George Friedman, at Stratfor, wrote in an article entitled, "Obama's Challenge," November 5, 2008 that Barack Obama "will have to be cunning and ruthless without appearing to be cunning and ruthless." This is terrible. It is neocon evil.
George Friedman harps on Iran as if the Iranians are a simplistic blob. He does the same concerning Russia. Without explaining why he is so suspicious of Iranian aims, he sets them up as the great boogeymen. There are Iranians who are full of hot air. There are Iranians who mean it when they say they want to destroy America. Well, there are Americans who mean it when they say they want to take all the Blacks out on ships to the middle of the ocean and sink them. That doesn't mean that everyone in Africa or all the Blacks in America must tremble in fear about it. They need to monitor the situation and work with cooler heads. That's what must be done concerning Iran. Iran has people with cooler heads too.
George wants everyone to view things in a highly depersonalized geopolitical sense. Politics though is all about personalities. The Iranians and the Russians are peoples. They are the sum of their individual members constituting diverse populations in terms of outlooks. Yes, there are themes running through their societies that are stronger right now than are other themes that are often superior. The task is not to put up our dukes over these things but rather demonstrate superior ideas right along with the superior ideas many Russians and Iranians also hold.
George Friedman is fighting global cold wars and regional hot wars in his head that don't have to be there in reality if we can get beyond the myopia.
Friedman is thinking about the calculations necessary to manipulate the public rather than truly leading and educating the public and learning from the public. George is a student and open admirer of Machiavelli. God save us from the Machiavellians!
He isn't a good judge of character. His Machiavellianism prevents him from seeing the non-Machiavellian aspects of so many leaders who would love to stop being Machiavellian. They're waiting for the other guy to go first. They're more so waiting for the people to demand a movement away from Machiavellianism.
I wish I could find the original. Someone wrote recently about how Abraham Lincoln didn't run as an abolitionist, Franklin Roosevelt didn't run as a unionist, and Lyndon Johnson didn't come to civil-rights legislation without having been pushed into it and supported in it by those who made civil rights their main thrust, such as Martin Luther King, Jr.
George Friedman's kind of talk just becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy unless we can speak truth loudly enough to get people to understand that the Cold War saber rattling is a profit center for so many of the violent corporations that feed George and his ilk.
The last thing Barack Obama should do is squander his political capital by following in the footsteps of George H. W. Bush, as Bush sat on his hands after the Berlin Wall came down by not rushing in with aid rather than allowing the vultures to swoop in the form of the Oligarchs who rose to power to rape Russia with the help of the Milton Friedmanites, such as Jeffery Sachs, sent over and called over to "fix" the Russian economy. They sent Russia through a completely unnecessary shock. There were much better ways to handle things than introducing greater deprivations for a time and which never completely remove poverty.
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And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)