That last paragraph is so important, I think, and relates to some of the themes in God and Gold about the lens through which we view history.
I first came across the idea that generals, and all of us really, are always fighting the last war in Barbara Tuchman’s Guns of August. I’m not sure how much weight that book commands among today’s historians of the first world war, but it seems like such an important psychological insight. It almost dates from Hume, who I’ve noticed must have had some inspiration from Hobbes. We see the world empirically, which is how we collect evidence, and make predictions. But that predisposition also blinds us to change that isn’t obvious. Heidegger also made the point, I think, that we “walk backwards into the future.”
Vis a vis Israel, Walter has suggested on the blog that, if you want to identify a lever with which to influence U.S. policy, then it’s important not to fixate on traditional scapegoats.
And I can’t help but think, when reading a lot of criticism leveled at Israel and, invariably, neocons, that those writers who perceive a usurpation of establishment power by upstart, Jewish arrivistes aren’t really looking at the real world. They are just lamenting the passing of what in their minds was a halcyon era of government by the privileged class. Whether or not those days were really so rosy is almost beside the point; the fact is, the world has changed and moved on, irrevocably.
Walter really highlights how much things are changing, in areas of the world where we tend to have an idee fixe of how things actually work. I hope this blog audience grows.
Must you really spill the beans about the Zionist Hindu Crusader alliance??? As you certainly know, also on an individual level, many Israelis are absolutely crazy about India — admittedly, I’m one of them. Some 10 years back, I had the good fortune to spend a few months there (not as a tourist); in the same year, I spend a few weeks in China. That was a most fascinating contrast; ever since, I have believed that China will achieve whatever can be achieved with hard work — but in creativity, India will have a vast advantage.
Thank you for highlighting what those of us who follow both Israel and India see. If only the current American president could see Israel the way India does. Also, Israel’s relationships with both China and Russia are probably stronger than the U.S. with either.
Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) the Himalayas would appear to be an insuperable obstacle preventing India from playing the role of an effective counterweight against China in the balance-of-power on the Eurasian continent (at least not in the way France, Germany, Spain, Russia, etc. were in Europe for England.) Maybe I am mistaken.
Add Confucian Asia to the ‘alliance,’ because of radicals’ attacks on Koreans and China, and the Middle East is basically encircled: http://asiansecurityblog.wordpress.com/2009/04/18/al-qaeda-vs-sk-seriously-why-the-enemies-list-isnt-long-enough-yet/.
AQAM’s (Al Qaeda & Associated Movement) embrace of Huntington’s clash of civilizations was supposed to fire Muslim revolutionaries but has led instead to encirclement of Gulf Islam. Israel and India on the flanks have lined up against the radicals between them, with the US fighting in the middle and Europe behind them. The only ‘civilizations’ left out are the Confucian states of East Asia and the Catholic states of Latin America, and that may be changing in Asia.
The great irony of AQAM’s endorsement of Huntington is that it provoked a self-defeating anti-Islamist coaliton, just as Huntington would have predicted and your post makes clear. It’s a suicide course…
On a similar theme–Chinese investment in Africa–this is a template-breaking piece by Howard W. French in The Atlantic:
Beyond geo-political interests, it’s worth pointing out cultural-religious reasons for Israeli-Indian ties as well. Hinduism and Judaism are both non-proselytizing, rooted in a unity between nationality and spirituality and, except for extreme fringes, have come to terms with the modern world.
Nice pick-up on Walter’s piece over at Tablet Magazine:
“nothing would improve India’s security at home or enhance its ability to play a major regional role as much as reconciliation with Pakistan (And nothing could be worse for India than the continued descent of Pakistan into the horrors of terrorism and civil strife)”
Agreed. Problem is, Pakistan as a state is DEFINED in opposition to the very existence of India. It was formed out of the idea that India, as a secular, multi-ethnic, multi-religious, pluralistic democracy could not and should not exist.
“We underestimate Israel’s ability to conduct a foreign policy independent of US support and we underestimate Israel’s long term prospects for success in its region.”
How can we underestimate something that doesn’t exist? – an Israeli foreign policy independent of US support (oh yes, qualify that as in the last 40 years, it’s so important to recognize that).
How do you define Israel’s success in its region? If it is simply the low bar goal of remaining a Jewish democratic state, then it’s prospects for success look awfully bleak right now. An appropriate goal of peace with its neighbors looks impossible without a radical breakthrough.
“Iran (a natural long-term ally for both India and Israel once it moves beyond the delusional and dead-end geopolitical agenda of its current government)”
Excuse me, but that means AIPAC is delusional and has a dead-end geopolitical agenda with regard to Iran. How can you claim such an organization is good for all Jews?
Pardon me, but that also means a super-majority of the US Congress is delusional and has a dead-end geopolitical agenda with regard to Iran. I haven’t heard any criticism of them.
Oops. I think you were referring to Iran, not Israel, as delusional and dead-end. Well, fine. You’re not a hypocrite. However, those terms still apply to Israel, AIPAC and the US Congress in my book.
But that brings up the point of how delusional Iran’s current government really is. With all the war-mongering of current US and Israeli politicians, US-occupied countries on its eastern and western borders, and no way to defend itself from attack without a threat of nuclear weapons, just how delusional is it for Iran to try to acquire them? I’m not saying it’s right, but it seems very rational to me. It may also be a dead-end, but we drove them into the back alley, so we shouldn’t be surprised when it turns out to be a dead-end.
“In that kind of world the arguments and the ideas of religious radicals won’t make much sense to most people.”
You’re overstating the appeal of religious radicals in the Muslim world. Their arguments don’t make much sense to most Muslims right now. They’ve been reviled everywhere they attempted to wield power. However, we have forced most Muslims into the middle between a small number of reactionary salafists and the US led crusades in Muslims countries. If you’re a moderate Muslim, pick your poison.
Anyone else find it strange that a Norwegian feels the need to assert his opinion here? When your socialist paradise collapses and you realize you’ve never contributed anything to civilization but your natural resources (which–nothing personal–but a neanderthal could probably do) you’ll come crying to Israel, India and America begging for minds that know how to innovate, that understand the necessity of confronting those who stand against our way of life and who actually have something to offer the world.
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Actually, the Norwegians have made extraordinary contributions to civilization. Abel, Sylow and Lie in mathematics, and Ibsen in drama, are of worldwide significance. And for a small country to also have a Grieg in music and a Munch in the visual arts is also impressive.
What’s pathetic is when the heirs of great civilizations, do nothing to continue the legacy of their forbears, and instead choose simply to live off of their memories, impotently languishing and lashing out at cultures where there is still a vital, enterprising spirit.
That dynamic is a common one, and one sees it all the time in Europe, especially vis a vis the U.S. That it should now be directed toward India and Israel is not a surprise. But for the sake of “old Europe”, and “old America” for that matter, those who would still see their own countries prosper in the future had best recognize the rising historical forces in the world, including Russia, Brazil and China as well.
Guarding the gate of your exclusive country club will do nothing to secure the future of your prosperity.
I totally agree, India being the largest democratic country in the world and has shown the world that we have control of our nuke power and we will not miss use them. Its about time that all three countries join hands to make the world a better place to live.
I’m a natural-born American citizen, BGold. But thanks for admitting Norge is a socialist paradise. Some facts to back that up from Wikipedia:
“Foreign Policy Magazine ranks Norway last in its Failed States Index for 2009, judging Norway to be the world’s most well-functioning and stable country.”
“Norway was ranked highest of all countries in human development from 2001 to 2007, and then again in 2009. It was also rated the most peaceful country in the world in a 2007 survey by Global Peace Index.”
“Norwegians enjoy the second highest GDP per-capita (after Luxembourg) and third highest GDP (PPP) per-capita in the world. Norway maintained first place in the world in the UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) for six consecutive years (2001–2006), and then reclaimed this position in 2009.”
Don’t hold your breath for its collapse, though.
Nothing to offer civilization? So you’ve never had lutefisk then. But seriously, Munch, Grieg and Ibsen. And if the Normans had their act together and got to England on time, the Battle of Hastings would have before after the Battle of Stamford Bridge, and you’d be speaking Norwegian influenced English right now.
Oh, and if you have time, why don’t you offer something other than ad hominem attacks.
what does the Indian government think should be done about the West Bank? Is there any government in the world outside Israel that supports what the Israeli settlers are trying to do in the West Bank?
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The alliance between India and Israel is natural, but the rosy outlook of the article is naive.
[material deleted: ed]
Specifically the conflict between Islam and the Hindus will intensify, this will naturally align Hindus with Israel.
[material deleted: ed]
Actually, Norwegian Shooter, the “appeal” of muslim terrorist radicals in your own country has now erupted into vile anti-Semitic riots — as I’m sure you know, [unnecessary personal charge deleted — ed]…
For those who don’t know – because the MSM dooesn’t find such pogromish incidents ‘newsworthy’, please read the FREE e-book available on line. It’s called:
BEHIND THE HUMANITARIAN MASK:
THE NORDIC COUNTRIES, ISRAEL, AND THE JEWS
Just type in the title and you’ll have a copy. It’s horrifying, and well worth reading.
Another pick-up of Walter’s essay is over at
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One key shared value of India and Israel is that they are both democracies. Their governments will change and evolve under the power of the voters. Israel will become more multicultural, as the Arab population becomes a larger fraction of the total. India will become more export and trade oriented, as opposed to the autarky of the Nehru years.
I want to second PetraMB’s comment. I think non mainstream philosopher Robert Pirsig who built a metaphysics around the idea of static and dynamic quality in his novel Lila can be used to describe the difference between India and China. He argues that we need both kinds of quality – creativity and also the structure to contain it – otherwise the fruits of creativity just dissipate. China has recapitulated the industrial revolution in an amazing leap forward contained by its one party structure and strong Confucian value system. India is messy but has anticipated the future by becoming an center of computer technology. So in terms of static quality China is far ahead. In terms of dynamic quality India has a real lead. India needs to build roads; the Chinese are shutting down Google. Both cultures have clearly different balances between static and dynamic that will play out differently in the future.
Brilliant and useful post. I would add that, notwithstanding the dillusional nature of the Iranian state, they still enjoy a trade relationship with Iran worth an estimated 13 billion US dollars (at least according to wikipedia which isn’t always reliable) and India’s cultural influence in Iran is ever-growing. Why we (the US) continue to single-mindedly court Russia in the hope that they’ll play ball on Iran’s nuclear program instead of reaching out to the Indians and getting their help is beyond me.
India-Pakistan: Kashmir is sort of necessary to both country’s self-conception: India needs it to reaffirm it’s secular, multi-confessionalism while Pakistan needs it to reinforce it’s somewhat tattered status as a homeland for the Muslims of the subcontinent (for more on why it’s tattered see Bangledesh, 1971…or 72, never can remember the year). Not sure how you square that circle, but I think a comprehensive Indo-Pak peace deal brokered by the US could be the biggest revolution in global affairs in the first half of the twentieth century, if we can get it done.
Hey, Norwegian shooter, it’s nice to see you’ve got such…robust opinions. You might try citing a few actual facts. You could even go wild and mention the sources in which you found said facts if you felt like it.
India had to oppose Israel before because of Kashmir and the looming threat to Hindus in Bangladesh and Pakistan. Sadly they did not get the positive response they expected from the Arab countries. Quite contrary, Congress party started to become anti-Indian and anti-Hindu. This led to establishment of BJP. Formed as a pro-Hindu right wing party, it was the first to start full diplomatic relations with Israel. In 2003 Ariel Sharon was the first Israeli Prime Minister to visit India. He was welcomed by the center-right wing Bharatiya Janata Party led National Democratic Alliance coalition government of India. Similarly BJP’s Prime Minister of India A.B.Vajpayee was the first minister from India to visit Israel. Also BJPs sister organisation RSS organised and invited the first ever Hindu-Jewish summits and the Chief Rabbis of Judaism for the first time visited India after being invited by BJP’s chief L.K.Advani
India is Israel’s second largest trade partner and largest importer.
On a wider and more subtle level, The chief Rabbi of Israel, Yona Metzger, said during the first Hindu-Jewish summit;
“For thousands of years we have marched on parallel causes and have now built bridges of cooperation between the two religions. Jews have lived in India for over 2000 years and have never been discriminated against. This is something unparalleled in human history”.
In fact I am a student of Judaism and Hinduism. And if we leave apparent idolatries in Hindus, they are more common in nature than others.
I’m Jewish and have been working with the Indian/Hindu community here and in South Asia. Please see my speech from 2008, http://www.interfaithstrength.com/Arvind%20Ghosh%20Memorial%20Lecture.pdf and my recent article, http://www.interfaithstrength.com/images/Asia.htm.
I found Norwegian Shooter’s claims about Norway of interest, so I decided to do a bit of investigation and confirm them.
Turns out that things are not quite as he claims.
At least not according to that bastion of liberality, the NYT, which in a 2005 article about Norway takes a much different view; We’re Rich, You’re Not. End of Story.
“In Oslo, library collections are woefully outdated, and public swimming pools are in desperate need of maintenance. News reports describe serious shortages of police officers and school supplies.
When my mother-in-law went to an emergency room recently, the hospital was out of cough medicine. Drug addicts crowd downtown Oslo streets, as the Los Angeles Times recently reported, but applicants for methadone programs are put on a months-long waiting list.
After I moved here six years ago, I quickly noticed that Norwegians live more frugally than Americans do. They hang on to old appliances and furniture that we would throw out. And they drive around in wrecks.
It is not simply a matter of tradition, or a preference for a basic, non-materialistic life.
Dining out is just too pricey in a country where teachers, for example, make about $50,000 a year before taxes. Even the humblest of meals – a large pizza delivered from Oslo’s most popular pizza joint – will run from $34 to $48, including delivery fee and a 25 percent value added tax.
Not that groceries are cheap, either. Every weekend, armies of Norwegians drive to Sweden to stock up at supermarkets that are a bargain only by Norwegian standards. And this isn’t a great solution, either, since gasoline (in this oil-exporting nation) costs more than $6 a gallon.”
There’s always two sides to every story, so now that we know the other side to Norwegian Shooters’, the only remaining question is, did he omit the other side out of ideological ignorance or purposely, in support of an ideological agenda?
His response, if any, will be all the answer needed.
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The 5-year old opinion piece from Bruce Bawer merely shows that the NYT publishes conservative dreck as well. The plural of anecdotes is not data, but you haven’t even cited two anecdotes, so what is that not called?
I cited my side out of an ideological agenda, which is that social democracy works. I left out one great quote from my source:
“Following the ongoing financial crisis of 2007–2010, bankers have deemed the Norwegian krone to be one of the most solid currencies in the world.”
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Now, Walter “the Crusader” Mead, wants to enlist India into the zionist war. It is not enough that he wants to bankrupt our country fighting Israel’s wars and propping up that racist apartheid State.
The two fundamental arguments made in this piece are ill-stated at best and dangerous at worst. First, the assumption that most Americans believe they are Israel’s only friend is a drastic oversimplification in light of recent events. Israel’s consistent and historically established tendency to disregard the US pleas for moderation in its expansionist border policy has finally boiled over with the recent settlement announcement during VP Biden’s visit. This has only punctuated Israels long standing attempts to act outside of American interests and is finally calling this to the attention of key leaders in the US. Notably Gen. Petraeus has stated that the US’s support of Israel has undoubtedly hurt its relations with Muslim nations…a fact that so many seem to swallow in acquiescence until now. The ‘Honeymoon Period’ of US-Israeli relations is drastically closing, as key policy maker realize the cost of supporting a regime which is actively uprooting a settled population in an occupied city, which by most definitions is considered genocide.
Secondly, the author’s superficial point that renewed economic activity will somehow dramatically alter moderate Muslim opinion about Westernization and general economic development is completely false and irrelevant in the first place. Extremist militant groups currently operate through international funding based on fellow extremists. For a cell to operate in Afghanistan it wasn’t required to gain the support of local supporters, but it was critical to wire money from fellow extremist sympathizers in Londan, Paris and yes, the United States. And regardless, modernization in places like Saudi Arabia have triggered the strongest backlashes from religious leaders who serve occasionally as bridges between youth and religious radicalization. Economic satiating of moderate Muslims will do nothing to change the strength and power base of extremist militant organizations, which rely more on internationally diverse like minded supporters, than ideologically diverse local supports.
Thank you for being honest as to your ideological agenda.
Norway is one of the largest exporters of oil and gas. It’s a country of less than 5 million. That is what allows it to be both socialist and financially stable.
So yes, I’ll allow that a social-welfare democracy with a very small, homogeneous population and a very large, sensibly managed trust fund can work.
The NYT article is anecdotal, which in no way obviates his observations, some of which are factually undeniable.
“actively uprooting a settled population in an occupied city, which by most definitions is considered genocide. “
Considered by most liberal groups, yes.
The dictionary disagrees however.
genocide; “The systematic and widespread extermination or attempted extermination of an entire national, racial, religious, or ethnic group.” The American Heritage® Dictionary
But why let mere facts get in the way of your agenda and “the narrative” which serves that agenda?
You are correct however in that renewed economic activity will not alter ‘moderate’ Muslim opinion toward Israel. How can it?
The Koran theologically favors the radicals view, which is why the moderates condone the violence.
To do otherwise would require challenging the very theological foundations and premises of their religion. The Bahai’s tried that and its gotten them over 100 years of persecution.
What about Sweden and Denmark then? And I also don’t see Saudi Arabia very high on any of the statistics cited, they certainly have more oil production per capita than Norway.
Back to my original comment before I was distracted by the Viking bashers:
“Crippling, Crushing and Suffocating Iran” by Robert Dreyfuss at The Nation. That’s how everyone else in the world sees our Iran sanction “efforts.”
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The other factor in Israeli Foreign Policy, that David Goldman over at First Things has noticed, is the growing reapproachment between Jerusalem and Moscow. Part of it is demographic – 1 million Russian speaking Jews in Israel alone, not counting those in the U.S. – and other factors are energy (with Turkey as the gas go-between, funnelling oil and gas from Iraqi Kurdistan which has Israeli ties too) and realpolitik.
The last question on my mind though is whether the Russians are shrewdly determined to drive a wedge between the last legs of the Cold War anti-Russia lobby (various ethnic lobbies, Bzrezinskites, aging Prometheans like Paul Goble, and MIC types like Frank Gaffney) and the pro-Israel lobby (which previously included many of the same people).
The agenda and shill of media brainwashing is you mister britain.
“actively uprooting a settled population in an occupied city, which by most definitions is considered genocide. “
genocide; “The systematic and widespread extermination or attempted extermination of an entire national, racial, religious, or ethnic group.” The American Heritage® Dictionary”
That you think this definition is not in complete agreement is moronic and exhibits the mentality of those in your walk of life blatantly refusing to acknowledge whats right in front of them choosing to not look for connections to further their agenda of illiteration.
That anyone with even a handful of facts can’t see straight through americas leaders and corporate agendas and your genocidal endorsements is outrageous. That people can sit here and stomach your garbage is a testament to how dumbed down and complacent people have allowed themself to become. How ridiculous the people that invade countries under false pretences are claiming the citizens there as radicals, extremists and terrorists while you kill them, heard them about, set up pipelines and harvest their resources basically via theft while your jobless rates climb with the ridiculous overpriced dollar hedged against oil, pumping out inflation to the rest of the world just continuing to function as a propoganda and war machine only. There will be no end to war as long as america is around it’s their only commodity with a debt 36 times its GDP it runs on what it steals and misappropriates under media spin with worthless paper trade that’s only value is the belief it has value where it doesn’t seen obviously in the pricing of precious metals like gold up 400%. meanwhile its companies outsource every industry to asia. This corporate country is a parasite on it’s people and the rest of the world. Anyone not completely braindead would recognize this.
Sorry, but I cannot read the tiny letters in these comments.
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Well i dont think you people gonna reach anywhere…..
India has an agriculture economy with 150 million muslims and 70% lives below poverty line…….and moreover its secular and too many domestic issues to waste its time on axis and alliances….thats clearly a european cup of tea,,,besides theres china hovering above,…..
and Israel depends on how long these good arab dictators stays in power..plus the american aid and blessings……plus the slumber in arab lands….plus a co incidence..
its too small and cute….and historically and geographically controvercial….
The USA ofcourse is the main player on whose [far fetched anatomical metaphor deleted — ed] you people are dancin….
and bye the way wats this islamic radicals stuff…sounds like Murdoch’s fox news…well its the age of internet and we dont buy that stuff anymore!! too bad!!
Edward, where did you get your stats from, India has 70% below poverty line, last time I checked it was officially 25% and taking official statistics with a grain of salt by independent observers at 35%,Indias GDP has grown phenomenly, it has Companies that own world class companies all over the world. Jaguar ,Landrover, Tetley, Aclor Mittal, Hindaldo etc. The largest employer and the richest person in England is an Indian company and an Indian Person, who also holds an Indian Passport. So wake up and stop shooting crap, its people, like you who will be left behind in the race to the west.
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I hadn’t read so much fantasy since Fantasy Island!!
“Suppose the USA is not in decline.Suppose bla bla bla…”
Suppose you focus on reality!!
You must be getting paid by the banksters. This rag is an NWO shill.
“Paper money has had the effect in your state that it will ever have, to ruin commerce, oppress the honest, and open the door to every species of fraud and injustice.”
George Washington, in letter to J. Bowen, Rhode Island, Jan. 9, 1787
Sadly, few people understand the process by which paper money leads to “fraud and injustice” as President Washington accurately warned in 1787. If they did, then perhaps days like Aug 15, 1971 would never have happened.
To end with one last quote, this time from a Socialist who knew the importance of gold:
“You have to choose between trusting to the natural stability of gold and the natural stability of the honesty and intelligence of the members of the Government. And, with due respect for these gentlemen, I advise you, as long as the Capitalist system lasts, to vote for gold.”
George Bernard Shaw
“Under a gold standard, the amount of credit that an economy can support is determined by the economy’s tangible assets, since every credit instrument is ultimately a claim on some tangible asset. But government bonds are not backed by tangible wealth, only by the government’s promise to pay out of future tax revenues, and cannot easily be absorbed by the financial markets. A large volume of new government bonds can be sold to the public only at progressively higher interest rates. Thus, government deficit spending under a gold standard is severely limited. The abandonment of the gold standard made it possible for the welfare statists to use the banking system as a means to an unlimited expansion of credit.
They have created paper reserves in the form of government bonds which — through a complex series of steps — the banks accept in place of tangible assets and treat as if they were an actual deposit, i.e., as the equivalent of what was formerly a deposit of gold. The holder of a government bond or of a bank deposit created by paper reserves believes that he has a valid claim on a real asset. But the fact is that there are now more claims outstanding than real assets. The law of supply and demand is not to be conned. As the supply of money (of claims) increases relative to the supply of tangible assets in the economy, prices must eventually rise. Thus the earnings saved by the productive members of society lose value in terms of goods.
In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. If there were, the government would have to make its holding illegal, as was done in the case of gold [in 1933]. If everyone decided, for example, to convert all his bank deposits to silver or copper or any other good, and thereafter declined to accept checks as payment for goods, bank deposits would lose their purchasing power and government-created bank credit would be worthless as a claim on goods. The financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to protect themselves.
This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists’ tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists’ antagonism toward the gold standard.”
Alan Greenspan, 1966
I know I am nowhere near a position to pose a significant challenge to Mr. Mead. But this does not require to be a PH.d to understand that he is a bloody, dirty Indophile which must be declared as a crime against humanity.