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The rise and fall of great powers and their imperial domains has been a central fact of history for centuries. It’s been a sensible, repeatedly validated framework for thinking about the fate of the planet. So it’s hardly surprising, when faced with a country once regularly labeled the “sole superpower,” “the last superpower,” or even the global “超能力” and now, curiously, called nothing whatsoever, that the “decline” question should come up. Is the U.S. or isn’t it? Might it or might it not now be on the downhill side of imperial greatness?

Take a slow train — that is, any train — anywhere in America, as I did recently in the northeast, and then take a high-speed train anywhere else on Earth, as I also did recently, and it’s not hard to imagine the U.S. in decline. The greatest power in history, the “单极权力,” can’t build a single mile of high-speed rail? Really? And its Congress is now mired in an 论点 about whether funds can even be raised to keep America’s highways more or less pothole-free.

Sometimes, I imagine myself talking to my long-dead parents because I know how such things would have astonished two people who lived through the Great Depression, World War II, and a can-do post-war era in which the staggering wealth and power of this country were indisputable. What if I could tell them how the crucial infrastructure of such a still-wealthy nation — bridges, pipelines, roads, and the like — is now grossly underfunded, in an increasing state of 失修, and beginning to crumble? That would definitely shock them.

And what would they think upon learning that, with the Soviet Union a quarter-century in the trash bin of history, the U.S., alone in triumph, has been incapable of applying its overwhelming military and economic power effectively? I’m sure they would be dumbstruck to discover that, since the moment the Soviet Union imploded, the U.S. has been at war continuously with another country (three conflicts and endless strife); that I was talking about, of all places, Iraq; and that the mission there was never faintly accomplished. How improbable is that? And what would they think if I mentioned that the other great conflicts of the post-Cold-War era were with Afghanistan (two wars with a decade off in-between) and the relatively small groups of non-state actors we now call terrorists? And how would they react on discovering that the results were: failure in Iraq, failure in Afghanistan, and the proliferation of terror groups across much of the Greater Middle East (including the establishment of an actual terror caliphate) and increasing parts of Africa?

They would, I think, conclude that the U.S. was over the hill and set on the sort of decline that, sooner or later, has been the fate of every great power. And what if I told them that, in this new century, not a single action of the military that U.S. presidents now 呼叫 “the finest fighting force the world has ever known” has, in the end, been anything but a dismal 失败? Or that presidents, presidential candidates, and politicians in Washington are required to insist on something no one would have had to say in their day: that the United States is both an “特殊“ 和 ”必不可少的” nation? Or that they would also have to endlessly 感谢 our troops (as would the citizenry) for… well… never success, but just being there and getting maimed, physically or mentally, or dying while we went about our lives? Or that those soldiers must always be referred to as “heroes.”

In their day, when the obligation to serve in a citizens’ army was a given, none of this would have made much sense, while the endless defensive insistence on American greatness would have stood out like a sore thumb. Today, its repetitive presence marks the moment of doubt. Are we really so “exceptional”? Is this country truly “indispensible” to the rest of the planet and if so, in what way exactly? Are those troops genuinely our heroes and if so, just what was it they did that we’re so darn proud of?

Return my amazed parents to their graves, put all of this together, and you have the beginnings of a description of a uniquely great power in decline. It’s a classic vision, but one with a problem.

A God-Like Power to Destroy

Who today recalls the ads from my 1950s childhood for, if I remember correctly, drawing lessons, which always had a tagline that went something like: What’s wrong with this picture? (You were supposed to notice the five-legged cows floating through the clouds.) So what’s wrong with this picture of the obvious signs of decline: the greatest power in history, with hundreds of garrisons scattered across the planet, can’t seem to apply its power effectively no matter where it sends its military or bring countries like Iran or a weakened post-Soviet Russia to heel by a full range of threats, sanctions, and the like, or suppress a modestly armed terror-movement-cum-state in the Middle East?

For one thing, look around and tell me that the United States doesn’t still seem like a unipolar power. I mean, where exactly are its rivals? Since the fifteenth or sixteenth centuries, when the first wooden ships mounted with cannons broke out of their European backwater and began to gobble up the globe, there have always been rival great powers — three, four, five, or more. And what of today? The other three candidates of the moment would assumedly be the European Union (EU), Russia, and China.

Economically, the EU is indeed a powerhouse, but in any other way it’s a second-rate conglomeration of states that still slavishly follow the U.S. and an entity threatening to 分开 at the seams. Russia looms 越来越大 in Washington these days, but remains a rickety power in search of greatness in its former imperial borderlands. It’s a country almost as dependent on its energy industry as Saudi Arabia and nothing like a potential future superpower. As for China, it’s obviously the rising power of the moment and now officially has the 第一 economy on Planet Earth. Still, it remains in many ways a poor country whose leaders fear any kind of future economic implosion (which could happen). Like the Russians, like any aspiring great power, it wants to make its weight in its neighborhood — at the moment the East and South China Seas. And like 弗拉基米尔普京的俄罗斯, the Chinese leadership is indeed 升级 its military. But the urge in both cases is to emerge as a regional power to contend with, not a superpower or a genuine rival of the U.S.

Whatever may be happening to American power, there really are no potential rivals to shoulder the blame. Yet, uniquely unrivaled, the U.S. has proven curiously incapable of translating its unipolar power and a military that, on paper, 王牌 every other one on the planet into its desires. This was not the normal experience of past reigning great powers. Or put another way, whether or not the U.S. is in decline, the rise-and-fall narrative seems, half-a-millennium later, to have reached some kind of largely uncommented upon and unexamined dead end.

In looking for an explanation, consider a related narrative involving military power. Why, in this new century, does the U.S. seem so incapable of achieving victory or transforming crucial regions into places that can at least be controlled? Military power is by definition destructive, but in the past such force often cleared the ground for the building of local, regional, or even global structures, however grim or oppressive they might have been. If force always was meant to break things, it sometimes achieved other ends as well. Now, it seems as if breaking is all it can do, or how to explain the fact that, in this century, the planet’s sole superpower has specialized — see Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, and elsewhere — in fracturing, not building nations.

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Empires may have risen and fallen in those 500 years, but weaponry only rose. Over those centuries in which so many rivals engaged each other, carved out their imperial domains, fought their wars, and sooner or later fell, the destructive power of the weaponry they were wielding only ratcheted up exponentially: from the crossbow to the musket, the cannon, the Colt revolver, the repeating rifle, the Gatling gun, the machine gun, the dreadnaught, modern artillery, the tank, poison gas, the zeppelin, the plane, the bomb, the aircraft carrier, the missile, and at the end of the line, the “victory weapon” of World War II, the nuclear bomb that would turn the rulers of the greatest powers, and later even lesser powers, into the equivalent of gods.

For the first time, representatives of humanity had in their hands the power to destroy anything on the planet in a fashion once imagined possible only by some deity or set of deities. It was now possible to create our own end times. And yet here was the odd thing: the weaponry that brought the power of the gods down to Earth somehow offered no practical power at all to national leaders. In the post-Hiroshima-Nagasaki world, those nuclear weapons would prove unusable. Once they were loosed on the planet, there would be no more rises, no more falls. (Today, we know that even a limited nuclear exchange among lesser powers could, thanks to the nuclear-winter effect, devastate the planet.)

Weapons Development in an Era of Limited War

In a sense, World War II could be considered the ultimate moment for both the narratives of empire and the weapon. It would be the last “great” war in which major powers could bring all the weaponry available to them to bear in search of ultimate victory and the ultimate shaping of the globe. It resulted in unprecedented destruction across vast swathes of the planet, the killing of tens of millions, the turning of great cities into rubble and of countless people into refugees, the creation of an industrial structure for genocide, and finally the building of those weapons of ultimate destruction and of the first missiles that would someday be their crucial delivery systems. And out of that war came the final rivals of the modern age — and then there were two — the “superpowers.”

That very word, superpower, had much of the end of the story embedded in it. Think of it as a marker for a new age, for the fact that the world of the “great powers” had been left for something almost inexpressible. Everyone sensed it. We were now in the realm of “great” squared or force raised in some exponential fashion, of “super” (as in, say, “superhuman”) power. What made those powers truly super was obvious enough: the nuclear arsenals of the United States and the Soviet Union — their potential ability, that is, to destroy in a fashion that had no precedent and from which there might be no coming back. It wasn’t a happenstance that the scientists creating the H-bomb sometimes 提到的 it in awestruck terms as a “super bomb,” or simply “the super.”

The unimaginable had happened. It turned out that there was such a thing as too much power. What in World War II came to be called “total war,” the full application of the power of a great state to the destruction of others, was no longer conceivable. The Cold War gained its name for a reason. A hot war between the U.S. and the USSR could not be fought, nor could another global war, a reality driven home by the 古巴导弹危机. Their power could only be expressed “in the shadows” or in localized conflicts on the “peripheries.” Power now found itself unexpectedly bound hand and foot.

This would soon be reflected in the terminology of American warfare. In the wake of the frustrating stalemate that was Korea (1950-1953), a war in which the U.S. found itself unable to use its greatest weapon, Washington took a new language into Vietnam. The conflict there was to be a “有限战争.” And that meant one thing: nuclear power would be taken off the table.

For the first time, it seemed, the world was facing some kind of power glut. It’s at least reasonable to assume that, in the years after the Cold War standoff ended, that reality somehow seeped from the nuclear arena into the rest of warfare. In the process, great power war would be limited in new ways, while somehow being reduced only to its destructive aspect and nothing more. It suddenly seemed to hold no other possibilities within it — or so the evidence of the sole superpower in these years suggests.

War and conflict are hardly at an end in the twenty-first century, but something has removed war’s normal efficacy. Weapons development has hardly ceased either, but the newest highest-tech weapons of our age are proving strangely ineffective as well. In this context, the urge in our time to produce “precision weaponry” — no longer the carpet-bombing of the B-52, but the “surgical” strike capacity of a joint direct attack munition, or JDAM — should be thought of as the arrival of “limited war” in the world of weapons development.

无人机, one of those precision weapons, is a striking example. Despite its 喜欢 producing “collateral damage,” it is not a World War II-style weapon of indiscriminate slaughter. It has, in fact, been used relatively effectively to play whack-a-mole with the leadership of terrorist groups, 杀死 one leader or lieutenant after another. And yet all of the movements it has been directed against have only 激增, gaining strength (and brutality) in these same years. It has, in other words, proven an effective weapon of bloodlust and revenge, but not of policy. If war is, in fact, politics by other means (as Carl von Clausewitz claimed), revenge is not. No one should then be surprised that the drone has produced not an effective war on terror, but a war that seems to promote terror.

One other factor should be added in here: that global power glut has grown exponentially in another fashion as well. In these years, the destructive power of the gods has descended on humanity a second time as well — via the seemingly most peaceable of activities, the burning of fossil fuels. Climate change now 承诺 a slow-motion version of nuclear Armageddon, increasing both the pressure on and the fragmentation of societies, while introducing a new form of destruction to our lives.

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Can I make sense of all this? Hardly. I’m just doing my best to report on the obvious: that military power no longer seems to act as it once did on Planet Earth. Under distinctly apocalyptic pressures, something seems to be breaking down, something seems to be fragmenting, and with that the familiar stories, familiar frameworks, for thinking about how our world works are losing their efficacy.

Decline may be in the American future, but on a planet pushed to extremes, don’t count on it taking place within the usual tale of the rise and fall of great powers or even superpowers. Something else is happening on Planet Earth. Be prepared.

Tom Engelhardt是该联合创始人 美国帝国计划 和作者 美国的恐惧 以及冷战史, 胜利文化的终结。 他是国家研究所的研究员, TomDispatch.com。 他的最新着作是 影子政府:监视,秘密战争和单一超级大国的全球安全状态.

(从重新发布 TomDispatch 经作者或代表的许可)
 
• 类别: 对外政策 •标签: 美国军事 
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  1. wilzard 说:

    We did more than destroy in the past because we stayed there after the destruction.

    21st century and any new colonialism has stopped. Maybe colonialism isn’t the right word.

    We no longer seem to have a stake in fixing anything after we destroy. Once we’ve finished looting we go on our merry way and start the process somewhere else.

    • 回复: @Bill Jones
  2. Andrei Martyanov [AKA“ SmoothieX12”] 说: • 您的网站

    I, honestly, didn’t get the point of this piece. For me it is kind of all over the place. The whole issue today, as it was already 20 years ago is a transition from nuclearism back to the conventional warfare paradigm. It was pushed by the US, based, at that time, on perceived conventional superiority. But US is not the only nation which can built and deploy high-precision stand-off weapons. After 15+ years of the wars, the jury is finally in and it is not pretty. The capability in technological terms was matched and even surpassed–so, at this stage, it is a strategic and operational limbo. How long it will last? Who knows.

  3. Bill Jones 说:
    @wilzard

    “we” and you obviously self-identify with the State, did massive damage by “staying”- an action whose prime purpose was the ongoing looting of the occupied territories.

  4. Giuseppe 说:

    Under distinctly apocalyptic pressures, something seems to be breaking down, something seems to be fragmenting, and with that the familiar stories, familiar frameworks, for thinking about how our world works are losing their efficacy.

    I think that what you are sensing is the destruction of the Empire looked at from within; you sensed it well enough with the railroads. But what are you talking about, bringing Russia to heel? Russia was ready and willing in every way to be a US partner. But you and the rest of the whole world know the name of Victoria Nuland.

    The tragedy of Russia is the the Empire only wants vassals, and Russia wasn’t willing to play. For this, the media and the pundits beat the drums of war. The America of your parents and mine is gone, and what has taken its place is the train wreck we are watching in slow motion.

  5. Tom Welsh 说:

    Success breeds failure – a fact that engineers are intimately aware of. Or, in the words of Sevareid’s Law, “The chief cause of problems is solutions”.

    How is this relevant? Simple: for the past 70 years the USA has wielded greater political, military, industrial and financial power, and has enjoyed greater wealth, than any other nation in history. That gave Americans unprecedented freedom to do whatever they saw fit. Being ordinary human beings, however, what they saw fit to do was solve problems in short-sighted ways that heaped up far greater problems in future. Imagine kicking a can down the road, but every time you do it swells in size and mass until it’s the size of an Abrams tank.

  6. bob sykes 说:

    High speed trains are one of the many delusions of the Ruling Class. Go over to antiplanner for a detailed critique. They are uneconomic in the extreme and demand heavy subsidies generally in excess of 80% of operating costs. They also carry relatively few passengers. Even in France and Japan, most people travel by car.

    America’s train system is vastly superior to that of Europe’s and Japan. It moves huge amounts of freight more quickly and more cheaply than the freight systems of any other country.

    Passenger trains are 19th Century. Passenger trains and commuter rail make no sense anywhere except a very few very high density cities. Manhattan might be the only one in the US.

    Buses are superior to passenger trains in virtually every community and by almost every criterion: construction cost, operating cost (about 2% of rail), flexibility, passengers actually carried, … Buses are even competitive with (or superior to) Amtrak in the Boswash corridor.

    Communities that push passenger trains always end up subsidizing the train by cutting bus service, and they end up with less rapid transit capacity (fewer passengers per day) than they had before.

    The fact that the US does not have a national is a plus for us.

    • 回复: @Wizard of Oz
    , @Biff
    , @Horzabky
  7. Corvinus 说:

    “For this, the media and the pundits beat the drums of war. ”

    谁之间? 美国和俄罗斯? 那前面的噪音实际上是微弱的。

    “The America of your parents and mine is gone…”

    Praytell, what was this America you claim is now “gone”?

    • 回复: @Cameron
    , @neutral
  8. @bob sykes

    You seem to leave out at least one potentially important positive from high speed or just convenient rail and that is the value added as measured by property price movements. Can you factor those in?

    Although I am sceptical about rail enthusiasts claims. I am appalled at the traffic congestion in cities that I used to drive around quickly enough, and even find parking space. Thank G for London and southern England’s underground and rail services. Likewise give me the train services in the BosWash corridor any day to having to use any other form of transport.

  9. Cameron 说:
    @Corvinus

    “请告诉我,你声称现在“消失”的美国是什么?”

    乔治奥威尔通过告诉我们即将发生的事情详细回答了这个问题。 没有人听。

  10. Biff 说:
    @bob sykes

    “They are uneconomic in the extreme and demand heavy subsidies generally in excess of 80% of operating costs. They also carry relatively few passengers.”

    Sounds like an assumption to me.

  11. Biff 说:

    Was Iraq a failure? What if success meant to atomize it – break it up so it was a regional power no more, and get the American companies back in to the oil fields. If that was the plan, then I see great success. Incidentally that is exactly what Israel, and the neocons have in mind for Iran, not to mention Libya and Syria.

    • 回复: @Kiza
    , @The Anti-Gnostic
  12. Kiza 说:
    @Biff

    One correction, Iraq scenario is what the Israel and its US neocons see as a model for Russia, not only for Iran, Libya and Syria. Russia stood in the way of applying the model to Syria, so Russia will get the same.

    • 回复: @SolontoCroesus
  13. Marian 说:

    Maybe things don’t make sense due to multinational corporations slowly and methodically destroying the nation-state paradigm? The US government seems to become the enforcer serf and thug rather than being a functioning government.

  14. @Kiza

    Tom Engelhart wrote:

    “. . .people who lived through the Great Depression, World War II, and a can-do post-war era in which the staggering wealth and power of this country were indisputable . . .
    the U.S., alone in triumph, has been incapable of applying its overwhelming military and economic power effectively?trash bin of history, the U.S., alone in triumph, has been incapable of applying its overwhelming military and economic power effectively?”

    and Biff and Kiza wrote:

    Was Iraq a failure? What if success meant to atomize it – break it up so it was a regional power no more, and get the American companies back in to the oil fields. If that was the plan, then I see great success. Incidentally that is exactly what Israel, and the neocons have in mind for Iran, not to mention Libya and Syria.

    Iraq scenario is what the Israel and its US neocons see as a model for Russia, not only for Iran, Libya and Syria. Russia stood in the way of applying the model to Syria, so Russia will get the same.

    Tom’s error, the reason this essay does not come together, as SmoothieX12 said @ #2, is Tom’s failure to take aboard that all that American “indisputable …staggering wealth and power” were acquired in precisely the same way, and by the same parties, as engineered the atomization of Iraq and clamor for the same process to be applied to Iran, etc., as Biff and Kiza described.

    It is essential, the greatest moral imperative of our age let alone this election cycle, that every patriotic American “deny” the holocaust — analyze it critically; tell the full and complete truth of it; pound it into the bloodstream and mental furnishings of Americans with the same relentless energy as the holocaust fables have been reinforced.

    When the PTB — ADL, AIPAC, the Jewish lobby and their US CMIC and Chamber of Commerce bedfellows — go apeshit over the prospect that 12-year olds (*1) possess and may apply the critical thinking skills to deconstruct the ludicrous narrative behind which “FDR, Churchill, the Jews” (**2) and Stalin have sheltered the crimes against humanity against German and Japanese civilians that Allies committed to “win” the war that produced the USA’s “staggering wealth and power,” it seems to me the most obvious thing in the world that there is some huge guilty secret buried under the floorboards, a telltale heart in explosive hypertension.

    US involvement in WWI; then every war starting with World War II to Persian Gulf I, the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Iran next on the list are a continuum; they are all the same war. Zionists have never fielded an army in any of these wars, but they have emerged victors from all of them.

    (*1) Rialto School Assignment on Holocaust ranks as one of the dumbest lessons ever – LA Times http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-rialto-school-holocaust-essay-20140717-story.html

    (**2) Charles Lindbergh, Speech Delivered in Des Moines, Iowa, on September 11, 1941, this speech was met with outrage in many quarters http://www.charleslindbergh.com/americanfirst/speech.asp

    • 回复: @Sam Shama
  15. @Biff

    Iraq was an artificial entity kept intact by a brutal dictatorship. We fast-forwarded the tape. Not that we had any business doing that, but the notion that Iraq was a viable regional power over the long term is not grounded in reality.

    What American companies are back in the oil fields at this point? Serious question. I imagine they’d only be operating in Kurdistan and the Shia Arab republic of West-Iran, not in the Wahabbist Dar-Al-Islam.

  16. neutral 说:
    @Corvinus

    Look at the founding fathers and most old pictures of American society, then look at the demographic trajectories and modern advertisment or tv.

  17. Horzabky 说:
    @bob sykes

    bob sykes, I strongly disagree with your statement.

    I live in France. Two months ago I went to Nîmes, a French city 712km (about 500 miles) away from the Parisian suburb where I live. It took me three hours by TGV (火车Grand Vitesse). If I had taken a plane, it would have probably taken as much time, from my apartment to the Nîmes address where I was expected, since airports are not located in the heart of cities, unlike railway stations. High speed trains are more convenient than airplanes in the 500 miles range. Prices are comparable.

    Besides, high speed trains are powered by electricity. You can make electricity with lots of things: nuclear plants, natural gas plants, power dams… Whereas, in order to power airplanes, you need kerosene. To make kerosene you need petroleum, a fossil fuel. Which means that depletion is a problem (about half of the petroleum of the Earth has been burnt in the last 150 years). Airplanes are certainly not the means of conveyance of the future.

    Buses are OK for transportation within an urban area, much less so for long distances. Buses and trains are not competitors, they complete each other. You take a train to go from one city to another, and then a bus to go from the railway station to your home.

    Also, I’m surprised by some of your data. Can you give us links to your sources?

  18. Sam Shama 说:
    @SolontoCroesus

    This is a typical Iranian agent post

    阅读 Sohrab Ahmari:

    The 36-Year Project to Whitewash Iran

    Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini bangs his fists on the table. “Gentlemen, gentlemen!” he says. “If we do nothing else this week, we must conceive at least one terrorist act that will show all the world that the United States, the Great Satan, is but a paper tiger, a weak nation of weak people, a people ripe for destruction!” He is chairing a gathering of the infamous, among them Yasir Arafat, Muammar Gaddafi, and Mikhail Gorbachev. In the background, the man serving tea to the assemblage suddenly doffs his garb to reveal he is Frank Drebin of Police Squad. Drebin then delivers a well-deserved whupping to the whole lot of international thugs, Khomeini very much included.

    The opening of The Naked Gun, the wild comedy film from 1988, is a peerless artifact of the Reagan decade—a clarifying example of America’s profound hostility toward the Iranian regime and its leader. It hit screens only seven years after the advent of Ronald Reagan’s presidency led the regime to release the 52 American hostages it had held for 444 days beginning on November 4, 1979. In the years following, Khomeinists would continue to burn the American flag on the streets of Tehran in hateful rituals broadcast worldwide. They would incept the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, responsible for the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing, the single deadliest attack on U.S. Marines since World War II. The American people knew all this, which is why they delighted in even a farcical portrayal of Khomeini getting his just desserts.

    Flash-forward 26 years. The Iranian regime is still holding American hostages. These include the Washington Post’s Tehran correspondent, Jason Rezaian, and Amir Hekmati, an Iranian-American U.S. Marine sentenced to death in 2012 on bogus spying charges and still languishing in the mullahs’ hellish prisons . American flags are burned, and cries of “Death to America!” still ring out at Friday prayers across Iran. The Tehran regime continues to arm and fund Hezbollah, and Iranian forces and proxies now encircle the Arab lands. And the mullahs have in the intervening years raced to develop nuclear weapons. Their centrifuges still churn in defiance of five United Nations Security Council resolutions.

    Now cut to the Oval Office. It’s Christmas 2014, and Barack Obama is sitting down for one of his periodic interviews with the liberal press. “You need to understand what their legitimate needs and concerns are,” the president tells National Public Radio, speaking of the Iranian regime. Washington should distinguish those legitimate needs from Tehran’s “adventurism,” support for Hezbollah, and threats against Israel. If the Iranians could separate the realist wheat from the Khomeinist chaff, the president says, the Islamic Republic “could be a very successful regional power.”

    This was an astonishing moment: Who could have imagined, even two or three years earlier, the president of United States in effect wishing the mullahs well in their quest for regional hegemony? And yet here we were. The fact that the comment didn’t make more than a few small ripples indicates just how far the public’s perception of the relationship between Iran and the United States has shifted.

    The policy results are already apparent. As I write, the Obama administration is close to concluding a nuclear accord that is almost certain to transform Tehran into a nuclear-threshold state. Most Arab officials today believe that the U.S. is actively tilting the balance of power in favor of the Iranian regime at the expense of America’s traditional allies. Washington is in a de facto alliance with Tehran in the Levant and Mesopotamia, and if a nuclear deal is concluded, the United States will inject billions of dollars into Iran’s cash-starved fisc, money that the mullahs will use to bolster their proxies and tighten their grip on the Sunni sphere.

    The metamorphosis of Iran, in elite American opinion, from terrorist state into U.S. partner is a long-brewing triumph for a certain set of ideas about the Islamic Republic and its relation to the nation it has called the “Great Satan” since its birth. Over time, the argument has been advanced by journalists, academics, Washington lobbies, and government officials. Its basic purpose has always been to sell the Iranian regime as moderate, amenable to reason, even decent and democratic, relative to its neighbors. The various arms of this campaign didn’t always work in concert. It wasn’t always a conscious effort. Frequently, it was advanced by well-intentioned but credulous journalists. The rebranding campaign was not a dark conspiracy; it was, for the most part, carried out openly. Nor, finally, did it always progress smoothly, but rather in fits and starts, with numerous setbacks along the way.

    Nevertheless, Iran’s American apologists have now scored an unprecedented coup: making the U.S. friendly toward a regime whose motto is “Death to America.”

    Iranian agents are a well-funded group spreading misinformation no less than the accused zionists.

    You are clearly an Iranian agent.

  19. Sam Shama 说:

    http://freebeacon.com/national-security/report-iran-boosts-terror-activities-across-globe

    6-22-15 Iran boosts terror activities around the globe per US State Dept. Obama’s concessions to Iran continue undeterred.

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB11256044688352624473104581053840377876286

    6-22-15 Under Obama/Kerry BFF, the “moderate” Hassan Rouhani, Iran ratchets up repression of its own people.

  20. @Sam Shama

    Recipe from “In a Persian Kitchen,” by Maideh Mazda, p. 148:

    “Sekanjabin is a syrupy substance which is used by the Persians in Summer. . . . It is used as a base for a cool drink — 3 to 4 tablespoons of Sekanjabin with a couple of ice cubes and plain water or soda makes a very delicious and refreshing drink.

    Sekanjabin can also be used as a dessert. Dip romaine lettuce in a bowl of Sekanjabin and eat it; you will find a very delightful and light dessert.

    You may also try the combination of diced cucumbers, Sekanjabin, and corn flakes.

    2杯水
    6杯糖
    1 1/2 cups vinegar
    couple stalks mint

    Put the water in a pan, add sugar, and let it boil on a medium fire until the sugar is dissolved. Add vinegar and boil for 15 or 20 minutes more. Remove from fire, add mint, and let it cool. It should be the consistency of syrup.

    Nush-e jan!”

  21. @Sam Shama

    The opening of The Naked Gun, the wild comedy film from 1988, is a peerless artifact of the Reagan decade—a clarifying example of America’s profound hostility toward the Iranian regime and its leader.

    错误。

    It’s fiction. Created by Hollywood.

    Jews created Hollywood to help them imagine what 自己的帝国 看起来像。

    Jewish studio owners, most of the from Eastern Europe, got their big break pumping out anti-German propaganda to incite Americans to hate Germans.

    Hollywood and its empire owners may bear “profound hostility” toward Iran, but Americans decidedly do not.
    Not that Hollywood hasn’t tried to engender that negative sentiment; it’s what Hollywood does best.

    It’s hard to know if Hollywood Jews learned how to engender hate from that experience of successfully ginning up a war that cost millions of lives, or if, as Heinrich Graetz argues, from

    the intensive study of the Talmud, which, according Graetz, led to the peculiar corruption of Polish Jews.

    The reliance on the Talmud as the basis of Jewish legal autonomy created a culture of “hair-splitting judgment” among the rabbis, according Graetz, as well as “a love of twisting, distorting, ingenious quibbling, and a foregone antipathy to what did not lie within their field of vision,” which in turn trickled down to find expression in the behavior of vulgar, who “found pleasure and a sort of triumphant delight in deception and cheating.”

    Since by the end of the 18th century, the overwhelming majority of Jews lived in Poland, Jews in general earned, as a result, the reputation of being “a nation of deceivers,” to give Immanuel Kant’s formulation. “It does indeed seems strange,” Kant, the quintessential Enlightenment philosopher, continued, “to conceive of a nation of deceivers, but it is also very strange to conceive of a nation of merchants, the majority of whom, bound by an ancient superstition accepted by the state they live in, do not seek any civil dignity, but prefer to make good this disadvantage with the benefits of trickery at the expense of the people who shelter them and at the expense of each other. In a nation of merchants, unproductive members of society . .. . it cannot be otherwise”( Kant, Werke Bd. vii, p. 205-6).

    We are told that Israel, the state of the Jewish people, is run “by way of deception.”

    In contrast, Iranian children are raised on the mantra of Zoroaster, the core of Iranian culture:

    硬骑
    直射
    说实话

    As Karen Armstrong wrote in “The Great Transformation,”

    “The Aryans took the spoken word very seriously. . . .Listening brought them close to the sacred. . . .the very sound of a chant was holy; even a single syllable could encapsulate the divine. Similarly, a vow, once uttered, was eternally binding, and a lie was absolutely evil because it perverted the holy power inherent in the spoken word. The Aryans would never lose this passion for absolute truthfulness.” ”

    As has been explained before, and as even the image on the Wiki page demonstrates, to “Marg bar Amrika” means “Down with America.” Not a pretty sentiment, but if telling a lie is “absolutely evil because it perverted the holy power inherent in the spoken word,” and if it is essential to signal one’s resistance to the harms that the USA (and Israel) are heaping on Iran, then it’s hard to think of a less offensive way to go about it.

    Of course the Jewish-dominated media has “twisted, distorted, and “found pleasure and a sort of triumphant delight in deception and cheating” about Iran, as the passage Bird quoted reveals in all its gory glory. Consider the source; We Kant expect anything different.

    • 回复: @Sam Shama
    , @Sam Shama
  22. Sam Shama 说:
    @SolontoCroesus

    @George comment to Geokat62 on another post:

    [Leaving multiple copies of very long comments in different posts clogs up the discussion and is not good behavior. Just use a link if you want.]

  23. @Sam Shama

    When AIPAC and its spinoff, WINEP, comply with US law and register as agents of a foreign government, then and only then will its copious output be granted credibility.

    WINEP functions to further the interests of a foreign entity, Israel. It receives financial support from parties who make no secret of their intent to further the interests of a foreign entity, Israel.

    I’m an American.
    My concerns are those things that advance American interests.

    I don’t give a tinker’s dam about Israel’s interests, other than to the extent that Israel harms US foreign as well as domestic and Constitutional wellbeing.

    Consistent with my “America First” pov, I rely on the research and analysis of Dr. Dan Joyner at Arms Control Law. com http://armscontrollaw.com/2015/07/05/2014-iaea-safeguards-implementation-report/

    I have long been a reader and supporter of the work of Flynt and Hillary Leverett at Going to Tehran.com http://goingtotehran.com/obamas-failure-to-make-the-strategic-case-for-an-iran-nuclear-deal-the-leveretts-on-cnn-and-cnbc

    I rely on their analysis of US – Iran – Israel – Saudi Arabia (et cie) relations.

    Your long and tedious screed about an inability to adequately inspect Iran’s nuclear facilities etc. moves me not at all. I do not believe the US negotiators are acting in good faith; they are doing so under pressure from zionist Israelis and their stooges in US Congress. The whole setup makes me deeply ashamed of my government.

    Iran has been in compliance with its NPT obligations for years; it has been subjected to more robust inspections than any other nuclear- or non-nuclear weapons state. The inspections have already had harmful effects on Iranians — it is not at all unlikely that the dozen-or-so Iranian nuclear scientists who have been assassinated, most likely by Israelis, were identified through IAEA “inspections.”

    IAEA has demonstrated its failure to maintain the confidentiality that is required of it in its role as enforcer of NPT. 洛杉矶时报报道国际原子能机构正在与美国政府非法共享保障信息

  24. Sam J. 说:

    “…The greatest power in history, the “unipolar power,” can’t build a single mile of high-speed rail? Really?…”

    No one wants to spend the vast sums of money to do this if Negros are going to attack everyone on the trains. Whole cites and even regions have been depopulated by the hyper violence of the Negros.

    “…“the finest fighting force the world has ever known” has, in the end, been anything but a dismal failure?…”

    The reason for this the disconnect between why we say we’re there versus why we are there. If the goal was to smash any resistance we could easily do so but you can’t do so if your stated goal is to “bring Democracy to Iraq or Afghanistan”. The real reason we are in Iraq , as most people here know, is to break up the country to secure Israeli security. We can’t say this publicly so any policy based on lies is bound to fail.

    “…Why, in this new century, does the U.S. seem so incapable of achieving victory or transforming crucial regions into places that can at least be controlled?…”

    Simple. Our foreign policy has been in large measure hijacked by the Jews. Our foreign policy is not really in our interest.

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