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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The ABC's of democracy in the ME. Now the PKK is a US Problem.

Under the impression that defeating al Qaeda may end the US nightmare in Iraq, many Americans will be surprised to learn that the mission creep is still creeping. It started with WMD and then a US mission to de-baathicate Iraq and then to bring democracy to the ME.

I, like many others, was just getting used to having defeated AQI. That sounded like a win and a possible victory march home, but now seems not to be. You see, It seems to be that the PKK, who hate the Turks, who hate the Iranians, who hate the Kurds, who hate the Syrians, who may work with the Turks, who have Kurds, who hate Kurdistan, which wants freedom and democracy, from Iran, Syria and Turkey, who are also part of Iraq, who can't be controlled, who never had democracy, who may possibly be combined with the Shiites, who are close to the Iranians, who hate the Sunnis, who also hate the Kurds, but may have to work with them, so that democracy will make Iraq, and then possibly everyone else free, and the only way this will now happen is the PPK becomes the duty and call of the USA, to help Turkey not attack Iraq and bring them all to democracy. They all mostly hate the Jews who already are a democracy but mostly hate all of them. Pelosi thought she could help and most of Washington thought this would be a good time to get further involved. That happens with democracy. Get it?

117 comments:

  1. ...and them Poles, who originally thought it was a good idea to join the US to make them free, changed presidents, who now like most of the rest of the departed coalition of the willing, thinks it is a better idea to make Poland free of this insanity, and quietly get rich as part of the EU. Now there is an idea.

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  2. I think allen once assured us that we'd keep up a level of trouble that would make our stay more or less permanent. Woo-hoo!

    Where's allen?

    We can walk away, but Iraq's not going to go away. Or so I hear.

    Fucking tar baby.

    If I have to hear one more argument for keeping our asses planted, I'm voting for Hillary.

    Period.

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  3. Damn, we don't want you to do that. Best watch what we say.

    "If the Germans lost the race to build the bomb, they certainly succeeded in confounding historians. Documents recently unearthed in Russian archives suggest that Diebner's(a nazi scientist) group might have succeeded in setting off a small thermonuclear bomb in 1945, killing a number of slave laborers." (9)

    (9) Rainer Karlsch, "Hitler's Bomb" (Munchen: Deutsche
    Verlas-Anstalt, 2005)

    frpm 112 Mercer Street--book about Einstein, Russell, Godel and Pauli

    WWII was a close thing.

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  4. Traveling a little further east of the Middle East you have South Asia. Here's a look at the Rubik's cube of Paki politics.

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  5. Trish: If I have to hear one more argument for keeping our asses planted, I'm voting for Hillary.

    Hillary is going to keep our asses planted in Iraq. Only David Kucinich and Ron Paul say get out now.

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  6. Tiger on Observanda posted a remarkable picture of Barack Hussein Obama.

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  7. trish said...
    If I have to hear one more argument for keeping our asses planted, I'm voting for Hillary.

    Period.


    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

    She's the better half of a co-presidency that brought us to Kosovo to support the drug-runnin', allah-lovin' pack at the KLA.

    Fighting the UN's fight in Somalia.

    Operation Desert Fox.

    Official policy of regime change in IRQ.

    She is - taking the dRat meme - part and parcel of the skull'n'bonz mafia that will continue the boneheaded, myopic policies of BushI and ClintonI.

    Wiping the world's ass with Expendable American Youth for a Secure and Prosperous Partnership and Global Good Times.

    The World is Flat.

    Inside the heart of every hadji is an American, trying to get out - and in under the southern border. Coming to do the jobs that the Otherwise Lawful MS13 and the TB carriers won't do.

    America ain't a place, it's a state of mind. Either land in it, or have it land on you.

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  8. The PKK has been a US problem since we took the authority for Iraqi security.

    Just because we abdicated that responsibility does not mean we did not have it.

    Team 43 does not respect borders, not ours, not Iraq's nor Turkey's.

    If the problem is terrorists, send in the Turks.
    If the problem is Islam, send in the Turks.
    If the problem is individual evil doers, promise the Turks that US B52s will strike against their forces if they cross the Iraqi border line.

    Depends upon whom the enemy is.

    Depends upon the Goal.

    Me, I'd send in the Turks.

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  9. 500,000 Californios have evacutated their homes.

    The fires rage

    Think of all the Mexicans they'll need to clean-up, then rebuild.

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  10. The Ideal solution would be for the Iraqi/Kurdish folk to take care of the PKK themselves. Since they seem intent upon protect anything Kurdish, even cats, this does not seem likely. If the US were to take on the PKK, well we'd add more folks to our list of enemies possibly even our bestest allies the Kurds. Unfortunately if the Turks decide to go in (no Rat, we can't just "send them in") then things could get messy real fast. It seems the PKK are doing similar things to Iran as well so if Turkey moves to make a buffer so too may Iran. The Kurds may choose to help out their friends the PKK 'cause, of course, no one luvs the occupiers.

    jeeezzze what a mess...something akin to a quagmire maybe?

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  11. Yes, ash, the Turks could just be given the ok, by US, covertly.

    The Iraqi Kurds are not going to shut down the PKK, they are the PKK. According to mat, the PKK are also the Turks.
    Playing a false flag game.

    The objective for the Turks, their Army, is to regain stature within Turkey. Ralph Peters makes this case. They need to regain this stature vs the Islamists in Turkey who are ascendent, politically.

    If the problem is Islam, we need to sacrifice Kurdish stability for Turkish secularity. An Islamist Turkey would more dangerous than Iran, perhaps even more disruptive than Pakistan, for the "west". Due to proximity and the large numbers of Turks already in Europe.

    Depends upon the Goal, the scope of the conflict. We have entered the Byzantine world, now we have to play the Game.

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  12. The US rejected "Greater Kurdistan" as a tactic to destablize Iran and Syria, because of the Turks concerns.

    Since that course was not taken, that the decision not to redraw the maps, as mat advises, leaves US with limited options.

    Our oldest allies in the region, the Turkish Army, needs a win. Or their enemies in Turkey, who are our enemies in Turkey will be triumphant.

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  13. yes it is a byzantine world. It is hard to picture what a "win" would be in this mosaic of ethnic battles. Would a win be the Islamic government of Turkey ordering the military to set up a buffer zone in Iraqi Kurdistan? This seems to be the most likely next scenario but the non-PKK kurds would probably object upping the status of the PKK and probably increasing the attacks on the Turkish military. Iran would do what? Step up their attacks as well?

    Meanwhile we sit on this powder keg jawboning away with our thumbs up our...

    Much of the argument for continuing our presence in Iraq is to prevent a wider regional war. It is appearing that a wider regional war may happen anyway - with US sitting at its center. The irony is that this whole Kurdish/Turkey/Iran thing was floated BEFORE the invasion of Iraq as a distinct possibility, actually probable.

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  14. An Islamist and nuclear Turkey.

    ISTANBUL -- Turkey is reviving its long-deferred quest for nuclear power, pressed both by serious energy shortfalls within its own borders and by strident nuclear ambitions in neighboring Iran that threaten to upset a regional balance of power.

    "The rise in oil prices and the need for multiple sources of energy make our need for nuclear energy an utmost priority," Energy Minister Hilmi Guler said last month in announcing plans to build as many as five atomic energy plants. The first, to be located on the Black Sea at Sinop, would come on line in 2012 and ease Turkey's costly dependence on natural gas, 90 percent of which arrives by pipeline from Russia and Iran.

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  15. Movie Review--The Kingdom--In this movie the jihadis blow up an American compound in Saudi Arabia, and four supermen/women of the FBI get sent in to clean things up. But not to worry, as while jihadi might be good at suicide bombing, when it comes to a good gunfight, he just can't shoot straight. Also noted, nobody ever runs out of bulltets. In an early scene, FBI agent comforts another agent with, 'Honey, we'll kill them all'--and in closing scene grandpa jihadi comforts grandson jihadi with 'We'll kill them all'--as if written by Habu--immiscible. Rated by bob C+

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  16. This game you are discussing makes my head hurt. Like a game of chess and checkers combined, or something. In 'The Kingdom' everything is relatively simple.

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  17. yeah, a multi-dimensional game of chess with no rules and some people really suffer and die while others get stinkin' rich.

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  18. People are going to suffer and die, and some get stinking rich, there, whether we are in the game or not, Ash. Conceivably, even more so.

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  19. oh yes, certainly, the world will continue to turn whether we are in the middle east or not though we could decrease the amount of taxpayer money spent on our great adventure.

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  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  21. you might also characterize the plans as caving in to the Ruskies...

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  22. Even Mr Gates agrees, the Iranians are not a real military threat, to US or to Europe, today.

    He sounds like he agrees with Mr Putin, there is no evidence of Iranian offensive capability, either nuclear or missile, only a fearful West.
    Or a US in need of increased Military Industrial spending, looking for an enemy or any other excuse to keep on keepin' on.

    PRAGUE, Czech Republic (Associated Press) -- The United States might delay activating its proposed missile defense sites in Europe until it has "definitive proof" of a missile threat from Iran, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday.

    At a news conference after meeting Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, Gates said the United States would proceed with current plans to build the sites in Europe but possibly wait before putting them in working order.

    The proposal has already been presented to the Russians, who strongly oppose having U.S. missile defense bases in Europe but have expressed interest in the proposal Gates mentioned Tuesday, which Gates said has yet to be worked out in detail.

    "We would consider tying together activation of the sites in Poland and the Czech Republic with definitive proof of the threat _ in other words, Iranian missile testing and so on," Gates said with Topolanek at his side.

    The United States wants to build a missile interceptor base in Poland and a radar site in the Czech Republic, but details have yet to be negotiated.

    "We have not fully developed this proposal, but the idea was we would go forward with the negotiations, we would complete the negotiations, we would develop the sites, build the sites, but perhaps delay activating them until there was concrete proof of the threat from Iran," the defense chief said.


    Building more US military capacity, against a military threat that does not exist.
    While the political and ideological battle plans required to ensure success in the Region are left on the shelf.

    We love hammers, to bad all the challenges are not nails.

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  23. Uh, could you go through that one more time? I had to go get a beer.

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  24. Why sure, rufus.

    Mr Putin says there is no evidence of the Iranians building a nuclear weapon.
    The US can, will, or does not supply any evidence of such developments. Only that the Iranians "could".

    Mr Gates says there is no evidence that the Iranians have an intercontinental or even medium range missile capacity. That there is no evidence of a current threat from Iran that requires missile defense, for Europe or the US.

    That we are pushing US military installations into Eastern Europe, "just in case" that there may or could be such a threat, someday.
    So we'd build the capacity, but not turn it on.

    A case of Military Industrial spending without a real need. Except that the US is projecting abject fear of Iran.

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  25. Hey Rat, it seems Wretchard at The Belmont Club has jumped on your Victory bandwagon though he doesn't seem to advocate the bring 'em home part of the equation.

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  26. It's the "coming thing" ash.
    Victory...
    What was it supposed to look like?

    California
    Median Home Value: $346,606
    1,200 lost so far
    $416 million USD loss, more or less, so far.
    Arson caused.

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  27. Dubya said, today, that Iran will be able to hit the U.S. by 2015.

    I'm assuming that he's figuring that if he doesn't get the E European deal going, Hillary "Never" will. I think he's right.

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  28. I, somewhat, think that Iran is being used as a P.C. "Proxy" for Pakistan.

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  29. Forecasting to 2015 ...
    Cannot do it with weather
    Cannot do it with US politics

    But we can be assured of what the Iranians will accomplish, over the next 8 years. Based upon what, one wonders.
    The same "science" and computer models that Al Gore uses to predict the weather 8 years out?

    Mr Bush cannot even predict what the US Congress is going to do, day to day, or he'd have seen US at that Comprehensive Immigration Bill signing ceremony, in the Rose Garden.

    Mr Bush giving the US policy of regime change, in Iran, no possibility of success, in the next 8 years.

    Projections, eight year out, have no credibility, you've said so yourself, rufus.
    Though concerning different subjects.

    Beating those drums of FEAR, rattling sabres, keeping oil north of $90 USD, maintaining folk's fear factor, without evidence of cause, but plenty of effect.

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  30. Mr Gates says there is no evidence that the Iranians have an intercontinental ....or even medium range missile capacity.

    or is it

    The United States might delay activating its proposed missile defense sites in Europe until it has... "definitive proof"... of a missile threat from Iran, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday.

    Iran’s Longer Range Missiles (range > 1,000 km)

    Iran Fires First Longer-Range Missiles In War Games

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  31. Definitive proof
    Evidence

    I am the first to admit that words have meaning, though those two, "definitive proof", do add up to evidence. Do they not?

    Evidence would have to be definitive, or it's not proof.
    As occurred in that botched prosecution of the Hamas supporters, in Texas.

    Just as Mr Putin was saying ...
    There is no evidence, there is no definitive proof.
    Mr Gates is echoing those Russian sentiments, which was the point of quoting him.

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  32. 1,000 km from the most northwestern part of Iran, that gets the payload to Ankara, Turkey.
    At the extreme.
    Short of Istanbul, short of Odessa, Russia, the payload landing in the Black Sea.

    1,000 km not enough to reach Europe, from Iran.

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  33. There is an article at the Asian Times y'all might be interested in.

    Intellectual fallacies of the 'war on terror'

    some excerpts:

    "Holmes rejects any direct connection between Islamic religious extremism and the 9/11 attacks, although he recognizes that Islamic vilification of the United States and other Western powers is often expressed in apocalyptically religious language. "Emphasizing religious extremism as the motivation for the [9/11] plot, whatever it reveals," he argues, "… terminates inquiry prematurely, encouraging us to view the attack ahistorically as an expression of 'radical Salafism', a fundamentalist movement within Islam that allegedly drives its adherents to homicidal violence against infidels." (p 2) This approach, he points out, is distinctly tautological: "Appeals to social norms or a culture of martyrdom are not very helpful ... They are tantamount to saying that suicidal terrorism is caused by a proclivity to suicidal terrorism." (p 20)

    Instead, he suggests, "The mobilizing ideology behind 9/11 was not Islam, or even Islamic fundamentalism, but rather a specific narrative of blame" (p 63). He insists on putting the focus on the actual perpetrators, the 19 men who executed the attacks in New York and Washington - 15 Saudi Arabians, two citizens of the United Arab Emirates, one Egyptian, and one Lebanese. None of them was particularly religious. Three were living together in Hamburg, Germany, where they did appear to have become more interested in Islam than they had been in their home countries. Mohamed Atta, the leader of the group, age 33 on 9/11, had Egyptian and German degrees in architecture and city planning and became highly politicized in favor of the Palestinian cause against Zionism only after he went abroad.

    Holmes notes, "According to the classic study of resentment [Friedrich Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morals (1887)], 'every sufferer instinctively seeks a cause for his suffering; more specifically, an agent, a "guilty" agent who is susceptible of pain

    ------

    "Holmes draws several interesting implications from this American overinvestment in Cold-War-type military power. One is that the very nature of the 9/11 attacks undermined crucial axioms of American national security doctrine. In a much more significant way than in the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, a non-state actor on the international stage successfully attacked the United States, contrary to a well-established belief in Pentagon circles that only states have the capability of menacing us militarily. Equally alarming, by employing a strategy requiring their own deaths, the terrorists ensured that deterrence no longer held sway. Overwhelming military might cannot deter non-state actors who accept that they will die in their attacks on others. The day after 9/11, American leaders in Washington, DC, suddenly felt unprotected and defenseless against a new threat they only imperfectly understood. They responded in various ways.

    One was to recast what had happened in terms of Cold-War thinking. "To repress feelings of defenselessness associated with an unfamiliar threat, the decision makers' gaze slid uncontrollably away from al-Qaeda and fixated on a recognizable threat that was unquestionably susceptible to being broken into bits." (p 312) Holmes calls this fusion of bin Laden and Saddam Hussein a "mental alchemy, the ‘reconceiving' of an impalpable enemy as a palpable enemy". He endorses James Mann's thesis that Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and others did not change the underlying principles guiding American foreign policy in response to the 9/11 attacks; that, in fact, they did the exact opposite: "[T]he Bush administration has managed foreign affairs so ineptly because it has been reflexively implementing out-of-date formulas in a radically changed security environment." (p 106"

    -----

    "Even now, with the Iraq War all but lost and public opinion having turned decisively against the president, there is still a flabbiness in mainstream criticism that reveals a major weakness in the conduct of American foreign policy. For example, while many hawks and doves today recognize that Rumsfeld mobilized too few forces to achieve his military objectives in Iraq, they tend to concentrate on his rejection of former Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shinseki's advice that he needed a larger army of occupation. They almost totally ignore the true national policy implications of Rumsfeld's failed leadership. Holmes writes, "If Saddam Hussein had actually possessed the tons of chemical and biological weapons that, in the president's talking points, constituted the casus belli for the invasion, Rumsfeld's slimmed-down force would have abetted the greatest proliferation disaster in world history." (p 82) He quotes Michael Gordon and Bernard Trainor: "Securing the WMD required sealing the country's borders and quickly seizing control of the many suspected sites before they were raided by profiteers, terrorists, and regime officials determined to carry on the fight. The force that Rumsfeld eventually assembled, by contrast, was too small to do any of this." (pp 84-85) As a matter of fact, looters did ransack the Iraqi nuclear research center at al Tuwaitha. No one pointed out these flaws in the strategy until well after the invasion had revealed that, luckily, Saddam had no WMD.

    With this book, Stephen Holmes largely succeeds in elevating criticism of contemporary American imperialism in the Middle East to a new level. In my opinion, however, he underplays the roles of American imperialism and militarism in exploiting the 9/11 crisis to serve vested interests in the military-industrial complex, the petroleum industry, and the military establishment. Holmes leaves the false impression that the political system of the United States is capable of a successful course correction. But, as Andrew Bacevich, author of The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War, puts it: "None of the Democrats vying to replace President Bush is doing so with the promise of reviving the system of checks and balances ... The aim of the party out of power is not to cut the presidency down to size but to seize it, not to reduce the prerogatives of the executive branch but to regain them."

    There is, I believe, only one solution to the crisis we face. The American people must make the decision to dismantle both the empire that has been created in their name and the huge, still growing military establishment that undergirds it. It is a task at least comparable to that undertaken by the British government when, after World War II, it liquidated the British Empire. By doing so, Britain avoided the fate of the Roman Republic - becoming a domestic tyranny and losing its democracy, as would have been required if it had continued to try to dominate much of the world by force. To take up these subjects, however, moves the discussion into largely unexplored territory. For now, Holmes has done a wonderful job of clearing the underbrush and preparing the way for the public to address this more or less taboo subject. "

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  34. "The American people must make the decision to dismantle both the empire that has been created in their name and the huge, still growing military establishment that undergirds it."

    Are the Russians, Chinese, Persians, and Sunnis imperialists?

    How exactly/precisely would the U.S. ensure hydrocarbon needs without the military establishment?

    .......................
    Did Iran fire a missile from Iran to hit an Israeli ship in the Med?

    Didn't need to, provided the weapon to their Hezbollah proxy to do it. Longer range reduced.
    .................

    Wonder if the NoKors engage in weapons proliferation?

    Are they a missile threat?

    The head of the U.S. anti-missile program says North Korea is helping Iran develop missiles that could reach Europe.

    “We know that they are collaborating,” Lt. Gen. Henry A. Obering III, director of the Missile Defense Agency, told reporters at a press conference April 23,2007 at the U.S. Embassy in Prague.

    The long reach of North Korea's missiles
    ...................

    Wordsmith -

    "There is no proof that providing a law enforcement capacity, in Iraq, secures the US homeland.....per General P's testimony."
    Sun Oct 21, 01:34:00 PM EDT

    What was actually said...
    Petraeus: "I Don't Know" If My Strategy Makes America Safer
    ...............................

    What is the proof that basing troops in Bosnia, SoKor, or Afghanistan secures the U.S. homeland?

    How would you empirically test for this proof?

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  35. Yeah, well, I'd just as soon have the shield up. It don't cost much; not if you consider the "consequences of being wrong."

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  36. one of the "costs" of the 'shield is the Russian response and our need to counter that.

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  37. The Russian response is just an excuse. If it weren't the shield they would use some other pretext to play the foil. They know they can't be a military superpower but they don't need to be. The world desperately wants someone, anyone to stand up to American "hegemony and imperialism."

    Russia is willing to play that role in order to curry favor in the Gulf and strike fear into its former satellites.

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  38. That is a very interesting photo of Mr. Obama. I don't know quite what to make of it. I think I'll head over to Tiger's place. For those of you who missed he was a tear in the Bar last night. Hopefully, he's sobered up by now.

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  39. The Russians still are a super power, by Iranian standards.

    We just assume they will not use their offensive capacity. Taking it off the mental table. But the ICBMs they had, as Soviets, the warheads and knowledge the Soviets had, still exist in Russia.

    The F4s or F16s in the Iranian Airforce, are they American planes?

    Any more than an Iranian missile in Lebanese hands still Iranian?

    Is a PKK member, armed with a US supplied or paid for M16 or AK47 a US proxy?

    Are the Pakistani F5s still ours?
    Will they be after the Taliban take over?
    How about those nukes our Pakistani proxies have built, do we get the blame when they are used?

    Personally I do not think the security concerns of US are served by maintaining forces in Bosnia. Nor in Germany, for that matter.
    Not now

    If we list the countries that have acted aggressively, in the last 60 years, they have been US allies.

    Turkey in Cyprus, Israel in the ME.

    The Chinese were not in Korea until the US was within miles of the Yalu on the ground, crossing it with aircraft.

    Vietnam was civil war, no outside Armies but the French, then US.

    Castro, he's sent a couple of thousand troops abroad, in the 60's and 70's. None lately. The exception that proves the Rule.

    The Russians, into Afghanistan upon invitation of the Government, there. Less of an invasion then the US mounted.

    Funny, the Chinese do not require Armed Forces to get their oil, nor do the Japanese. Why does the US require armed force to buy it's fair share at market value?

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  40. He's sobered up and he's posted two back to back bombshell posts. The Obama photo and the a link to a 14 minute video on Hillary's previous fundraising scandals where it is alleged that she was able to manipulate the courts and the media. The Google video which is dated on July 2007 has almost a million views.

    Amazing that these are the two leading contenders for the Democrat nomination.

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  41. Russian ICBMs - I thought we had concluded they weren't MAD.

    Going back over the last sixty years and cherry picking Israel and Turkey proves what?

    The Kurds are claiming that the PKK are attacking Turkey from within Turkey. The claim that PKK are not attacking Turkey from Kurdistan. They say it is Turkey which is crossing the border. (Just reporting.)

    Until we can free ourselves of Middle Eastern oil dependance yada, yada, yada.

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  42. The BBC is reporting that Iraq has banned PKK operations in Iraq, will close its offices and not allow it to operate on Iraqi soil. Turkey says it may impose sanctions.

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  43. Which other aggresive military actions, invasions, were there?
    Which cherries did I miss?

    The Brits in Malayasia.
    The Suez Crisis

    The Iranians have not moved outside Iran in hundreds of years. They were attacked by Saddam, who was supported by US.

    Saddam into Kuwait, he was not a US proxy or ally, then.
    Another exception.

    The US into Panama, the US into Bosnia, the US into Liberia, the US into Somalia, the US into Grenada.

    Where or who have the Chinese invaded? Tibet, that was in 1950 and the Chinese call it a liberation.

    The Russians, perhaps Hungary and Prauge, by the Soviets, but they were in a mutual defense arrangements with those regimes. The Soviets not acting aggresive enough for a US response.

    In the last 60 years, who has been the primary aggressor, who has the global footprint? Who is intruding into the internal affairs of foreign countries, by force or threat of force?

    Since 1948, it's been primarily US, or our allies.

    The Arabs never struck Israel first.

    The Serbians were fighting a Civil War, cleansing the mussulmen from their country, as many here have advocated for US, here at home.
    But the Serbians did not leave the borders of Yugoslavia to do it.

    Pakistan and India, neither of those players were fronting for US while they were doing battle. That was pretty local, I think.

    Pick some other cherries, if I'm all that wrong.

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  44. Into the future, elijah, to match US.

    Which is reasonable, if you're a Chinese patriot.
    Even so, their tactics are going to be asymetrical, with some blue water navy, which for a Pacific Power is more than justified, when looking at the 7th Fleet.

    The US maintains what, eight or ten aircraft carriers. The Chinese zero, the Ruskies, one stol unit.

    The French decommissioned theirs. As have the Brits. The Chinese are far from power projection, but nearing coastal parity. A reasonable deal, for an important US trading partner.

    When the US and Chinese planes collided, the US plane landed in China, not California nor Japan.

    So who was pushing the territorial envelope?

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  45. Your statement was:
    If we list the countries that have acted aggressively, in the last 60 years, they have been US allies.

    Turkey in Cyprus, Israel in the ME.


    "acted aggressively" implies that no other countries acted aggressively. I may be exceptionally dense tonight but I don't understand what your point is. You seem to imply that the rest of the world has been comprised of pacifists. As I recall there was murder and aggression all over the world by military, paramilitary and guerilla forces.

    Also, the government of Afghanistan invited the Russians in like the government of Lebanon invited in the Syrians.

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  46. Former Representative Jim Tallent now with the Heritage foundation says that the Chinese are buying 17 submarines per year to our one.

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  47. In 1948 the Arab league countries Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Transjordan, and Iraq declared war on the new nation of Israel.

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  48. ...So who was pushing the territorial envelope?

    It varies depending on methodology.
    For example, many may argue that Mexico and its citizens are pushing the territorial envelope.

    However, i would enjoy reading your thoughts on global U.S. imperialism...if that's what you mean by pushing the territorial envelope.

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  49. The entire argument bastard child of moral relativism, built on suprisingly surreal cherry picking.

    I.e. China and Vietnam. Argentina and the Falkands. India and Pakistan, and vice versa. Greece and Turkey, and vice versa. North Korea. Somalia and Ethiopia. Ethiopia and Eritrea. The Russians and all of Eastern Europe. South Africa and all of its neighbors. Foreign supported guerilla movements and terrorists thoughout Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East (i.e. by states that act aggressive, but can't do so conventionally).

    The list is pretty much infinite.

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  50. Right, 1948.
    Fighting a colonial intrusion, bequethed by a terrorized British Empire, and a guilty Europe.

    The establishment of Israel a colonial aggressive action in and of itself.

    Or there'd not have been a civil war for control of the "British Mandate for Palestine" upon their departure.

    In 1948 the Arabs outnumber the Jews by three to one, but the Governance of the area, given to the minority.

    The terms of the British Mandate incorporated the language of the Balfour Declaration and were approved by the League of Nations Council on July 24, 1922, although they were technically not official until September 29, 1923. The United States was not a member of the League of Nations, but a joint resolution of the United States Congress on June 30, 1922, endorsed the concept of the Jewish National Home.

    Easily protrayed as as "western aggression" By what "right" could the US and England decide who was to rule the Mandate. There was no election, if there had been, there'd have been no "Jewish State".

    A Sectarian State, imposed by force upon the indiginous population.

    A civil war, as both TransJordan and Israel were the Palistine Mandate.

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  51. Desert Rat, If you're going to make a political argument about us being overextended and rationalizing commitments that don't make sense, just make the political argument. I'll agree with you, strongly.

    No need to shoehorn in horrible history that I don't think even you truly believe, to do it.

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  52. Cutler said...
    The entire argument bastard child of moral relativism,


    So, are you asserting moral supremecy here? Kind of like the crusades of the past? "Might makes Right" is the moral relativists trump card. All is equal but what prevails by force.-
    I am surprised (well, not really) by how so many here fall back on Whit's "ummm til we are free of Oil addiction" meme. All we do, all we kill, is fine 'cause we need that black gold; that bubblin' crude.

    So, Cutler, you aren't a moral relativist - you are righteous dude bringing light to the heathen?

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  53. China and Vietnam?
    Give that one a break, the Vietnamese were fighting French colonialism, after the Japanese were defeated. We stepped in when the French had had enough.

    There was no Chinese Army in South Vietnam. Only Indochinese.
    Argentine and the Malvinas, a remnent of Bristish Empire that the Brits maintained by force, far, far from England, but quite near Argentina.

    That the Soviets supported indiginous rebellions and revolutions, all to true. But few Russian troops were in Africa. Some Cubans were.

    South Africa, another British colony that went asunder, like Rhodesia.

    That the US is a glogal empire, not even debatable, whether it is "imperial", a matter of definition and perspective.

    That Mexico is pushing the territorial envelope, is without doubt. That the US Government encourages the behaviour, also without doubt.
    Building a North American Union, together, which the US will dominate, economicly. I'd argue that we are moving towards a single entity. As Mr Fox said, he and Mr Bush agreed that the US and Mexico will move, over time, to a single, combined, currency.

    Perhaps he was lying.

    I was involved in the Central American 1980's hoopla.
    There were US folk, Israeli and some Brits involved.
    Very few Russians, more than a couple Cubanos. The rest, the vast majority were natives. Abused and impoverished by US policies over 100 years.

    Or the Marines would not have been in Nicoland, chasing Sandino, a Nico himself. The Banana Wars, definately US imperialism, 1914's style. Re: General Smedley Butler, twice awarded the Medal of Honor

    Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

    I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. ...

    I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

    During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

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  54. elijah,

    To adopt your rhetoric:

    How do you account for 700 plus foreign US military bases if not by imperial design?

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  55. "The entire argument bastard child of moral relativism,


    So, are you asserting moral supremecy here? Kind of like the crusades of the past? "Might makes Right" is the moral relativists trump card. All is equal but what prevails by force.-
    I am surprised (well, not really) by how so many here fall back on Whit's "ummm til we are free of Oil addiction" meme. All we do, all we kill, is fine 'cause we need that black gold; that bubblin' crude.

    So, Cutler, you aren't a moral relativist - you are righteous dude bringing light to the heathen?"


    I intended to say "moral equivalency." But it is pretty much irrelevant, because I suspect you'll once again respond with preconceived strawmen unrelated to what I was talking about.

    And frankly, I can also say that there's usually no monopoly on self-righteousness, only disagreement on heathen and savior. Look in the mirror.

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  56. It is not an Imperial design, but a Hegemonic one.

    The processes by which dominant culture maintains its dominant position: for example, the use of institutions to formalize power; the employment of a bureaucracy to make power seem abstract (and, therefore, not attached to any one individual); the inculcation of the populace in the ideals of the hegomonic group through education, advertising, publication, etc.; the mobilization of a police force as well as military personnel to subdue opposition.

    Backed by force, a steel fist, in a velvet glove.

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  57. Often we utilize the UN, other times the World Bank and IMF.

    When those means fail, which is not often, go to guns.

    As to the Chinese being Arms merchants, it is the US that leads the world in Arms Sales.

    Saudi Arabia and Israel in line for what, $50 billion USD worth combined? That seems destabilizing, in and of itself.

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  58. I really shouldn't be wasting time on this but...

    "China and Vietnam?
    Give that one a break, the Vietnamese were fighting French colonialism, after the Japanese were defeated. We stepped in when the French had had enough.

    There was no Chinese Army in South Vietnam. Only Indochinese."


    First of all, you automatically that it was predestined that South Vietnam and North Vietnam be one country. Not true, see North and South Korea. And if you think that one is artificial, see most of the Arab states as well. Most of the Arabs are ethnically similar, yet their states are still going relatively strong and pan-Arabism is done. Ethnic groups, even in neighboring countries, do not inherently make one state.

    Second, Russian and Chinese involvement in North Vietnam is well known. Degree was different, but it still shows the gray area.

    Third, I was actually talking particularly about the subsequent Chinese invasion of Vietnam.

    "Argentine and the Malvinas, a remnent of Bristish Empire that the Brits maintained by force, far, far from England, but quite near Argentina."

    That continues to be voluntarily a part of the British empire, and is populated by (a small amount of) Britons.

    "That the Soviets supported indiginous rebellions and revolutions, all to true. But few Russian troops were in Africa. Some Cubans were."

    First, this was to an extent due to lack of capability and the need for political cover. Absent a U.S. counterbalance there is no telling what the Soviets or Cubans would have done - nor any other state for the last 60 years for that matter.

    Second, I was also talking about the various African, Middle Easter, and South American wars that were not proxy wars, but real local ones.

    "South Africa, another British colony that went asunder, like Rhodesia."

    Most of the people on this planet are not where they started out. The mass population movements that happened during colonialism are only exceptional to us because they happened recently. I.e. Why is Hungary called Hungary?

    "That the US is a glogal empire, not even debatable, whether it is "imperial", a matter of definition and perspective."

    I'm undecided, but so far I think I disagree. There is probably a metaphysical truth, we just can't agree on it.

    "I was involved in the Central American 1980's hoopla.
    There were US folk, Israeli and some Brits involved.
    Very few Russians, more than a couple Cubanos. The rest, the vast majority were natives. Abused and impoverished by US policies over 100 years.

    Or the Marines would not have been in Nicoland, chasing Sandino, a Nico himself. The Banana Wars, definately US imperialism, 1914's style. Re: General Smedley Butler, twice awarded the Medal of Honor"


    As far as I was concerned, I was not arguing that the US has not been imperialistic. I was arguing against the idea that the majority of aggression in the past 60 years was undertaken by the U.S. or U.S. allies.

    Even setting aside arguments over that "aggression," it requires ignoring the amount of bloodshed and aggression that happens around the world on a daily basis, let alone the last 60 years. So I named some other wars.

    Perhaps I mistook your argument (it seems so fantastic), if so I apologize.

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  59. How do you account for 700 plus foreign US military bases if not by imperial design?

    one could employ the...rhetoric... of others and label it

    Transnational progressivism

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  60. Ecuador Demands Military Base in Miami

    "Ecuador's President Rafael Correa, who has refused to renew the lease on the Manta air base on Ecuador's coast which is set to expire in 2009, has demanded a military base in Miami in return.

    Correa said "We'll renew the base on one condition: that they let us put a base in Miami - an Ecuadorean base" adding "If there's no problem having foreign soldiers on a country's soil, surely they'll let us have an Ecuadorean base in the US.”

    The US claims the base is vital in its war on drugs but despite the non-renewal of the lease Correa, a close ally of Hugo Chavez, said relations with the US were excellent."

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  61. Ecuador and Peru, probably an aggressor there, though I don't know enough to judge which.

    Paraguay was once one though as well - till they got completely smashed in the middle of the 19th century. Can't blame the Yankees for that one.

    Maybe next century they'll have a better run.

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  62. Off-topic, but interesting CMH list of historical total wars.

    "f. The Paraguayan War, 1865-1870, though provoked by Paraguay's dictator Lopez, led to invasion by Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay that literally decimated the Paraguayan population (some 200,000, including 28,000 adult males, surviving out of a prewar population of 1,850,000)."

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  63. I was speaking of conventional military actions, invasions by Armies, at the start. Since 1948.

    Not local civil wars. That many of those local wars became proxy battles, all to true. The US less willing to use proxies, prefering to send in the Marines, instead.

    Korea has been a single kingdom and split into three Kingdoms, in it's long history. But it is a single entity, culturally. Or at least that's what the KATUSAs told me. Figure they'd know.

    Indochina and whether Vietnam was historically one entity or not, I'm not sure.

    The Middle East was all part of the Ottoman Empire, a single entity, for 700 years or so, prior to 1914.
    That the Brits chopped it up in a divide and conquer management plan that bedevils US to this day, a reality of history.
    But not the historical norm.

    The Chinese vs Vietnam a conflict that I had forgotten about.

    The African Wars since 1948, for the most part, a consequence of colonialism and its' collapse.
    But not many invasions, just tribal conflicts instigated by European map makers

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  64. 2164th,

    I do find it a useful exercise to "put the shoe on the other foot" when considering much that occurs in the world. It is really quite absurd for the Ecuadorean's to have the audacity to ask for a military base in Miami, no? Mind you, we should really consider the bounty that arises through the economic spin offs of such a base!

    Come one, come all, put your base in the US, plenty of foreclosure properties for sale!! I can just see that monster Chinese joint now...

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  65. The old Howard Air Force Base and Fort Kobbe remain vacant in Panama.
    We staged out of there for 100 years, there is a reason the Panamanios have not put people in the housing, or utilized the facilities.

    Do not know what those reasons would be, though.

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  66. ...a hugely polluted property perhaps??

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  67. I agree with you Ash, but my mind is on weightier subjects. If I were Cutler's age I would want to date her.

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  68. No, not at all.
    The other facilities in Panama, Albrook AFB and Fort Clayton were snatched up in a heart beat.

    They are both on the City side of the Canal. The western side ofthe Canal, where Howard is, is considered somewhat "slummy" by the Panamanians.

    The Atlantic side, Fort Gulick, where the School of the Americas was situated is being developed, now. Not sure what they are doing at Fort Sherman, but there was not much there.

    Bet they'd rent Howard to US.

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  69. elijah: How exactly/precisely would the U.S. ensure hydrocarbon needs without the military establishment?

    By outbidding the other consumers?

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  70. "I was speaking of conventional military actions, invasions by Armies, at the start. Since 1948.

    Not local civil wars. That many of those local wars became proxy battles, all to true. The US less willing to use proxies, prefering to send in the Marines, instead."

    I wrote a long response, but I decided just to shorten it to: I don't recognize the importance of limiting it to "conventional invasion" (setting aside the fact that invasions are not necessarily unjustified). I don't need a conventional army to be aggressive.

    "Korea has been a single kingdom and split into three Kingdoms, in it's long history. But it is a single entity, culturally. Or at least that's what the KATUSAs told me. Figure they'd know."

    I think it is too, superficially, but these things change, even if we don't live long enough to see them in our lifetimes. Austrians, German Swiss, Protestant Germans, and Catholic Germans started out with many cultural similarities. The middle two wound up in Germany (and even that was not guarenteed until Prussia beat the French), the other two groups went in an entirely different direction.

    "Indochina and whether Vietnam was historically one entity or not, I'm not sure."

    It is my recollection, surprising or not, that no - not even Vietnam itself was historically one state. Depending on the period it was divided into two sections, three sections, or under control of the Chinese. The Vietnamese Communist Party also, for the record, traced its lineage to the Indochinese Communist Party (from which Pol Pot came out of). Its leadership claimed soveignty for most of its history over all of Indochina, not just Vietnam, which makes its sponsorship of the Pathet Lao and Khmer Rouge more interesting and perhaps...aggression itself?

    "The Middle East was all part of the Ottoman Empire, a single entity, for 700 years or so, prior to 1914.
    That the Brits chopped it up in a divide and conquer management plan that bedevils US to this day, a reality of history.
    But not the historical norm."


    That implies a rationality and continuity to the Ottoman Empire that I don't think existed. There were multiple Ottoman Empires and it lost and gained territory. Past maps were as much historical accidents as our own. If anything is an anomoly it is probably ethnic nationalism (as opposed to simple tribalism).

    "The African Wars since 1948, for the most part, a consequence of colonialism and its' collapse.
    But not many invasions, just tribal conflicts instigated by European map makers"


    I'd have to beg to differ, I think it was regression to the norm, not just in Africa, but most of human history. Map lines just got in the way.

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  71. I can do tricks with melons too.

    *cough*

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  72. "elijah: How exactly/precisely would the U.S. ensure hydrocarbon needs without the military establishment?

    By outbidding the other consumers?"


    That's my hope.

    Unfortunately, I fear it presumes a number of preconditions that I'm not sure hold.

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  73. Which means what, cutler?
    If Hugo agrees to sell Venezualean output to China, would the US military step in to stop those sales?

    If the Sauds were to institute another oil boycott of the US, for political reasons, would we be justified in taking military action to force them to sell to US?

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  74. Or would the US be justified in siezing the oil fields?

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  75. Kind of a revealing "look behind the veil" night here at the EB.

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  76. Is Hugo correct, when he tells his countrymen that the US will invade Venezuela to steal their oil?

    There is ample historical precendent for his rhetoric concerning US and our lack of respect for Latin American soverignty.

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  77. To try and keep it brief. Difficult questions like that almost always depend on context. Things I'd be willing to do while the entire world was potentially going to hell in a handbasket are much different from what I'd do tomorrow.

    I'm also perfectly willing to admit I don't think I know enough about how fungible oil markets actually are.

    It is my personal observation that countries tend to treat them as if they can be monopolized through control. Whether this is true or not, that behavior leads me to fear a general free-for-all by states and parties for energy supplies under certain conditions (similar to the way states fought over colonies and raw materials).

    As I see it, if markets are fungible, there's really no reason to worry about boycotts, because most of these states depend on sending it to someone for oil revenue.

    Theoretically I could see some problems if another hegemon was to attempt to gain a dominant position in the Middle East, but at the moment there aren't many candidates. Could be some failed, stupid ones though - you never know.

    It is really a question of whether you fear the unknown more than the present situation. I'm generally pessimistic about world events, but still sick of the current situation.

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  78. "Is Hugo correct, when he tells his countrymen that the US will invade Venezuela to steal their oil?"

    Are Martians going to land tomorrow?

    Except under unforseeable circumstances, no.

    And he almost certainly knows that.

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  79. "Kind of a revealing "look behind the veil" night here at the EB.

    I was supposed to write a paper on Bosnia.

    Wrote three. words.

    Three.

    :(

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  80. Do not be glum, cutler.
    Things actually are somewhat better now, then they've been, historicly:

    In 1973, the U.S. and the Western world were in the midst of an inflationary spiral. The world had become highly vulnerable to commodity cartels, as twenty years of prosperity and accelerating population growth had created heavy demand for raw materials. In the U.S., consumer prices were rising at an 8.5% clip, while inflation rates in other nations were often much higher. The demand for Middle Eastern oil had been increasing throughout the industrialized world and the needs of these countries grew far faster than production. OPEC was growing stronger and it was determined to increase its share of the profits.

    President Nixon, as part of his ill-fated price control program, had slapped controls on oil in March 1973. The U.S., which had been self-sufficient in energy as recently as 1950, was now importing some 35% of its energy needs. U.S. petroleum reserves were nearly gone. Governments, corporations and individuals were entirely unprepared for what would happen next.

    On October 6, 1973, the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur, Egyptian forces attacked Israel from across the Suez Canal, while at the same time Syrian troops were flooding the Golan Heights in a surprise offensive. After early losses, Israeli counterattacks quickly pushed into Syrian territory in the north, as troops outflanked the Egyptian army in the south. Israel, with help from the U.S., succeeded in reversing the Arab gains and a cease-fire was concluded in November. But on October 17, OPEC struck back against the West by imposing an oil embargo on the U.S., while increasing prices by 70% to America's Western European allies. Overnight, the price of a barrel of oil to these nations rose from $3 to $5.11. [In January 1974, they raised it further to $11.65.] The U.S. and the Netherlands, in particular, were singled out for their support of Israel in the war.

    When OPEC announced the sharp price rise, the shock waves were immediate. Industrial democracies, accustomed to uninterrupted sources of cheap, imported oil, were suddenly at the mercy of a modern Arab nationalism, standing up to American oil companies that had once held their countries in a vise grip. Many of these "new" Arabs were Harvard educated and familiar with the ways of the West, and to many Americans it was impossible to understand how their standard of living was now being held hostage to obscure border clashes in strange parts of the world.

    The embargo in the U.S. came at a time when 85% of American workers drove to their places of employment each day. Suddenly, President Nixon had to set the nation on a course of voluntary rationing. He called upon homeowners to turn down their thermostats and for companies to trim work hours. Gas stations were asked to hold their sales to a max of ten gallons per customer.

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  81. If President Bush is able to make a deal with Poooty that says, we will not put defensive missiles on your very door step, which is where we are now, in return for you backing off on your support for Iran, and let us bomb them, then I think Bush has made a good deal.

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  82. A severe recession hit much of the Western world, including the U.S., and as gasoline lines snaked their way around city blocks and tempers flared (the price at the pump had risen from 30 cents a gallon to about $1.20 at the height of the crisis), conspiracy theories abounded. The rumor with the widest circulation had the whole crisis as being contrived by the major oil importers who were supposedly secretly raking in the profits. New York Harbor was really full of tankers loaded with oil, in no hurry to dock, according to the Oliver Stone types. Sorry, folks, it was just our own stupidity that allowed us to be so used and abused.

    How did Wall Street respond? Well, as you might imagine shares in oil stocks performed well as profits soared, but the rest of the market swooned 15% between 10/17/73 and the end of November. [The Dow Jones fell from 962 to 822.] This ended up being the middle of the great bear market that would see the Dow go from its 1/11/73 high of 1051 to 577 by 12/6/74, a whopping 45% decline over nearly two years.

    As for the embargo, the Arabs lifted it against the U.S. on March 18, 1974. The Dow then stood at 874.

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  83. The same rate of increase, today, gasoline would be north of $12 USD per gallon.

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  84. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think there's still disputes over whether or not the high oil prices were the result of the mentioned price controls or market forces.

    I hesitate to go out on a limb about a topic which I'm so unsure of. But from my amateur opinion, a lot of it depends on slack in the oil markets I guess. I've been taught that there isn't much - but I also fear that we have a lot of people who rationalize reasons for our involvement in various places, and that might just be one of them...On the other hand there's India and China coming up.

    But even setting that aside, high oil prices don't really scare me as an American (it does mean even more misery in the third world, however). Our economy will adjust, we won't live quite as spectacularly, and in the long run, it will lead to real economical substitutes. And there's also a question of whether we're spending more (in the sense of an interventionist foreign policy) for the global economy than we're getting back, anyway.

    It's the potential for big time security competition, that'll wind up killing many more people, as well as dragging us back eventually anyway, that is more frightening to me. But I'm getting over that fear...

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  85. The US Military stood by and watched.
    Did not force deliveries to US from OPEC members.

    Was not even a shooting war, for the Sauds, just politcal retribution.

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  86. I remember Kissinger said something to the effect of, "I will say that there are conditions in which we might consider not not seizing the oil fields..."

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  87. I can't find the exact quote though.

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  88. "I would not say that there are no conditions under which we would not consider not seizing the oil fields."

    I think that was it.

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  89. In '73 the prices spiked when supply from OPEC was cut off.

    The Sauds had amble capacity to continue selling a $3USD per barrel, but discovered they held a strong enough market position to dictate price.

    The comparison to today is that supplies could be cut, by a shooting war, that could disrupt the supply side in such a way that it could not be turned back on, quickly.

    To a Panamanian or Nico that is living on less than a dollar a day, $12 gasoline won't make a lot of difference. Perhaps there will be less "trickle down", they'll have to get by on fify cents.
    But folks that have nothing have little to lose.
    People that have a lot, want more. Now that US manufacturing has been off shored, the US is dependent upon those "third world" countries for much of our consumables.

    It'd be an economic shock like none seen before, in any of our life times. Unless some of you are over 80, but it could be even worse than the "Great Depression", the fall being from so much higher, comparatively.

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  90. Talking about the Jews and the Arabs, to me, finally, you just have to choose sides. I'm with the Jews. For all sorts of reasons.

    But I think they are all wrong, as Christians too.

    "Essentially the same, or at least a like, idea is suggested in certain early Mesopotamian seals, some of which are of about the date of the Pyramid
    Texts. Figure 14, for instance, shows a devotee approaching the altar of the Lord of the ttree of Life--his right hand extended in worship.The gracious god, in return, proffers the cup of ambrosial drink, drawn from the fruit or sap of the treee, which bestows that gift of immortality which, centuries later, was to be denied to Adam and Eve. The god is horned, like the moon above his cup: for the moon is the sign celestial of the ever enduring resurrection. As Lord of the Tides of the Womb, forever waxing and waning, it carries--like life--its own death within it; yet, also, its victory over death. In Figure 15 we see its crescent again. However, thetree, this time, is attended by the dual apparition of a goddessknown as Gula-Bau, whose later, Classical counterparts, Dememter and Prsephone, were the goddesses, without peer, of both the Orphic and the Eleusian mysteries. In this ancienct Baylonian seak if c, 1750-1550B.C. the dual goddesses of plains of life and of death is passing the fruit of deathlessness to a mortal woman appraching from the left. Figure 16, from an early Sumerian seal, c. 2500 B.C., shows the god and goddesstogether, Lord and Lady of the Tree, in the company, however, of the Serpent, not the moon: for as the moon sheds death in the figure of its shadowtheserpent its slough, to be born again of itself. These are equivalent symbols, heavenly and earthly, of the ever dying, ever living Being of beings that is Life in the garen of this world."

    Joseph Campbell

    Godammit, when I try to type a long entry, a make a mistake, I can't just correct it , but seem to have to go back all the way to the beginning --why is that?

    Anyway, I think this says something important. I wish they would all give up the absolute crap they have gotten into.

    He says, 'the tree of immortal life was denied to Adam and Eve' in that mythology. There is the mistake, right there.

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  91. You have it already, within you now, Campbell says, pointing out the older myths.

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  92. "To a Panamanian or Nico that is living on less than a dollar a day, $12 gasoline won't make a lot of difference. Perhaps there will be less "trickle down", they'll have to get by on fify cents.
    But folks that have nothing have little to lose.
    People that have a lot, want more. Now that US manufacturing has been off shored, the US is dependent upon those "third world" countries for much of our consumables."


    Woouldn't they still have to deal with the effects on public utilities, i.e. heating, water purification, etc, etc. In some of these particularly statist third-world countries that can be a lot of what gets someone through the day. If there isn't much to fall, there also isn't much of a cushion to personal survival, yes?

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  93. Well, I know enough to not take myself too seriously, Aloha Akbar!!

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  94. "that is life in the garden of this world"...

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  95. So I can blame Adam and Eve for my mortality. Great. Thanks alot guys. You really messed that one up.

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  96. Been watching the Rat/Cutler dance today. Great stuff. Thank you.

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  97. Sam, you can blame Adam and Eve for making you worry so damned much about death.

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  98. These damned monotheisms are a hard meme to crack, one must admit.

    Take heart in the Constitution of the United States of America.

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  99. Greatest document in human history, bar none. Particularly in tandem with the Declaration of Independence and Federalist Papers.

    Up to me I'd dedicate at least a year long class to them alone. Then another to economics (which I'm admittedly weak on myself, especially international). Anyone has any good book suggestions I'd love them.

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  100. "passing the fruit of deathlessness to a mortal woman"--that's good.

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  101. Third National Report of Human Development of the Program of the United Nations (PNUD) has irritated the government again, this time the Minister of Social Development Maria Roquebert. Yesterday at 3:20 pm the ex-President of the Panamanian Association of Business Executives Enrique de Obarrio was giving a speech during the Annual Conference of Company Executives (CADE 2007), and made reference to the numbers included in the PNUD report which say that in Panama 1.4 million people are excluded from the benefits of progress, that 4 out of 10 Panamanians live in poverty, and that 16% of the population lives on less than $1.00 per day. De Obarrio said that although the government does not like this reality, the public should be made aware of this report. But while he was speaking and to his surprise Minister Roquebert, who was seated in the audience, interrupted and shouted "That's not true..." The minister, visibly irritated, said that the numbers in the report are from 2003 and 2004, failures she consideres to be the fault of previous governments. Then Roquebert turned her back and left the room to the shocked stare of all present.

    There are about 3 million folks in Panama, 16%, around 500,000 people?

    Darien housing doesn't use much civil infrastructure.

    Little matters the cost of petroleum in the El Salto Village

    Living on the coast is not always expensive

    Though at the top end, Mr Trump is building a right nice place to live

    Glad it was entertaining for you, sam.

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  102. the god--'passes the fruit of deathlessness to a mortal woman'--a gift, to be realized.

    And not necessarily in Malibu.

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  103. Who'd want to live forever?

    Then you'd never know what happens, next.

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  104. But that's the point. Always something more. Not the same. Life. Good. Like when you felt good, when young. Always. Growing. Becoming. Everlasting. Glory. Hard times. Death. Defeat. Growth. Like the Mormons.

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  105. Well, bob, amongst the living, there is one hell of a spread

    The latest real estate development by Donald Trump came with his announcement of Trump Ocean Club, International Hotel & Tower. The project is to be built on an artificial peninsula on the Panama Bay and will cover an area of 140,000 sq. ft. The property will be 855 ft. tall and the total construction area will be more than 2.4 million square feet. The $220-million development will offer many high-end amenities including a 45,000 square-foot casino, spa, pool deck, a private beach club on Contadora island in the bay, a 24-hour yacht club consisting of 500 one, two and three bedroom condominiums, as well as 300 hotel rooms, which will also be sold as furnished condominium properties. The construction on the ultra-luxury property should begin by the end of the year and the development is expected to be completed by 2009. And, as for the pricing, the one to three bedroom condominium units will be priced at $250,000 to $450,000 and the hotel condominium properties will be priced for around $250,000.

    Where 16% of the country gets by on a dollar a day.

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  106. Spunck up, Rat!! Like Joseph Smith says, you too can become a god!!

    In a more serious vein, I think Joseph Campbell is a great writer and thinker, and the moslems would would benefit greatly if they read him, which they will not do.

    Best protect ourselves, and go our own way in life. You not dictating to me , and I not to you. But defend the good country where we agree to do that!!

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  107. I agree with that, and I am kind of a socialist, at heart, that is to say, I would like, I think! to live in a real Christian community. But I think we best protect ourselves from true insanity. and try to make a go of it from there. Ash would gasp, if he knew what I really thought, I might put him on a tractor for a weekend!!!

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  108. The god--"passes the fruit of immortality to a mortal woman"--that is a break through of understanding. (if it is right, of course:))

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  109. Question to everyone, would anyone mind if I started posting a quote of the day in the comments section?

    Don't want to be presumptuous or pretentious, but I've always been a big collector and wouldn't mind a place to share some of them. Comical, political, or daffy...Guys can boo me off the stage if you don't like them.

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  110. Only if they're quotes from Habu.

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  111. Actually now that I've re-read it, it sounds profoundly stupid. I need to go to bed. :P

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  112. Have at it, Cutler. Just don't quote me, I don't want to be reminded of the dumber things I've said.

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