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Thread: US economy downfall

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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarvin View Post
    That maybe true, but that price of Gold and Silver has multiplied several times since 2001, if I bought some then I would've been many times wealthier now, so it seems like a good investment if we are to assume that the dollor will devalue in the near future too with the plans of going to War in Iran and Pakistan.
    I agree if it was 2001 but Gold rates have already peaked. The best way to protect the value of your money is to buy something tangible that will give you return in medium and long term such as real estate and stocks.

    As long as world trades in US dollars, it will remain as strong as ever.
    The Following User Says Thank You to Batman For This Useful Post: Pickwickian


  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aryan_B View Post
    The dollar is devaluing all the time. What do you think they do when they are implementing for quantitative easing aka printing money
    Actually dollar has become strong these days. Both Indian and Pakistani rupee got devalued with respect to dollar so has many other currencies. They will do quantitative easing for as long as there are suckers in the world community to accept it.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Batman View Post

    As long as world trades in US dollars, it will remain as strong as ever.
    Why don't you read that thread in fact they should be merged. And will be to rebut your assertion

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Batman View Post
    I agree if it was 2001 but Gold rates have already peaked. The best way to protect the value of your money is to buy something tangible that will give you return in medium and long term such as real estate and stocks.

    As long as world trades in US dollars, it will remain as strong as ever.
    Batman, I definately agree, the price of real estate does go down during a recession, people in Chille I think bought thier flats for like $100,000 then sold it for 5 times that much in a few years after the recession ended. We'll all have to watch out for the best time to buy it and the best time to sell it too Glad people are alert though.

  5. #25
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    The proof is in the pudding. The dollar value kept increasing viv-a-vis another major currency Euro


  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Batman View Post
    The proof is in the pudding. The dollar value kept increasing viv-a-vis another major currency Euro
    Yea but that's relative and both are going down one faster than the other. lol. If you cared to read the earlier posts you would have realised

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aryan_B View Post
    Yea but that's relative and both are going down one faster than the other. lol. If you cared to read the earlier posts you would have realised
    I don't have to read any posts. I know about currencies as I do regular remittances.

    Since you said both US and Euro are going down and since USD is doing better than Euro relatively it doesn't count.

    That's why I'm pegging USD with Chinese Renminbi, Russian Rouble, Indian and Pakistani rupee. USD value remain same or increase with respect to currencies of developing world.





    Now tell me, is US dollar still devaluing?.

  8. #28
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    Batman you clearly show you have no understanding of currencies. Please read the earlier posts and you will understand why what you state is simply wrong.

  9. #29
    Administrator Aryan_B's Avatar
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    For example this should clear matters up for you a little:

    Quote Originally Posted by Aryan_B View Post
    this article is primarily about the the Euro and how it is not possible to have a unified fiscal policy without political union. I have highlighted the bits that I think are relevant to this discussion

    The Euro: That Procrustean Bed...


    Edited: 11 December, 2011, 21:28

    Efforts by European leaders to shoe-horn a range of diverse countries into a rigid financial cage are doomed to fail. But that’s all part of a long-term plan for a global super-currency which can only bring more hardship to ordinary working people.
    A question that more and more people are asking nowadays is, “What on Earth were the Europeans thinking when they agreed to have just one currency for all of Europe?”

    In Greek mythology, Procrustes was the son of Poseidon, God of the deep blue seas. He built an iron bed of a size that suited him, and then forced everybody who passed by his abode to lie on it. If the passerby was shorter than his bed, then Procrustes would stretch him, breaking bones, tendons and sinews until the victim fitted; if he was taller, then Procrustes would chop off feet and limbs until the victim was the “right” size…

    This ancient story of “one size fits all” seems to have made its 21st Century comeback when Europeans were coaxed into imposing upon themselves an oxymoron; a blatant and conceptual contradiction they call “the euro”.

    This common supranational currency invented by the French and Germans, boycotted by the UK, ignored by the Swiss, managed by the Germans and accepted by the rest of Europe in blissful ignorance, has finally dropped its mask to reveal its ugly face: an impossible mechanism that only serves the elite bankers but not the working people.

    It masked gross contradictions as large, far-reaching and varied as the relative sizes, strengths, profiles, styles, histories, econometrics, labor policies, pension plans, industries, and human and natural resources of the 17 eurozone nations, ranging from Germany and France at one end of the scale, to Greece, Portugal and Ireland at the other.

    As we said in a recent article, the euro carries an expiry date; perhaps the eurocrats who were its midwives a decade ago expected that it would live a little longer, maybe even come of age… But they certainly knew that, sooner or later, the euro would die; that it was meant to die.

    Because the euro is not an end in itself, but rather a transition, a bridge, an experiment in supranational currency earmarked for replacement by a far more ambitious and powerful global currency issued by a global central bank, controlled by a cabal of global private bankers, obeying a New World Order blueprint emanating from a private Global Power Elite.
    The problem today is that what impacted Europe as a financial ripple effect in 2008 has now grown into a veritable financial tsunami threatening to swamp the whole euro system… And more big trouble lies ahead!

    In fact, today’s euro-troubles are nothing more than one of many variations of sovereignty-troubles. Because when a country’s leaders irresponsibly cede a part or all of its sovereignty – whether monetary, political, financial, economic, judicial or military – it had better take a really good look at what it is doing and what the implications are for the medium and long term.

    Ceding national sovereignty means that somebody else, somewhere else, will be taking decisions based on other people’s interests. Now, as long as everyone’s interests coincide, then we are OK. But as soon as the different parties’ interests diverge, then you are confronted with a power struggle. And power struggles have one simple thing in common: the more powerful win; the weaker lose.

    Now, we have a huge power struggle inside the eurozone. Who do you think will win? Who will impose new policies – Germany or Greece? France or Portugal? Britain or Spain? Germany or Italy?

    And that is just on the public scene. You also need to look at the more subtle, less media-highlighted private scene, which is where the real global power decisions are made.

    Will the new Italian PM, Mario Monti, cater for the needs of the Italian people or for the mega-bankers’ lodge sitting on the powerful Trilateral Commission of which he himself is European chairman? The same question goes for Greek president Lucas Papademos, also a Trilateral member. The same question goes for all the governments of the EU member states where the real power brokers are the major bankers, industrialists and media moguls sitting on the Trilateral, Bilderberg, World Economic Forum and Chatham House think-tanks and private lobbies.

    Global elites will do everything to keep the euro on its transitional path towards a global currency that will eventually replace both the euro and the US dollar. This entails engineering the controlled collapse of both currencies, whilst preparing the yellow brick road for a “Global Dollar” or some such new oxymoron.

    The US dollar will be easy to collapse: all that is needed is for the mainstream media to yell, “The dollar is hyper-inflated!!” and the Naked Emperor Dollar will fall swiftly. The euro, in turn, will simply break up as its member nations revert to the old days of pesetas, lire, francs, escudos and drachmas…

    Is the time ripe for that? Maybe not… yet. So, no doubt we will still see more “emergency treatment,” more “financial chemotherapy” to “bail out the euro” just as we’ve seen them “bail out the banks,” even though most banks and the Oxymoron Euro cannot be salvaged but just kept artificially alive, like the “Living Dead…”

    So, here’s a question for Greeks, Italians, Spaniards, Portuguese, Irish, even the French and Germans: will you accept the invitation by your Procrustean Leaders in Brussels to lie down on their bed?

    Adrian Salbuchi for RT

  10. #30
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    Again, most of the above is speculation. Show me something current. Even during 2008 economy crisis everyone has written down the Dollar. What happened?. Nothing. Dollar is here to stay whether you like it or not.

    Again I repeat. As long as US holds the mighty power, US dollar is here to stay.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Batman View Post
    Again, most of the above is speculation. Show me something current. Even during 2008 economy crisis everyone has written down the Dollar. What happened?. Nothing. Dollar is here to stay whether you like it or not.

    Again I repeat. As long as US holds the mighty power, US dollar is here to stay.
    lol It is not speculation. Govts are reducing their holdings of US dollars all the time as we speak. How does it feel that India has made the wrong decision and chosen to be a proxy of someone who is going buts lol

  12. #32
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    This is not speculation:

    Quote Originally Posted by Aryan_B View Post
    1) According to the US Census Bureau ,today , 1 in 2 persons in America is already living at Poverty or Near Poverty levels .

    That is a whopping 50% of the American population living a life of shambles , starvation , and utter desperation .

    Census shows 1 in 2 people are poor or low-income - Lake County News-Sun


    Census data: Half of U.S. poor or low income - CBS News


    It is so bad in the States that , even the illegal migrants are leaving the USA en masse !

    Illegal aliens leaving U.S., returning to Mexico for better life? – Cafferty File - CNN.com Blogs

    Yes, The Illegal aliens find that Mexico has a better quality of life !!! ( CNN's Jack Cafferty )

    Illegal aliens leaving U.S., returning to Mexico for better life? – Cafferty File - CNN.com Blogs

    Number of illegal immigrants in U.S. declining - US news - Immigration: A Nation Divided - NBCNews.com

    Number of illegal immigrants in U.S. declining - US news - Immigration: A Nation Divided - msnbc.com



    2) Europeans emigrating en masse


    Many are even venturing to Mozambique, Angola and Brazil .
    (Huh ? Did you say they are migrating to Africa ? Africa ?? Yes, according to the European Foreign Ministry ...it seems that Africa has a better quality of life....at least 100,000 Portuguese citizens seem to think that Angola has a far better quality of life than Europe )

    Europeans migrate south as continent drifts deeper into crisis | World news | The Guardian


    3) Many Europeans trying desperately to get into Brazil, Argentina , some even working ILLEGALLY there .


    Argentina opens doors to migrants, but settling elsewhere is harder | World news | guardian.co.uk





    There seems to be a massive disconnect - Why are these people leaving ? Did someone forget to remind these people ....
    Don't they know that "Western Economies have massive energy resources, R&D, cutting edge technologies, universities, infrastructure, stable political systems ?"
    Then why are they leaving ???

  13. #33
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    This is not speculation its a UN report. Still want to continue in denial?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aryan_B View Post
    Report by the UNCTAD Secretariat Task Force on Systemic Issues and
    Economic Cooperation: Executive summary

    http://unctad.org/en/docs/gds20091overview_en.pdf

    My simple summery this downturn is a systemic failure. The failure is due mainly down to de-regulation and failure to enforce rules. Capitalism is based on supply and demand, as well as risk and reward. If one takes the risk of cheating and gets away with it, he gets a reward, this leads to more cheating (heard about Mr Ponzi). By not properly regulating the system, cheaters got rewards. Multiply this by several million, and you get our current issues. If regulations had been implemented, this would never have happened. Instead, we might have had another mild recession.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Batman View Post
    US dollar is to stay here as long as it is backed up by US mighty military power and economic power house .
    Yes that is true, but it is highly dependent on the US winning its wars. Although it still has by far the greatest military in the world, if it cannot win its wars overseas, it fails to achieve its geopolitical objectives, & that has a huge toll on the US economy.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aryan_B View Post
    lol It is not speculation. Govts are reducing their holdings of US dollars all the time as we speak. How does it feel that India has made the wrong decision and chosen to be a proxy of someone who is going buts lol
    Again wrong.

    http://www.treasury.gov/resource-cen...uments/mfh.txt

    Treasury security holding by foreign governments has gone up from $4690 billion in June 2011 to $5292 billion in June 2012.

    I don't understand your flawed logic that India is a proxy and that US is going bust. We are not the ones taking handouts from US. We are not the ones who fought wars for US.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Batman View Post
    Again wrong.

    http://www.treasury.gov/resource-cen...uments/mfh.txt

    Treasury security holding by foreign governments has gone up from $4690 billion in June 2011 to $5292 billion in June 2012.

    I don't understand your flawed logic that India is a proxy and that US is going bust. We are not the ones taking handouts from US. We are not the ones who fought wars for US.
    You are talking short term look at the last 10 years. Go check it. If you have a problem finding it please come back and I will guide you

  17. #37
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    Nov 22, 2012

    DISPATCHES FROM AMERICA
    The fall of the American Empire (writ small)
    By Tom Engelhardt

    History, it is said, arrives first as tragedy, then as farce. First as Karl Marx, then as the Marx Brothers. In the case of twenty-first century America, history arrived first as George W Bush (and **** Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith and the Project for a New America - a shadow government masquerading as a think tank - and an assorted crew of ambitious neo-cons and neo-pundits); only later did David Petraeus make it onto the scene.

    It couldn't be clearer now that, from the shirtless FBI agent to the "embedded" biographer and the "other other woman," the "fall" of David Petraeus is playing out as farce of the first order. What's less obvious is that Petraeus, America's military golden boy and Caesar of celebrity, was always smoke and mirrors, always the farce, even if the denizens of Washington didn't know it.

    Until recently, here was the open secret of Petraeus's life: he may not have understood Iraqis or Afghans, but no military man in generations more intuitively grasped how to flatter and charm American reporters, pundits, and politicians into praising him. This was, after all, the general who got his first Newsweek cover ("Can This Man Save Iraq?") in 2004 while he was making a mess of a training program for Iraqi security forces, and two more before that magazine, too, took the fall. In 2007, he was a runner-up to Vladimir Putin for TIME's "Person of the Year." And long before Paula Broadwell's aptly named biography, All In, was published to hosannas from the usual elite crew, that was par for the course.

    You didn't need special insider's access to know that Broadwell wasn't the only one with whom the general did calisthenics. The FBI didn't need to investigate. Even before she came on the scene, scads of columnists, pundits, reporters, and politicians were in bed with him. And weirdly enough, many of them still are. (Typical was NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams mournfully discussing the "painful" resignation of "Dave" - "the most prominent and best known general of the modern era.")

    Adoring media people treated him like the next military Messiah, a combination of Alexander the Great, Napoleon, and Ulysses S Grant rolled into one fabulous piñata. It's a safe bet that no general of our era, perhaps of any American era, has had so many glowing adjectives attached to his name.

    Perhaps Petraeus's single most insightful moment, capturing both the tragedy and the farce to come, occurred during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He was commanding the 101st Airborne on its drive to Baghdad, and even then was inviting reporters to spend time with him. At some point, he said to journalist Rick Atkinson, "Tell me how this ends." Now, of course, we know: in farce and not well.

    For weeks, the news has been filled with his ever-expanding story, including private rivalries, pirate-themed parties, conspiracy theories run wild, and investigations inside investigations inside investigations. It's lacked nothing an all-American twenty-first-century media needs to glue eyeballs. Jill Kelley, the Tampa socialite whose online life started the ball rolling and ended up embroiling two American four-star generals in Internet hell, evidently wrote enough emails a day to stagger the imagination. But she was a piker compared to the millions of words that followed from reporters, pundits, observers, retired military figures, everyone and anyone who had ever had an encounter with or a thought about Petraeus, his biographer-cum-lover Paula Broadwell, Afghan War Commander General John Allen, and the rest of an ever-expanding cast of characters. Think of it as the Fall of the House of Gusher.

    Here was the odd thing: none of David Petraeus's "achievements" outlasted his presence on the scene. Still, give him credit. He was a prodigious campaigner and a thoroughly modern general. From Baghdad to Kabul, no one was better at rolling out a media blitzkrieg back in the US in which he himself would guide Americans through the fine points of his own war-making.

    Where, once upon a time, victorious commanders had to take an enemy capital or accept the surrender of an opposing army, David Petraeus conquered Washington, something even Robert E Lee couldn't do. Until he made the mistake of recruiting his own "biographer" (and lover), he proved a PR prodigy. He was, in a sense, the real life military version of F Scott Fitzgerald's Jay ("the Great") Gatsby, a man who made himself into the image of what he wanted to be and then convinced others that it was so.

    In the field, his successes were transitory, his failures all too real, and because he proved infinitely adaptable, none of it really mattered or stanched the flood of adjectives from admirers of every political stripe. In Washington, at least, he seemed invincible, even immortal, until it all ended in a military version of Dallas or perhaps previews for Revenge, season three.

    His "fall from grace," as ABC's nightly news labeled it, was a fall from Washington's grace, and his tale, like that of the president who first fell in love with him, might be summarized as all-American to fall-American.

    Turning the lone superpower into the lonely superpower
    David Petraeus was a Johnny-come-lately in respect to Petraeus-ism. He would pick up the basics of the imperial style of that moment from his models in and around the Bush administration and apply them to his own world. It was George W and his guys (and gal) who first dreamed the dreams, spent a remarkable amount of time "conquering Washington," and sold their particular set of fantasies to themselves and then to the American people.

    They were the original smoke-and-mirrors crew. From the moment, just five hours after the 9/11 attacks, that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld - in the presence of a note-taking aide - urged planning to begin against Saddam Hussein's Iraq ("Go massive. Sweep it all up. Things related and not..."), the selling of an invasion and various other over-the-top fantasies was underway.

    First, in the heat of 9/11, the president and top administration officials sold their "war" on terror. Then, after "liberating" Afghanistan and deciding to stay for the long run, they launched a massive publicity campaign to flog the idea that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and was linked to al-Qaeda. In doing so, they would push the image of mushroom clouds rising over American cities from the Iraqi dictator's nonexistent nuclear program, and chemical or biological weapons being sprayed over the US East Coast by phantasmal Iraqi drones.

    Cheney and Rice, among others, would make the rounds of the talk shows, putting the heat on Congress. Administration figures leaked useful (mis)information, pressed the CIA to cherry-pick the intelligence they wanted, and even formed their own secret intel outfit to give them what they needed. They considered just when they should roll out their plans for their much-desired invasion and decided on September 2002. As White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card infamously explained, "From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August."

    They were, by then, at war - in Washington. Initially, they hardly worried about the actual war to come. They were so confident of what the US military could do that, like the premature Petraeuses they were, they concentrated their efforts on the homeland. Romantics about US military power, convinced that it would trump any other kind of power on the planet, they assumed that Iraq would be, in the words of one of their supporters, a "cakewalk." They convinced themselves and then others that the Iraqis would greet the advancing invaders as liberators, that the cost of the war (especially given Iraq's oil wealth) would be next to nothing, and that there was no need to create a serious plan for a post-invasion occupation.

    In all of this, they proved both masters of public relations and staggeringly wrong. As such, they would be the progenitors of an imperial tragedy - a deflating set of disasters that would take the pop out of American power and turn the planet's "lone superpower" into a lonely superpower presiding over an unraveling global system, especially in the Greater Middle East. Blinded by their fantasies, they would ensure a more precipitous than necessary American decline in the first decade of the new century.

    Not that they cared, but they would also generate a set of wrenching human tragedies: first for the Iraqis, hundreds of thousands of whom became casualties of war, insurgency, and sectarian strife, while millions more fled into exile; then there were the Afghans, who died attending weddings, funerals, even baby-naming ceremonies; and, of course, tens of thousands of US soldiers and contractors, who died or were injured, often grievously, in those dismal wars; and don't forget the inhabitants of post-Katrina New Orleans left to rot in their flooded city; or the millions of Americans who lost jobs, houses, even lives in the economic meltdown of 2008, a disaster that emerged from a set of globe-spanning financial fantasies and snow jobs that Bush and his crew encouraged and facilitated.

    They were the ones, in other words, who took a mighty imperial power already in slow decline, grabbed the wheel of the car of state, put the pedal to the metal, and like a group of drunken revelers promptly headed for the nearest cliff. In the process - they were nothing if not great salesmen - they sold Americans a bill of goods, even as they fostered their own dreams of establishing a Pax Americana in the Greater Middle East and a Pax Republicana at home. All now, of course, down in flames.

    In his 1987 Princeton dissertation, David Petraeus wrote this on perception: "What policymakers believe to have taken place in any particular case is what matters - more than what actually occurred." On this and other subjects, he was certainly no dope, but he was a huckster - for himself (given his particular version of self-love), and for a dream already going down in Iraq and Afghanistan. And he was just one of many promoters out there in those years pushing product (including himself): the top officials of the Bush administration, gaggles of neocons, gangs of military intellectuals, hordes of think tanks linked to serried ranks of pundits. All of them imagining Washington as a battlefield for the ages, all assuming that the struggle for "perception" was on the home front alone.

    Producing a bedside manual
    You could say that Petraeus fully arrived on the scene, in Washington at least, in that classic rollout month of September (2004). It was then that the three-star general, in charge of training Iraq's security forces, gave a president in a tight race for reelection a little extra firepower in the domestic perception wars. Stepping blithely across a classic no-no line for the military, he wrote a well-placed op-ed in the Washington Post as General Johnnie-on-the-spot, plugging "tangible progress" in Iraq and touting "reasons for optimism."

    Given George W Bush's increasingly dismal and unpopular mission-unaccomplished war and occupation, it was like the cavalry riding to the rescue. It shouldn't have been surprising, then, that the general, backed and promoted in the years to come by various neo-con warriors, would be the military man the president would fall for. Over the first half of the "surge" year of 2007, Bush would publicly cite the general more than 150 times, 53 in May alone. (And Petraeus, a man particularly prone toward those who idolized him - see: Broadwell, Paula - returned the favor.)

    But there was another step up the ladder of perception that would make him the perfect neo-con warrior. While commanding general at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in 2005-2006, he also became the "face" of a new doctrine. Well, actually, a very old and particularly dead doctrine that went by the name of counterinsurgency or, acronymically, COIN. It had been part and parcel of the world of colonial and neocolonial wars and, in the 1960s, became the basis for the US ground war and "pacification" program in South Vietnam - and we all know how that turned out.

    Amid the greatest defeat the US had suffered since the burning of Washington in 1814, counterinsurgency as a doctrine was left for dead in the rubble of Vietnam. With a sigh of relief, the military high command turned back to the task of stopping Soviet armies-that-never-would from pouring through Germany's Fulda Gap. Even in the military academies they ceased to teach counterinsurgency - until Petraeus and his team disinterred it, dusted it off, polished it up, and turned it into the military's latest war-fighting bible. Via a new Army and Marine field manual Petraeus helped to oversee, it would be presented as the missing formula for success in the Bush administration's two flailing, failing invasions-cum-occupations on the Eurasian mainland.

    It would gain such acclaim, in fact, that the University of Chicago Press would publish it as a trade paperback on July 4, 2007. Already back in Baghdad filling the role of Washington's savior, the general, who had already written a foreword for that "paradigm shattering" manual, would flog it with this classic blurb: "Surely a manual that's on the bedside table of the president, vice president, secretary of defense, 21 of 25 members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and many others deserves a place at your bedside too."

    And really, you know the rest. He would be sold (and, from Baghdad, sell himself) to the public the same way Saddam's al-Qaeda links and weapons of mass destruction had been. He, too, would be rolled out as a product - our "surge commander" - and soon enough become the general of the hour, and Iraq a success story for the ages. Then, appointed CENTCOM commander, the military man in charge of Washington's two wars, by Bush, he made it out of town before it became fully apparent that his successes in Iraq would leave the US out on its ear a few years down the line.

    The fall of the American Empire (writ small)
    Afghanistan followed as he maneuvered to box a new president, Barack Obama, into a new "surge" in another country. Then, his handpicked war commander General Stanley McChrystal, newly minted COIN believer, "ascetic," and "rising superstar" (who would undergo his own Petraeus-like media build-up), went down in shame over nasty comments made by associates about the Obama White House. In mid-2010, Petraeus would take McChrystal's place to save another president by bringing COIN to bear in just the right way. The usual set of hosannas - and even less success than in Iraq - followed.

    But as with Saddam Hussein's mythical WMDs, it seemed scarcely to matter when there was no there there. Even though Afghanistan's two COIN commanders had visibly failed in a war against an under-armed, undermanned, none-too-popular minority insurgency, and even though the doctrine of counterinsurgency would soon be tossed off a moving drone and left to die in the Afghan rubble, Petraeus once again made it out in one piece. In Washington, he was still hailed as the soldier of his generation and President Obama, undoubtedly fearing him in 2012, either as a candidate or a supporter of another Republican candidate, promptly stashed him away at the CIA, sending him safely into the political shadows.

    With that, Petraeus left his four stars behind, shed COIN-mode just as his doctrine was collapsing completely, and slipped into the directorship of a militarizing CIA and its drone wars. He remained widely known, in the words of Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution (praising Broadwell's biography), as "the finest general of this era and one of the greatest in modern American history." Unlike George W. Bush and crew who, despite pulling in staggering speaker's fees and writing memoirs for millions, now found themselves in a far different set of shadows, he looked like the ultimate survivor - until, of course, books and "bedsides" resurfaced in unexpected ways.

    In the Iraq surge moment, the liberal advocacy group MoveOn.org unsuccessfully tried to label him "General Betray Us." Now, as his affair with Broadwell unraveled into the reality TV show of our moment, he became General Betray Himself, a figure of derision, an old man with a young babe, the "cloak-and-shag-her" guy (as one New York Post screaming headline put it).

    So here you have it, the two paradigmatic figures of the closing of the "American Century": the president's son whose ambitions were stoked by Texas politics after years in the personal wilderness and the man who married the superintendent's daughter and rose like a meteor in a military that could never win a war. In the end, as the faces of American-disaster-masquerading-as-success, neither made it out of town before shame caught up with them. It's a measure of their importance, however, that Bush was finally put to flight by a global economic meltdown, Petraeus by the local sexual version of the same. Again, it's history vs. farce.

    Or think of the Petraeus version of collapse as a tryout for the fall of the American empire, writ very small, with Jill Kelley and Paula Broadwell as our Gibbons and the volume of email, including military sexting, taking the place of his six volumes. A poster general for American decline, David Petraeus will be a footnote to history, a man out for himself who simply went a bridge or a book too far. George W. and crew were the real thing: genuine mad visionaries who simply mistook their dreams and fantasies for reality.

    But wasn't it fun while it lasted? Wasn't it a blast to occupy Washington, be treated as a demi-god, go to Pirate-themed parties in Tampa with a 28-motorcycle police escort, and direct your own biography... even if it did end as Fifty Shades of Khaki?

    Tom Engelhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project and author of The United States of Fear as well as The End of Victory Culture, his history of the Cold War, runs the Nation Institute's TomDispatch.com. His latest book, co-authored with Nick Turse, is Terminator Planet: The First History of Drone Warfare, 2001-2050.


    Asia Times Online :: Asian News, Business and Economy.

  18. #38
    Senior Member Wattan's Avatar
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    Pakistan Pakistan
    We will of course also see Israeli demise too when America goes bust

  19. #39
    Senior Member KingKong's Avatar
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    Why 9 years? they nearly defaulted 3 months ago. The way China is squeezing them i think if they dont steal any other nation wealth i think it could be less than 6 years

  20. #40
    Senior Member Fassi's Avatar
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    Pakistan France

    DoD War Budget Will Remain Even if US Troops Leave Afghanistan


    US soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division wait to leave on an operation at the Forward Operating Base Ghazni. (Agence France-Presse)

    WASHINGTON — The US Defense Department will likely continue asking Congress for war funding separate from the Pentagon’s base budget accounts and not subject to federal spending caps even if all American troops leave Afghanistan by the end of the year, experts say.

    The Pentagon will submit a $496 billion 2015 budget request to Congress on Tuesday, a spending plan that does not include money for operations in Afghanistan. The war-funding measure, know as overseas contingency operations (OCO), is being delayed because the Afghan government has not approved a security agreement that would allow NATO troops to remain in the country beyond the end of the year.

    Despite US troop levels in Afghanistan falling 40 percent between 2013 and 2014, DoD’s spending request did not decline much. DoD requested $88.5 billion in 2013 and Congress approved $85 billion in 2014, adding $5 billion to DoD’s request.

    Todd Harrison, an analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said about $20 billion in Army and Air Force operations and maintenance funding, typically included in the base budget, was shifted to the OCO accounts in 2014. The Army and Marine Corps are funding pay and benefits for 38,000 troops out of the 2014 OCO budget, he said.

    The OCO budget is not subject to base budget spending caps, know as sequestration.

    “This is an uncapped funding stream that exists for DoD, and both the administration and Congress have been willing to use it to soften the impact of sequestration,” Harrison said on a conference call with reporters Monday.

    This practice has “largely offset the cuts to the base budget from sequestration,” Harrison said.

    “I think that this is a pretty dangerous situation for DoD to be in with being so heavily dependent on the OCO funding … because that funding stream could disappear quickly,” he said.

    If all American troops leave Afghanistan by the end of the year, it will be difficult for Congress and the Obama administration to justify having any war funding after 2015, Harrison said.

    Christine Fox, the acting deputy defense secretary, last week said she expects DoD to continue the practice of submitting OCO spending requests beyond 2015.

    “I don’t believe it will be the last year,” she said on Feb. 25 at a conference sponsored by McAleese and Associates and Credit Suisse.

    “We must reset the equipment that we put over there, we have to get out [and] we have to take care of people that deploy,” she said.

    Harrison said there is “an easy justification” for a 2015 OCO request since the next fiscal year begins in October and US troops will be in Afghanistan at least until December.

    “In 2016, I could see good justification for still having an OCO request even if there are no more troops in Afghanistan because we would likely still be providing some aid to the Afghan government in theory, as we continue to do with the Iraqi government, although a much smaller scale once we’re all pulled out,” Harrison said.

    Even if all US troops leave Afghanistan by the end of the year, Harrison says he expects OCO requests to continue into 2015 and 2016 to cover the costs of repairing and moving equipment back to the US.

    “By FY 17, it’s very much possible that there just wouldn’t be a justification for that [OCO] budget anymore and it could completely go away,” Harrison said.

    Harrison said he would expect the OCO request in 2015 and 2016 to be “much lower” if no troops remain in Afghanistan.

    “It would be harder to justify a $60, $70, $80 billion budget when we have no troops there,” he said.

    Harrison says DoD has been funding between $20 billion and $40 billion of operations and maintenance items, such as flying training hours and depot maintenance, from its base budget in the OCO budget.

    “If that funding stream goes away relatively quickly over the next few years, DoD is going to have a big bill they have to fit back in their base budget and that’s something they’re not planning for right now as far as we can tell,” he said.

    Mark Gunzinger, also with Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, noted in the same call with reporters that the US military’s global operations tempo has increased over the past decade and will remain high.

    “We’ll still need to support those other operations, that higher level tempo of operations,” he said.

    Email: [email protected].

    http://www.defensenews.com/article/2...ve-Afghanistan

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