Posts by NakeKamrany:
The current engagement of U.S. wars in the broader Middle East (Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia and other African countries) have spread anti-American feelings abroad and condescension at home. There does not seem to be a major national security issue of any significance to the sacrifices sustained by our servicemen and women and the billions of dollars that are being allocated ostensibly for the security of the nation, while these wars seem to be local, sectarian, have no purpose, no defined prospect of victory, and no exist strategy. If our existing strategy is not changed, these wars could go on in perpetuity.
Our servicemen are being sacrificed without defined purpose of our national security interest. The disdain of the American public to our foreign policy is explicitly evident in the United States presidential election of 2016 by the emergence of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in the Republican and Democratic parties which echoes the desire of electorates for a major departure from the old political order. The disdain of the American public with the existing political and economic order in foreign policy and domestic conditions is indicated by their support of presidential candidates who are outside of the old political order, shifting away from wars in foreign policy and support for social equity in domestic policy.
It is further evident to the American public that the U.S. Government has doomed the public into believing that our soldiers and servicemen are being sacrificed abroad to protect us at home. In fact our leaders are guilty of sacrificing the lives of young soldiers, imposing grief on their families (wives, parents, children, relatives, friends, and members of community) and wasting billions of dollars in wealth and resources. For instance, what did the U.S. gained after being engaged in war for 15 years in Afghanistan, 13 years in Iraq, 15 years in Pakistan Northwest region, and being engaged in Libya, Iraq, Syria, and several African countries? What would have happened to our national security interest if we had withdrawn our forces unconditionally from all of these third world countries? Given the superiority of U.S. military power, its security cannot be lessened by third world powers. Why must we think that we must project our power in these regions?
- U.S. Must Substitute war For Peace
The greatness of a country is not measured by threat system – its use of military prowess but by its ability to draw respect and propagate civility, our ideals and contribution to human wellbeing at home and abroad. The U.S. Foreign Policy in the third world countries of the Middle East and Africa currently is not promoting U.S. security Interest abroad despite enormous damages sustained by the United States in blood and wealth to promote its foreign policy aims which are ill defined. The disastrous consequences of the Vietnam War in duration, blood, waste of wealth and defeat must not be forgotten. Domestic discord and economic stagflation should have been instructive not to get engaged in third world intrigue as we have in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and a few African countries. President Obama recently admitted that the U.S. has been involved in wars with seven third world countries. The current strife with ISIS in Syria and Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan and several insurgent in Africa could get the U.S. involved in these wars in perpetuity with no specific objective, possibility of victory or an exit strategy.
Why are we engaged in these intrigues that are characterized by indigenous population and their social and political impasse of rivalry among warlords, drug lords, ethnic strife, sectarian divisions and local fiefdoms? Do they pose a security concern for the United States? Absolutely not, then why do we join one or the other factions? That is not a legitimate approach to project our power and prestige.
Why the U.S. implemented regime change in many Middle East countries and created instability? Why the U.S. has been supportive of the royal family of Saudi Arabia who has plundered oil revenues of the nation, propagated mosques throughout the world including the United States whose aim is to preach animosity between Moslems and non Moslems. Women there have no freedom of marriage, employment, education, inheritance, and status. They are ranked in the lower social echelon of society and hierarchy of government and have no political voice. Then why the U.S. support S.A. government?
In a recent additional 28 page report of 9/111, the U.S. government has reported the possibility of Saudi diplomats providing financial support to two 9/11 hijackers who lived in San Diego. This report was released 15 years later than the publication of the original report and it may pave the way for victims sustained in the 9/11 attack seeking damages in a U.S. court.
During the Vietnam War the political pundits argued that if we do not defeat communist in Vietnam they will be on the shores of California. Instead he Vietnamese took over the U.S. embassy in Saigon but none showed up on the shores of California. Likewise, with respect to Iraq the Bush Administration argued that there were weapons of mass destruction hidden in Iraq. None were found. We pulled out of Iraq and eventually turned over the domination of Iraq to Iran. And in Afghanistan there was a regime change – the Taliban was replaced by a puppet government who could not defeat the Taliban nor create a democratic government.
According to U.S. government, the U.S. has spent more funds in Afghanistan than the entire cost of rebuilding Europe after World War II under the Marshall Plan. Instead billions of dollars of the American taxpayer’s money has been ripped off by American contractors and Afghan officials. After `15 years of occupation and Billions of Dollars of expenditure, there is no sign of any improvement in employment or reduction of poverty. We have lost thousands 3000+ American soldiers in the conflict, caused disability to thousands of American veterans, killed and tortured thousands of innocent Afghan villagers- traditional natives, and have engaged in torture and have taken sides in local disputes without having a clear objective or any defined purpose. Our air force has dropped 30,000 pound bombs on villages that have been blown up into the sky the entire village, the size of a football field and have killed all inhabitants including human beings, animals, insects, trees and vegetation. The U. S. actions and approach has been disgraceful, illegal, immoral and repugnant especially for a superpower with the most powerful military in the world and support by 48 NATO members…
- HOW THE U.S HAS CREATED DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN RADICALIZATION
Unfortunately our security policy is still dominated by our reaction to the tragedy of 9/11. We are still preparing for recurrence of 9/11- something that will never happen again. Our policy represents a security phobia emanating from Bin Laden’s cult which was nothing but an improbable fluke and an extraordinary failure of the entire free world’s intelligence apparatus to foresee and prevent 9/11… It is doubtful that 9/11 will ever be repeated. The only security risk now could emanate from “lone wolves,” INSURGENT GROUPS who resist U.S. hegemonic behavior abroad that appear to them to be UNFAIR AND CRUEL.
Likewise, the failure of the U.S. government in law and order and to end frequent killing of black young men by white policemen on the streets of U.S. cities over minor traffic violation is cruel and violate their constitutional right to life, inhuman, a major disgrace and antipathy of a democratic society. Police’s authority to employ gun in response to traffic violation must be modified to prevent loss of life of human beings and prevent racial divide in the society.
The POLICY OF Obama administration compares ISIS and other radical groups to cancer and defeating the extremists by way cancer is defeated is the wrong approach. That analogy is misguided and has been proven to be wrong. Take a hard look at Afghanistan. Obama applied the same strategy with NATO members for 15 years (2001 – 2016+) in AFGHANISTAN and it is being defeated despite U.S./NATO incessant bombing, destroying thousands of villages and killing millions. Obama’s strategy has produced more Afghan refugees emigrating out of Afghanistan than the other nations except Syria.
U.S. strategy has also radicalized many Afghans including governmental soldiers who are on U.S. payroll. Recently an Afghan soldier shot and killed TWO NATO soldiers and went ON TV with no regrets and said that over the last 15 years U.S./NATO has done nothing but kill, torture and destroy in Afghanistan. That incident was not the first, at least hundreds of NATO soldiers over the last years have been shot by Afghan government soldiers who are on U.S. payroll and are supposed to fight along the U.S. forces with the U.S. They are radicalized as they find U.S./NATO military operations unfair and forbidding.
Our policy have contributed to the growth and emergence of radicalization and a sense of opposition that arguably justifies and legitimizes radical responses such as suicides bombing. IDE explosions, and explosion on the part of local citizens who are willing to sacrifice their own lives in response to our military operations and attacks. In the final analysis indigenous groups take pain when their country men, women and children are being killed by foreign powers.
Given the free flow of people, the internet, flow of information and communication locally and internationally plus incitement and reinforcement by leaders of Al Qaeda and ISIS and/or in response or in retaliation to incessant U.S. drone and air attacks even the average citizens decide to retaliate turn to “lone wolf” take action at their own risk and they do. Our military offensives do contribute to radicalization, anger and revenge by individuals who turn “lone wolves.” However, such probability could be checked –minimized or eliminated – by a shift in U.S. policy to rapprochement and reconciliation with these groups.
As a superpower the U.S. should endeavor to guide rather than fight these insurgent in the third world nations toward economic development and education. And adopt a policy of live and let live. They are not hopeless as we think they are. We have to reorient their view on the value of life and create hope for the future.
On the other hand, Russia is an atomic superpower and has invaded a couple of its former satellite state. China is an economic superpower. China is allocating 2.1% of its GNP for defense in contrast to 3.5% by the United States. However, China’s figures are based on fixed exchange rate not market exchange rate. According to IMF, the total value of China’s GDP is now higher than the U.S. and the figure 2.1% by fixed exchange rate underestimate its real expenditures on military budget.
Nevertheless, in the election of 2016, the U.S. defense expenditures should focus on Russia and China not on third world nations and rely upon its superior military technology without instigating “cold war” precepts or “hot war.” A better alternative is to promote world peace and tranquility, the same strategy that was followed by President Eisenhower during 1952 – 1960.
- The U.S. faces major Domestic Policy Issues
On the domestic front, the U.S. faces several major issues as priority of the 2016 election shifts towards social equity. Candidate Burnie Sanders, whose candidacy failed, has articulated many of our domestic ills that need immediate attention including healthcare, student loans, incarceration, and homelessness, private and public debt.
The rate of U.S. incarceration is also a national disgrace. For every one person that is incarcerated in western European countries we incarcerate 70 people. This is largely due to our ineffective criminal justice system as the police, the prosecutors and judges incentives are served by conviction although a majority of those who are being incarcerated are drug addicts and individuals who suffer mental health. They should be treated in clinics as they are in Europe instead of being incarcerated. Resources in many states are being re-allocated for building prisons instead of schools.
By the same token our distribution system is lopsided. The relative percent of poor and underprivileged now exceed those of Europeans which means that we must revise our distributional system. It is diabolic that 1.5 million families in the U.S. live on $2 per day per person. The World Bank has designated $2/day/person for less developed countries.
Obamacare has failed to control and reduce the cost spiral of charges imposed by hospitals, physicians, pharmaceuticals, and laboratories. We must adopt the Canadian or the French system and enroll everyone into Medicare and control the cost of Medicare to coincide to and are in line with the movement of consumer price index (CPI). The oligopolistic -cartel type of pharmaceutical pricing must be found illegal and controlled by the government.
Another white elephant that has emerged in the U.S. Is the cost of college education? Once again as compared to the European countries where there is no tuition or very modest amount, we have our students take a heavy mortgage type loans for their education which put them into long term debt ranging from 10 to 30 year of loans.
The average annual student loan in 2015 for private college education has reached $31,231 while the total student borrowing bill has reached $1.19 billion. The worst aspect of student loan is the annual interest rate that students are charged. In 2015, the average annual interest charges for student loan is the highest in the country 11.455% as compared to 8.39% for credit card, 3.36%% for mortgage loans and 2.51% for auto loans. Student college cost will defy the distributional objectives of the nation and will contribute to keeping the poor out of college. Ostensibly these figures are contrary to President Obama’s push to lower student’s education costs.
It follows that the U.S. shall seek a new U.S. domestic and global order to rectify the above inequities and dissentions. President Dwight Eisenhower who relied on U.S. atomic power superiority kept the U.S. out of foreign intrigue during 8 years of his presidency. Currently the U.S. military budget is a multiple of the Russian and Chinese budget and as long as we maintain our superiority in military technology then we should be able to cut the military budget appropriately to reduce our annual deficit and national debt. Student loans should have an upper limit of no more than $10,000 for four years of college at zero percent interest rate subsidized by the government.
We should revise minimum wage law to “living wage” in such a way that the living wage would support the wage earners’ living cost including room board, health, education, entertainment, adequate facilities and clothing.
All of the above indicators are currently being provided in many European countries. The United States is the richest and most powerful country in the world and it must lead the rest of the world in all of these indicators. It implies redistribution of wealth and income and re-allocation of public funds to social and educational needs. The reforms suggested herein have no relevance to THE OLD DEBATE OF ISMS – the issue of ISM – SUCH AS CAPITALISM OR SOCIALISM. It is cultural movement towards equity and HUMANISM…
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May 3rd, 2016
By Nake M. Kamrany, Ghaffar Mughal, Mathew Jackson, Jessica Greenhalgh, and Sam Kosydar.
The recent surge in immigration is caused because more bombs being dropped, millions are dead, and millions more march to perceived safety, or in many cases internment camps in Europe. And all the while America still does nothing except to threaten massive deportation of some 11+ million who have lived in the U.S. for years. Although President Barrack Obama may have tried to avoid getting more in the Middle East war of entanglement, but he is presiding over one of the largest humanitarian disasters of this century.
To be fair, Obama’s hands have been tied. No American president of the modern era, with the exception of perhaps FDR in last term, has faced a Congress as obstructionist or as intent on undermining the legislative policies of its chief executive. Even if Obama moved to take in more refugees or send ground forces into Syria, would Congress allow him? The answer would most likely be a resounding no. And while criticism can be leveled at both parties, Robert Kagan’s assertion that the current Republican Party is suffering from a “racially tinged derangement syndrome” is starting to gain credence with a lot of Americans, particularly young Americans. More importantly, American leadership has not expressed no interest in giving PEACE a chance as an alternative.
This frustration has funneled itself into what has to be one of the most anti-establishment, ‘let’s burn the house down’ style presidential campaigns of the last sixty years. Trumped with anger, popular discontent has once again found its willing historical victim: immigrants. Particularly, the 11 million undocumented immigrants who call America home have been singled out. The bluster and braggadocio of the primary season alone, in which we have heard assertions of building walls and mass deportations have rendered the once storied words, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free” all but hollow.
Immigration issues in the United States transcends those of Europeans, although the root causes are substantially different. U.S. immigration issue consists of some 11+ million non-documented due to economic disparity. Europeans receive a flood of people who are seeking both economic equity, personal safety and political asylum as refugees.
Immigration consists of peoples’ movement for resettlement from sending countries to receiving countries due to (1) political and social repressions in the home country or political immigration caused by dictatorial home governments such as the Syrian exodus. And, (2) economic immigration due to wage/income differentials between the sending and receiving countries who are motivated by economic incentives.
Historically the world has experienced several waves of non-documented immigration, mostly motivated by economic incentives and opportunities, and they have largely proven favorable for both the receiving and sending countries just the same as the mutual benefits of un-impinged free international trade. All parties have gained by international trade and immigration. Sending countries have gained from the annual remittances of the immigrants who have send billions of dollars annually to their home countries.
Concurrently, the receiving countries have benefited by the availability of cheaper labor than the prevailing labor cost. However, in the current wave of immigration into Europe, the receiving countries confront the European Migration Crisis and are overwhelmed with political refugees which have overwhelmed the infrastructure and socio/political /economic capacity of the receiving countries. The United States is confronted with millions of undocumented immigrants who must conform to U.S. Immigration laws.
However, the current immigration issue in the United States election is the existence of an alleged 11+ non-documented immigrants that candidate Donald Trump has singled out for deportation and to build a tall wall between Mexico and the U.S. borders. Although these measures may have some impact to stemming the flow of non-documents into the U.S., however, these measures do not augur well with the public. Donald Trump has highlighted the issue of immigration in the forefront of the U.S. 2016 presidential election. However, a majority of the American public would opt a humanitarian approach for those non-documents who have lived in the U.S., have held jobs, have paid taxes, have raised families, are law abiding individuals and are productive individuals the same as productive citizens. Equity demands a fair and humanitarian treatment.
In a recent survey conducted by USC Dornsife /Los Angeles Times statewide poll found that 62% of the voters said that they believed illegal immigrants in California is at least a major problem while 36% believed the issue was a small problem. Or not a problem at all. However, the state voters rejected the measures proposed by presidential front runner Donald Trump’s mass deportation proposal. More than three- fourth of the voters expressed the view that immigrants who are already in the U.S. be granted permission and allowed to stay and apply for U.S. citizenship. By 2 to 1 voters opposed building a wall along the southern U.S. border to prevent immigrants entering the U.S. without proper legal documentation. The young voters in the state of California, which is housing the largest non-documented immigrants in the U.S. have taken a nuanced approach in contrast to older voters who are more likely to favor mass deportation of illegals.
President Obama has submitted a bill to Congress designed to grant millions of non-documents to avoid deportation from the United States. The issue is being challenged by some states on grounds of jurisdiction issue over immigration subject of the federal government vs. the state governments. During the Supreme Court initial deliberation on April 20, 2016 the prospect vote ostensibly will be on ideological line rather than on the merit of the subject which means the lower federal ruling will prevail in view of 4-4 split in the Supreme Court.
FUNDAMENTAL SOLUTION TO IMMIGRATION
Walls and deportations have been tried before and they are not effective in addressing the issue of immigration as long as political repression and economic disparity prevail on global scale. The solution to immigration issue is to single out the above two problems and devise and apply an effective global approach.
With respect to political repression, most notably tribal, religious, and sectarian divide must be countered through democracy, education, communication, and technology. Measures of domestic, political, social and economic indicators as they apply to repression must be established for troubled countries and followed over time under the auspices of the World Bank/IMF.
Positive and negative incentives must be applied to encourage progression over time. With respect to economic immigration the response to stem it must be to stimulate economic development and employment opportunities in the home countries. The target should be 4% annual growth of the GDP and an unemployment rate of less than 6%. The affected countries and the international community of the rich countries must work together to increase the per capita income and wage level and employment opportunity of the sending countries. When these indicators reach some proximity to development standard, then the flow of emigration due to economic incentives will subside. There exist an innate desire for a majority of the people to remain in their homes and villages. Whenever emigration from sending countries reach equilibrium the issue will subside or get resolved. This approach will require transfer of substantial amount of investment funds from the rich to low income countries. However, resources are scarce everywhere.
However, the sources of these funds could be tapped by re-allocating the military budget in the rich countries and apply it for reducing economic and political immigration in the low income countries. This process may continue until the income and wage level in the sending countries reach a level of income that would stem emigration. In the past the rich countries had agreed to allocate up to 1% of their GDP for economic development in LDCs, but it never materialized due to former cold-war – East-West completion.
Global immigration issue must be dealt with ethical and humanitarian precepts including generosity and altruism. Needless to say, there is a dire need to pay attention to this income gap issue. For instance the current poverty wage in the low income countries is set by the World Bank at $1.25/day in 2005 while the minimum wage in the United States is targeted at $15/hr. Or $120/day. That means that he figure in low income countries should move towards (96 * 1.25) over time. Alternatively the measure of per capita income could be used to estimate the annual flow of resources from the rich to low income countries…
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May 2nd, 2016
By Nake Kamrany.
The emergence of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in the U.S. presidential race underscores the growing disdain of the American public with the existing political and economic order. Stagnating domestic conditions and a counterproductive foreign policy have prompted the emergence of unconventional candidates who appeal to voter disenchantment. The next president should note that it is vital for the U.S. government to reduce its reliance on military engagement as a solution to world concerns and instead focus its resources on tackling domestic problems such as our prison and justice system failures, immigration, and the burden of college debt. Moral arguments aside, economic strategy necessitates that we get the hundreds of thousands of non-violent incarcerated Americans out of the prison pipeline and back into the workforce in addition to enfranchising the 11 million immigrants who could further contribute to our tax base. Crippling college debt will also have rippling effects across our economy. In essence, issues of equality and opportunity will help define the upcoming election.
U.S. Must Reduce Military Engagement in Foreign Affairs
For the last four decades, U.S. hyper-reactive interventionist foreign policy has been costly and counterproductive, leaving some of the American public with a feeling of government failure. Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan have demonstrated that despite the loss of blood and wealth, the U.S. essentially left all theaters without improving our national security. During the Vietnam War, it was argued that if we did not defeat the communists in Vietnam they would eventually arrive on the shores of California. The North Vietnamese took over the U.S. embassy in Saigon but none showed up on the shores of California. Likewise with respect to Iraq, it was argued that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, and if we did not secure them, imminent atomic danger lurked off our shores. None were found. When we did finally pull out of Iraq, we ended up just turning over enormous influence to Iran, which was hardly a boon to our security. In Afghanistan, the Taliban regime was changed to our installed puppet governments who could neither defeat the Taliban nor create a stable democratic system. In the process, billions of American taxpayer dollars disappeared and thousands of lives were lost. Our current involvement in Syria, Libya, and a few places in Africa have pitted us in sectarian wars and ethnic discourses in which we have no clearly defined mission. It is now very obvious to the U.S. public that such military involvement has been more or less a catastrophe. Our interventions have resulted in the deaths of thousands of American troops and innocent civilians without concrete results . Our approach has been short sighted and arguably immoral given the repeated nature of our failures. Our policy in the Middle East essentially represents Bin Laden phobia, which ironically undermines our national security by fostering more radicalization and resentment towards the U.S.
The U.S. faces Major Domestic Policy Issues
While the U.S. government spends its treasure and time attempting to micromanage Middle Eastern affairs, on the domestic front, high and discriminatory incarceration, an unresolved immigration crisis, and mounting college debt are drawing public attention. The U.S. rate of incarceration is a disgrace. America incarcerates 753 per 100,000 , while comparable European incarceration rates per 100,000 are 153 for England, 96 for France, 92 for Italy, 66 for Denmark and 90 for Germany. This is largely due to our ineffective criminal system where prosecutors and judges are incentivized to incarcerate rather than cure. Nonviolent criminals should not clog our justice system, consume our tax payer dollars, and have their humanity and economic productivity stripped from them. It’s more expensive to incarcerate than to pursue other alternative forms of punishment or treatment. In particular, drugs addicts should be treated in clinics as they are in Europe instead of being jailed and provoked into becoming violent criminals. Moreover, the criminal justice system seems to overly convict and punish minorities, especially black men. The recent string of police shootings of unarmed black men reminds us of the pressing need to reform law enforcement protocols and rewrite our codes.
Recent vitriolic remarks by republic presidential candidates denouncing undocumented workers underscore the need to finally address immigration. For those undocumented immigrants – some 11 + million – who are already residing in the United States, a policy should be devised to allow them to become U.S. citizens in the long run. It is essential that they join the U.S. society as citizens and become acculturated rather than remain outside the American system of opportunity. While some argue that it isn’t fair to other immigrants waiting in line and to American workers trying to find jobs, our perception needs to square with economic reality and must also recognize the struggle of the 11 million people already here. Given the circumstances, we contend that the best way forward is to provide a path to citizenship and encourage work, thereby increasing the tax base. Moreover, it is imperative that we continue to ensure immigrants’ children are given the education opportunities to advance in American society. Certainly many schools and government programs are already full and underfunded, but the consequence of neglecting 11 million people is both morally heinous and economically disastrous. Citizenship, and the enfranchisement that comes with it, must be present in an immigration solution. Any presidential hopeful should straighten up to this reality and put forth a policy that is inclusive and fair.
Another white elephant that has emerged in the U.S is the cost of college education. As compared to the European countries where there is little or no tuition, we have our students take a heavy mortgage type loans for their education, which puts them into long term debt ranging from 10 to 30 years of loans. The average annual student loan in 2015 for private college education has reached $31,231 while the total student borrowing bill has reached $1.19 trillion . The worst aspect of these loans is the annual interest rate that students are charged. In 2015, the average annual interest charges for private student loans has been increasing, with some of the highest reaching 11% , as compared to 14.9% for credit card , 3.8% for mortgage loans and 3.7% for auto loans. Student college costs have defied the distributional objectives of the nation and will contribute to keeping the poor out of college and the middle class saddled with debt.
It follows that the U.S. should seek a smarter path forward to rectify the above inequities and dissonances. Specifically, we should reduce our over reliance on military engagement. As long as we are able to maintain superior military technology, then we should be able to cut the military budget appropriately. With these newly available resources, we could re-allocate the budget from building prisons and military equipment to schools. We should revise the minimum wage law to a “living wage” so that it would support even costs including room and board, healthcare, and education. Education, wellness and greater earnings tend to drive down crime and promote greater economic activity.
All of the above indicators are currently being provided in many European countries. The United States is the richest and most powerful country in the world and it should lead the rest of the world in all of these indicators as well. The proposals contained herein have nothing to do with the issue of capitalism or socialism. It has to do with the right of each individual to receive basic needs as a matter of right from the cradle to the grave. These rights will be a key point in the next election, so we hope the candidates are listening.
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April 30th, 2016
By Nake Kamrany.
Christian Refugees from Syria
The current political dialogue and debate of the 2016 presidential election has propelled the issue of merit and demerit of Moslems entering and residing in the United States. The debate transcends elements of religion, nationality, qualification, prejudice and the broader issue of global religious conflict between Islam and Christianity. Although President George Bush and President Obama both have emphatically denied the current Middle East conflict to reflect a religious war, one cannot deny that the current Western, and in particular, U.S., England, and France intrigue against ISIS and other insurgent groups have radicalized many of the affected population in the region. However, the West’s military response is not the answer to resolve the issue, instead some diplomatic approach must be found to resolving the conflict.
The West has to stop killing innocent villagers through incessant bombing and the insurgent must agree to cease and desist killing their own people and innocent people in the West. The West must recognize the formation of Sunni ISIS as legitimate government covering specific areas in Iraq and Syria that are under their control in exchange for peace and eventual march to civility and internationalism. Diplomacy may resolve the conflict as it did in the Iran-U.S./coalition agreement. Otherwise the war damages sustained in blood, wealth, refugees and time could go on in perpetuity. And the conflict will permeate the major religions and implicate many innocent people who do not wish to be a part in the current conflict and huggermugger.
Moreover, negative worth created about Islam is offensive and unfair. Moslems in the United States are good citizens and productive as the rest of the population and the exceptionalism of the American society spreads over to the Moslem population as it does to the rest of the population. Let me illustrate with respect to my own family. As a Moslem exchange student from Afghanistan I enrolled at UCLA many years ago. My six sisters made me promise to bring them to the United States, which I did. At first we took menial jobs but attended schools and universities including our progenies. Today we have among our adult cousin, nephews, nieces and grandchildren – 60 family members with college degrees including Ph.D.’s, J.D.s, M.D.s, M.A.s and B.A.s. All of us own houses, cars, TVs, computers, health insurance, adequate food and vacations. We are acculturated to the American society and are proud and loyal Americans and will defend our beloved and adopted country.
Members of our family have married individuals of different national origins, ethnicity and religions – and we love and enjoy the diversity. This is the story of a Moslem extended family in the United States. It is not an incongruity and not an exception. There are many Moslem families who have integrated with the American culture and have contributed to its prominence. We have indeed experienced the wonders of American life and its exceptionalism.
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April 30th, 2016
By Nake Kamrany.
Free international trade has come under sharp attack by presidential candidates Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders for causing billon of dollars of unfavorable trade balance, unemployment and lower economic growth in the United States most notably by China, Japan and Mexico. Several successive U.S. Administrations have adopted and promoted free trade drawing upon the theory of absolute advantage espoused by Scottish philosopher/economist Adam Smith in 1776 and embellishment of theory to comparative advantage by English economist David Ricardo in 1817 arguing that all nations benefit by international trade . The essence of trade theory is that all participating countries gain from free trade. The implicit assumption behind the classical trade theory is comparative productivity.
However, the Washington trade establishment has ignored foreign governments tampering with cost, providing subsidies to promote exports, and manipulating the exchange rates; all of which have put the American producers at a disadvantage causing the unfavorable trade balance for the United States. It follows that current foreign trade competition is not based comparative productivity differentials per classical theory, instead it is manipulated by government’s political and nationalistic decisions. They keep wages down, disregard child labor , environmental regulation, safety standards, retirement income and the like. It means the U.S. free trade approach is competing with mercantilist approach of protectionism maximizing exports at any cost.
It is important that the trade dissonance and intervention be corrected through international agreement so that international trade is kept free and competitive and contribute to growth and prosperity for all concerned. U.S. net export sustained deficit ($708 Billion in 2007) since the beginning of the 80s just about the same time when the Chinese economy began to surge. It is important to note that the stat of global trade has significant impact upon global recession and growth, war and peace and national debt. With the exception of China, all countries have adopted a flexible rather than fixed exchange rate. When a country intentionally and artificially lower their export price to improve their trade balance it is called dumping (China). Such a practice invite retaliation and trade wars.
Globalization is the current international integration of the world economy. It has experienced perils and prosperity in the past. It has contributed to prosperity of many countries most notably the emerging industrial countries.
In the 1930s international trade collapsed. The 1970s there was sharp increase in inflation and oil embargo, in 1994 / 1995 capital flight from Mexico, banking panic in 1997 in East Asia, default on Russia debt, and the great recession of 2007 – 2009 which spread globally.
Although the U.S. economy is relatively self-sufficient, nevertheless the challenge of candidate Donald Trump is valid. Labor cost which constitutes 70% of production is kept lopsided when wages in some foreign countries are kept down to a ratio of one to twenty or more which puts the U.S. exporter at a disadvantage. Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would have to be evaluated in light of relative costs. Trade is largely influenced by completion rather than productivity.
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January 21st, 2015
Nake M. Kamrany and Frank Jiang.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), the most prestigious international financial institution in the world has rated China ranking to number one economic superpower in the world surpassing those of the United States based upon GDP indicator (gross domestic product). IMF has asserted that China produced 17% of the world gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014 exceeding U.SA‘s GDP of world’s 16%..
(1) China’s economic growth performance over the last 30 years has impressed development economists who took the position that China will remain in the low/middle income group of nations permanently due to its very large population- approximately 1.2+ billion in 2015 Moreover, China’s performance has inspired other low and middle income countries to emulate China’s approach and engage in growthmanship including many middle income countries of Latin America such as Brazil, Argentina, Columbia and India which also has a large population like China.
It is most likely that China will maintain its lead in economic ranking of GDP in the foreseeable future largely due to catch-up of its per capita income which is rising annually at 8%- 10%.
(2) Although China’s GDP has converged and surpassed Untired States GDP, its per capita GDP is still below the U.S. and first world. However, China’s rapid GDP growth coupled with low fertility rate (number of children per women). will boost China’s per capita income to high marginal annual growth paving the way for its convergence, in less than two decades, to the level of high income countries as estimated by USC researchers.
(3) It follows that the GDP gap between China and other countries will further widen in the future. .Moreover, the U.S. carries a heavy military burden which does not feedback to economic growth while China has avoided heavy military burden. Instead in 2014 China inaugurated a major international economic development program by financing infrastructure projects in the historical silk route countries. It is engaged in financing economic infrastructure projects in the silk route countries with positive ROI for China and the recipient countries.
(4) The genesis of China’s remarkable upswing in a relatively short span of time goes back more than five decades to 1948 when China emerged an independent state after World War II upon the defeat of Japan was by the United States. China’s leadership was bifurcated between Chairman Mao Zedong’s communist party and Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang regime raising concern of a pending civil war.
(5) To China’s good fortune the two leaders views coalesced and a coalition government was formed. The absence of a civil war and the peaceful political transition of leadership largely explains the remarkable ascent of China’s political and economic fortunes.
China’s political system is not monolithic, or colossal, it has worked under seven member Politburo Standing Committee of party congress. Political leadership is elected every five years.
The second major influence that explains China’ good fortune is its decision to open up to the free world and get out of the Soviet sphere of influence. It was prompted in the 1960s when President Richard M. Nixon sought reproachment with China and sent his secretary of state Henry Kissinger to China who arranged a personal visit by President Nixon with China’s leadership.
The approach turned out to be very successful. It got China out of the sphere of Soviet Union’s influence, paved the way for China to open up to the Western World and the rest of the world, and eventually modify its system of political economy to a very unique system of private enterprise market economy and one party political system. This unique approach has turned out to be successful both politically and economically for China and it has benefited the rest of the world in trade, commerce and international peace.. In 2014, President Barrack Obama initiated the exchange of 100,000 American students to study in China further cementing cultural and education relations between the two countries. .
Following is a synopsis of China’s economic, political and social framework that augur well for its continued development and leadership and provide a blueprint for other nations to emulate.
The transition of leadership in China has been remarkably peaceful and smooth. As can be seen Deng Xiao Ping adopted market economy in December 1978. Deng Xiaoping (1978-1987) was instrumental and responsible for modernization and reform. Premier Zhu RongJi (1988-2003) paved the way for China’s entry into World Trade Organization (WTO). President Jiang Zemin (1993-2003), theory of promoting business and entrepreneurial class into the country’s one party system, helped China’s economic expansion. Current president Xi Jinping launched the economic development of the silk route countries, clamped down on corruption by rooting out high party members and military brass, has launched a rural development program to close distributional and development gap and promote social equity.
The economic innovation in China started in the early eighties beginning with Deng Xiaoping through Hujintao implementing innovative economic policies which lifted China’s sluggish economy by introducing private ownership, market economy, less governmental control contributing to robust economic performance. A succession of leadership in China including president Hu Jinping and follow-up by the current president Xi Jinping’s flexible and innovative economic policy took advantage of globalization, export orientation, attracting foreign investment, and maintaining a sound monetary and fiscal policy. China became a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and hosted a very successful International Olympic Games.
B. INTERNATIONAL TRADE ORIENTATION.
Beginning in early 1980s China shifted its economic strategy from self-sufficiency to export orientation. The shift was pivotal to the growth rate of China’s GNP. Concurrently China is building its domestic consumer sector so that in the future it will have a strong and well developed domestic market. The multi-billion dollar natural gas contract with Russia in May of 2014 will be a major plus for China’s energy demand. China’s drive for the development of non –fossil fuel under its 12th five year plan could make it a world leader in energy exports and offer unmatchable prices on alternative energy in the world market contributing to convergence of per capita income of the silk rout countries.
C. GROWTH RATE PERFORMANCE.
The process of China’s remaining catch-up time of per capita income to that of the first world is estimated to take place in approximately two decades. It follows that China’s catch up time with the first world would take place in five decades starting in 1980 while it took the first world nearly 50 decades to reach its current level of per capita income. Part of the explanation is the diminishing return to capital in the first world since it is saturated with capital and return to capital has dropped. And the law of accumulation of capital due to growth rates differential between the first world’s average of 2% annual growth and those of China with an annual growth range of 7% -10%.
The United States achieved a 2.0 percent average annual growth rate of real GDP per capita between 1891 and 2007. (x) And its growth rate for the next couple decades may be somewhat lower than 2%. This means that there may exist 4%-6% percentage point differential in growth rates that has contributed to the rising trend of annual growth rate of China. This phenomena will continue until China’s per capita income reaches within 70% level of the first world. Then its annual growth rate will conform to the first world’s annual growth rate of approximately 2% per year.
D. MACROECONOMIC MANAGEMENT.
China’s sound macroeconomic management was demonstrated during the Great Recession of (2007 – 2009) when its export dropped 15% – 18% causing 23 million unemployed but 98% found jobs as the economy readily bounced back and the unemployment rate dropped to 4%. This performance is in sharp contrast to a number of countries where the recession is still lingering in 2014… It is most notable that China escaped three global financial meltdowns since 1990 including the Japanese severe credit implosion, the Asian economies foreign reserve meltdown caused by capital flight due to rigidity of fixed exchange rate.
The great recession (2007-2009) which engulfed the world economy was contagious and China was subject to the turbulence and transmittable global meltdown but ironically China escaped. Chinas experience has drawn re-examination of the Western neoclassical paradigm concerning macroeconomic stability, and efficacy of countercyclical measures via mini manipulation of the supply of money by the Federal Reserve Board… A better alternative for all nation states is to establish social indicator targets.
E. RENEWABLE ENEGY
China’s 12th five year plan has placed specific emphasis upon the targeted development of renewable energy to satisfy 15% of China’s energy needs by the year 2025. This policy will contribute to clean air in China and prevent environmental degradation as the use of fossil fuel is substituted by renewable energy.
F. China is already the world’s biggest merchant marine operator according to U.N. data. Container port data compiled by the United Nations shows. Customs administration figures show around 40,000 ships entered and left Chinese ports in the first half of 2014.
G. POPULATION POLICY.
China’s one child policy and its recent modification has been optimal given the absolute number and the possibility of population trap. Successful control of fertility rate (number of children per women) is the hall mark of optimal population and determinant of China’s long term growth potential and carrying capacity. China’s prosperity is closely connected to its population policy although the age distribution of the population may pose some problems concerning productivity in the future.
Its population is expected to peak to 1.5 billion by 2040 reaching zero growth rate and avoiding the population trap dilemma. No doubt, it is known that population policy in Europe in the 14th century led to the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century. Technology of industrialization from 18th century to the present created the high level of per capita income in the first world. Clearly, demographic policy affects economic development in all low and middle income countries.
H. POVERTY REDUCTION.
Since 1978, China’ has uplifted millions of peasants out of poverty and it has been the most successful country in the world in poverty reduction. China will deserve very high marks for its social indictor and distributional objectives.
Other favorable political economy policies that have made poverty reduction feasible include annexation of Hong Kong – a model of one country in which two system is adopted granting Hong Kong market autonomy.
Three-fifth of China’s foreign direct investment are financed through Hong Kong and billions of dollars of China’ assets are in Hong Kong’s financial institutions. Development of Growth Zones such as Shanghai to attract foreign investment and investment in human capital including all levels of education through college are among the hallmarks of growth policies in China. The above factors have given a major impetus of high growth to China since 1980 ranging in annual growth rate of 7 to 10%. This is an unprecedented growth rate in the experience of world economy with the exception of Germany in the 20s largely due to military buildup.
I. ANTI-CORRUPTION CAMPAIGN
Unfortunately corruption is a universal problem and once it takes roots it becomes institutionalized and penetrates the culture. Thus it becomes difficult to undo corruption. It is keenly prevalent in low and middle income countries. China is no exception in this regard, however, a concerted effort has been launched to bring corruption under control beginning with the effort of former president Hu Jinping and follow-up by the current president Xi Jinping. Beginning in 2012 reportedly imposing punishment upon 182,000 government officials at all ranks through 2014. Several high level party members have been removed, legal cases of anti-corruption of high officials in China has been reported in the Western Press with due process. Perhaps China will succeed to clean-up corruption completely. The anti-corruption drive in China is serious and admirable. It is certainly instructive for other countries to adopt a policy of transparency and uproot such criminal activities.
J. UNIQUE FEATURES OF CHINA’S SOCIETY AND POLITY
Altruism, social cognition, equity, equality, egalitarian motives, public service and economic growth are the hallmark of China’s leadership pronouncements. The duel system of one political party and free competitive market economy characterize China’s unique socio-economic-political system. The political system is not monolithic, or colossal, it has worked under seven member Politburo Standing Committee of party congress. Political leadership is elected every five years. Last year 10,000 small protests were tolerated. Currently over half of China’s GDP is produced by private enterprises. China’s government has not been shut down due to internal political dissent of multi-party feuds. More than 250 million people have been lifted out of poverty, this isapproximately20%of the total population.
K. In June of 2014, China’s 2,400 year-old Grand Canal, which historically linked sections of the Silk Road, was awarded Enesco heritage status, as were large portions of the ancient overland Silk Road. The 11,179 kilometer Yunxinou International Railway linking Chongqing and Xinjiang with Europe and, commonly referred to as the “New Silk Road”, runs alongside many of these ancient caravan tracts.
The foregoing are indicative that China is embarking in a distinctly alternative approach of inter-governmental collaboration and connectivity to promote economic catch-up of low and middle income countries that are located in the path of silk road.
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January 4th, 2015
By Nake M. Kamrany.
The longest war in U.S. history may be winding down next year after 13 years, the most conflicted and elusive U.S. war. Thanks to President Barack Obama’s decision to speed up the withdrawal of U.S. troops in the spring of this year instead of later during summer, saving American and Afghan lives and wealth. This 180 degree shift in policy augurs well for the arrival of peace in Afghanistan since it has been in wars for 31 years. The expectation is that fighting will stop when foreign troops are gone. Afghans have resisted foreign troops from the time of antiquity to the present at enormous cost of lives and wealth. The current resistance is no exception. The critical question especially for Afghans is the issue of peace. Is there going to be peace or war after foreign troops leave Afghanistan? There are a number of issues that may shed light on the issue peace and war after foreign troops withdrawal.
1. Is the Central Government going to be overthrown or a process of governance will continue? – Looking at the recent history nearly two years after the withdrawal of Soviet troops in 1989 the Marxist government was overthrown. Although the military was strong and well organized, it disintegrated. There are two factors that may obviate an overthrow. First, the U.S. is attempting to get the Taliban to participate in a peace accord with the Central government encouraging the Taliban to participate through the political process in some form of co-alition government. Secondly, the U.S. is busy training and equipping the central government’s military force to reach 350,000 and providing substantial training and equipment.
It is unlikely that the central government will survive after foreign troops withdrawal however. First, the Taliban have been reluctant to participate in the peace process with the central government and secondly, the shadow government of the Taliban is already in a dominant position with respect to the population and land areas of Afghanistan. Besides, the Afghan military’s loyalty is to their warlords rather than the central government and it will disintegrate rather rapidly Moreover, the emerging government may take punitive measures against those Afghans that are thought to have cooperated with the invaders unless a general amnesty is agreed upon.
A positive note on this issue is the communique that the Taliban issued during the Paris peace conference on Afghanistan. It stated that the Taliban believed that all Afghan factions (tribes, ethnicity, etc.) were entitled to legitimacy and participates in the government and that women had the right for schooling and employment. Under this axiom it is possible that the current Central government will be replaced readily and new government may emerge with minimal distortion. This might be the most likely outcome. There is no doubt that the emerging government will do away with corruption, warlords, drug lords, and impose special taxes on the 1% of the population who became rich by exploiting their government connections.
2. Is there deep dissonance/discord between ethnic groups among the population? Recent history demonstrates that the ethnic groups during the reign of former King Zahir Shah was in relative peace. First of all, Afghanistan’s population is nearly 100% Moslems. Although there is a minority of Shiites, but the two factions have lived in peace for nearly centuries. The only difference is language. There are two prominent languages (Pashtu and Farsi). There are some frictions on this issue but it is not serious and in the city of Kabul most of the population is bi-lingual.
Although the Pashtun population are in majority and have dominated the government since the 1700s, however, the other ethnic major groups are gaining relative political power. In terms of per capita income, the northern region (Ozbecks and Tajiks) tops the rest followed by central, south-western, ester, southern and central regions. However, the differentials are no significant. In other words, there is no misdistribution of income, wealth or land in n Afghanistan as it prevails in other countries such as Columbia. Given the above parameters, in the post-war period, the sources of conflict among the population of Afghanistan are minimal and they should be able to iron out most of it.
3. Another positive note for peaceful post-war Afghanistan is the weariness of the population with wars. It was in 1978 when the Marxist government overthrew the then established government of Afghanistan and since then some form of wars (Soviet-Afghan, Afghan-afghan, and U.S. Afghan) have ensured with pervasive damages in lives and wealth. Afghanistan needs peace to exploit its rich mineral resources, produce agro-business including a variety of fruits, promote tourism, construction, and infrastructure and continue with its rapid growth of transportation and communication. Its recent annual growth of gross domestic product (GDP) is very favorable. If these trends continue in the postwar period, Afghanistan’s per capita income could converge and surpass some its neighbors.
4. It appeared that President Obama wanted to quit Afghanistan altogether. Regardless of what happens to U.S. role after 2014, there is indeed a deluge of uncertainty among Afghans. Those who were employed by U.S. forces and international agencies fear loss of employment. Landlords fear loss of rent and excessive vacancy, government officials fear loss of jobs, budget and wages, and university students are uncertain what lies ahead. While the U.S. generals say that the sitting government will be able to procure security, the control of land and people are moving exactly the opposite direction. The Taliban hold is gaining on a daily basis. Just like the Marxist President Dr. Najib, the days of President Karzai may be numbered. And a takeover by the Taliban may not be a matter of months but weeks.
5. Needless to stay, post war Afghanistan is a deluge of ambiguities. Nothing is certain for Afghans as the explicit and implicit damages of such a long war in terms of socio-political, l economic and psychological are going to be pervasive. U.S. insistence for a security agreement will cause the war to continue.
6. THE ILLEGAL AND CRUEL OCCUPATION AND DESTRUCTION OF AFGHANISTAN BY THE FORMER SOVIET UNION (1979 -1989) AND U.S.-NATO NATO INVASION AND OCCUPATION (2001 – CONTINUING) CONSTITUTE CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY AND THERE IS NO STATUE OF LIMITATION OR TIME LIMITATION. THE ISSUES MUST BE PURSUED LEGALLY, IN THE INTERNATIONAL COURT.’.
7. THE SOVIET UNION INVASION WAS MOTIVATED BY ITS INCORRECT AND FALSE THINKING THAT THE CORRELATION OF FORCES BETWEEN THE TWO SUPERPOWERS HAD SHIFTED IN FAVOR OF THE SOVIET UNION PROMPTING IT TO INVADE AND OCCUPY INNOCENT AFGHANISTAN CAUSING ENORMOUS DAMAGES WHICH AFGHANISTAN SUSTAINED. DAMAGES SUSTAINED BY AFGHANISTAN IN THE 1980S WAS ESTIMATED AT $620 BILLION. I WILL MAIL YOU DOCUMENTATION.
8. THE U.S. INVASION WAS PROMPTED BY U.S. FAULTY VIEW OF TALIBAN ASSOCIATION WITH BIN LADEN. HOWEVER, NO EVIDENCE HAS BEEN PRODUCED THAT THE TALIBAN OR ANY AFGHANS WERE ACCESSORY OF BIN LADEN’S AGENDA BEORE OR AFTER 9/11. MOREOVER, NATO WAS A DEFENSIVE PACT, AFGHANISTAN HAD NOT VIOLATED ANY SOVEEIGN RIGHTS OF NATO MEMBERS. IT FOLLOWS THAT ALL NATO MEMBERS WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE INVASION AND OCCUPATION OF AFGHANISTAN ARE INDIVIDUALLY AND COLLECTIVELY LIABLE FOR DAMAGES AFGHANISTAN SUSTAINED..
9. THESE ISSUE MUST BE TAKEN UP BY INTERNATIONAL COURT, INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND INTERNATIONAL LAWYERS FOR JUSTICE AND EQUITY.
10. It is encouraging that your FEDERATION is seeking a reasonable, peaceful resolution and it is inclusive of organization to promote peace through reconciliation among the contending parties and stakeholders.
11. With peace Afghanistan will be a perfect place, and it is up to Afghan responsibility to make it a perfect place. The future of Afghanistan must be decided by Afghans. But what the international community can do – is to help give the Afghans a chance, an opportunity to seek a long, overdue and hard-earned peace and immediately pull out all their troops out of Afghanistan and accept war reparations, retribution, payback and justice.
12. Perhaps a peaceful resolution of the issues is for Afghanistan to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) whose treaty is based on the Rome Statute of ICC -the court’s founding treaty – which will give the Afghans a venue to pursue war crime charges, end the war now, stop insistent bombing. Although the U.S. dominates the U.N. and international organizations, Afghanistan has no other recourse but to expect a fair ICC ruling.
13. It should be noted that some members of the Warsaw pact subsequently joined NATO and sent soldier to Afghanistan doubling their war crimes and liability.
a. These facts raise many moral and legal obligations to be addressed in due course, however. The facts and long term implications of these wars causing deep and sustained damages upon the people and country of Afghanistan must be fully understood.
b. In light of these facts the post-war government of Afghanistan must assume all responsibility for security and reconstructions on its own and reject any military security agreement with any country for the simple reason that any military security agreement with the United States will subjugate Afghanistan to a foreign power occupation and prolong insecurity and wars. And it will not gain any economic benefits as it did not over the last 13 years of occupation by US/NATO.
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