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Posted By Justin Raimondo On January 7, 2009 @ 12:00 am In Uncategorized | No Comments
A new year, and a new president – plenty of grist for my prediction mill, or, at least, for the obligatory January “predictions” column. Not that there’s anything special, really, about it: all punditry is prediction, in an important sense. Every time a writer advocates a particular policy or decries another, the author is predicting a certain outcome, good or bad. The question is, which policies will win out in the battle of ideas? As we look at the incoming administration, especially in the context of trends that have been building over time, a certain scenario begins to emerge, with the first act unfolding on the domestic stage:
What the situation requires, however – the economic situation, that is – is the invention of another Major Threat. Whether that turns out to be Russia, as the neocons would like; China, as the labor unions would prefer; or al-Qaeda, again, pulling off some spectacular 9/11-like operation, is an open question. Throw in the prospect of another non-state actor usurping al-Qaeda’s role as global villain, and the possibilities are manifold – and frighteningly plausible. As for me, I’d place my bets on Russia. As in the Clinton era, expect large-scale U.S. government-sponsored efforts to penetrate Central Asia.
An increasingly antagonistic relationship with China is also in our future, especially after the Chinese government orders state-owned enterprises to call in their American debt and offload all those T-bills. If and when it comes, that is the conflict that will see the AFL-CIO, the neocons, both major political parties, and a good proportion of the paleoconservatives in the ranks of the War Party. The Taiwan lobby, an old mainstay of the Cold War conservative movement, will make a comeback, as the Republican Party “mainstream” makes a completely implausible and unsuccessful effort to win over “working class” voters.
By the end of the year, plans for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq will be put on indefinite hold, as it’s “discovered” that Iran has infiltrated the Iraqi government at the highest levels, and U.S. soldiers are called in to halt an alleged coup attempt by pro-Iranian officers and militiamen. Iraq will increasingly become a battlefield in an ongoing proxy war between the U.S. (and Israel, operating in Kurdistan) and Iran. Allegations of Iranian interference in Pakistan and even Afghanistan will be raised by the Clinton State Department, and we’ll be subjected to another long campaign by the War Party to target Tehran for destruction.
All in all, the prospects for liberty and peace in 2009 might be charitably described as dim, although bleak seems more precise. My advice to my readers: save your candles. The Dark Ages are coming. But, hey, I’m willing to be pleasantly surprised.
As I sit here, far removed from the hustle and bustle of the cities, gazing up at a redwood whose tip is lost in swirling mist, the illusion of my own exemption from the onrushing disaster persists. Perhaps it’s just a defense mechanism imposed by the structure of the human mind, the same safety valve that blocks out the certainty of death and the ultimate tragedy of human existence. In any case, whatever it is, it feels right – and that’s all I can ask for the moment. So, in spite of my rather grim prognosis of the future we face, I can say, with equanimity, Happy New Year, Antiwar.com readers! May the gods protect you from the coming dark age, as they have so far – thank Fortuna! – spared me.
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