Why the desire to pull the troops out of Iraq in the first place?


*posted first on Friday Feb. 10, here*

In the Australian today:

NO sooner did President Barack Obama welcome home American troops from Iraq and laud that country’s stability and democracy than an unprecedented wave of violence across Baghdad and elsewhere revealed the severity of Iraq’s political crisis.

Unfortunate, yet hardly surprising, even to the most casual of observers.

And whilst I can understand (yet not agree with) the Left’s position not to send troops into Iraq in the first place – an argument, largely moot, for another day – what I don’t understand is their fervish desire to pull the troops out.

It always smacked of idealism, ideology, rather than hard-nosed practicality.

After all, what was so bad with having a US troop presence there to help maintain Iraq’s fragile democratic stability?

One could argue that I am biased because a) I am centre-right politically and b) because I live in South Korea, a nation that has had a US troop presence – some 37,000  28,000 or so currently – since the armistice between North and South Korea and have seen what a permanent US troop presence looks like.

I am happy to accept those labels and can gladly tell you that such a presence ain’t that bad.

By and large,  US bases in Korea – and Japan for that matter – haven’t been a problem.

Sure, issues pop up from time to time, but if one looks at the big picture, then a strong US presence here can only be seen as a good thing, a safe option, a pretty darn good insurance policy against North Korea trying anything major on.

Almost 60 years we’ve had US troops over here without any major problems. In fact, many major problems (a full-scale Nork attack comes to mind) have arguably been averted thanks to this presence.

So, why the rush to leave Iraq essentially free of any US military  before even a decade is up and before, as is clear now, the job is done?

OK, so perhaps it’s a bit like comparing apples and oranges. US troops in Korea, aside from those stationed at the DMZ, aren’t on active duty as they were in Iraq.

However, it’s not a completely dissimilar situation. Perhaps a good analogy would be to compare mandarins and oranges.

US troops not only provided safety and stability in the fledgling democracy that is Iraq – a country still steeped with sectarian and tribal rivalries – but surely they also provided a deterrence to anybody or any groups who want to destabilise the nation.

What takes years to build can take mere seconds to destroy, and I fear a lot of hard work is being undone on the whim of a flawed, feel-good, ideology.

So why?

The only practical reason that I can see for Obama pulling his troops out of Iraq is that with an Iranian confrontation looming which includes action needed in Syria, Iraq frankly isn’t important enough any more or at best, an impractical option for a potentially over-stretched military.

Of course, Obama – a man of the progressive Left – can’t actually come out and say that but it is reasonably well-known to those who don’t just get their news from the MSM that Obama is actually more of a war-time president than Bush was, having committed more troops to both Iraq and Afghanistan, and for a longer period of time.

So whilst the MSM might play along with the “bringing the troops home” narrative, the evidence indicates this simply isn’t the case.

Some 20,000 marines, seamen and air crews from half a dozen countries, a US nuclear aircraft carrier strike group and three US Marine gunship carriers are practicing an attack on a fictitious mechanized enemy division which has invaded its neighbor. It is the largest amphibian exercise seen in the West for a decade, staged to simulate a potential Iranian invasion of an allied Persian Gulf country and a marine landing on the Iranian coast. Based largely on US personnel and hardware, French, British, Italian, Dutch, Australian* and New Zealand military elements are integrated in the drill.
Bold Alligator went into its operational phase Monday, Feb. 6, the same day as a large-scale exercise began in southern Iran opposite the Strait of Hormuz. This simultaneity attests to the preparations for a US-Iranian showdown involving Israel behind the words on Feb. 5 of US President Barack Obama (“I don’t think Israel has decided whether to attack Iran”) and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Feb. 3 (“The war itself will be ten times as detrimental to the US.”).

(*BTW, I don’t recall Aussie PM Gillard highlighting that one.)

And this:

As the US and Israel carried on bickering over the right time to strike Iran’s nuclear sites, their war preparations continued apace. debkafile’s military sources report that flight after flight of US warplanes and transports were to be seen this week cutting eastward through the skies of Sinai on their way to Gulf destinations, presumably Saudi Arabia, at a frequency not seen in the Middle East for many years.

Add into this mix reports that China will reportedly help Saudi Arabia build a nuclear bomb, and that both China and India have started paying Iran for its oil in gold thus helping thwart current US/UN sanctions (more of which were recently thwarted by Russia and China), then we see a stage set for a showdown and we see the reality that rhetoric aside, Obama won’t be bringing many troops home at all.

To someone who doesn’t know any better, it’s as if Russia, India, and China – all wannabe first chickens to the trough – are ganging up on America.**

PS Who wouldn’t love to be a fly on the wall listening in to what the US is really saying about China? Their ever-expanding use of soft power is in many ways, stuffing it all up for America. China must surely be becoming an ever-increasing pain in the neck.

This leaves Australia in an interesting position. Our main export partner is China. Our main ally is the US. We send China our goodies to help them get rich and rival America. We practice shooting our guns with America to help keep America on top.

And yet China and America are also so deep in each other’s pockets. America buys China’s goods. China buys America’s debt.

Fun times.

** I highly recommend reading The Lucifer Principle by Howard Bloom. Part of the book talks about the pecking order of nations.

Extreme Keynesianism meets extreme green in Germany.


I read today of an extremely strange decision in Germany to shut down the largest single contributor to their power supply.

“Angela Merkel has committed to shutting down all of the country’s nuclear reactors by 2022, a task said by one minister to be as mammoth as the project to reunite East and West Germany in 1990.”

Nuclear energy in germany accounts for somewhere around 23% of their power supply, the single biggest component above even coal. Given that Gerbil worming is the “greatest threat to mankind”, evah!! how does it make sense to remove a non greenhouse gas producing asset?

 “It gives the country just over 10 years to find alternative sources for 23% of its energy.”

This has apparently been brought about by the Fukushima plants problems, which, to date havent killed anyone despite experiencing at least a partial meltdown. So the worst scenario possible, in a decades old plant, caused by a catastrophe well outside its design tolerances is reason to shut off 25% of a nations power?

It smells fishy, regardless of the power of the greens party in Germany (a major player there), so what could be driving this push into idiocy?

Greens mothership come to take them away??

The answer seems to be Keynesianism ratcheted up to 11..

The EU is currently experiencing a massive financial crisis, Germany, traditionally a modern bedrock of financial stability is lashed to the mast of the Euro, therefore exposed to the PIGS financial woes. At the moment they are bailing out the PIGS, but this seems top be staving off the crisis not preventing it from spreading.

Germany has done extremely well out of the Euro, in the past the Deutsche Mark would have appreciated hugely against the PIGS currency, severely hurting Germany’s export ability within the EU. As it stands they can “export” internally into the EU without worrying about currency fluctuations.

The PIGS get german goods, paid for by borrowing Euros from Germany, which then drives its own economy by selling products into its captive markets.

All nice an neat, until now…

Germany is preparing for 2 likely scenarios, both of which will potentially tip them into recession, the nuclear announcement is a call for stimulus spending on an unprecidented scale.

Scenario 1: The bailouts continue.

Germany continues to support the Euro, this requires austerity measures within Germany itself, and would be almost certain political suicide for Merkel, unless she can sell it as part of a “grand coalition” action supported by all parties.

Merkel presented the results to the center-left Social Democrats and Green Party on Sunday evening, in an uncharacteristic appeal for opposition support. But it remains unclear whether the opposition will back the new approach.

Scenario 2: The Euro is allowed to fail, national currencies re-emerge.

This would be the easy political fix, but the resulting strength of the new Deutsche Mark would effectively cripple the competitive advantage the Euro gave of a “captive market”, to Germany’s export sector.

Wheres Keynes come in?

“Energy firms warned that the decision – a total policy reversal – would require significant investment in energy infrastructure. Philipp Rösler, new head of the FDP party, which rules in coalition with the CDU, agreed, likening the task ahead to that which faced Germany in 1990 after reunification. A study in 2009 showed that €1.3 trillion (£1.1tn) had been transferred from the West to rebuild the East.”

Germany is considering bailing on the Euro, they have to find a way to prevent the mass layoffs which are sure to result. They have to find a way to soak up a few million people in their own internal economy.

The highly inefficient renewables sector is a way of employing a large number of people to generate the same amount of power as Nukes currently provide. In the meantime Germany will import power from France/Eastern bloc countries to meet any shortfall. This may actually be cheaper for Germany than the current arrangement, given the likely strength of a new Deutsche Mark.

All opinion and kite flying of course, but I can’t see any underlying logic behind this decision.

EU threatens the UK.


Read this article and see if the EU seems a little less than….friendly when they arent allowed access to a nations funds. 

Europe tells Britain not to ask for help in a crisis 

   

Officials from both euro and non-euro countries said Britain should not ask for help if it runs into trouble because it had not signed up to a £378 billion support fund. 

French, Swedish and many Brussels officials have predicted that it is only a matter of time before Sterling is hit by the same market turbulence that came close to destroying the euro at the weekend. 

An EU spokesman, yesterday.

 

Shades of the piranha Brothers there, “Nice currency you’ve got there Guv, pity if my hammer should accidentally slip and smash it eh”? 

Jean-Pierre Jouyet, a former French Europe minister and the current chairman of France’s financial services authority, yesterday predicted only “God would help” a rudderless Britain after it snubbed its euro zone neighbours. 

“There is not a two speed Europe but a three speed Europe. You have Europe of the euro, Europe of the countries that understand the euro … and you have the English,” he said. 

Yes damn those English for not spending their money to bail out our currency!! 

“The English are very certainly going to be targeted given the political difficulties they have. Help yourself and heaven will help you. If you don’t want to show solidarity to the euro zone, then let’s see what happens to the United Kingdom.” 

So Mr frog would like the shaky coalition leading England’s first financial move to be a massive bailout of the EU’s currency? Would he like their first born children as well droit de signer over their wives perhaps? 

But despite supporting a rapid response EU financial “mechanism” to the tune of £13 billion, Britain declined to offer another £50 billion of loan guarantees in order to help “European partners” that get into trouble. 

   

13 Billion pounds pissed up the wall already, plus England running a deficit of 1/2 a billion pounds a day, Im sure they are falling over themselves to save the Euro…. 

Germany’s cabinet yesterday opened a political battle after it approved a new £106 billion German contribution to the EU bail-out, a sum which is over five times larger than last week’s deeply unpopular payout of £19 billion to Greece. 

   

Any one want to guess how many seats this will cost Merkel? 

The controversy over Greece cost Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, her government majority in regional elections on Sunday and the latest EU cash demand has threatened to tear her government apart. 

“We want the details,” said Otto Fricke, a budget spokesman for Mrs Merkel’s coalition in the parliament. “Where will the money for the EU’s first instalment come from, if and when it comes? There are many ifs and buts.” 

 

So the money is to be just given to Brussels for them to use?  FFS this will see the disintegration or impoverishment of the EU if it allows it to go ahead. 

The German press has reacted with fury after Mrs Merkel cancelled popular tax cuts in order to pay for the new EU bail-out burden on German taxpayers. 

“Europe’s jerks once again!,” declared the headline on yesterday’s front page of Bild, Germany’s biggest-selling newspaper. 

   

If I was Poland Id be nervous about now, grumpy Germans have never been a good omen for them in the past. 

Heres Businessweeks take on the crisis. 

“Europe’s jerks once again!” ran the headline today on the front page of Bild, Germany’s biggest-selling newspaper. “750 billion for bankrupt neighbors, but tax cuts canned,” it said. “It’s beyond belief!”

US Citizen? Sign the petition against cap n’ trade


If you’re a man-made global warming sceptic, or if you think the science perhaps isn’t settled, or if you are worried about a potential communist world government, or if you are worried about giant non-sovereign world taxes being imposed on all of us, or if you think the governments of this world already have too much power, or even if you’re not convinced yet either way, and don’t want a road paved that there’s no turning back on in just two short weeks, then sign this petition.

SIGN HERE

People literally right now are speaking at Copenhagen presenting the other side to this man-made CO2-driven man-made climate change/global warming argument. They will also be speaking tomorrow. Time is of the essence.

UPDATE

This post differs from the original. It came from watching the latest Monckton videos (the end of Part 4 of which part 1 was posted by 1.6 below), about a GLOBAL problem – but unfortunately only US citizens can sign that petition. Hence, first update removed, replaced with this.

Climate Rage: The Bottom Has Fallen Out of Copenhagen


The continuing saga of Climategate has finally dropped both boots on Copenhagen, as The Times of London has pronounced the gathering a funeral.

“Exactly a fortnight from today, the United Nations climate change conference opens in Copenhagen. Its purpose is (or was) clear: to agree a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012…

Mr Brown’s Copenhagen objective will, happily, not be achieved…

[T]he scientific basis for global warming projections is now under scrutiny as never before. The principal source of these projections is produced by a small group of scientists at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU), affiliated to the University of East Anglia.

Last week an apparent hacker obtained access to their computers and published in the blogosphere part of their internal e-mail traffic. And the CRU has conceded that the at least some of the published e-mails are genuine.

Astonishingly, what appears, at least at first blush, to have emerged is that (a) the scientists have been manipulating the raw temperature figures to show a relentlessly rising global warming trend; (b) they have consistently refused outsiders access to the raw data; (c) the scientists have been trying to avoid freedom of information requests; and (d) they have been discussing ways to prevent papers by dissenting scientists being published in learned journals…

[W]hat is clear is that the integrity of the scientific evidence on which not merely the British Government, but other countries, too, through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, claim to base far-reaching and hugely expensive policy decisions, has been called into question. And the reputation of British science has been seriously tarnished. A high-level independent inquiry must be set up without delay.

It is against all this background that I am announcing today the launch of a new high-powered all-party (and non-party) think-tank, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (www.thegwpf.org), which I hope may mark a turning-point in the political and public debate on the important issue of global warming policy. At the very least, open and reasoned debate on this issue cannot be anything but healthy. The absence of debate between political parties at the present time makes our contribution all the more necessary.”

UPDATE: Viscount Monckton weighs in.

“This is what they did — these climate “scientists” on whose unsupported word the world’s classe politique proposes to set up an unelected global government this December in Copenhagen, with vast and unprecedented powers to control all formerly free markets, to tax wealthy nations and all of their financial transactions, to regulate the economic and environmental affairs of all nations, and to confiscate and extinguish all patent and intellectual property rights.

The tiny, close-knit clique of climate scientists who invented and now drive the “global warming” fraud — for fraud is what we now know it to be — tampered with temperature data so assiduously that, on the recent admission of one of them, land temperatures since 1980 have risen twice as fast as ocean temperatures. One of the thousands of emails recently circulated by a whistleblower at the University of East Anglia, where one of the world’s four global-temperature datasets is compiled, reveals that data were altered so as to prevent a recent decline in temperature from showing in the record. In fact, there has been no statistically significant “global warming” for 15 years — and there has been rapid and significant cooling for nine years.

Worse, these arrogant fraudsters — for fraudsters are what we now know them to be — have refused, for years and years and years, to reveal their data and their computer program listings. Now we know why: As a revealing 15,000-line document from the computer division at the Climate Research Unit shows, the programs and data are a hopeless, tangled mess. In effect, the global temperature trends have simply been made up. Unfortunately, the British researchers have been acting closely in league with their U.S. counterparts who compile the other terrestrial temperature dataset — the GISS/NCDC dataset. That dataset too contains numerous biases intended artificially to inflate the natural warming of the 20th century.

Finally, these huckstering snake-oil salesmen and “global warming” profiteers — for that is what they are — have written to each other encouraging the destruction of data that had been lawfully requested under the Freedom of Information Act in the UK by scientists who wanted to check whether their global temperature record had been properly compiled. And that procurement of data destruction, as they are about to find out to their cost, is a criminal offense. They are not merely bad scientists — they are crooks. And crooks who have perpetrated their crimes at the expense of British and U.S. taxpayers.

I am angry, and so should you be.”

Read the whole enchilada.

UPDATE II: Senator Jim Inhofe (R- OK) wants The United States Senate to investigate “Climategate”:

“Today, I will discuss something else – scientific integrity and how to improve it. Specifically, I will discuss the systematic and documented abuse of the scientific process by an international body that claims it provides the most complete and objective scientific assessment in the world on the subject of climate change – the United Nations-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC.”

Listen to his call-in to a conservative talk radio show.

“Now that was four years ago; so we knew they were cooking the science back then…”

The cat is out of the bag, and he’s pissed.

Paying Unassimilated Muslim Immigrants to Leave


The tide has shifted. Even many liberal-left Democrats are beginning to tire of government enforced, “cultural diversity” when the subjects in question are Muslim immigrants who refuse to assimilate, and do nothing but breed on the dole and threaten their hosts with violence… and often enough, act out on those threats.

Sweden, a country I love – OK, I really love the women – and have lived in, is paying the return trip for asylum seekers who have been turned down. Note that the countries listed are all Muslim countries, that a higher percentage are now being refused, and that applications are also dropping as the people back home get word that the public teat is running dry.

Denmark is going that one better, as they are paying unassimilated Muslim residents about $20K US to… ahem… get the fuck out. The something that is rotten in Denmark is the unassimilated Muslims, and the natives want them gone.

Expect this to spread. Peace-loving citizens of western nations – who will readily self-identify as libertarians if the terms are properly defined for them – are fed up with this malignant ideology parading as a religion, and they bloody well want their countries back.

Here in the US, the solo terror attack by Nidal Hasan is being called a terror attack in newspapers that were formerly allergic to the word. Deniers are being shouted down, and even their hearts aren’t into their arguments anymore.

Not only that, but there are now calls for the abjectly ridiculous Clinton-era gun ban for military bases and posts to be rescinded. This is major big progress. I grew up a military brat on Air Force bases in the 60’s and 70’s: My dad carried a .357 revolver around with him whenever he was flying, and nobody ever gave it a second thought. It’s a military base for fuck’s sake! Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines are supposed to be fucking goddamned ARMED! Expect this to change, and soon. Even lilly-livered generals don’t like to be caught with their pants around their ankles while their unarmed soldiers are mowed down by lunatics.

There will also be an end to this kind of malfeasant shit. Hasan’s superiors wondered if he was a bleeding psychotic nut-case, but nobody wanted to take the heat for accusing a Muslim of being a danger. A hearty fuck that to that noise. That’s gone soon as well, and three cheers.

Westerners are long-suffering because we’re civilized, and we’d like more of the world to share in our prosperity and standard of living, but if you invite a dog into your house and he refuses to stop shitting on the carpet, well, you’ll rid yourself of the cur sooner or later, no matter how much you wish he’d shape up.

That’s what’s happening now: Muslims have been shitting on the carpets of western countries too long, and the owners of those carpets are tired of cleaning up after them. We’d like to walk on those carpets barefoot without worrying about stepping in a pile of Muslim shit.

Perhaps in another few centuries Muslims will be ready for civilization, but they aren’t now.

Send them back to their bat-shit filled caves and their flea-infested sand dunes. That’s where they belong.

screenshot0409ys

Let the Muslims shit on their own carpets.

Steyn ponders liberty in the technological era


For those of you who don’t read Tim Blair, here’s Mark Steyn on the radio.

LINK

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