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Kaplan’s Cure for the Middle East: Imperialism


Kaplan’s Cure for the Middle East: Imperialism

Amitabh Pal

The solution to the current mess in the Middle East is to bring back imperialism—that’s what an influential foreign policy thinker is straight-facedly claiming.


I’m reminded of the admonition “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

I don’t know about others, but I tend to think of this as having a specific temporal orientation - a warning/admonitory: toward a choice of action posited for the future.
But more than this, it speaks to condition. Whatever I do to another, I am reflecting my past and how I regard the meaning of my own experience as well as how that experience contributes to and shapes my choices. It calls us to look at how we regard what it means ‘to be’ and knowing what our actions mean.

I still wrestle with two words from classical philosophy: epistemology and ontology. The first ‘pertains to knowledge’; ontology - pertains to the study of being.

The tragic aspect of empire, which is and has been playing out in spades, especially in terms of the stunningly intricate history and bodies of knowledge that fully predate the rise of empire, is destruction of history and transmission of that knowledge which has been suppressed under the aegis of the very rise of empire.

Likewise, a system that intentionally configures constructs that ‘dumb down’, impoverish, hoard and destroy in order to fulfill its impoverished notion of ‘survival’, reflects the internal wasteland generating those constructs/policies. It is the failed branch of the natural experiment and is too lost in its generations old mirror world to see the functional dignity of humility and restraint. Instead it lies, deceives and projects its deep-down intuited terror that its time is over. I only hope that the sense of the tragic soon overwhelms and exhausts the adrenal addiction to terror.


"The challenge now is less to establish democracy than to reestablish order. For without order, there is no freedom for anyone.”

Huh? Isn’t that what all dictatorial governments suggest?

I suspect Kaplan is one of those neocons who were formerly (?) Trotskyites. And Trotskyites are communists who believe in world revolution as soon as it could - in their opinion - be achieved, whether conditions are ripe or not. How ironic that the US government, founded on democratic principles (despite its imperfections), should be usurped by diehard communist fanatics!


Here we have NeoCon shape-shifting, black is white, no is yes and up is down manipulation at its utmost. Bring BACK imperialism, when the overriding problem across the Mideast is neo-imperialism, spawned by we all know who? Or, is what Kaplan suggests a follow-on or replacement issue for when the Iranian question is resolved? After all, THERE HAS GOT TO BE A (continuing) DIVERSION - whatever will best distract our attention away from the biggest, longest running thorn in America’s international affairs, right? (that which, you know, began in 1948)


This man should be in prison. Along with about a thousand more of his cohorts. Barring that happening, he should be ignored and shunned. He’s as insane as Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz and the rest of their fellow travelers. Unlike a broken clock he’s not even right twice a day. Reading about him and his thoughts on anything, while envisioning millions of the dead his kind have sent to " the promised land " prematurely, is truly nauseating. His true abode should be at a witch hunt, a lynching or the Court of Inquisition in Europe. He is that sick!


They should have left the Ottoman Empire in place after World War I. There were no Middle Eastern Countries…just Ottoman satraps…


Kaplan, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Feith, Rumsfeld. All should be arrested and given to ISIS with bows on.


“The Middle East is not facing state collapse because of the lack of empire,” writes Professor Juan Cole. “European empires themselves drew lines in the desert and instituted policies favoring minorities and dividing and ruling, which continue to haunt the region.”

Ditto (the above) in Africa where the bleeding (from tribal tensions inflamed by Anglo-European conquerors) has never stopped.

As to this idea that order = democracy even if said order is imposed through a brutal top-down patriarchal paradigm, I am hearing the premise of Democracy used to demand conformity to a singular ideology or macho-militaristic frame of reference.

It may well be time for a NEW dictionary that repairs the maiming done unto language… as many understand, this type of tainting is part and parcel both to propaganda and mind-control… the easiest ways for elites to control citizens who greatly out-number them.


Wow, just wow. I guess his theses sound much better in the original German.


Come on, the sun never sets on the American Empire.

English is apropos.


Damn. If the Brits hadn’t messed up the Ottoman Empire, none of this would have happened. Bring back the Sultan, I say.


While no random thousand people with their collective worst moments could equal kaplan’s comments, and his infatuation with fascism, a look at our foreign policy at any instant shows a shocking picture. It screams of endless, endless maleficence to core precepts of civility. Nuremberg principles get violated daily. What got us there is as morally reprehensible as Kaplan’s ‘solutions’. It’s a dark realization but the reason the population doesn’t try to do something tangible about foreign policy may well be that feel powerless to make any change, about almost anything. The fraud claim of having functioning democracy. Nothing has a more undemocratizing effect than giving the population no facilities, or the perception of no facilities by which to operate.

The propagandizing of language, as Siouxrose11 states, is an old reliable tool, something that we’re marinaded in via public relations and marking. One answer is what people have always done. Organize. Trying to create a synergism that supports us…for a change. Obviously it’s not easy, or we’d have done it by now. But as reality owes us no debt of cooperation, it’s up to us.


I think we should have a national sales event for what you are describing. Put an add for it in the superbowl. After all, America is for sale.


"The challenge now is less to establish democracy than to reestablish order. For without order, there is no freedom for anyone.” la

I believe Caplan is correct, that without order there is no freedom. But what we have done in the Middle East is to create disorder by our actions in Iraq, Syria and Libya and the suffering caused is horrendous.

Caplan’s main point about imperialism is off course nonsense. Certainly, if we use our power in the interests of the people, it would have merit, but that is not the dynamic of imperialism which is to benefit the imperialist.