Friday, October 3, 2014

The Search of Neuroscience for the Quintessence of Economics

By Con George-KotzabasisOctober 03, 2014

A reply to “of markets and minds” --by professor Peter Bossaerts
Melbourne University Magazine

Economics is the application of scarce means for the attainment of countless abundant ends. Since all ends cannot be fulfilled because of the scarcity of resources, human choice selects those ends that are more needful or pleasurable to man than those that are less so. The attainment of those more needful ends is a result of human action. These ends, however, are the fruits of the future and the inevitable uncertainty that is riveted upon it. Therefore human action is always speculation based, however, not upon the throw of the dice but upon ratiocination. Furthermore, actions are determined by the value judgments of individuals i.e., the ends they are eager to attain. These valuations differ among individuals due to the different circumstances and living conditions of these individuals and to the variable desires and wishes that emanate from the plethora of their personalities. There is no constant relationship between these valuations, as they emanate from the different wishes, desires and caprices of an umpteenth of individuals, and are therefore beyond the bailiwick of science to measure them; what scientific method could measure with precision the capricious longings of man and the uncertainty that surrounds his existence?

Professor Bossaerts’ attempt therefore, to identify and control the ‘cells’ of the economy and finance and the complex interactions that determine their course by the scientific method of neuroscience for the purpose of rationally directing the process of the economy to a more beneficial path, is in vain and is bound to fail. Science measures constant relationships in the controlled experimental environment of the lab but cannot measure uncontrolled innumerable variants that determine, in our case, the process of a free market economy. The search, therefore, of finding the inexorably elusive quintessence of the economic process by the tools of the hard sciences, though a laudable task, is purblind, as it cannot see nor understand that science is incapable of measuring the measureless.

The endeavour to supplant and redress, on the one hand, the imperfections of the free market economy, and on the other, the failures of government dirigisme to regulate and direct the economic process of the free market to a more optimal state, by the powerful algorithmic tools of science, will be found to be another futile attempt to direct the economy from a central command post, this time by the methods of neuroscience and not by an omniscient cabal of socialist planners.

In an imperfect and uncertain world, the free market economy will proceed and move by trial and error and continue to spread its benefits to mankind. But the intervention of man’s reason and understanding will substantially diminish the errors by increasing their correction in time by the power of man’s imagination and ratiocination.                 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Samaras Government and the Frivolous Populist Chattering of the Media Harlots

By Con George-Kotzabasis  August 19, 2014

The Greek economic crisis has brought on its heels a moral and intellectual crisis and “prostitution” of its media. The Fourth Estate in Greece has been transformed into a “red-light” district where a populist seraglio of colorful journalistic harlots has assembled to hustle their “quickies.” Only with few exceptions, such as Babis Papadimitriou, whose analyses of current economic events in Greece are illustriously admirable and an example for imitation, most of the media spoke persons and journalists in Greece are wallowing in the putrid waters of populism and from that position are publishing their disheartening, gloomy, and misleading comments about the economic and political situation of the country. But while it is easy to please and mislead the hoi polloi it will not be easy for these commentators to erase the mark of shame that they have self-inflicted upon themselves and their intellectual integrity.

To the incomparable achievements of the Samaras government in restructuring the economy, making it more competitive and freeing it from the dead weight of the public sector–which was a major cause that had brought Greece to the precipice of default and its citizens close to absolute poverty–that were the prerequisites for keeping the country within the European Union and with the latter’s financial help saving it from economic collapse that would have thrown its people, for at least a generation, into the hungry fangs of poverty, the Greek media, almost in toto, has not emitted one word of praise toward this remarkable performance of the government.

This accomplishment is unprecedented in the history of nations, that in a short period of two years any political leadership was able to accomplish and salvage their countries from bankruptcy. The Greek media, however, did not make one twit about this great accomplishment. On the contrary, it criticized the government, and often condemned it, of being responsible for the immiseration and economic suffering of its people, and of being the puppet of the European political elite, especially Chancellor Merkel of Germany. In a chorus of tragicomedy its commentators reproached and blamed the coalition of the Samaras government for accepting and implementing the austere policies of the second Memorandum, that were imposed by the European Commission as a condition for Greece’s continued financial assistance by the former, as being the cause of the calamitous economic blight that has scourged a major part of the population in the last two years. However in this prejudiced and populist castigation of the government by the media analysts, they studiously ignored the fact that the real culprits for this economic disaster were the leaders of past governments who had created a false and unsustainable economic prosperity, fuelled by loans and debts and passing the latter to future generations, and by creating a gargantuan flabby and totally inefficient public sector for the purpose of ensconcing their political clientele in leisurely unproductive jobs at the expense of the public purse. Hence, it was not the Memorandum that had brought the economic crisis and the level of unemployment to stratospheric heights, but the imprudent and foolhardy policies of past governments that led the country to the brink of insolvency that had brought the Memorandum with its inevitably austere remedies, and just as inevitably some errors in its policies, but which were tragically essential for Greece’s economic recovery. As is often the case throughout history, nations and men/women in great dangers can only be saved by the most severe measures.

The Samaras government did not flinch before this formidable responsibility and carried this hard task with the characteristic moral strength and intellectual astuteness of its leader. It surmounted the mountainous populist waves that a petty and completely incompetent, and by now, a historically obsolete amalgam of ex-communists and socialists, who compose the Opposition, Syriza, stirred among the populace with the aim to get rid of the government. And despite the fact it had the unions and its strikes on its side and using them as a battering-ram to overthrow the government, nor the fact that the media in general took a neutral stand and did not decry this disgraceful and dangerous action of the Opposition that would lead to the political destabilization of the country and would put in jeopardy all the successes of the government in pulling the country out of the crisis, the Opposition failed ignominiously in its goal.

Antonis Samaras, like Theseus, is finding Greece’s way out of the labyrinth of its economic crisis while the Greek media inexorably demeans itself by polluting its readers and viewers in a rancid flood of populist biased misleading comments and information, that puts the great accomplishments of the government and its exit from the crisis at an immense menacing risk.  

I rest on my oars:Your turn now!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Delegitimize States that Sponsor Terror

I'm republishing the following paper for the readers of this new website hoping to find it to be of some interest.
By Con George-Kotzabasis

The following paper was written on September 20, 2006, and was sent to President Bush on the same date. The reason why it's republished here in The...Journal, is that the Pentagon has now a secret plan to attack Iran within twenty four hours, according to investigative journalist Seymour Hersh of The New Yorker magazine.

Distinguished former diplomats, like Warren Christopher, Clinton’s Secretary of State, remain at their “postless”, no new messages on diplomacy, posts, and continue to argue on the virtues of old diplomacy. In his piece on the Washington Post, July 28, 2006, he calls for “negotiation of an immediate cease-fire between the warring parties” in Lebanon, and asserts that a “permanent” and “sustainable” solution to the root causes of the conflict—which is the goal of the Bush administration—“is achievable, if at all, by protracted negotiations.” As an example of such successful diplomacy that occurred under his tenure as Secretary, he refers to the rocket attacks by Hezbollah in April 1996 against Israel and the countering of the latter with Operation Grapes of Wrath, that the Cagliostro like arts of diplomacy successfully stymied this confrontation and ushered a truce between the parties that lasted for ten years. He claims, that only by such broad-minded diplomacy that involves all the players in the region could America stop its “tattered reputation.” But he is completely mindless of the fact that this long Truce was neither permanent nor sustainable, but, merely, a respite for the Hezbollah during which the latter would militarily train and proselytize its militia with its fanatic deadly ideology and arm it with Katyusha rockets for a deadlier future confrontation with its mortal enemy, the Jewish State, as we now see.

To repeat therefore the diplomacy of the past in the present context in the face of these lessons given by this flauntingly failed diplomacy, is not only to repeat the mistakes of the past, but more grievously still, to weaken Israel and its Western allies against greater impending dangers in the future. As the upshot of another long Truce between the belligerents now would only benefit Hezbollah by making it politically, ideologically, and militarily even stronger, and loading this time the tips of its rockets with weapons of mass destruction, including tactical nuclear weapons, thus fulfilling President Ahmadinejad’s apocalyptic foreboding of wiping Israel off the map. And needless to say, such an outcome would be a tremendous victory for global terror and a serious strategic reversal of the West’s war against it.

Furthermore, it would set in concrete the ambition of Iran to become the dominant power of the region, whose present trailblazing two-pronged strategy to forge an axis between Shi’ites and Sunnis, as the present pact between Iran and Syria illustrates, against their arch enemy Israel and to paralyze the EU and the US as a condominium to formulate an ironclad policy that would prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, are the means by which it will achieve its aim. Since, according to the Ahmadinejad regime, the grand diversion that Lebanon has provided will ease its task to acquire a nuclear arsenal, as the divisions that would be spawned by the Lebanon crisis among the Western countries and within the UN about how to handle the situation on the ground, would be of such a nature that would completely enervate the US and EU condominium from forging a position that would stop Iran from joining the nuclear club.

Hence the war in Lebanon may initially appear to be a local conflict between Israel and Hezbollah but in reality is a geopolitical conflict between Iran and the Western powers since the former will be using the conflagration of Lebanon as a fulcrum to achieve its strategic goals (a) to acquire nuclear weapons, (b) to emerge as the predominant power in the region, (c) to become the leader of the Muslim world, and (d) to establish in the world the millenarian regime of the twelfth imam Mahdi. As the respected Middle East analyst Amir Taheri wrote in The Australian, on August 7, 06, “to Ahmadinejad to wipe off Israel is the first step toward defeating the ‘infidel’ West”. He furthermore quotes Iran’s state controlled media as saying “that Lebanon would become the graveyard of the Bush plan for a new Middle East”. And Tehran believes, “that a victory by Hezbollah…will strengthen Ahmadinejad’s bid for the leadership of radical Islam”. And Taheri comes to the conclusion “all the talk of a ceasefire, all the diplomatic gesticulation may ultimately mean little in what is an existential conflict”.

Will the “new” diplomacy, as embodied in the unanimously approved resolution by the UN Security Council, in its stylishly dashing French clothes, but worn, by the old decrepit body of diplomatic thinking, bring the long desired, but up till now evanescent, permanent and sustainable solution to the region that so many attempts in the past failed to do? The auguries for such an outcome however, are far from favorable. The Council’s resolution calls for a halt to the fighting and Israel’s withdrawal “in parallel” with the deployment of UN peacekeepers and 15,000 Lebanese troops who will attempt to create a buffer zone in South Lebanon free of the Hezbollah militia. However, the resolution vaguely refers to the disarmament and dismantling of the latter, that is pivotal to a permanent and sustainable peace between Israel and Lebanon and whether such international force and the Lebanese army--which is riddled with Hezbollah sympathizers--even if they had a clear mandate to disarm Hezbollah, would have been able to accomplish this task, given the unambiguous statements of Hezbollah that it will not disarm. Nor does the resolution take a firm and implacable stand in stopping the supply of weapons to Hezbollah by Iran and Syria.

Hence, the dragon teeth of Hezbollah are still planted deep in Lebanon’s soil, presaging an even greater and more dangerous conflagration in the future between the warring parties, especially if Iran stealthily slips into the nuclear club. The UN resolution therefore is merely a soporific. It will provide a couch to Israel and Hezbollah so they can both lay down in a temporary state of dormancy until Hezbollah feels strong enough, in its never ending act, to wipe Israel off the map. Thus, the future confrontation will be by far more deadly than the present one, as possibly hundreds of thousands will lose their lives.

America's New Strategic Diplomacy

Surely the American leadership must be aware of this lugubrious scenario that has been staged by this toothless resolution of the Security Council. Unless they have in mind a second stronger swift resolution that will be addressing the complete disarmament and dismantling of Hezbollah and irrevocably stopping Syria and Iran from supplying weapons to its proxy, they will entangle and compromise their up to now clear strategic position in the strategically myopic, unimaginative, fickle, and flabby diplomatic stance of their allies in continental Europe. It will be the ultimate folly, post 9/11, once you have identified your irreconcilable, implacable, and mortal enemy, as the Bush administration has done, to render the enemy and its proxies respites that will strengthen their military capability and make them even more dangerous as well as more difficult to defeat in the future, instead of destroying them at their weakest moment, as no kind of diplomacy ante 9/11, no matter how brilliantly conceived, can achieve the complete destruction of this infernal enemy.
The Bush administration being presumably aware of this fact, i.e., of the complete inadequacy of the old diplomacy, of which so many of its "encoreists", such as Richard Holbrooke and Madeleine Albright, are continuing to give it “standing ovations”, does seem to be willing--despite its tactical errors in Iraq that have given rise to a rampant insurgency making the war more difficult to win and as a result of this making some members of the Administration more circumspect to launch another attack, this time on Iran--to take leave of its circumspection and embrace a more hawkish diplomacy that would be much more successful than the effete and barren diplomacy of the past. Such robust diplomacy will not be draped in the smooth velvety apparels of “old” Europe or in the tattered garments of the United Nations, but will be draped in the bristling carapace of a porcupine. While there will not be a scarcity of carrots in the exercise of this armed diplomacy, the sticks will be deadly in their threatening application against those intransigent nations that continue overtly or covertly to sponsor terrorists and use them as proxies to achieve their geopolitical and millenarian goals. The axis of Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah will have the kiss of death planted on its forehead by this no “frills” American diplomacy. But the angel of death in this new diplomacy will be last in the queue. Before the US deploys as a last resort its lethal arsenal against the axis, it will in the incipient stages of this diplomacy call for the de-legitimatization of Iran and Syria as states that sponsor terror. Iran and Syria will become pariah states and will be isolated from the rest of the world. The only avenues that will remain open between the former and the latter will be the economic ones. But the economic transactions between de-legitimate states and the rest of the world will proceed not through individual states but through an intermediary channel, an international consortium whose representatives will be enlisted from the de jure states of the world who will deal with the economic representatives of the outlaw states. Such procedure will place the free world in a powerful negotiating position to impose its own economic regime on the outlaw states.

Needless to say, some nations will not accept, and will not abide, this “outlawing” of Iran and Syria and will continue to have their relations with the latter unchanged. But as long as the major nations of the world hold the line, this recalcitrance of these nations will in no way loosen the tightness of the noose around the throats of the outlaws, as the latter will be banned from attending all international forums where the important decisions in the affairs of the world are made.

The chances that the call for the de-legitimatization of states that sponsor terror, as a diplomatic move to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, are quite high that it will rally many nations to support such a call as the best alternative to an American military attack against Iran, particularly, when such an attack would result in a great loss of lives as well as have the potential to throw the world’s economy into the doldrums, as it’s the latter as well as their electoral base that many European nations are mainly concerned with in the advent of an American attack on Iran. The exercise of this new adroit American diplomacy will address therefore both the concerns of the Europeans and the fears of Iran. It will have, on the one hand, enough carrots in its diplomatic basket to feed the Europeans and to entice them to the idea that the outlawing of Iran is the better option for all concerned than a devastating military confrontation with the latter, and on the other, it will have enough sticks to coerce Iran to abandon its goal to acquire nuclear weapons. In the intense pressure of the vice that the Ahmadinejad regime will find itself both as a possibly ostracized de-legitimate state or as a military target of the Americans, the odds are that the regime will succumb to this pressure. In the event that it sticks to its guns, then it will play Russian roulette with its own people, as such a stand will strengthen the internal opposition against the “mullahcratic” regime. And as the majority of Iranians shift behind the Opposition parties this could lead to the fall of the theocratic regime of Ahmadinejad by an army revolt that would act in the name of such strong opposition from the people.

The success of this diplomacy will depend entirely on the Bush administration making it unambiguously clear to its European allies, as well as Russia and China, of its utter determination that in the event the proposal to de-legitimatize states that sponsor terror is not adopted by the major nations of the world, then the US will have no other option but to attack militarily the rogue states that sponsor terror, and Iran will be the first one and more likely than not the only one, as the other ones will follow the example of Libya and cave in. It’s inconceivable to imagine, that the European nations, as well as China, for which the sine qua non for its present stratospheric economic development is the economic stability of the world, will be so dim-witted not to accept the American proposal and risk the chance that the Bush administration will not deliver on its threat.

Hence, this hawkish US diplomacy is far from being a long shot in persuading the major nations of the world to outlaw states that sponsor terror. Moreover, it has the great potential as a dual realizable threat to outlaw Iran or attack it militarily, to coerce the latter to unequivocally abide by the demands of the international community. In the event that the Ahmadinejad regime remains unwilling to discard its obsession to possess nuclear weapons and continues to defy the European Union and the United States in their demand to stop supplying its terrorist proxies, such as Hezbollah, with weapons, then the call will be on “the angel of death”, draped in stars and stripes, to jump the queue and put an end to this apocalyptic threat that stems from the regime of the mullahs.

Hic Rhodus Hic Salta

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Diplomatic Peregrinations in the Holy Land of a Lucklustre Strategist

I'm republishing the following article that was written on October 2011 for the readers of this blog, as Leo Panetta has been replaced by President Obama by an even worse politician Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense, as well as the present negotiating continued failure of Secretary of State Kerry to bring the Jews and Palestinians together and the impending failure with the Iranians to persuade them to desist from building further centrifuges by which they could acquire nuclear weapons.

By Con George-Kotzabasis October 7, 2011

The “lion” appointed by President Obama to the office of Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta, who purportedly is defending America and the West from deadly foes, in his latest visit to the Middle East is advising Israel, from his Olympian heights, ‘to take risks for peace.’ This advice, however, is redundant, superfluous, and otiose and Prime Minister Netanyahu has every reason to reject and oppugn such crass “displaced” advice. Israel had already taken risks in the past with no benefit accruing to it, least of all peace. It had withdrawn from Gaza and re-settled its citizens within the borders of Israel with the result that Gaza was taken over by the terrorist organization Hamas and Israel had to defend itself from a rain of rockets fired by the militants of Hamas; and it had likewise withdrawn from South Lebanon only for the latter to be taken over by the other blade of the terrorist scissors Hesbollah, that also started firing rockets against Israel forcing the latter to invade South Lebanon to protect its citizens from being killed. Israel had taken all these risks for peace. But what did it get in return, a deluge of rockets. What other risks Secretary Panetta has in mind for Israel that would bring the up till now eluding peace to the Middle East? For the Israelis to wait until Hamas and Hesbollah load the tips of their rockets with nuclear devices supplied in the near future by Iran? And what precautions and preventive measures the U.S. is taking to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons?

The answer to these questions lies in the further advice that the Secretary of Defence is giving to Israel. He tells it not to take “lone” action against Iran in its threat to develop nuclear weapons. Preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear arsenal, he says, is the responsibility of major nations taking concerted diplomatic action. But this is a “Looney” policy that the Secretary is recommending to the Israelis. It has been tried so many times in the past and it has failed resoundingly. The Islamist regime is not going to change course in its determination to possess nuclear weapons by a truckload of diplomatic carrots but only by an “armada” of bristling porcupines that will pierce its thick skin. Diplomacy can succeed with the Iranian regime only if it is accompanied by the explicit threat of arms.

Leon Panetta has the sinews of a lamb disguised under the skin of a lion. His peregrinating debut in the Holy Land and his attempt to bring, as the “envoy” of the also weak President Obama, Palestinians and Israelis to the negotiating table will prove to be an abject failure, like all the previous efforts of his predecessor Senator Mitchell, also appointed by Obama. As we have predicted, the Obama presidency is a circus of underperforming political tyros, both in the international and domestic arena and more and more Americans are realizing this and are becoming disenchanted with Obama’s performance. The “sprightly colt”, who won the race to the White House with overwhelming support only two and a half years ago, is presently underwhelmed and is conceding to be the underdog in the 2012 elections. (See Obama’s interview with George Stefanopoulos on the ABC.)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Gareth Evans Doctrine of Bonhomie in International Affairs

I'm republishing this piece that was written on January, 2012, for the readers of this new blog hoping to find it of some interest.
By Con George-Kotzabasis—January 24, 2012

Gareth Evans the former minister of Foreign Affairs and presently Chancellor of the National University in Canberra, in an article published in The Australian, on December 26, 2011, under the title Peaceful Way in a World of Grey, argues that a confrontational approach is rarely the best means of tackling serious issues. He contends “that Manichaean good vs evil typecasting, to which George W. Bush and Tony Blair were famously prone…carries two big risks for international policymakers.” The first risk is that such thinking restricts the options of dealing optimally “with those who are cast as irredeemably evil,” and the second is by seen the world in “black-and-white terms” engenders “greater public cynicism, thereby making ideals-based policymaking even harder.” To strengthen these two points he uses the “debacle,” according to him, “of the US-led invasion of Iraq…should have taught us the peril of talking only through the barrel of a gun to those whose behaviour disgusts us” (M.E.), while conceding that “sometimes threats to civilian population will be so acute as to make coercive military intervention the only option, ( M.E.) as with Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya.” Conversely, as a non-confrontational smart benign diplomacy he uses his own negotiations “with the genocidal butchers of the Khmer Rouse,” that were “acutely troubling, personally and politically, for those of us involved,” but which “secured a lasting peace in Cambodia.” He caps his argument by saying that one must see the world beyond the “two dimensions, economic and geostrategic,” and add a third: “every country’s interest in being, and being seen to be, a good international citizen.” (M.E.)
This is not Fukyama’s The End of History but the re-writing of history, and distorting it to boot, on a grand scale. Evans by a divinely made eraser rubs out all evil from the pages of history. But let us respond to his points in sequence. It is obviously true that for a policymaker to see the world in black-and-white terms would be utterly wrong. But likewise, to see the world solely in grey colours without the colour of blackness casting its evil shadow in most human affairs is to paint the world in the colours of wishful thinking.

The task of statesmanship is to see the world not with the eyes of the ‘good citizen’ but with the piercing eyes of the political scientist who perceives the nucleus of evil that potentially exists in all human action motivated by ideology or extra mundane religious beliefs. It is to identify and separate the irreconcilable from the inconsolable enemy and act commensurably to the dangers issuing from these two substantially different foes.

The attacks on 9/11 were not the attacks of “good international citizens” but of evil ones driven by eschatological divinely directed goals. Bush and Blair promptly and insightfully recognized that they were facing a deadly irreconcilable enemy that could not be mollified by any ‘benevolent’ actions they could take toward him—they were already depicted by this foe as “Great Satans”—but had to be completely defeated in the battlefield. Further, astute strategy would not allow such an irreconcilable foe to become stronger but to defeat him while he was still weak and hence at less expense in human loses and materiel. The invasion of Iraq had this aim, to prevent the nexus of fanatic terrorists with weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and nuclear ones supplied deliberately or inadvertently by rogue states rigidly belligerent against America and generally the West. In the aftermath of 9/11 no statesman could underestimate the possibility of such a great threat consummated by nuclear weapons that would annihilate their people. As the success of one such attack against a western metropolis would be the ultimate incentive for Alahu Akbar terrorists to become serial users of WMD and nuclear ones against the West and its Great Satan America. And this can be illustrated comparatively and plainly by the success of the first car bomb that brought in its wake a succession of innumerable car bombs used by the terrorists against their enemies.

Indubitably, the invasion of Iraq would have been a “debacle,” due to serious tactical errors American strategists committed during the initial stages of the occupation, such as the disbanding of the Iraqi army that fuelled the yet to come insurgency, if it was not for the Surge that under the savvy new strategy implemented by General Petraeus, had not turned a potential defeat into real victory. A victory, moreover, that planted the seeds of democracy in Iraq and by establishing a nascent democratic state there soon became the catalyst that disseminated the ethos of freedom and democracy among the masses in the region and the great potential this entails for all the countries in captivity to brutal and authoritarian regimes. And one must bear in mind that the Arab Spring is the legitimate offspring of the American gate crashing of the dictatorial regime of Saddam Hussein and the transplanting of democracy in Iraq made in the U.S. However, one must not be unaware of the great dangers that could lie in wait in this transformation of democracy among those countries whose peoples in considerable numbers are imbued with the religious fervour of Islam, that Islamists, like Hamas in Gaza, could attain political power through the ballot box. And developments in Egypt after the fall of President Mubarak with the Muslim Brotherhood and extreme Salafists gaining a majority of seats in Parliament at last week’s election, are not encouraging for those sections of Egyptian society that believe in individual freedom and democracy.

There is, moreover, a fundamental inconsistency in Gareth Evans’s argument when he supports military intervention in the case when civilians are killed or threatened to be killed by an authoritarian regime, like Muammar Gaddafi’s, but not when civilians are killed and are threatened to be killed in their hundreds of thousands in the future by fanatic Islamists as it happened in New York and Washington. Lastly, his mentioning of Cambodia and the negotiations with the Khmer Rouse, in which he was directly involved, that brought a “secured a lasting peace” with the backing of “good old-fashioned containment and deterrence,” as a triumph of reason over bellicosity, he overlooks the fact that the Pol Pot regime by the time of the negotiations was already removed from power as a result of being defeated by Vietnam militarily in 1979, and existing as a weak resistance movement in West Cambodia.  

It is by such a collage of diplomatic misapprehensions and awkward inconsistencies that the former minister of foreign affairs attempts to breathe life into his narrative of “a good international citizen” and the “cause of human decency” and insert it into the maelstrom of human conflicts often ensuing from Caesaro-Papist sinister ideologies. The doctrine of bonhomie in international relations can only be indulged over a café latte.

I rest on my oars: your turn now…                        

Friday, March 7, 2014

Leader of Australian Republicans Carries Muslim Fanatics on his Back

A brief reply: By Con George-Kotzabasis to:
Hirsi Ali is pop star of intolerance Greg Barns (leader of the Australian Republicans) On Line Opinion June 4, 2007
Greg, in your moral equivalence between Christians, Jews, and Muslims you nullify your intelligence, your sense of history and reality. Certainly there are fanatic Christians and Jews, but they don't threaten the existence of Western civilization as fanatic Muslims do.
Moreover, life for Muslims is difficult because of their bigoted attachment to an atavistic religion, not because of the "pop star", to quote you, status of Hirsi Ali. Further, by giving fanatic Muslims a piggyback you play the role, in the unfathomable depths of your ignorance, of the tortoise, in the unforgettable fable of Orson Welles, The Scorpion and the Tortoise. When the former convinced the latter that in its transportation on the back of the tortoise from one side of the river to the other, it would be silly to sting it as it itself would drown, nonetheless, midstream it did sting it. And in the dying question of the tortoise why it stung it, the drowning scorpion replied, "this is my nature".
Likewise you will be stung by the "Muslim Scorpion" that you carry on your back because that is its nature. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Greek Professor Comes to Bury Multiculturalism

By Con George-Kotzabasis 

Professor Vrasidas Karalis of Sydney University, the translator of some of the books of Patrick White, has come to bury the condottieri of multiculturalism—I won’t call them warriors as that would give a worthy name to an unworthy cause—that are still fighting ingloriously and in an enfeebled state to resuscitate a concept that has been in a comatose state since the late eighties, when Slav Macedonians were burning Greek churches and when more recently, fanatic jihadists in pursuit of the seventy-two virgins, I must say, a chimerical, an eluding chase, they will never find them, were planning to kill thousands of Australians in football grounds and in public malls. It is in such a deadly milieu that the multiculturalists are attempting, in a futile and full of zealotry effort, to breathe life into a ghost. And in spite of the fact that the founding father of multiculturalism, professor Jerzy Zubrzycki, expressed explicitly his doubts about the viability of multiculturalism in the face of this tidal wave of atavism. Also, Gareth Evans, serving at the time as minister of communications, said to me in a phone conversation, that these conflicts between Slavs and Greeks, Serbs, Croatians and Bosnians spelled out the burial of multiculturalism.

It is a great fallacy to postulate that cultures have an amicable disposition and can live in a peaceful state of coexistence with each other without conflict. History has shown pellucidly that cultures, on fundamental issues are irreconcilable, and are in a permanent state of antagonistic competition and the stronger and more successful always subdue and supplant the weaker and less thriving. The Romans appropriated the higher culture of the Greeks and the German tribes, who were fighting the Romans were, in turn, absorbed by the higher culture of the latter.
No less a figure than Karl Marx, many of whose supporters today are puzzlingly upholders of multiculturalism, expressed, with characteristic force and eloquence, the inequality of cultures and the irreversible proclivity of the more powerful, in terms of intellectual, scientific, economic, and political success, to overwhelm and vanquish the weaker and less successful in the realm of human development and freedom. Without for a moment supporting or pleading his ideology, I would like, if you allow me, to paraphrase the great man: The elemental force of capitalism and its great culture would sweep away, on a vast scale, the dead weight of traditions and cultures that riveted their peoples to the obfuscation, ignorance, and bigotry of a hoary past.

After this long, but I believe relevant diversion, let us return back to the thesis of Professor Karalis. In a well structured argument delivered with panache, vivacity and wit, Karalis cogently argued, that with the ascendance of the Liberal-National Party to power in 1997, and the immediate dismantling of multiculturalism by the Howard government and the weak reaction of the ethnic communities to this dismantling, especially the Greek that was the avant-garde of multiculturalism, demonstrated clearly that the major part of these communities in a short duration were absorbed by a process of osmosis to the values and mores of a global, cosmopolitan Australian society. In his own words, the ethnic communities were incorporated within the political, economic, and cultural institutional framework of the Australian society. And he asks the question, is there still any reason to advocate multiculturalism as a nation-building policy or as a political project for the future? His answer is decisively negative.

Professor Karalis not only buried multiculturalism, but also inadvertently, fully justified the position and prognostications of the historian Geoffrey Blainey and that great Australian John Stone who both of them expressed, almost fifteen years ago, for which they were pilloried and maligned by the leftist intelligentsia, that multiculturalism was the design of historically ignorant politicians who could not perceive that at a critical moment would collide with Australian culture and would never recover from this crash. And the death knell for multiculturalism sounds presently in all European countries--especially in the context of Islamist terror--which had also so naively and un-historically adapted it as the elixir that would induce different cultures and peoples to love each other. They had forgotten that amity and congeniality could only issue from the sharing of common fundamental values that give the opportunity to all to succeed in the endeavours of daily life and to fulfil their ambitions according to their individualistic proclivities. It is the great culture of capitalism and its free enterprise system that provides these invaluable principles that lead to the comity of nations and peoples and eradicate, to a high degree, deadly conflict. 

I rest on my oars: Your turn now    

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Will the Sleeping West Fall into the Terrorist Inferno?

The following paper was written on October 23, 2005, and was published on my blog Nemesis. It's republished here for the readers of this new blog hoping that they will find it to be of some interest.

By  Con George-Kotzabasis February 09, 2014

To be prudent is to act in accordance with the particular situation and the concrete data and not in accordance with some system or out of passive obedience to a norm or pseudo norm Raymond Aron

The resplendent holy crescent of Islam that has been transformed by Muslim fundamentalism into an unholy black sharp scimitar is hovering over the cities of the West ready to fall and 'behead' Western civilization. Yet despite this ominous great danger, a substantial part of its population is slumbering in deep depths of insouciance and complacency, and is zestfully indulging in its economic prosperity, comforts and pleasures that emanate from freedom and the ethos of amity, cooperation, and coexistence, without realising how brittle and short-lived these have become under this scimitar wielded by the terrorist fanatics. The nannies that rock the cradle that is putting the people to sleep, is an assortment of epigonistic political leaders in Western countries, such as the politically opportunistic triumvirate of Chirac, Schroeder, and Zapatero, and a miscellany of unimaginative and intellectually malevolent, and therefore misplaced, commentators and feuilletons, such as Kerry O'Brien, Paul McGeough, and Robert Fisk - all three morally weak and with an axe to grind - who so unworthily dominate the commentary in the media. It's this coupling of an inferior breed, that has produced the offspring of drowsy disinterest among most people in the West, to this great danger that is posed by global terrorism.

It would be a gross mistake to underestimate this lethal threat that hangs over all civilised life. There is no room for complacency here that this danger will dissipate once the temporal aims of terrorism are achieved. As the terrorist threat is not 'motioned' by a political agenda, i.e., by the problem of the Middle East and the settling of the Palestinian issue or the withdrawal of the American-led coalition forces from Iraq and Afghanistan but by an apocalyptic agenda, whose primary 'motion' is the subjugation and destruction of Judeo-Greco-Roman civilisation. This threat, therefore, cannot be partitioned into certain regional areas, as it has a global reach, since its goal is no other than global dominance.


The political analyses, therefore, that claim that countries which are closely allied with the American hegemon and are involved in the latter's "imperialistic" wars of monocratic rule, are targets of terrorism, are cerebrally unhinged and totally wrong. Moreover, Islamic terrorism is not the revolt of the poor, the politically disenfranchised and oppressed but the revolt of the Arab religious fundmentalist geist of the educated, the rich and those who crave to be the trailblazers of a new caliphate, all of whom are literate to such a high degree that they can distort and re-interpret even the writings of Mohammet, in their thrust for power.
Undoubtedly however, the leaders of terrorism have a plenty supply of terrorist-fodder from the under-classes of the Muslim world, both from the East and the West. And the magnetic power they have to draw their suicidal recruits into a Jihad against the West from lumpen Muslims arises from the position they hold in the pecking order of Islamic fundamentalism. To illustrate this gravitational power that proceeds from this order, two examples, one from the macroscopic and another from the microscopic world of Muslim fundamentalism will suffice. In the macroscopic domain, the tremendous influence bin Laden has among ordinary Muslims emanates from the position he has in the hierarchy of this belligerent warring fundamentalism. In the microscopic one, the influence among his followers that the imam of Melbourne, Mohammet Omran has, derives too, from the position he retains in this hierarchical order of doctrinal fundamentalism. It is this combination of the educated, literate authority and knowledge of a wealthy élite, and the uneducated, illiterate status and ignorance of the lower orders, that is the magma that ignites acts of terror by lumpen Muslims.
Strategically, therefore, the loci of power and influence of global terrorism lie in the Mosques and in the madrassas, and among those fundamentalist Muftis and mentors who are its vehement, vociferous, and fanatic propagators and propagandists. It's here therefore that military strategists must strike their deadly blow. The war against global terror cannot be won in the field of battle, unless it's also taken into the breeding grounds of terrorism, wherever they happen to be located, in the East or in the West.


In this strategic thrust, the decision-makers and planners of the war against global terror, must discover and identify both the dynamic of fanaticism, and its opposite, the static of fanaticism. It's on this dual identification, that the total defeat of global terror lies.

Since antediluvian times, history has shown that the quintessence of all millenarian movements is a dogmatic, fanatic and unshakable belief in a paradisiacal tomorrow. The earthly sufferings, nature-and-man-made, of human beings, blighted with ignorance and fear of the unknown, have motivated millions of them throughout history to embrace fanatically and fatally millenarian movements. Ultimately to their detriment, since eventually these movements would not open the golden gates to an abode of earthly paradise, but would cast them into a dark pit of hopelessness, despair, and destruction. Modern examples of this fatefully destructive millenarianism in its large scale secular form, are the Hitlerite vision of The One Thousand Years Reich, and the Marxist-Leninist utopia of utopias, Communism, and on a smaller scale in religious form, the Jonestown mass-suicide in Guyana, South America.

In all cases, millenarian-eschatological doctrines thrived in crisis situations, either in the aftermath of catastrophic wars or abominable and abysmal socio-economic injustices, as millions of people lashed by the scourge of war or poverty, clasped to their bosom these doctrines, either as a consolation or revolution of their hopelessness. Likewise, non-literate and solely religious cultures, which tend to spend more time in the affairs of heaven than in the affairs of the earth, in encountering the economic, cultural and scientific achievements of Western civilization, suffered an unbridgeable cultural shock. Their peoples, who were stuck in a milieu of poverty, lack of education, corrupt governments and destitution had no other remedy for their ordeal and despair but the panacea of religious salvation. Messiahs who promised to bring about a new age of material and spiritual blessings, and throw their respective Satan into a bottomless pit, were an irresistible force to this mass despair and destitution.

The rise of Islamic fundamentalism and its terrorist suicidal death-squads, fits perfectly the above schema. The prophet-like preaching of its leaders and their actions in the field of battle against the great Satan America - which has given to its leaders a heroic stature, such as Osama bin Laden has, even in the eyes of moderate Muslims - is drawing many young Muslims, as a result of their failed, but proud culture, both from the middle and from the under-classes, into the fatal embrace of the seventy-two virgins. To this wild and virile chase of the will-o'-the-wisp 'virginity' by would-be terrorists, and especially, by those who have passed the threshold of hesitation into active terrorism, martyrdom is an infinitesimal price to pay for the infinite prize of the hedonistic pleasures of a boundless seraglio. Moreover, the holy war against the West, and the telluric triumph of Islam over the great Satan, America, fulfils to the brim the great pride of Arab culture. It is of such stuff that the dreams of terrorists are made. And to the eyes of these suicidal zealots, no power on earth can prevent the realisation of these dreams, since these dreams are the epiphany of the mind of Allah.
How can the West, confront, counter and defeat such an awesome, formidable, and fanatic foe, who is fighting under the banner of God, and soon to be armed with weapons of mass destruction and, indeed, with nuclear weapons? An enemy with a shadowy existence, with the wings of Mercury on its heels, moving swiftly to its global targets, being able to hide and receive aid and comfort, and indeed, recruits, in the numerous Muslim diaspora in the West, not to mention its home-ground, the East? This is the historic challenge, of Herculean tasks, that Western civilization is being called to take. Will it be able to slay this multi-headed Hydra of terrorism and its bestial existence, and will it have the will and strength to accomplish the severe, remorseless, and stringent tasks that are absolutely essential to its defeat, or will it wear the Shirt of Nessus?


The answer to the above questions resides in the kind of political leadership Western democracies will own, i.e., whether this leadership will have the ironclad characteristics of statesmanship, and the prescience, imagination and wisdom to confront this mortal challenge, not with traditional strategies and tactics, since it confronts an 'unearthly', heavenly inspired enemy, but by unconventional and ground-breaking strategies and tactics that will have more than a chance of subduing and defeating these outlaws of god .A leadership, furthermore, that will have the strength to swim against the stream of populism and its anti-war 'canons', and not to be a hostage to political considerations and repercussions that could emanate from its ruthless and merciless actions, as a result of its new strategy and tactics, against its fanatic foe. One must be reminded, that all political repercussions rapidly dissolve in the cup of victory. If its military actions lead or seem to be leading to the defeat of the terrorists, then all remonstrations and demonstrations against these actions, will burst quickly, in a puff, at the stroke of victory.

In all strategies, discerning and identifying the strength and weakness of one's enemy, is vital for his defeat. The strength of global terror does not reside in its moral courage or in its technical and mental competence to devise new means and methods in its lethal attacks against the West, or in the purported injustices inflicted by America on Muslim countries, but in its suicidal fanaticism. It's the latter that imbues in its holy-warriors the robotic courage that turns these means and methods into flagrant successful attacks against its infidel enemies. It's on this dynamic of fanaticism that Islamic terror accomplishes its most arduous and rationally most unimaginable attacks. And the more successful these attacks are against the great Satan America and the infidels of the West, the more this dynamism increases, and hence, becomes a stronger gravitational force to would-be terrorists to join the ranks of the holy-warriors.
It is here where Anglo-American strategists must strike their fatal deadly blow -to deprive terrorism of the ability to be successful in its operations. In the context of global terror, therefore, success is the quintessence of the dynamic of fanaticism. And concomitantly, failure is the core of the static of fanaticism. But the focus of this strategy on the 'success of failure' for the fanatics of Muslim terror cannot be accomplished by the 'Martial arts' of the past, but only by a new imaginative war-craft that would intrepidly and remorselessly be waged against these hordes of fanatics.


One of the primary characteristics of fanaticism is, that it spreads swiftly like a bird flu. Like medical practitioners, therefore, the practitioners of war against this virus of fanaticism, have to take swift, and necessarily and inevitably, ruthless measures that will prevent this epidemic from expanding and infecting the minds of an even greater number of proud and/or vulnerable culture-shocked Muslims. As very often in medicine, the best antidote to poison is another kind of poison. Likewise, the antidote to fear is fear. Hence, the fear of terror has to be fought with fear. One has to implant the fear of the terrorists into their own hearts. This is the only and most effective way to defeat quickly and decisively global terror. But this is a very difficult task for the civilized West to take on and to perform. To fight by the laws of the jungle, even against an enemy who is the embodiment of the jungle, would be incongruent, and, indeed, a blatant violation of all the principles of a civilised people. Principles, however, in all societies since the beginning of history, are in a state of permanent 'competition'.In a critical situation of childbearing, for example, the principle of life is split in two, as an obstetrician has to make a choice whether to save the life of the baby or of the mother; in a sinking ship, its captain gives priority to women and children to have access to the ship's boats than to men. And in crisis conditions, it's obvious that the principle of life, more often than not, overrides all other principles.
In the aftermath of 9/11, it's indubitably clear, that the existence of Western civilization is under a mortal threat -a threat that cannot be negotiated away by any order of human reasoning with these addicts of fanaticism, unlike the threat of nuclear war between the two superpowers in the Cuban crisis, when Krutchev, at the reasoning of President Kennedy and of the dangers this confrontation would have upon mankind, "blinked", and withdrew the nuclear missiles from Cuba. In the case of these fanatics, however, their 'robotic programming' will never allow them to blink before any reasonable argument or danger. But this robotic program is written by the graph of success. Once, however, one destroys this success, the program becomes static and dysfunctional. As a series of mounting failures in the operations of these zealots against the West, will engender a progressive doubt in their minds that, after all, Allah may not be in favour of their actions. And, if at the same time, this doubt is accompanied with fear about their capture or physical elimination by their enemies, this will lead to an irreversible demoralisation within their ranks, and with mathematical precision will bring forward their total defeat, as
the mark of death will be indelibly imprinted in the minds of the terrorists and their supporters.

For this feat however to be accomplished, Western strategists must employ remorselessly their awesome military power and technology overtly and covertly against these holy-warriors, both in the field of battle as well as in the loci of their ideological and doctrinal power, i.e., in the Mosques and madrassas. The success of this strategy will involve the setting up of a clandestine organisation of international special forces of condottieri, who will serve as covert hit-squads against suspected terrorists and their mentors, including those who have been acquitted by courts on the basis of legal technicalities, wherever they happen to be, in the East or in the West. This will give to the terrorists and their supporters an overwhelming sense that the legal process of civilized societies will no longer serve as a shield behind which they can cover. The incontestable overpowering force and Humint (spying intelligence), and the deadliness of the covert operations, will loom like an incubus over the head of global terror, and its ubiquitousness will be an endless nightmare for all its practitioners and supporters.

Undoubtedly, some innocent people will become victims of these lethal clandestine operations. But as in all human critical conflicts of such enormous and intricate proportions, the fallibility of human nature will inevitably extract its toll, in the coin of innocence. Moreover, the rogue states that continue to support terrorists politically and materially will be threatened with sanctions and ultimately with force, if they don't change their ways. (All the ideas contained in this paragraph were passed to the Pentagon by the writer in October 2001. )

It is by this strategy of 'displaced fear', from the terrorists to the terrorists, in combination of the success of failure in their operations against the West, that the nadir of fanatic terror will be reached. Only by daring to use 'infernal' means of warfare against fanatic terrorism, will the West be saved from slipping and falling into the inferno of terror. The Gordian Knot of global terror will not be loosened by any U.N. nostrums of diplomacy ( Diplomacy will have a backseat in this crucial conflict), nor by snake oil palliatives that will soothe the purported grievances of the terrorists, but by cutting it ruthlessly with the ‘unsheathed sword’. Will the leadership of the Western world, especially the American, have the gumption and the moral and political strength and wisdom to use these deadly instruments against its mortal foe? In this existential struggle of Western civilization against fanatic terrorism, the question for political leaderships with éclat, is - to be, or not to be.

I rest on my oars: your turn now.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

War on Terror not a Crusade but an Existential Necessity

Reply to New York Times Editorial and to Washington Note February 2011
By Con George-Kotzabasis February 5, 2014

The Times contention is fatuous: That the President and his advisers ‘knew or should have known [the intelligence] to be faulty’. But if this should be so, it should also apply to all the other leaders of the West who also acted on this faulty intelligence.
The "quick points" of editorials are bound to be thoughtless.
Clemons, of The Washington Note, as often he does on this issue, revises the facts to make his own tailor made argument. The war in Iraq did not aim in “removing a bad leader” but in preventing a future coupling of Saddam’s regime with terrorists. The war on terror in the aftermath of 9/11, was not a “crusade” but an existential necessity. And for Clemons to countervail Bush’s “emotional war” with his “emotional peace”, shows him to be strategically and historically irrelevant.
And he still refuses to acknowledge Iraq’s great potential of becoming a Democratic state in the region. It’s a perfect example of personal weakness trumping reality.