuela can be exploited if the government is able to organize and get the oil out of the ground. The problem lies in the fact that it takes an enormous amount of energy to get the energy. The return on energy is very low in comparison to large fields in Saudi Arabia or Kuwait.

 

From my point of view, the US wasn't so much concerned the American multinationals would have the rights to the fields in Iraq, but rather that someone would invest in the infrastructure to get the oil out of the ground and begin ramping up production asap.

 

From the foreign policy point of view, George Friedman suggests, and i would agree, that the US is hostile to the rise of any independent power in Eurasia. Iran may be in a much stronger regional position than it was 10 years ago, but it won't last. The US will put pressure on the Iranians one way or another. Friedman believes it will be via Turkey. I agree with the suggestion that the US may bomb a few strategic targets in Iran in the near term, but within 5 years, the US will have good relations with Iran.

 

The US will dominate the middle east for several more decades and it will keep the oil flowing.

 

The current consumption of oil worldwide is around 89 million barrels per day. That is 5-6 million more than in 2005. If the supply does not meet the demand and oil spikes to $200 per barrel, Germany's auto industry would take a major hit.

 

In addition to my wild claim that Democrats were mostly on board with the whole thing, i would extend that not just beyond partisan politics, but across borders as well. While Gerhard Schröder and Joschka Fischer took the opportunity to score cheap political points with an electorate which believes that raw materials come out of the sky, they were probably aware that Germany would benefit with cheaper energy prices worldwide.

 

This page formerly had much more comprehensive stats on each country:

 

http://www.eia.gov/countries/index.cfm#countrylist

 

What is surprising about Germany is that it has almost no raw materials and its oil and refined products, while coming from places like Norway and Russia, mostly come from the usual suspects: Exxon, BP, Shell, Total. Germany is in an extremely vulnerable position. Germans do have the opportunity to radically alter their lifestyles and put a stake through the heart of energy intensive industry if they believe that the resources they are buying are tainted by the methods of procurement. I doubt they will make that choice.

 

Shrubco secured an estimated 175 billion barrels of light, sweet crude in Iraq. Doomsday was delayed and we have a couple more decades to try to figure out a solution.

 

If there is a severe recession the price of oil could fall dramatically. The point of my post is not encourage people to go out and buy oil futures. A couple more sustained economic booms will make the supply/demand situation difficult.

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Michael Moore would correspond to Rush Limbaugh on the other side of the political spectrum. Both are fat and full of hot air and their followers tend to be very simplistic and frankly, not very bright. Moore's films about the healthcare system and gun control have influenced the political dialogue.

 

Moore might correspond to Limbaugh ideologically, but Limbaugh is on right-wing talk radio stations 3 hours a day, 5 days a week. His show is the highest-rated talk radio show in the US. Nobody knows how many regular listeners Limbaugh has, but the estimate is around 15-20 million, probably more in election years. (I dare you to look at his website. Good god, he must still be with geocities.)

 

Moore comes out with a single-issue movie once every two or three years, keeps a blog, and shows up at rallies organized by others.

 

Influence-wise, they are not even close to comparable. But there is no other celebrity liberal personality I can think of who is as influential as Moore, so kropotkin is probably right to choose him for comparison.

 

Speaking of talk radio, ever since Air America failed, conservative talk radio rules the political airwaves. This analysis from 2007 is a little dated, but there has been no new liberal or progressive talk radio station or personality established since then. Which is not surprising, since the Democrats are nominally in power now.

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cinzia, which media would you consider to be friendly to liberal points of view other than, for example, blogs or MSNBC? It seems to me that conservative talk radio first came to prominence because conservative voices were not well-represented at the TV networks and national daily newspapers.

 

It seems to me that in order to move the debate either to the left or the right, there needs to be issues that gasp people's attention. HDB identified national security in the light of 9/11 as one of them, but what else? It also seems to me that politics goes in cycles, and one of the implicit assumptions that HDB seems to make is that there was a happy median at which the political debate resided prior to its rightward move, and he doesn't say exactly when, although his use of examples from the 1990s hints that his time horizon extends back that far.

 

EDIT: HDB earlier claimed that there had been an attempt to ban the teaching of evolution in schools. Is there any evidence this has actually occurred?

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Actually cinzia and now Conky, Current TV is the new progressive station on cable that has a lineup of Cenk (of the Young Turks fame) at 7, Keith Olbermann at 8 and (former MI Governor) Jennifer Granholm at 9 (her show begins next month). Keith has covered the OWS movement since its inception. It's not offered on some basic cable lineups yet but it can be found on-line.

 

For truly progressive viewpoints, Americans need to turn to Current, RT English, Al Jazeera English and Democracy Now.

 

And Conky, if I've told you once, I've told you a thousand time, I may not vote for Obama again. If you line up all of the republicans (with their endless debates on tv), I would still write in Bernie Sanders (VT) for President next November. He appears to have policies I can vote for and the credibility to follow through. And for him to run against Obama would split the vote for the Dems and with Obama's low polling numbers, that would be a disaster.

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... with an electorate which believes that raw materials come out of the sky..

 

The electorate still believe this - & listen to anyone who tells them this. It wasn't a joke when the sticker displays "Who needs power statsions - our electricity comes out of the wall socket".

 

 

Germany is in an extremely vulnerable position. Germans do have the opportunity to radically alter their lifestyles and put a stake through the heart of energy intensive industry...

 

I don't believe they (or anyone else) is prepared to alter their lifestyles - for the worse. Witness how they (at least the vociferous ones) were all for "alternative energy" but noone wants it near them...

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...The US will dominate the middle east for several more decades and it will keep the oil flowing.

 

..Shrubco secured an estimated 175 billion barrels of light, sweet crude in Iraq. Doomsday was delayed and we have a couple more decades to try to figure out a solution.

 

Such long term predictions are worthless. How many people in Britain in early 1914 would have predicted that their Empire would be gone in just 40 years? In 1980 few people would even have predicted that the Soviet Union would be history just over a decade later.

 

Let's see, for at least one trillion Dollars of expenditure we have received in return:

- an Iraq that may turn into a failed state or an Iranian puppet

- an Iran that is not unreasonable in its belief that it needs nukes to defend itself against Western aggression

- and we are still burdened with an unstable, repressive regime in Saudi Arabia that is the main culprit for 9/11 and the spread of radical Islam (I forgot to mention that they are our "friends")

Who wouldn't consider that as a splendid deal for 1,000,000,000,000.00 US$? Quite apart from 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians and the final bankruptcy of all values the West supposedly stood for?

 

 

...I imagine that there are some people who would want what is now Israel, the West Bank and Gaza to be Judenfrei, which would itself be racist. Do you want all Jews out of Israel, Oblomov? If not and you do want peace then you should support a two-state solution, under which Israeli Arabs keep their Israeli citizenship and continue to reside in Israel, which doesn't seem very racist to me.

The use of such a charged term clearly shows your colours. It is a pet propaganda term of Israel's neo-fascist foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, after all. The Palestinians rightly refuse a final agreement that would include having in their midst hundreds of thousands of radical, violent settlers who subscribe to supremacist views and who demand to remain under Israeli control indefinitely. That completely reasonable refusal is described by Lieberman as a "judenrein" policy. It is telling that you take up that term. It is equally telling that you try to hide behind the Holocaust to deflect any criticism. This isn't just morally repugnant, the defense is also wearing thin.

Your arguments are just like Netanyahu's: pay lip-service to the creation of a Palestinian state but do whatever you can to prevent it from happening. It is no surprise that Presidents Obama and Sarkozy consider him to be an insufferable and untrustworthy liar.

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It seems to me the problem with American politics is that the legal framework is absolute dishonesty from the congress to the senate to the president and to the legal /financial system.The trust is gone and were there is no trust there can be no business. You kill business you kill the economy, you kill the economy which is our form of civilized survival. What you end up in is everyone for himself which means total anarchy.the bigger, faster gun survives. Anyone who has gone through upheavals knows what that means. madness has to exhaust itself and sound minds have to come to the fore to level a living together in peace again.One would think that the last 300 years of history would have supplied enough material to think about what is better for mankind.

My mother used to say to us fighting kids the smarter ones gives in.But that is not true anymore if it ever was.My father had another saying; when the storm blows you lay over like the grass.Trees who wouldn't because they couldn't broke. End of the story.

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It would be quite justified to call you a hooray henry for extremely racist policies at any given opportunity, but I am not going to lower myself to that level.

 

You just did.

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The use of such a charged term clearly shows your colours. It is a pet propaganda term of Israel's neo-fascist foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, after all. The Palestinians rightly refuse a final agreement that would include having in their midst hundreds of thousands of radical, violent settlers who subscribe to supremacist views and who demand to remain under Israeli control indefinitely. That completely reasonable refusal is described by Lieberman as a "judenrein" policy. It is telling that you take up that term. It is equally telling that you try to hide behind the Holocaust to deflect any criticism. This isn't just morally repugnant, the defense is also wearing thin.

Your arguments are just like Netanyahu's: pay lip-service to the creation of a Palestinian state but do whatever you can to prevent it from happening. It is no surprise that Presidents Obama and Sarkozy consider him to be an insufferable and untrustworthy liar.

 

That's a well-worn technique on TT, to tie together people that are disliked, and you have bizarrely tried to do in spite of the fact I have made my support for a Palestinian state clear. It's obvious that it's a fundamental part of a durable peace, and I have also spoken hopefully of economic ties between the Israelis and Palestinians. Furthermore, you strangely claim that what I have posted is in fact a desire to prevent the creation of a Palestinian state.

 

You also provided no evidence to support your assertions, a glaring omission given that you are well aware I have stated that the two sides would decide on their borders as part of a final status peace agreement and that the IDF would evacuate any settlers from land to be handed over as part of that agreement, just as it did in the Sinai Peninsula.

 

As a native German speaker, you are well aware of what the term Judenfrei means- it means no Jews whatsoever in a particular area: Definition of judenfrei. By "Judenfrei", you are being asked if you support the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish state. Here is what you were asked before:

 

 

I don't think anyone reasonable would consider supporting a two-state solution in the Middle East with a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza to be "racist". I imagine that there are some people who would want what is now Israel, the West Bank and Gaza to be Judenfrei, which would itself be racist. Do you want all Jews out of Israel, Oblomov? If not and you do want peace then you should support a two-state solution, under which Israeli Arabs keep their Israeli citizenship and continue to reside in Israel, which doesn't seem very racist to me.

 

Do you support the continued existence of a State of Israel as a Jewish state, meaning with a Jewish majority (this is an obvious part of a two-state solution"), or do you think that Jews should leave the Middle East altogether? Please note you are not being asked to endorse a State of Israel within any particular set of borders- what those should be in your opinion is irrelevant to the question. You are being asked this because you have never, to the best of my knowledge, supported the existence of Israel as a Jewish state, and have complained about Jews being allowed to immigrate to Israel.

 

Judenrein explains what Lieberman was talking about. It looks to me as though Oblomov misrepresented Lieberman's statement, which looks like an attempt to take political advantage of a Palestinian envoy's remark. No one expects any Jews to live in the Palestinian state that would be created by a final status peace agreement, and it would obviously be up to the Palestinians to decide on their own immigration policy, but I can't imagine a Jew being interested in living in a Palestinian state.

 

It's telling that you have to so badly misrepresent what I posted, but as I have pointed out, you're dishonest. If you don't want your nationality brought into a discussion (and I felt it was relevant in this instance), perhaps you should avoid doing that yourself.

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Actually cinzia and now Conky, Current TV is the new progressive station on cable that has a lineup of Cenk (of the Young Turks fame) at 7, Keith Olbermann at 8 and (former MI Governor) Jennifer Granholm at 9 (her show begins next month).

 

Speaking of, did you see Cenk's anti-Obama raving, with Glenn Greenwald in virtual attendance, about the travesty of Obama's signing the NDAA? Greenwald had to calm him down.

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Such long term predictions are worthless. How many people in Britain in early 1914 would have predicted that their Empire would be gone in just 40 years? In 1980 few people would even have predicted that the Soviet Union would be history just over a decade later.

 

Let's see, for at least one trillion Dollars of expenditure we have received in return:

- an Iraq that may turn into a failed state or an Iranian puppet

- an Iran that is not unreasonable in its belief that it needs nukes to defend itself against Western aggression

- and we are still burdened with an unstable, repressive regime in Saudi Arabia that is the main culprit for 9/11 and the spread of radical Islam (I forgot to mention that they are our "friends")

Who wouldn't consider that as a splendid deal for 1,000,000,000,000.00 US$? Quite apart from 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians and the final bankruptcy of all values the West supposedly stood for?

 

Suppose $1 trillion is accurate.

 

Take $1 trillion and divide by 175 billion (barrels). $5.71 per barrel of oil not to take possession, but to control or heavily influence the governmental body which will control the exploitation of the resource. With WTIC just under $100 per barrel and Brent around $108, i would argue that financially, it was a great deal. If peak oil is real, then even if it was totally immoral, it was financially advantageous. In addition, leadership hostile to the western world or at least the western world which was not paying it kickbacks, has been removed.

 

The US will play Iran versus Saudi Arabia and Turkey versus Iran. Iran's influence won't last long. Saudi Arabia needs to keep pumping oil.

 

I understand your anger and would fully support your boycott of the multinational corporations, especially energy producers, who will benefit from the Iraq War. Please do stop driving and encourage your friends and family to do the same.

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It's telling that you have to so badly misrepresent what I posted, but as I have pointed out, you're dishonest.

 

There wasn't anything to misinterpret in what you posted. You introduced a term of NS-racial persecution into this debate, now live with it that it sticks to you. The charge that Palestinians pursue such a policy is widespread among Israeli right-wing extremists and Lieberman has used it repeatedly, e.g. in a discussion with Westerwelle.

 

It is quite ironic that you are always complaining about discrimination in Germany, yet you consider it as perfectly acceptable in Israel. Defining Israel as a "Jewish State" would relegate 20% of Israel's citizens permanently to second class status, people whose connection to the land is often much older than that of many Israeli Jews. You can only become a Jew after a lengthy religious conversion process, after all. No other Western democracy defines itself in such narrow ethnic/religious terms. I suppose that you don't mind having blatant double standards, though.

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The US will play Iran versus Saudi Arabia and Turkey versus Iran. Iran's influence won't last long. Saudi Arabia needs to keep pumping oil.

 

I understand your anger and would fully support your boycott of the multinational corporations, especially energy producers, who will benefit from the Iraq War. Please do stop driving and encourage your friends and family to do the same.

 

Iran has been a major Middle Eastern power even 2 1/2 millennia ago. It is quite likely that it will still be a major Middle Eastern power when the US has left the region. Why you believe that the US has secured Iraq when it couldn't even achieve legal immunity for its troops in the country is beyond me. Most likely relations with Iran could have been normalized for a fraction of the money and political capital wasted on waging the Iraq war. You seem to consider yourself smart by being cynical. Yet in the end it is the US taxpayer who is the sucker as he had to pay for this misadventure while everyone else can buy cheap energy for devalued dollars as a result.

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Do you support the continued existence of a State of Israel as a Jewish state, meaning with a Jewish majority (this is an obvious part of a two-state solution"), or do you think that Jews should leave the Middle East altogether?

 

What I personally think is a great video which could be categorised as an 'Isreali Palestinian Conflict 101' educational resource.

But Conqui, happy to hear your thoughts as to its biased nature. ;)

 

 

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There wasn't anything to misinterpret in what you posted. You introduced a term of NS-racial persecution into this debate, now live with it that it sticks to you. The charge that Palestinians pursue such a policy is widespread among Israeli right-wing extremists and Lieberman has used it repeatedly, e.g. in a discussion with Westerwelle.

 

It is quite ironic that you are always complaining about discrimination in Germany, yet you consider it as perfectly acceptable in Israel. Defining Israel as a "Jewish State" would relegate 20% of Israel's citizens permanently to second class status, people whose connection to the land is often much older than that of many Israeli Jews. You can only become a Jew after a lengthy religious conversion process, after all. No other Western democracy defines itself in such narrow ethnic/religious terms. I suppose that you don't mind having blatant double standards, though.

 

You didn't misinterpret- you misrepresented. You were asked if you personally think that there shouldn't be any Jews in Israel- that doesn't have anything to do with Lieberman or those Palestinians (and there obviously are some) who would like to remove all Jews from Israel if they could. Your failure to answer that is telling.

 

Israeli Arabs have the full rights of citizenship in Israel, and would continue to have those rights even if the Palestinians recognized Israel as a Jewish state (would Germany be willing to have a 20-25% Turkish minority?) because the rights of citizenship are enshrined in the Israeli Constitution. In refusing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, you have repeated the very Palestinian position that is intertwined with its demand for a full right for any Palestinian to move to the State of Israel as part of a peace agreement. Since there would be a Palestinian state (obviously with no Jews living there), I see no reason why there should not be a Jewish state. There is no need for two Palestinian states, after all.

 

As to discrimination in Israel against Israeli Arabs, no, I don't dislike it any less than I dislike discrimination against non-Germans in Germany; however, to suggest that a Palestinian recognition of the reality that Israel is a Jewish state would itself subordinate the rights of Arab citizens of Israel is blatantly false.

 

As German who surely is well aware of the significance of the Holocaust, you shouldn't pretend to be confused why Israel defines itself as a Jewish state. Your comments suggest to me that you don't want to see Israel as a Jewish majority state.

 

Oblomov, while the notion that US relations could have been normalized with Iran is a very seductive one, I think the Iranian regime's need to define itself in opposition to the US to maintain internal legitimacy (as evidenced by its rejection for years of back channel talks with the US) would prevent it from normalizing.

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Here´s a biassed opinion: humans have potential, can be and are often very creative..and are full of shit. Endless wars and killing. It doesn´t matter whether Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia , Israel, Bolivia, the US, Japan, the UK...doesn´t matter. We are morons.

 

Is my opinion shallow or deep?

 

Both ( my humble opinion ).

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You didn't misinterpret- you misrepresented. You were asked if you personally think that there shouldn't be any Jews in Israel- that doesn't have anything to do with Lieberman or those Palestinians (and there obviously are some) who would like to remove all Jews from Israel if they could. Your failure to answer that is telling.

 

Israeli Arabs have the full rights of citizenship in Israel, and would continue to have those rights even if the Palestinians recognized Israel as a Jewish state (would Germany be willing to have a 20-25% Turkish minority?) . There is no need for two Palestinian states, after all.

 

You know history better than that. Your analogy with the Turks and Germany is ridiculous. As for two Palestinian states, how would you then link the West Bank with Gaza? Or should one be eaten up by the settlers that are already doing so, leaving one to fulfill the basis of statehood as per your statement above?

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Iran has been a major Middle Eastern power even 2 1/2 millennia ago. It is quite likely that it will still be a major Middle Eastern power when the US has left the region. Why you believe that the US has secured Iraq when it couldn't even achieve legal immunity for its troops in the country is beyond me. Most likely relations with Iran could have been normalized for a fraction of the money and political capital wasted on waging the Iraq war. You seem to consider yourself smart by being cynical. Yet in the end it is the US taxpayer who is the sucker as he had to pay for this misadventure while everyone else can buy cheap energy for devalued dollars as a result.

 

$5.71 per barrel. Please review the arithmetic. The Iraq War can be called many things, but financially stupid it wasn't.

 

You seem to subscribe to the idea that "everyone else" (and by that i assume you mean non-Americans) goes to a big warehouse somewhere and just presents money for a certain amount of oil, puts it in the grocery cart, and takes it home. It might not be quite that simple. :lol:

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You know history better than that. Your analogy with the Turks and Germany is ridiculous. As for two Palestinian states, how would you then link the West Bank with Gaza? Or should one be eaten up by the settlers that are already doing so, leaving one to fulfill the basis of statehood as per your statement above?

 

There have been discussions of linking the two through southern Israel as part of the creation of a Palestinian state in a final status agreement, and I'd imagine that would be the case. I have yet to see any disussion of two separate Palestinian states, i.e, one on the West Bank and the other in Gaza being created, but if Hamas and the PA decide to go that way it's up to them. As I have pointed out numerous times, the Jewish settlers in the West Bank are obviously going to be evacuated from territory handed over to the Palestinian state as part of a final status agreement.

 

The two Palestinian states I referred to were clearly within the context of a full right of return in which there would clearly be an Israel that would soon as a result have a Palestinian majority as well as a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza.

 

The point was that I don't think it's likely that Germany easily tolerate having 20-25% of its citizens being ethnic Turks when it's clearly uncomfortable with a much smaller amount. It's true that it's a different situation than that of Israeli Arabs in Israel.

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And the bottom line, the Turks were not settled on the land that is present day Germany for the past few hundred years, to then be faced with an influx of refugees who then claimed that land for theirs based on the premise of 'spirituality'. So ultimately, no matter how you rationalise it, your analogy fails.

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