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A patchwork of mistakes
by Thanos Kalamidas
2008-10-20 08:42:46
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For the next few days we are going to see a lot of photos with George W. Bush embracing Nicola Sarkozy, actually we are going to see the American president loving and kissing the old Europe just to put the last patch in the gigantic patchwork called the American economy; an economy full of controversy and contradictions where greed is simultaneously called profit and sin.

But after all, the second and last term of this American administration hasn’t been a patchwork of acts? The funny thing is that the patchwork is expanding even in the blaming part, you don’t know who to really blame, the president, the advisors, the party, the lobbies? This is the miracle this administration did, a soup and a knot of decisions and acts that will take time to untie all the mess and this is the sad part, it doesn’t matter who is going to be the winner of the next elections. It will take so long to sort out the mess so the biggest part of the first term will be wasted and it will be used as the excuse that politicians often say, "We received rubble and are trying to make something out of it."

What happened over the last few weeks in the financial sector, as many have pointed all around the world, wasn’t anything out of surprise, all the warnings were there and what actually happened in the stock markets proved that shares gambling is exactly that - based on air, overpricing shares that were balloons in reality full of hot air and scared greedy men and women who were ready for fast profit ignoring the risks of the gambling and the warnings of the market that became stronger with the housing crisis.

The warning started long ago with credit cards and the signs were there when a decade ago a new style of company was created, a series of companies that could help individuals with their credit and loans. That is a sign that something is going on in the credit sector and something should be done. The attitude that the market is taking care of it self has been proven wrong unfortunately in practice today but again the signs were there when the people who dealt with the credit crisis first were the ones who needed more protection from the state to survive. When I’m talking about the protection of the state I don’t mean in benefits but as a protector against the greed of the banks and the investors.

But the financial crisis is just the tip of the iceberg; this administration has done far more unbelievable wrong-steps, pick anything or any sector you like, the invasion to Iraq which resulted in bad relations with most of the countries all around the world, the strengthening of terrorism and finally the beginning of a huge crisis to the institution of the United Nations ignoring its role in the international order.

In fact the last decades Republican administrations methodically boycotted the role of the United Nations but the Bush administration took it one step further. Ignoring the decisions of the Security Council and the General Secretary, but most of all ignoring all the arguments against the invasion, the timing and the excuses wiping off the strongest and apparently the only loyal allies, they invaded Iraq driving the country into near civil war, and a dramatic murderous reality which has a lot of signs from the darkest memories of the American modern history, the Vietnam War. Despite all the reassurances there is no peace or security in Iraq and it is not General Petreaus fault who by the way should stop palling with McCain and investing in a possible political future but do his job; but is a mistake of the administration and the decision makers in the White House.

As a continue to that damage in the foreign policy for the United States from this administration is unbelievable and yes the allies are willing to forgive in the name of a long friendship and understanding but what is going to be the exchange of this forgiveness is a mystery yet and the new president will have to find out. Actually this administration had already a taste what this exchange means because even the allies from …new Europe didn’t come cheap!

By the way the bitter truth about all this new and old Europe story is that apart from the P.R. when it comes to real help financial or military this administration had to turn to old Europe just like now with all the financial screw up, you see Estonia. Poland and Romania can not give much help, can they? Of course the can give plumbers but I think USA has already enough problems with her own plumbers.

The photos we are going to see with George W. Bush and Nicola Sarkozy or the other European leaders for the next few days will be a dual reminder for the American people, this administration has failed in the most dramatic way not only to protect the people from outside enemies but even from her own bad self and the same time it will remind them that the hard times just started and it will take time to recover and despite all the things Barack Obama said jokingly in a speech last week, he is not the Superman and he need credit of time.

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Emanuel Paparella2008-10-20 15:53:49
Indeed, Thanos, I am afraid that the worst is still to come, presently the economic crisis has hit the bankers, hedge fund managers, derivatives traders and the rest of the exotic financial house of cards gone bust with greed (never part of their esoteric financial formulas), but it has not yet hit Joe six pack and Joe the plumber and Joe average citizen.

Later on the credit squeeze will translate into higher unemployment and falling living standards and even panic. It is already happening with an increase of anxiety. People say that they don’t feel “happy.” To equate material prosperity and progress with mere “happiness” is already symptomatic of what has been ailing the whole of Western Civilization. Indeed, the universal wages of greed and selfishness are still to come. Should dumb and dumber Joe the pblumber elect four more years of Bush and fat cats policies scared off by Obama’s “redistribution of wealth” (which has already occurred in favor of the fat cats in any case), we will all have to pay them. It takes a village and the village is global!

Emanuel Paparella2008-10-20 16:01:58
P.S. The diagnosis, if not the prognosis, of the crisis can be glimpsed in that movie "Wall Stree" where one of its protagonist, the cut throat investor (played by Michael Douglas)recites a peroration to the "virtue" of greed. When virtu is vice and vice is virtue, it is indeed the end as the mighty Romans eventually found out. What did Marx say? Those who don't learn from their history....

Thanos2008-10-20 16:13:52
The only thing remains is that the American people will give Obama the chance and not just a taste.

Sand2008-10-20 18:58:29
First it was Santayana now it's Marx ... who next to comment in the same words?

Emanuel Paparella2008-10-20 22:33:48
Is that how the voices in your head egregiously completed the sentence? They are deceivers and are up to no good; they did that so that they could then infer that it was a quote from Santayana imputed to Marx. Tell them they are mistaken next time they visit; as any reader can see the sentence in not only not completed but it also lacks quotation marks; the idea of the determinism of history can certainly be imputed to Marx or Vico or Hegel as well as Santayana. Santayana also refers to history but in his actual quote he uses the term “the past” not history and does not speak about learning, but about remembering and forgetting; to quote verbatim: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Sand2008-10-21 03:46:18
Now THAT'S real sophism!

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