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Rogue Nation(s)

Written By: - Date published: 10:19 am, May 9th, 2018 - 30 comments
Categories: class, class war, culture, Deep stuff, identity, International, Left, Politics, quality of life - Tags: , , ,

Iran, the UK, France, China, Russia and Germany, have committed to preserving the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) around Iran’s nuclear abilities. The US has bailed and is increasing sanctions against Iran and any country or entity it deems to be aiding Iran in its non-existent nuclear ambitions.

(Saudi Arabia and Israel have welcomed the US move – nice bed fellows)

Excepting the US, every country in the world has made some level of commitment to tackle global warming through agreements reached at Paris.

These are big deals and, I suspect, not the only examples of the US being out of step.

Any other country being so at variance with the world’s community of nations, would quite rightly be labeled a rogue state, and then probably treated as the pariah it chooses to be. Not the US. For now.

The reality is that money makes the world go round, and the US is the axis around which much of the world’s money orbits. So the US gets to act as it pleases. But like the last great world power before it, Great Britain, the US is on the wane, and power and influence is shifting east this time.

And just like as when elite intersts in Great Britain “threw their toys out of the cot” at the prospect of ceding their place in the world to US elites, so today China is subject to bullshit and opprobrium from those within the US’s ever weakening sphere of influence.

Meanwhile we, the ordinary men women and children of this world get to sit at a distance, invisible. Some of us might think we have shared interests with one, or some or other of these various powerful elites. Meanwhile, far too many of us are simply the sanctioned, bombed and maimed “collateral damage” of their carryings on. Maybe if we were to think about it, we would conclude that all of these centres of great political power are out of step with our wishes and our desires; that all the nations of the world are rogue.

And then, perhaps, we would seek to treat them as any pariah would be treated, and banish them from our lives. That might seem like quite an undertaking for us, ordinary people, to elevate ourselves above the US’s, China’s and EU’s of the world, but then, those things are mere constructs – just ideas that wither and vanish without the sustenance we afford them.

Is that too big a step for most of us to contemplate – to simply view people living in another part of the world as people living in another part of the world, and not “Iranians” ,  “Americans”, “Chinese” or “Europeans” and all the manipulated baggage that comes with the territory?


30 comments on “Rogue Nation(s) ”

  1. Zorb6 1

    Is it the nation(s)that are rogue,or is it just the leader(s)of those nations?

    • Bill 1.1

      The nation state is a fairly recent phenomena. And I should probably have referred to a “rogue state”, given that nations are not necessarily bound by geography (ie – the Roma nation.)

      Anyway. In the context of the post, no – “rogue” isn’t referring to leaders or individual politicians.

  2. Puckish Rogue 2

    So whats going to be Americas Suez Canal moment do you think or is it still coming?

    • Exkiwiforces 2.1

      It’s going’s be either in the MER or somewhere in Asia and when I really don’t know, but that will depending on who has a itchier tigger finger or when the chicken crosses the road.

  3. lprent 3

    Hey Bill. I can just imagine you saying just a categorically that North Korea had no nuclear weapons ambitions.

    Of course you would have denounced Israel I’d they had one or not (which they do) and have had since probably the 70s.

    But you are so even handed you’d never notice your own double standards.

    Iran clearly had the beginnings of a nuclear program. But the things are fiendishly expensive to get operational. It looks like a change of government mothballed it earlier this decade long before the agreement to lift sanctions in exchange for not pursuing it further.

    I have no idea what that dickhead Trump has done now and I am not intending to looking until after my morning coffee.

    However trying to limit the spread and use of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons is something that any civilised person would want to do regardless of simple minded ideology. If that means sanctions are and effective route, then that is what gets used. If agreements can be made and kept (something that North Korea never seems to do) then that gets used.

    It is just a pity when we get an attention seeking ignorant fuckwit as US president. Just makes it a little bit harder to get effective actions. But it isn’t that much different from having the sly bullshitting gangster running the Kremlin.

    • Gosman 3.1

      South Africa managed to construct 6 bombs relatively inexpensively.


      • lprent 3.1.1

        Perhaps you should actually read the article and consider the timescales and levels of investments against the available money as a proportion of the economy.

        But 1948 from intent to 1982 to get an operational weapon is frigging long time to get to a simple fission weapon. Or 1969 to 1982 if you prefer when they actually started to try to build a weapon.

        The considerable international support to discourage SA from proceeding succeeded (even if I suspect that they had some ‘tests’ squirrelled away afterwards).

        And it looks like they never got a viable delivery mechanism, nor managed to escalate to the fusion or even an enhanced yield device.

        As I said, it isn’t an easy process. It is fiendishly difficult even now.

    • Bill 3.2

      Hey Bill. I can just imagine you saying just a categorically that North Korea had no nuclear weapons ambitions.

      Well, no Lynn. Or, okay, you might imagine it, but it wouldn’t bear any relation to reality.

      And I’m simply not getting the “you’d denounce Israel” regardless line. The really scary one on the nuclear front is Pakistan. India’s up there too given the history of conflict between Pakistan and India – and thanks to the previous NZ Labour government agreeing to not use its veto to prevent proliferation.

      Iran has been monitored and is adhering to the agreement. It is not pursuing any nuclear ambitions.

      “Lesser” states usually invest in chemical/biological weapons as the “poor man’s” alternative to nuclear deterrence. It’s crap, but the way of the world. It was why Syria had chemical stockpiles.

      No nuclear armed nation has been militarily done over by “the big boys”. That could be a coincidence, but I’m picking “not”.

      So what do you reckon Iran will do now? The answer is “nothing”, unless everyone follows the US lead (unlikely).

  4. Sabine 4

    Iran knows that if it wants to exist it needs the bomb. Just as North Korea needed it.

    Its a few years old, but still makes for good reading


    Here are some of the authors’ policy recommendations:

    Preparing to launch a preemptive attack on North Korea, after moving our troops out of range of their artillery and missiles.
    Taking direct action to topple the regime in Iran, by providing aid to Iranian dissidents.
    Being prepared to invade Syria, of whom the authors write, “Really, there is only one question to ask about Syria: Why have we put up with it as long as we have?”
    Being prepared to invade Libya. “The illusion that Muammar al-Qaddafi is ‘moderating’ should be treated as what it is: a symptom of the seemingly incurable wishful delusions that afflict the accommodationists in the foreign policy establishment.” (Now that those accommodationists in State have been proven right, don’t expect an apology from the authors: They’ll claim Qaddafi got rid of his WMD programs only because Bush invaded Iraq. All other answers, no matter if they’re true, don’t fit with their Manichaean, evildoers-respond-only-to-force worldview. Besides, those who are always right must never apologize. It is a sign of weakness, which our evil Muslim terrorist enemies (TM) will exploit with evil terror.)
    Taking a superconfrontational line with Saudi Arabia, including letting them know that if they don’t reform we would look with favor upon a Shiite uprising in their oil-rich Eastern Province.
    Abandoning the Israeli-Palestinian peace process altogether. In a radical departure from U.S. policy, they say the Palestinians should not be given a state. Creating a Palestinian state out of the West Bank and Gaza, they write, will not bring peace to the region, because the Palestinians and other Arabs are only interested in vengeance, not justice. Instead, the Palestinians should “let go of the past” and content themselves with becoming citizens of the Arab countries in which they now live. The authors do not say what should happen to the 3.9 million Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories: Presumably they should either agree to become second-class citizens like the other Israeli Arabs, or leave.
    Their domestic policies are equally arresting:
    Requiring all residents to carry a national identity card that includes “biometric data, like fingerprints or retinal scans or DNA,” and empowering all law enforcement officers to enforce immigration laws. The authors admit that such a card “could be used in abusive ways,” but reassure us by saying that victims of “executive branch abuse will be able to sue.” Those who have done nothing wrong have nothing to fear!
    Encouraging Americans to “report suspicious activity.” Apparently alone among Americans, the authors lament the demise of the TIPS program.
    Changing immigration policy so that the U.S. can bar all would-be visitors who have “terrorist sympathies.” The authors define “terrorist sympathies” so broadly that this would rule out a high percentage of visitors from Muslim or Arab countries.
    Reforming the CIA to make it more hard-line on the Middle East. There can be no argument that American intelligence desperately needs reform. But after the yellowcake scandal, after the Valerie Plame leak, after the lies and distortions and creation of special offices to cook evidence, for Bush hard-liners to trash the intelligence community and the State Department takes some chutzpah.” Quote end.

    the dotard has not had a new thought since the eighties, and many of his current advisers seem to be stuck in the same loop, and they want to finish business.
    The dotard will eat his KFC, will oogle his female aides in high heels, will do as Fox Friends will tell him too.

  5. Incognito 5

    No nation states, no borders, no central governments? Too big a step for me to contemplate but nevertheless an appealing proposition 😉

    I often wonder why we have a political system that’s run & ruled by political parties. Humans seem to have strong urge to associate and distinguish between us & them, self & non-self, etc. This dualism seems to be at the root of most if not all ‘evil’ …

    • Bill 5.1

      No nation states, no borders, no central governments? Too big a step for me to contemplate but nevertheless an appealing proposition.

      Otherwise known as “socialism”.

      • Stunned Mullet 5.1.1

        Sounds hideous.

      • greywarshark 5.1.2

        I seem to think always of music lyrics.
        Imagine – nice thought John. But they had to shoot you.

      • Incognito 5.1.3

        Oh, I agree, the whole of humankind is sovereign, not dictators, monarchs, heads of state, or even so-called democratically-elected representative governments and parliaments (and most certainly not multinational corporations). But we live in societies that control and curb our lives through state-imposed rules & regulations AKA social contract in which individuals form the collective that tightly controls the individuals. This collective coercion of individuals, I believe, is the Achilles heel of socialism. The social contract as we know it needs reviewing IMHO because the old structures of authority that held things together are rapidly disappearing and a new commonality has not yet emerged or has it …

        • Bill

          Unlike what we have right now, there is no “social contract” within socialism that excludes any person in terms of its formulation or that takes any persons acquiescence for granted. And the “social contracts” are multiple, dynamic and varied across cultures and places.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      I often wonder why we have a political system that’s run & ruled by political parties.

      Because it prevents democracy.

      • Incognito 5.2.1

        Sure, it hinders democracy reaching its full potential but are you suggesting that this the reason or rather the consequence? Or are you referring to the chicken & egg paradox, i.e. the two are inseparable and contingent?

        • Draco T Bastard

          No, I’m saying that Representative Democracy was designed by the rich to prevent actual democracy. They were terrified that the poor would vote that the wealth of the nation be returned to it.

  6. Rosemary McDonald 6

    “Meanwhile we, the ordinary men women and children of this world get to sit at a distance, invisible. ”

    Thanks for posting this BIll.

    We had a ‘moment’ in Pak n Save this morning doing the weekly shop. There was bags of pasta on special in a bin…. the label was in Arabic. Upon close inspection it said “product of Iran’. As a little ‘up yours to the Don we chucked a couple of packets in the trolley, “just to piss of Trump” we quipped. Another shopper laughed, gave the thumbs up, and also grabbed a couple of bags.

    There’s not much of anything the ordinary men and women can do to express our disdain of the potus.

  7. greywarshark 7

    Years ago I watched the carrying on of one NZ union leader and thought if only he would go then we would be better off. He did go and was replaced with
    someone slightly more feisty and determined to wreak havoc on our efforts to have a working country with living wage and good living.

    Behind Trump are the very small number of world uber wealthy people and they will always be there now, along with their knights, lords and barons or whatever the ambitious rising classes get called. So we have to try and box clever. We have a chance to see through the fog by commenting, reading and learning here. I hope that some good strategies that look after our humanness get devised, and amended as needed to fit the reasonable needs of good and practical people.

    I’m reading Cicero – This is the summary of Rome that he attempted to grapple with and hold to a reasonable standard of legality and nobility.

    These 63 years (106-43 B.C. his life time) were fateful for the history of the world. The Roman empire had achieved a position which was unprecedented and has never been repeated….But Rome was showing itself more and more incapable of governing this vast territory. Administrators were corrupt, Italy itself was reft by an ever-deepening gulf between rich and poor… The machinery of government at Rome, designed for a small Republic, had proved woefully inadequate for the guidance of a huge empire. Politics was a selfish and ruthless struggle among aristocratic groups and grandees and business concerns…

    There was also an ever-growing tendency for successful generals to become political leaders on their own account, with the backing of their soldiers…who developed personal instead of patriotic loyalties….three hundred years later the not wholly illiberal principate founded by Augustus again proved insufficiently tough to cope with fresh threats, and a harsher totalitarian regime took shape.

    Yet the dying Republic was full of talent, in the political as well as the literary field. The Romans were the most gifted race of politicians the world has ever seen…

    We have the example in the world of Israel being taken over and dominated by the military. Burma, Fiji has done it. Perhaps this is going to be the situation, and we’ll all go down like dominoes so we can be run efficiently under the authoritarian rule.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Behind Trump are the very small number of world uber wealthy people and they will always be there now, along with their knights, lords and barons or whatever the ambitious rising classes get called.

      The chosen word seems to be entrepreneurs and/or investors despite the fact that none of these people are entrepreneurial and that they’re bludging off of everyone else rather than investing.

      • greywarshark 7.1.1

        Yes DTB and they are succeeding well aren’t they. We will have to invest in ourselves, none of these others with spare everything will do it. So my suggestion is for us all to get out and do things for and with the community, spread some fun, kindness, organisation, hope, practicality and creativity around. Fight for some funding for ourselves, we ordinary ones, raise the idea of ordinary to a high level, and keep an eye on the airy fairy types with great ideas to see who is going to be doing the work and who is going to be creaming the top and making the decisions.

        Encourage kids to make little plans and run small projects with others at school. I have read some good young adult books lately. Anyone read Cynthia Voigts Tillerman series that is like Enid Blyon’s Famous Five but in grittier reality. In fact True Grit is a book made into a film with Johnny Cash? and a great young actress where a feisty child has to take on adult responsibilities.

        We need to have plans on the go with the say one-third of the population who have the time, the right age, the health, the resources, the urge to achieve and not wait for the leaders who have the money but no ideas to do something. Or half the time they will do something that isn’t wanted or accessible anyway. About one-quarter of society have the opportunity to be a ginger group, and half of those will do something, and half of those actually care about people and combining support, fun and practicality. If you hear of that group having a go at something good and helpful for those missing out, if they don’t welcome you then something odd is happening in their minds.

  8. The new axis of evil,USA, Israel, Saudi arabia

  9. Tamati Tautuhi 9

    When Castro parked some Russian nuclear weapons on Cuban soil it slowed USA aspirations to retake Cuba off the Cuban people ?

  10. Philg 10

    We’ve come a long way since JFK, not.

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