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Watch out fellow Obama idealists/optimists or Obalists/Obimists, America's screwed no matter what! - I wanna live 'til I die, no more, no less. -Eddie Izzard

About Watch out fellow Obama idealists/optimists or Obalists/Obimists, America's screwed no matter what!

Previous Entry Watch out fellow Obama idealists/optimists or Obalists/Obimists, America's screwed no matter what! Feb. 13th, 2008 @ 12:34 am Next Entry
Well it seems like Obama has a real real chance of beating Hillary. Woo.
We'll see what happens in the coming months, but regardless of who wins it is becoming clear to me that whoever is ur next president: McCain, Hillary, or Obama, America is royally screwed. No, I don't mean those candidates are all bad for America In fact any one of them would be an immense improvement over this idealogical, irrational, inept, corrupt, overreaching, criminally negligent, torturous, war criminalizing administration. Simply put, no matter who get the job, the Bush Administration has done so much harm to our national standing, defense, and economy as to seem to really push us from the 90's- superpower/uni-polar era/interlue back into a descent (or ascent) of multi-polarity. For the non-International relations readers (as if I have any readers at all other then maybe Kelly and Pat every now and then) that means from one superpower to a bunch of great powers. Or a few. Just because we may not remain THE superpower per se does not mean I think we'll not be the most powerful nation on the planet both economically and militarily. But here, let me explain what the next administration and what our nation is actually going to be facing. Its not too pretty

So first up, naturally, is Iraq. McCain says surge working, rawr, me right all along, me will surge until the cows (bad guys) come home (have their heads ripped off by me, the war hero). Thats nice and all, but our military is breaking. There is not any singluar breaking point in this kind of thing, its always a gradual process. One of the effects of Vietnam was a dilution of the office corps. Many good, smart officers in the armed forces got out at the first chance and did not continue to serve beyond the minimum. Thats bad because you end up with less really good officers, but people are still getting promoted up through the ranks to general. 20 years later instead of 75-90% of the generals being smart guys and gals who've stuck around b/c they like serving and the atmoshpere so much you get maybe 50% good top officers, at best. But you still need the same number of generals and the like. You'll still get 2 star generals walking to and fro in the Pentagon, but much more of them will be dumb dipshits who never should have gotten beyond some lower ranks.

Ok, so thats begun happening and will happen no matter who is in office. But with McCain running on his Iraq "credentials" and the surge that makes him less able, politically to drawdown significant numbers of American forces as the violence increases, which it is sure to do. The surge's decrease in violence was as much, if not more, about the change in strategy as in numbers. Our soldiers had more forward operating bases to work from and try to prove to loals that they are there to truly provide security vs patrolling from the big fort of a military base every now and then to get blown up by an IED. Ok, so actually being out there in the community helps, naturally. Also, we built big friggin walds dividing up Baghdad all over the place. Its hard for a Sunni violent extremist to kill a Shiite and vice versa if walls are separating the two. Big walls. That doesn't mean the violent fratricidal impulses are not still there.

But another big thing was the "Anbar Awakening." In Anbar province a lot of the SUuni extremist groups and tribal leaders got tired of the Al Qaeda groups and came to the U.S. saying: we don't like these guys. We have beef with the Shiites, but these crazy mofo's are killing everyone! WTF, dude? Plus, all their leaders are foreigners. We hate you (the US), but you're in uniforms and a more distant threat. These guys are making us look bad and being dipshits. lets work together and screw them. Well, that was friggin lucky for us. Unfortunately its quite possible that once the Al Qaeda types are further defeated and as we draw down troops however we do it (its inevtiable as with the breaking army we need to let more soldiers go home) they may just use the training and weapons we're giving them to counter the large Shiite militias further to the south. Frankly, Bill Kristoll (Weekly Standard idiot) and McCain talking about the country being a free, democratic, relatively secure country as our ally is a fantasy. If we get that within 50 years we'd be beyond lucky. But the limits of "freedom" and "democracy" as stabilizing the world is a topic for another post....

So yea, Iraq is shitty. Our army is going down the tubes in terms of personnel, supplies (ever try to use a tank after it was in the sand for extended periods? Well, time to replace the whole bottom half now....), and budget. The army is being forced to use more sub-standard soldiers like those with some gang experience, minor criminal histories, etc. And so many, as with most any violent conflict, are coming back with lots of mental problems. An issue this administration is somewhat ignoring and our current Veterans Administration is unable to accomdate ebing in an early 90s massive army drawdown posture. They simply can't handle so many returning veterans. The department needs a maaaaaajor overhaul/boost.
So anyhoo, our army is screwed. Iraq is screwed. A slow drawdown=big screw to our army and budget. More so than already. An Obam or Hillay-like relatively quicker drawdown=ain't gonna happen as they say it. No matter what happens the violence will probably increase. Right now we're in between 2 street fighters in the most simplistic terms. Except while we keep them apart they get even better at knocking the other out and punching us in the nuts occasionally. If we leave too soon, they go at it and the majority of Iraqi's lose in the volence. We stay and its almost like delaying the inevitable in the hopes that we can stay enough to blunt a major civil war. As if it was a natural country for the British to make anyway....
So yea, we are screwed in Iraq. I can see McCain becoming a Johnson-like figure of knowing its unwinnable, but not willing to risk American pride at being seen as losing it. Except who sees us as losing is the (hopefully) rapidly fractitious Republican base.

Watch for neither Obama or Clinton to keep iraq campaign promises. They are not all that realisitc and no matter what happens we have created a humanitarian distator that may very well eclipse Darfur fairly quickly.

But waut, there's more. Our economy is in the craper and will stay that way for awhile. Spending massively (and inefficiently) on Iraq and Afghnaistan doesn;t help matters. Plus there's China stuff....http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200801/fallows-chinese-dollars
Yup, we are screwed in the economy. next will be some banking hits becaue they invested in credit card companies who as we all know try to sign everyone and their mother up for a card they can;t pay for. Remember that new bankruptcy bill that was passed the other year? Makes it harder for normal people to declare simple Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Yup, that doesn't help things.

But somehow, Warren Buffet will make some money off of this. He's a smart one. Maybe make him Secretary of the Treasury.

So thats bad. Taking back the Bush tax cuts on the upper class can;t possibly make up for the massive deficit we have. So goodbye to most of the domestic program promises HIllary and Obama are making, except maybe healthcare.

And for the low-low price of some moderate healthcare change and massive deficits for years to come we also have: OLD PEOPLE!:

Social Security is fairly easy to fix with increasing the retirement age, changing benefits, etc. But edicare and old people needing support is a really big generational issue. For all of us not becoming rulers of the world you better learn how to be a nurse to your parents because there won't be enogh old age homes, facilities, centers, etc. We don't palce as much value in terms of paying and emotionally for helping our elders compared to children. But as baby boomers retire and get more needy it is going to fundamentally change our economy.
Well, at least there are the service jobs to make up for all the production job closings because of globalization and automization/computerization(yay, I make up words!).

So yea, any president will having crushing problems, 3/4 of them Bush and these types of Republicans' fault. Good job, guys!

Personally, I'm predicting McCain, if he can even get elected has about a 20% chance off the bat of re-election. Age+whatever policies he enacts for the ecnomy and Iraq= failure. Clinton will have a temporarily rejuvinated Republican attack machine but I think it will probably, even with the Republicans falling apart, be a fairly mediocre term compared to Bill's because of these Iraq, economy, international, and generational disasters.

So I think Obama is the best one able to deal with these issues. And I mean "deal" in a loose sense. I really don't know if the next president, whoever it is, can feasibly get a 2nd term against decent opposition from the other party. Obama can only get a second term if the Republicans really do fall apart.

In any event, our country is screwed. Iraq+economy+everything else=weakening the nation and somewhat de-stabilizing the world. Good job of shaking things up, Bush administration officials.
They were able to turn potentially the most prosperous time in humanity's history into a backstep back to earlier in the century maybe. Now China rises somewhat economically and politically, but slowly. India also rises, but differently and is still so incredibly diverse (in the potentially bad too decentralized way).
Russia tries to play a big game with energy as global climate change will change everything. Look for resource wars that go beyond energy resources.

They're still building thingsi n the southeast even though they are having more droughts there and the climate change will make it worse there (I'm going to retire to Banff, Canada. There may not be any glaciers there in the future, but by then it should have nice, cool 85 degree autumns. Mmm, mmm, mmm.

Ok, this is a big, rambling rant. Tiem to shower and sleep. Goodnight moon. Goodnight country that us screwed until i take it over and then the world and finally fix everything. Woo.
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