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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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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    • conspiracygirl

      Chill, Tom.  Geopolitical analysts are not ideologues.  They are not in  the business of analyzing the way countries "should" interact but rather the way they "do" interact based on various factors.  Geopolitical analysts  seldom reference an actual leader.  It is always "The USA will do _____ because it serves its interests, which are influenced by its geography, population, etc.   Russia will do _____ because it serves its interests, which are influenced by its geography, population, etc.  Pakistan will do _____ because it serves its interests, which are influenced by its geography, population, etc."   If you read Friedman's Stratfor article on "The Geopolitics of Iran" you will see that he in no way views Iran to be the boogeyman.  He says that Iran is rational and is doing what is in its rational interests.  Interestingly he says in "The Next Decade" that the USA will gradually distance itself from Israel as the need for this alliance fades --  and since war with Iran is really not tenable despite all the saber rattling  the USA may well make an alliance with Iran. 

      As for the proposed ruthlessness of Obama:  This is just an extension of a general observation  that presidents are ruthless people whose lack of scruples would repel most normal people -- so that maintaining the presidency requires them to appear as anything but ruthless.   It's very disturbing, I agree.    

      • Obama had both, but now the question is whether he has Machiavelli's virtue in full by possessing the ability to exercise power. This last element is what governing is about, and it is what will determine if his presidency succeeds.


        But what can Obama offer the Iranians that would induce them to forego their primary national security interest?

        In case you didn't get it, George Friedman was talking about a supposed nuclear-weapons program there. Now let him prove it.

        Don't think you can claim that he was referring to nuclear energy. Sure, that could be stretched to cover "national security"; but if he had meant energy and not weapons, he would have said peaceful energy. He has way too many neocon/Zionist subscribers, etc., to have ruled out what has never been proven: nuclear weapons.

        Rather than attempt to school me in what I understand full well, I suggest you read with great care and logic.