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Things to keep in mind
Posted by: McQ on Monday, October 06, 2008

Whoever the next president might be, he will be faced not only with the financial crisis we're now navigating (using the Titanic's navigator), but in his area of authority - foreign policy - he has a volatile Middle East, and a restive Central and South America. Old and new players, with the same basic ideology, are again engaging in actions and activities designed to undermine the foundations of legitimate neighboring government with an eye to establishing sympathetic regimes.
The Venezuelan government is operating a secret paramilitary training camp with the help of Cuban military advisers and leftist Colombian guerrillas.

The camp near San Cristobal offers six-week courses for 400 to 1,000 participants, El Nuevo Herald reported Sunday.

The first phase of training at the camp reportedly is political indoctrination through texts printed in Cuba. The second phase includes training in the use of light and heavy weaponry and explosives.

The government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has not responded to allegations about the training camp, but local officials have acknowledged its existence and the presence of Cubans.
Chavez is acting as one would expect Chavez to act. Cuba has been attempting to export its "revolution" for decades and has finally found a friendly mainland ally in which to spread it's discredited gospel. FARC, which many experts see as a narco-terrorist group, are know "clients" of Venezuela (a captured FARC laptop provided the details).

Venezuela doesn't deny the camps exist but claims that the camps are to train "guerrillas" for internal use in case Chavez is overthrown or the US invades. That just doesn't pass the smell test.

In fact, Venezuela's new relationship with Russia seems to be making Chavez even more aggressive than he has been in the past.

This is not something the US can afford to see grow and flourish to the south of us if peace, stability and prosperity are the aim of our foreign policy in the area. Someone is going to have to confront Venezuela and get Chavez's attention. It is one thing to take your own country down the rat-hole of socialism. It is another to aid the declared enemy of a neighboring democracy to undermine the stability there.

This is something the new POTUS will confront immediately. And, depending on who is elected, you can expect other players out there to test his ability and resolve. That's the way of the world.

Things to keep in mind on November 4th.
 
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Also important to keep in mind: the US days as being a superpower are over. Our military weakness to control political events has been shown, our economic system is in tatters, and countries realize the US is no longer the dominant world actor. The New President will have to throw off past beliefs about the US and its role in the world, and work to be a partner in the new emerging multilateral world order. For some this is painful, and they’ll want to stay in denial. In comments to this blog for a couple of years I’ve been ridiculed for noting our fundamental economic imbalances, and our decreased standing in the world. Now that the reality of our decline and this changed world is setting in, I hope that some of you realize that perhaps those of us who have been sounding the warning and noting that the 20th century approach to politics and economics is failing aren’t the idiots you’ve claimed we are. This is a fundamentally different world than even 20 years ago. America is also a very different country. This is the reality we have to deal with if the next generation is not to inherit either a government controlled semi-authoritarian state, where we’ve sacrificed all to the state in order to keep some semblance of order and stability, or a country in complete collapse, with our life style so fundamentally altered that people will speak nostalgically about when life was easy.
http://scotterb.wordpress.com
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Also important to keep in mind: the US days as being a superpower are over. Our military weakness to control political events has been shown, our economic system is in tatters, and countries realize the US is no longer the dominant world actor.
Only someone without any understanding of American power, its history, the restraints on it that have always existed internally, could possibly be stupid enough to make a statement like that, Boris.

You are expressing your wish for something to be true, nothing that is in fact true.

First, the U.S. military is more dominant now than it was when we began the Korean War. Then the Soviets had a beastly war machine. Nothing like that exists to counter U.S. military power today. How many carrier groups does the EU have, you bloody knucklehead?

Second, the U.S. military is not used "to control political events." It’s used to maintain the status quo (as befits the status quo superpower) and guaranty strategic peace.

Third, the U.S. economic system is not "in tatters." It’s undergoing a financial panic and liquidity crisis that is not unlike the same in the past. Always scary; always daunting. The U.S. economy will get over it.

Fourth, right now the U.S. is the dominant actor because it can be relied on to do what is right. The EU is in a state of military and diplomatic paralysis. Russia is a gangster state. China likes to play games as if world events are nothing but furtive exchanges in back alleys.

And then, at the end of the day, all that the U.S. really does is restrain itself and let most geopolitical events play themselves out, provide humanitarian aid, or send money.

But I’ll tell you one thing that is a threat to the U.S., and I mean this quite seriously: It’s having stupid squirrel men like you teaching young people.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://newpaltzjournal.com
You know, one daisy-cutter or MOAB could likely take care of any possible problems from that little camp... :)
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
There is a high likelihood that Israel bombs Iran during the next president’s administration.
 
Written By: Is
URL: http://
You know, one daisy-cutter or MOAB could likely take care of any possible problems from that little camp... :)
Why waste that kind of effort. I would suggest, in these austere times, a Lubyanka Surprise - you know, a 9 millimeter to the back of the head. Just as effective, quieter, much more cost effective and just think of the environmental implications you will be avoiding.

 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
the idiots you’ve claimed we are
You’re definitely an idiot. That claim hasn’t changed.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
I would suggest, in these austere times, a Lubyanka Surprise - you know, a 9 millimeter to the back of the head. Just as effective, quieter, much more cost effective and just think of the environmental implications you will be avoiding.
Because that would require someone get close enough, and I suspect that’s hard to do...

But a MOAB can be delivered rather easily by a plane no where near being within retaliation range...

Also, I like pretty explosions. It’s a guy thing. :)
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
you know, for once Erb has a hint of a kernel of a grain of truth. No, we are not "weak", but our economy is.

I hope the next president is prudent enough to take a somewhat lower profile in the world. For example, Why is it that the EU, with more wealth and population than the USA is allowed to do basically nothing for either it’s own defense or for peacekeeping within the Europe/Africa/near east region?

We need to seriously rethink our commitments and just what it is that is necessary for OUR strategic interests, and what can go by the wayside.
 
Written By: kyleN
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
I’ve been ridiculed for noting our fundamental economic imbalances, and our decreased standing in the world. Now that the reality of our decline and this changed world is setting in, I hope that some of you realize that perhaps those of us who have been sounding the warning and noting that the 20th century approach to politics and economics is failing aren’t the idiots you’ve claimed we are.
I have been talking about our economic imbalances for some time now as well, and while I have had some spirited debates, I have generally not been ridiculed. It might have something to do with your tone and the taking a valid point and tossing it over a cliff.

We are in a relative sense declining, which was inevitable if the rest of the world wasn’t going to continue living in mud huts. It says nothing negative about the US, which you cannot help yourself from doing.

Also, our economic standing may be in relative decline, but we are still way ahead of the pack. China and the rest of the developing world will most likely never pass us, certainly not in our lifetimes.

As for these events lowering us in the worlds eyes, they should, but they should lower themselves even more. As is beginning to become clear, the rest of the world is in even worse shape, especially Europe. Despite noises claiming otherwise from here and abroad the US regulates its financial markets more heavily, allows less leverage, and had a smaller housing boom than much of Europe.

The rest of the world is a threat, a threat to drag our economy down with them.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com

 
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