The Fiction of Sovereignty in the Age of Terror

I’m republishing this short piece for the readers of this new blog.

Turkey Bombs, the U.S. Applauds

By William M. Arkin

Washington Post, columns & blogs, December 18, 2007

A brief response by Con George-Kotzabasis

William Arkin by the title of his column expresses both moral irritation and surprise at the U.S reaction to the “Turkey Bombs”. But he is blind to the fact that sovereignty as an absolute legal norm has been throughout our modern period an absolute illusion. In the Age of Terror, it has been transformed into an illusionary fiction. No nation led by prudent political leaders can allow terrorists who attack it to find a safe haven, support, and replenishment of their armaments across its borders.

The U.S. applaud is consistent and in conformity with an unbroken strategic rule. Once one identifies an indefatigable irreconcilable deadly foe that threatens one’s national interests, one has to pursue and destroy this enemy wherever he happens to be. And for contemporary American strategists in the Pentagon it might have a greater strategic meaning. As the incursion into Iraq by Turkey might be a most welcomed dress rehearsal by the U.S. and a warning to its enemy Iran, that it might be fully staged on Iran’s soil by an American ‘impresario’.  

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Utopia Builders Set Up Boutiques to Sell Shoddy Product

A retort to Dr Peter McMahon’s Global neo-imperial Fantasies Come Unstuck”.

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The utopia builders, a la McMahon, have set up their boutiques in the global market to sell their shoddy product. After the collapse of the historically misplaced Communist utopia, with its Gulag Archipelagos and Killing Fields, the Left’s sorcerers apprentices are now concocting their new mantric utopia of “global governance”, to take the place of the displaced one. Two fundamental contradictions haunt your argument, and ultimately bury the phantoms of the ne-cons and of neo-imperialism that you raised in your piece. You state that “in the 1970’s a new global system was emerging”. Your phantoms however, the neo-cons, were only in power in 2000. By this time the system was already robust and on its course. The neo-cons were not fabricating a new version of it, as you claim, but were merely its new “managers”. And in the aftermath of 9/11, they were also trying to protect it. That was the reason why they went to war, not oil.

The second fundamental flaw in your argument is, that while you claim that “human experiences are too diverse to bend to the logic of one homogeneous society… Or one global market”, your panacea for the ills of “global neo-imperialism” is “global-scale governance”. At the same time you concede that such “governance” will have “to bend to the logic of…One global market”. But how will you put in place such governance upon such “diverse” non-homogeneous societies? Didn’t the recent failure of the EU to unite in reference to the amendments of its constitution, which is, moreover, culturally homogeneous, teach you anything?

Your remedy of “global-scale governance”, is intellectually unhinged and cannot be taken seriously. All you accomplish with your piece is to replace the “phantoms” of the neo-cons with your greater phantom of universal governance. By such intellectual credentials, Plato would never allow you to enter his Academy.

The Bombing of Milosevic should Apply to Gaddafi’s Genocide of his Own People

The principle of non-intervention, very convenient in itself, and very appropriate to a given circumstance, becomes very little better than an absurdity, when regarded as an absolute and when it is desired to apply it under conditions widely different. This principle is a matter of judgment , when to set it aside, and when to apply it. Charles Maurice Talleyrand   

By Con George-Kotzabasis 

 The United States and its allies must ensure that the revolt of the Libyan people against the autocratic, corrupt, and nepotistic regime of Muammar Gaddafi is not drowned in blood by the latter’s draconian response to it, and is crowned with the establishment of democracy and freedom, thus fulfilling the wishes of the Libyan people. President Obama has the total and unswerving responsibility, as the leader of the most powerful nation in the world, to steer and pilot the vessel of democracy with its Libyan passengers, that is presently going through the dangerous straits of autocracy whose shoals are threatening it with wreckage, into the safety of its democratic moorings, by been actively engaged in this libertarian, and, indeed, strategic goal.

In the critical situation that besets Libya to indulge in ‘nuanced’ considerations as to whether or not the U.S. should engage militarily in the country, is to indulge in political and strategical onanism. The tracasserie, the turmoil in Libya requires the immediate application of the bombing of Milosevic against Gaddafi’s militias and mercenaries by U.S. airpower to prevent Gaddafi and his sons from genociding their own people. Any procrastination of action and political and diplomatic quibbling on the part of the Obama administration as a substitute of providing an expeditious and strategically prudent resolution by U.S. military action in favour of the revolt of the Libyan people against the brutal and nepotistic regime of Gaddafi, will be deemed by history as a dereliction of duty by the United States as the pivotal power of rational world order.

Transform Hamas into Moderate Party Mockery of Serious Thinking

By Con George-Kotzabasis

A short reply to:

Hamas vs. the Fundamentalists

By Amjad Atallah TheWashington Note,                                                                                

August 17, 2009

Atallah in a post to the Washington Note, on January 20, 2009, displayed his inimitable originality as a political thinker when he claimed that the “cease-fire” in Gaza was Obama’s “first foreign policy success.” On August 17, 2009, from among the ashes of his by now burnt out originality he rises like a phoenix to claim that Hamas is showing the first symptoms of a unique metastasis from a virulent fanatic radical organization to a moderate one. The demiurge of this beatific poetically transcendental transformation from the ugly reality of Hamas as an irreconcilable terrorist organization is Hamas itself. By fighting the extremist pro-Al Qaeda Salafist group of Jund Ansar Allah and killing its leader Abdul Latif Musa, on August 14, 2009, Hamas is blazing a new course of political moderation that according to Atallah would be foolish for the US under Obama not to take advantage of that could change the whole configuration of the Palestine Israel conflict.

Thus the offspring of the Islamist fanatical coupling of Ahmed Yassin and Sayyid Qutb, the founder and the spiritual leader of Hamas respectively who both have their roots in the Muslim Brotherhood, like a poisonous snake is shedding its skin and metamorphosing itself into an amiable friendly python.

Atallah is either unaware of the historical fact or deliberately hides it so he can make his case, that throughout history all widespread and toxic fanatical movements had variable degrees of fanaticism among their members and often created within the general movement their own groups that fought  each other to the death. The virulence of fanatical Islam in our times and the internecine and fratricidal warfare that goes and will go within it illustrates in a pellucid manner the above historic fact.

In this context, the attempt of Atallah to transform Hamas into a moderate organization that President Obama could deal with diplomatically and persuade its leadership to stop permanently its deadly attacks on Israel and accept the two-state solution by recognizing Israel, is a mockery of serious thinking.

‘Shoot’ Messenger For Telling Lies About Truth

By Con George-Kotzabasis

 A reply to: Don’t Shoot The Messenger For Revealing Uncomfortable Truths

 By Julian Assange, The Australian December 08, 2010

 

 Julian Assange opens his article with adulatory terms for the founder of The Australian and his sire, Keith Murdoch, by quoting “young Rupert Murdoch…’in the race between secrecy and truth, it seems inevitable that truth will always win’.” And he seems to be proud to follow the steps of Murdoch even though the latter long ago has grown horns for many liberal media aficionados. He also proudly states that Wikileaks has “coined a new type of journalism: scientific journalism,” (M.E.) which he defines as allowing you “to read a news story, then to click online to see the original document it is based on”, and thus by this method you can make a judgment about the veracity or falsity of the story. He further claims that he is not one of the crowd of anti-war as he believes that “Sometimes nations need to go to war, and there are just wars. But there is nothing more wrong than a government lying to its people about those wars, then asking these same citizens to put their lives and taxes on the line for these lies.” He is also justifiably concerned that he is being accused by US officials and others of treason “even though I am an Australian, not a US, citizen,” and of a Republican bill before the Senate “seeking to have me declared a ‘transnational threat’.”

Under this ominous cloud of threats issuing from high echelons of the US government and politicians it is reasonable that Assange would be deeply worried about his safety and his inviolable right to exercise his freedom of speech. But it is totally unreasonable to have expected to be treated otherwise when he exposed secrets of governments in conditions of war. He seems to have had the courage to put in action his convictions without however having the courage to face the consequences of his action that could be seen even by blind Freddie, to use an Australian colloquialism.

Moreover, his riposte is inane and unimaginative to the State Department’s claim: “You will risk lives! National Security! You’ll endanger troops!” “Then they say there is nothing of importance in what Wikileaks publishes. It can’t be both. Which is it?” But it can be both. Imperil in verity national security and risk lives while at the same time diminishing the importance of the leaks for political reasons so politicians and government officials will not be accountable for their incompetence and their propensity to leak.

Furthermore he conceitedly claims that the seeds of the leaks brought a rich harvest of accomplished goals that lay in the original plan of Wikileaks. He states that in its “four-year publishing history…we have changed governments (M.E.) but not a single person…has been harmed.” But if this is one of the goals achieved it is vague in regard to the kind and quality of the “changed governments.” Does he refer to changes in the internal operations of governments that are more transparent to their publics or does he refer to changes in the political colouring of governments? One can assume from the implication of his proud claim he means a change in the substance of governments for the better by their change of colour. But whichever of the two changes he refers to the empirical evidence clearly shows that on both counts his statement is false. Governments have neither become more open to their publics nor have they become better shepherds to their flock in the last four years. Was the transition from the Bush to the Obama administration a substantial change to a better government? When President Obama has rescinded most of his electoral campaign promises and continues a war in Afghanistan, which according to Assange is based on lies, intensifying the drone attacks in Pakistan against al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives that started under the Bush administration, and commenced new clandestine operations against global jihadist terrorists in Somalia, and Yemen, and when in the short time of two years a majority of Americans have turned against their initially beloved Obama, who was going to change America for the better, as the mid-term elections last November have shown?

But while Wikileaks’s failure in these two areas of transparency and betterment of governments is resounding, and therefore his statement is a manifest lie, Assange partially achieved his anarchistic goal of his doctrine of the “corruption of governments’’ by creating mistrust between the top officials of governments and hence enervating the system of inter-communications and sharing of intelligence between them. As he argued in a paper of his few years ago the only way to put a stop to the corruption of governments was to disrupt their communications and to create distrust among its officials that the content and information of their intelligence and advice passed to their political masters would not be secure from public scrutiny. Thus Wikileaks threw a spanner into the mechanism of governments whose secrecy in some matters of paramount importance are the sine qua non of good governance and global security, especially in our contemporary times when Western civilization is under a menacing permanent attack by fanatical Islam. And one must be reminded that one of the major reasons why the perpetrators of 9/11 were not identified and apprehended in time was this lack of sharing intelligence between Federal agencies, which subsequently the Bush administration corrected by setting up The Department of Homeland Security under Tom Ridge.

Thus Assange by achieving his anarchistic nefarious goal has placed countries and their peoples that are under attack by Islamist suicide bombers at great risk whose numbers of casualties would astronomically surpass the numbers that Americans killed “in the past few months, “with Australian government connivance,” if such an attack was carried out by means of biological or nuclear weapons. (Talking about Wikileaks not harming a single person.)

As to his coinage of “scientific journalism” it is empty of substance. Science is not hostage to subjective values and does not pick its evidence by means of ideological fantasies. For example, the content of Assange’s argument about the war in Iraq is not based on reality but on fantasy. To accuse Bush of lying about Saddam’s possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and espouse the Leftist slogan “Bush Lied, People Died,” when all the leaders of the major countries, including President Chirac, Chancellor Schroeder, Premier Zhu Rongji of China, and presidents Putin, and Mubarak of Egypt, also believed that the Iraq dictator had WMD, is intellectually dishonourable and the most dishonest accusation against the former president. Were Chirac, Schroeder, Putin, Zhu Rongji, also lying when they were saying that Saddam had in his possession WMD?  Indeed, were they involved in a conspiracy with Bush against Saddam Hussein when all four were explicitly against the war? And as Bush says in his book Decision Points, “The charge was illogical. If I wanted to mislead the country into war, why would I pick an allegation that was certain to be disproven publicly shortly after we invaded the country?” That Assange is peddling this utterly false accusation in defiance of the above facts clearly reveals his ideological bias that completely incapacitates him to make an objective assessment of the issue according to his lauded standards of  “scientific journalism.” Intellectually disarmed by the lures of ideology he throws his anarchistic bomb on all the principles of science. If he had used his own scientific methodology as to the evidence extant prior to the decision of President Bush to invade Iraq he would have found that the war was not based on lies but on false intelligence. As a thought experiment, had he published in early 2000 the documents of all the major intelligence agencies of the world as to whether or not Saddam Hussein was in possession of weapons of mass destruction they would have shown that all believed that he had them. Thus if the public had “read a news story” about Saddam’s WMD and then clicked “to see the original document” it was based on, they would be able to judge as to the truthfulness of the story.

Legally of course, Assange cannot be charged with treason, as such a charge applies to citizens of nations. But Assange by using the global instrument of the internet has by his own choice become a global citizen. The secret documents that he has splashed on the internet do not merely affect or threaten a particular nation but a number of nations that are pivotal to the security of the globe at a time when this security is imperilled by resolute irreconcilable enemies. Assange therefore by revealing this secrecy to the foes of Western civilization nolens volens is conniving with these implacable enemies of the West and hence committing ‘global treason’. The fact, moreover, that he is a messenger of a most dangerous lie, i.e., that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or potentially with Iran, are not quintessentially related to the continuous existential threat that global terror and rogue states pose to Western civilization, rightfully qualifies him  to be ‘shot’ for telling lies about the truth. 

I rest on my oars: your turn now         

 

Reply to Two ‘Strategists’ of The Washington Note on the Resolution of the Palestinian Israeli Conflict

By Con George-Kotzabasis

My dear Steve,

You seem to be afflicted with an incurable cancerous growth in your continued rambling ‘cogitations’ of equating “the recklessness, immaturity and sheer stupidity of leadership on of all sides.” To perceive a political equivalence between a fanatic religiously motivated Palestinian leadership, like Hamas, and a rational secular Israeli leadership is to cancel your own intelligence.

Dan Kervick’s rationale is ‘perfect’ from his side of the coin until he flips it on the other side and destroys his argument by his own suggestions. On the one hand he advocates a “strong prescriptive diplomacy from the OUTSIDE, along with clear and credible promises of sanctions and incentives,” (M.E.) and on the other, “the US could do more to support and publicize international investigations into war crimes stemming from the Gaza conflict, whichever side is accused of committing those crimes.” That is, while he is putting either Palestinians or Israelis against the wall and shooting them for war crimes, he still believes, after his provocative and ‘incendiary’ suggestion, that the “international community” will be able to force the two parties to the negotiating table that will “result in a durable peace.”   

It’s obvious that Kervick is an impresario in vaudevillian strategic scenarios. And of course he will not reply to this post and address and bridge this huge gap in his argument as he lacks the moral and intellectual fortitude to do so.

P.S. In the first paragraph the quote is from Jim Lobe, but Steve himself is a strong believer in this political equivalence between the two parties as he argued recently in his posts.  

 Dan Kervick says

Kotzabasis,

My view is that the imposition of an international final disposition plan will require mobilizing governments and their peoples to be prepared to impose firm sanctions on one or both sides, if either side fails to abide by the mandated terms of the plan.

This is challenging since the Arab world is full of apologists for Palestinian terrorism and gangsterism, and the American and European side is full of apologists for Israeli ethnic cleansing, brutality and collective punishment. But pressing the international legal case against violators on both sides will diminish their reputations. It will be harder for American supporters of Israel and Arab supporters of the Palestinians to cry “foul” over sanctions if some Israeli and Palestinian soldiers and leaders are on trial before international tribunals for their crimes.

If the global public case is more effectively built that these are *two* outlaw enterprises, that will give foreign governments the political cover they need to take a harder line and threaten sanctions. The case is actually quite easy to make. We just need the Israelis’ and Palestinians’ many global allies to stop running so much interference for them.

You should re-read my proposal, because I explicitly rejected an approach based on “getting the parties to the negotiating table”. My view is that we are at the point where the international community needs to mandate a solution, and then impose it on the parties with carrots and sticks. There is no longer anything to negotiate. We all know the shape of the solution, and this long-running gang war is a dangerous and costly threat to peace and stability.

 I am not sure what you are talking about when you shout about shooting people for their war crimes. I assume you are speaking figuratively. I am only contemplating jail sentences and the threat of jail sentences. The important thing is to start putting people on trial.

 Kotzabasis says,

 I was wrong about Kervick’s moral fortitude but I don’t think I was wrong about his intellectual argument.

 

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Obama Diminished Trust of his Allies and Increased Confidence of his Enemies

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Barack Obama has been elected as president of the most powerful nation in the world that since the end of the Second World War has been the bulwark of freedom against its infernal enemies, i.e., the former Soviet Union and its allies. In the twentieth-first century Western civilization is threatened by a new implacable and irreconcilable enemy, fanatical Islam; and the USA is the only nation in the world that can defeat this foe. But president Obama has already failed both tests of “knowing thy enemy,” and as a sagacious strong respectful leader. He has weakened America both before the eyes of its friends and allies and, most dangerously, its enemies.

The nations of Eastern Europe are rapidly losing their trust toward the US that the latter will protect and defend their interests and security, since Obama’s withdrawal of the missile defence shield from Poland and Czechoslovakia and his concessions to the Russians. And the enemies of America, such as Iran and its multiple terrorist proxies are heartened and have increased their confidence that in Obama they have before them a giant eunuch who is incapable and unwilling to use force, even as a last resort, against them. Since Obama has replaced America’s superpower ‘Jupiterian’ bolt diplomacy with olive branches toward them.

The “dangerous scenarios,” of which you are concerned with, are already in their incubatory stage: a nuclear armed Iran that would start a proliferation of nuclear weapons in the region with all the great dangers that would issue from such proliferation, especially in a region that is replete with the votaries of fanatical Islam. Thus to your question what kind of advice one would give to Obama in such an impending crisis, it would be the most heavily ‘armed advice’ that would fall on his shoulders. But Obama has neither the spine nor the balls to carry such heavy advice on his morally rickety frame, and least of all bring it to fruition as a last resort. Thus any strong advice given to a congenitally weak president would be a barren exercise.

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