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10A005 Casey's Concern by Jim Davies, 8/7/2010

Doug Casey has been a predictor of gloom and doom for several decades, and I'm glad of that; it's good that someone perceptive enough to be an anarcho- libertarian has been warning of the dreadful things that might happen, given the absurd premise that governments are a good idea. He has tied his warnings to advice on how to invest for best advantage, and is reputed to have made a fortune himself. Good for him.

His latest warning comes in a recent interview, and suggests that WW-III may be poised to begin over the Iranian nuclear program. It's worth reading in full but the nub of his argument comes here: "Iran is going to develop nuclear weapons... and of course Israel can't let them do that. These countries are on a clear collision course." "Iran" and "Israel" are of course shorthand words for the governments of those respective states, for I suppose there aren't many among the 67 million Iranians who really want to drown 7.5 million Jews in the Mediterranean Sea, nor many among those Israelis who wish much harm to those Persians 800 miles across the deserts of Jordan and Iraq.

So I got to wonder what might make Casey wrong; what might prevent this looming conflict? This is a good time to ask that - much more useful than asking it later, as an historian, after all the damage has been done. And the damage could be terrible; Iran, as Casey notes, would probably respond by closing Hormuz and so choking off all mid-East oil supplies, creating even more economic chaos and decline worldwide; and should the US Navy try to stop that, it would very likely be sunk by a large array of lightweight water-skimming missiles that Iran has ready. Once that happens, dominoes will tumble and prediction get really hard.

The only answer I can imagine is that right now, before it's too late, the US government loudly announce that it will withdraw all support for the Israeli one if such a pre-emptive strike is carried out. That would be effective because Israel would then be forced to accommodate itself to the realities of Middle East life; that is, to stand on its own feet for the first time in its 64-year history. No doubt it will have to yield ground and influence. Not a day too soon.

The consequence over here would be an immediate withdrawal of the Jewish vote from all associated with President Obama. Following close on its heels will be a withdrawal of support from all those Christians who so passionately believe that a 3,500 year old unsigned title deed by the Creator of the Universe somehow entitles Jews to occupy the sliver of land between the Med and the Jordan river; but then, not many of those folk vote Democrat anyway. So the problem is really AIPAC. Could Obama survive that loss? I don't care either way, of course - but he does, and that's what counts.

Oddly enough, he just might. Initially there would be a storm of shock, horror and protest, especially given the Jewish influence in the media, but the mainstream media has already lost much of its gloss thanks to the Internet and I think it quite credible that he could gain a heap of support after the shock subsided, in the guise of a prince of peace who ended America's long addiction to Israel and so saved us all from another immensely destructive war. Not, of course, that I want to see any politician popular, I merely note that in political calculus, he might reckon it that way and that if he does, we will all greatly benefit.

Which way that political calculation will go is far beyond my ability to guess, but I'm very interested that, given the premise that governments exist, such vast consequences for human survival and happiness do rest upon such calculation. That has always been so, and for as long as governments continue, it always will.

Accordingly, we humans have a choice: we can continue to support the institution of government in the certain knowledge that war and deprivation will result - later, if not this year - as it always has resulted over thousands of years of history, or else we can terminate that institution and try a simpler way of living together. What is not rational, however, is to continue with government and expect there to be peace. That would be completely insane.

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