We Are a Nation in Decline

By: Inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

On the eighth anniversary of 9/11, a professor of mine made a comment that caused a lot of soul-searching for me. He remarked, quite casually, that the United States is in decline.

Those words angered me. Nobody likes to hear their country characterized in that manner. But ever since then I've been considering that casual statement.

I think it accurately describes the state of our nation.

We are a nation in decline.

We are in decline for a variety of reasons, some more controllable and some less so. Economic weakness has something to do with it, as does the popularity of anti-Americanism (thank you, George Bush). Misadventures in the Middle East and the rise of China also play a participating role.

But enough about why we are in decline. What can be done to stop it?

More below.

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Superfusion: How China and America Became One Economy

Cross-posted at River Twice Research.

The economic relationship between China and the United States is the defining issue of our day. While debates over health care are vital to American society, and while challenges ranging from Iran to Afghanistan to North Korea are real, nothing will determine the arc of the coming decades - or will shape domestic life and prosperity in the United States - more than the emergence of China as a global economic superpower unrivalled except by America.

The rise of China is hardly a secret, but because it is a complex economic that is constantly evolving, it gets less attention than hot-button issues. Absent a real crisis between the two, the relationship is more about the flow of capital and the nature of global business than it is about heated battles inside the Beltway or on Main Street. And while the rise of China and America's increased dependency on Chinese loans to fund its deficits certainly generates anxiety, it's mostly amorphous barring some specific issue to focus it.

How that relationship came to be is the subject of my new book, Superfusion: How China and America Became One Economy and Why the World's Prosperity Depends On It. While this economic fusion has taken more than two decades to evolve, with the crisis of the past year, it has become both a tighter embrace and one more fraught with tension. It's to the credit of both governments - for now - that those tensions have not boiled over.

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The Pentagon Fast Tracks Development of MOP

ABC News reports that Pentagon is shifting spending from other weapon programs to fast forward the development and procurement of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator. The Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) is a program funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency [DTRA] to develop a 30,000-pound conventional penetrating weapon that will defeat a specialized set of hard and deeply buried targets. The MOP is designed specifically to attack hardened concrete bunkers and tunnel facilities and it is being developed jointly by Boeing and Northrup Grumman.

According to ABC News, the Pentagon comptroller sent a request to shift the funds between programs to the House and Senate Appropriations and Armed Services Committees over the summer. The comptroller said the Pentagon planned to spend $19.1 million to procure four of the bombs, $28.3 million to accelerate the bomb's "development and testing", and $21 million to accelerate the integration of the bomb onto B-2 stealth bombers.

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Greenwald Wrong; Major Victory for Iran

Since it looks like the Greenwalds and others have decided to pretend the U.S. wrung major concessions from Iran, I'll post some reality-based corrective here, which a few minutes ago was a couple of comments at pffugeecamp.com:

It was a major victory for Iran

Russia and China stuck up for Iran on the playground. For Russia, making Iran more dependent on it is very helpful to its 'oil and gas politics' Great Game strategy. China simply depends on Iran way too much for energy supplies, and can't go along with crippling sanctions.

Greenwald and his linkee are laughably wrong that Iran promised to allow inspection of the new facility as a result of negotiations. Everyone in Iran was already stating that willingness from the moment they announced existence of that facility. So the media Obamanauts are getting away with a big lie there.

The main thing is, Iran was not even asked to stop making 5% enriched uranium. So they are celebrating:

5+1 group didn't ask Iran to suspend enrichment: Jalili
Tehran Times Political Desk
Sunday, October 4, 2009

TEHRAN - Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, has said that in the Geneva talks on Thursday, the 5+1 group did not raise the issue of uranium enrichment suspension, as has been demanded by the recent United Nations Security Council resolutions.

"The 5+1 group did not mention the suspension of uranium enrichment in our country at all," he told reporters at Imam Khomeini airport on Friday upon his arrival from Geneva, Switzerland.

Iran has (supposedly, there is some disagreement) agreed to send out a big chunk of their existing supply to Russia in order to make it 10% enriched, which makes it suitable for nuclear medicine whatever that is. The point for Iran is that making that concession is a sideshow, no one challenged their right to go ahead with 5% enrichment from now on without sanctions. I'm not sure if setting up the 10% in Russia is even a concession, since Iran right now and for the foreseeable future may not be capable of enriching uranium to the 10% level.

by: fairleft @ Sun Oct 04, 2009 at 08:46:35 AM EDT

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Obama peacenikking (_and_ no Olympics)

Despite his two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, you gotta say Obama looks good peacenik-wise in reference to Iran and Russia.

First, he pulls back on the offensive missile 'shield' whose intent was to threaten Russia. The intent, according to the Beltway pundits, was to get Russia to back crippling sanctions against Iran. But was it? I don't know. Maybe Obama is a peacenik on this issue. Anyway, the you scratch my back I scratch yours doesn't seem to be working, cuz,

Second, Obama and Iran seem to be working things out on their own. Peacenikky! Iran has apparently agreed to export some of its nuclear fuel enrichment to Russia, and, so, no crippling sanctions? Another wait and see, but things look good today on the peace front.

And who knows, mebbe Obama told story about Daley to the Olympic selection committee. Spectacular fail by the Mayor's city, but a definite win for Chicago. We're busted, and we gotta focus on getting rid of some crime and poverty, and fixing the many horrific schools (a screw you to one of Daley's flunkies, former Chicago schools chief and clueless do-nothing Daley stooge Arnie Duncan, Obama's Education Secretary).

And, is it "I told you so" time yet? Gotta say, this -- Sorry Israel, no Iran war or crippling sanctions 4U -- looks like some damn good predicting right now. Shout out to my man, M K Bhadrakumar, he pointed me in the right direction.   . . .

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