Saturday, February 22, 2014

American Shrinkage

From Family Security Matters.

American Shrinkage

America is in decline economically, militarily, culturally, morally, educationally - choose your area. Guess I could include athletically as well given that, at this writing, we're number 7 in gold medals at the Winter Olympics so far, but that's not so important. Economists expect China to pass us in a couple of years. Generals at the Pentagon worry that we may become unable to defend our Pacific allies against China if present trends continue. The cultural, moral and educational pieces are the causes of the economic piece, some would argue, and I'd tend to agree. But then I'm a former history teacher and familiar with what happened to the Roman Empire.

New Hampshire's Mark Steyn wrote a couple of books about America's decline. One, "America Alone," was a warning. The second, "After America," you could call a post-mortem preview because Steyn isn't optimistic that our decline can be reversed. I am. I'm not saying a renaissance is around the corner but it's possible.

Think about how it is with people in decline. I'm not talking about aging, here. I'm talking about becoming stuck in a negative pattern, a moral slide. The seven deadly sins have brought many individuals to ruin but can they bring down a whole society? We're watching it all around us aren't we? What makes men and women decide to do the work necessary to turn their lives around? Pain, usually. They look at themselves and don't like what they see. They don't like what they're becoming and they decide to do something. It's not easy though. We all know that at some level and most of us choose not to do the necessary work. Some try for a little while and give up. Others persist. They do a one-eighty. They completely change course.

Will America? Not without suffering. What form will it take? Hard to say. Some say the stock bubble fed by all that money-printing will burst, wiping out trillions in wealth, including pension funds. Some say inflation will follow with higher interest rates. As government bonds turn over to finance our $18 trillion debt, high interest payments will crowd out other items the federal budget. Entitlements will have to be cut drastically. How will that affect that large percentage of Americans who have become dependent on big government? Will they passively accept cuts? Not likely. Will pain take the form of massive civil unrest? Many Americans expect it to and have prepared to ride it out. Whatever kind of painful reckoning our burgeoning federal government brings down on us, my hope is that a new majority of Americans will seek a return to small government and strict adherence to our constitution after suffering through it.

Maybe our pain will arrive as a foreign policy crisis. Little good will result as long as President Obama and his chief dopelimat John Kerry continue to appease our enemies, abandon our allies, and diminish America's influence worldwide. The stage is being set for serious shenanigans that could flare up most anywhere because we're not being taken seriously anymore. Last week alone, Iran sent warships to our Atlantic coast to send "a message" while our "ally"- Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai freed sixty-five Taliban prisoners who killed Americans!

Steyn makes the case in "After America" that the British Empire's decline was genteel with the USA coming right in behind them before a power vacuum could form. England, for example, had been powerful enough that it could provide somewhat credible enforcement of its edict outlawing the slave trade in 1807. The trade continued, but it was diminished when slavers had to constantly look over their shoulders for a British warship on the horizon. Up until lately, leaders of rogue countries like Iran and North Korea worried about how America would react to their shenanigans. Now? Not so much. What will follow America? In his book "After America," Steyn claims it's basically "After us, the deluge."

Who will police the world's oceans? We see what's been happening off the Horn of Africa after Somalia fell apart. It's not unlike what Mediterranean shipping experienced under the Barbary Pirates during America's infancy. That situation spurred President John Adams to build our first navy. Will piracy spread to other oceans and seas as the US Navy shrinks? Who in the world will fill America's shoes as we pull back? Nobody else is capable.

Malignant regional powers will likely emerge. A Russian-allied, nuclear Iran will be the dominant player in the Middle East. Nuclear North Korea will be China's pit bull in east Asia. Will Japan will re-arm itself? Will South Korea? Maybe Saudi Arabia will buy some nukes from Pakistan and think about a navy. Israel will do what it must against its existential threat from Iran and it won't consult us anymore.


Anonymous said...

Pipe Dreams!

You can't maintain an empire with your current spending levels, you think you will be able to do it with less government spending?

Unless you are going to pour all your money on foreign affairs and forget about your obligations to your own citizens.

Even Rome had more sense than that.

For all your "deep reflection" and "looking in the mirror" posturing about how to save your country; you go back to the same old tactics that put you in this mess in the first place. Feeding a bloated Military Industrial Complex for foreign "adventures" and destroying the only beautiful thing America created, what made it arguably the envy of the world; The Middle Class.

If you are printing as much money as you say; I'll believe it since you are admitting it, how do you expect to maintain another war? A war with my country? A war the hawks in your country have been itching for, for 35 years.

Lt. Colonel(retired) Reza Pejman

The Duhnmharu said...

Come now dear Col lets not blow irans horn too looud. If there is a war with Iran it will not be a long one sure as sure. Will it be costly yep no doubt, but Iran will not be the same after. My question to you my dear friend is this. Why must Iran arm and train and pay terrorists. Why must it say it wants ISrael wiped out. Iran has no land in or about ISrael so land swaps are not teh reason. Iran is in effect black poisson in teh world rather than being a citizen of the world. explain this to me/us so we can better understand. But please dont start with how we misunderstand Islam. We know what Islam is.

Anonymous said...

Your war with ragtag Taliban guerrillas wearing sandals on motorbikes and pickup trucks is going into its 13th year.

What makes you think war with us is going to be over in a short time? In order to stop, you are going to have to commit troops on the ground. Air strikes have their limits.

If you take the area and populations of both Iraq and Afghanistan, combine them, you still won't equal the area and population of Iran.

That means, you are going to need, at the bare minimum, 250,000 troops for your ground operations in Iran. 500,000 to be on the safe side.

You think your boys are going to find a moments peace while they Occupy us? If the Taliban and various Iraqi groups could inflict over 6,000 deaths on you, what do you think is going to happen Iran? You think your public will be able to stomach another 10-15 year war? Tens of thousands of casualties? Economic hardship? Austerity? A military draft? I think you underestimate the desire of your own people to want to live in peace, to not send their boys to get their legs blown off. Just so that war enthusiasts such as yourself can get their adrenaline high.

Arm, train and pay terrorists? You mean like the United States did with Contra Death squads in Nicaragua? Like the United States does with MEK and Jundallah? Like the United States does with Al-Qaeda in Syria? John McCain taking photos with known terror leaders. Shall I go on?

Israel? Every country has their certifiable crazies. Mine is no exception. Some of them spew out empty rhetoric of Apocalyptic showdowns. Puffing themselves up for a domestic audience. Even in Iran public figures need a bit of PR stunts to maintain relevancy.

Your country, a citizen of the world? 500,000 dead Iraqi children from sanctions. Albright admitting it was worth the cost.

Come of your high horse Marine.

Your country is spiraling down like water in a toilet. Clockwise. If it was Australia it would be the opposite.

You want to change the trajectory? Fix your own self-created messes before you worry about the internal matters of sovereign nations. Then you will at least earn the respect of your own electorate. Trade with nations, don't bully them. You will see the difference.

Lt. Colonel(retired) Reza Pejman

Sharku said...

Col. You are assuming of course that we Invade Iran... as far as I am concerned Iran isn't worth one boot on the ground. It is true that we have no business in "nation building", on that I totally agree.

As far as the American death toll in Afghanistan, most of that is because of the idiotic rules of engagement placed on our military by the politicians.

Another World War is coming, not sure yet who all the players will be, but when this one ends, the world population will be short 3 or 4 billion people.

Things will be terrible here in the U.S. afterwards, but the entire Middle East region will be
in ashes.


Anonymous said...

You would have to invade us to put a stop to our sovereign nuclear program.

Iran which is close to achieving nuclear protection is not worth boots on the ground. But Iraq with a dormant WMD program was worth it.

Sure Sharku man. Or is it that Iraq was an easy pushover? And that boots on the ground in Iran would be the end of your economy?

I bet you are just giddy about your WW3. What with being addicted to war and all.

You do know that " Israel" is in this Middle East lying in ashes you speak of.

Save your apocalyptic preaching for those that buy it. MAD has kept the peace for almost 70 years.

Fortunately for the world, warmongers like yourself are not allowed near the launch codes.

You want war? Become a mercenary. Because Iran, as much a Netanyahu barks, is off limits. And Chairman Dempsey knows it.

Lt. Colonel(retired) Reza Pejman

The Duhnmharu said...

Col Pejnam your reply to Sharku was out of character you were talking shit and you know it. Now smarten up You going to talk smack do it right. dont whine. This is teh worst post I have ever seen you put in. TAke a break relax have some virgins or something then come back refreshed and talk right. none of this warmongering crap. Allah Damn it my kid could talk a better line that you just did.

Anonymous said...

That's strange, because all your posts are very much in character. That's not a compliment by the way.

I was talking the truth. If you can't recognize it, that is something you should remedy.

Whining? Of course. But then again we are not the ones acting like children, drawing cardboard cut outs of cartoonish bombs and presenting them as evidence at the U.N.

Now that is whining. Not to mention walking out of someone else's speeches. But I suppose that's just a U.N. Tradition now. Not the policy of one country.

I was talking right. I pointed out the glaring inconsistencies. A starved out, sanction crippled Iraq was "worth boots on the ground" but Iran, with the actual WMD program isn't. The fact that Mr. Sharku tried to pass it off as nonchalantly as possible exposes the fact that he and all war hawks in the United States know that boots on the ground in Iran are not worth it, not because they see Iran as not worth the effort, but because it's not worth losing so much blood and treasure. Not to mention the backlash on the home front.

Sharku is the one relishing WW3 and I'm the unstable one. Yes I suppose that makes perfect sense in your world. What lies in that mind of yours really?

Talking smack and talking the truth are two different things. I don't know why you can't tell the difference.

Warmongering crap? Isn't that what you do on a daily basis? Beat the war drums for hostilities to begin between our two nations?

I really think you should come to terms with reality. Iran will remain sovereign and will acquire domestic nuclear protection. Contrary to the wishes and the wild and public gesticulations of AIPAC and Netanyahu.

The sooner you come to terms with those facts the better. Then you can put your focus on more pressing issues at home.

Lt. Colonel(retired) Reza Pejman

The Duhnmharu said...

Iran can remain sovereign all she wants with my permission gladly. As long as she stops arming terrorist paying them and setting into action. I dont know what drives that sort of dangerous action as it will not end good for Iran. Walking out on someiones speeches. I guess its kind of like not letting Iranian competitors in the olympics wrestle ISraeli competitors not because they might lose but for no other reason than to create politica tension just like walking out does. Iran cl;early has more to lose than other middle east countries that appear to be lining up against her... thats a reality. Iran is bellicose and does not stop threatening people also a truth and reality.
Whining cutouts of cartoon bombs that was a simplified diagram because believe it or not most UN reps are just plain stupid. But before we got to teh cartoon stage there was the treat stage by Ahmedinanutjob and now teh Mullahs on a regular basis, the IRG gotta wipe someone off the map dontcha know. This sort of bellicosity will in teh end could be self prophecy as the rest of the world gets tired of being thretened by teh pissant Iran and does something about it. Kinda like kids in a schoolyard ganging up on a bully. Sanctions clearly do have an effect on Iran, and frankly they should not be dropped with nothing coming out of negotiations except some Mullaghs word No cred Col cant be trusted. So the problem you see Dear Col starts and ends with Iran and her actions. She could be an international citizen or a pariah. She has chose teh later Why is that?

Sharku said...


For one I am most certainly not "giddy" about the probability of a world war, I can just see the signs that are pointing towards one. I would much prefer a world where all nations worked together to benefit all, but that really is a pipe dream.

I have seen war, and I can assure you that I am not addicted to it.


The Duhnmharu said...

Well Sharku I dont want all nations working together. Each should have their difference. If they are workled together, one of them will want to be leader guess who that is Yepp Old Oliar, the anointed one. Then this will lead to one world government with teh UN calling the shots. NO !! The UN out of America. America out of the UN