Archive for the ‘John E. Carey’ Category

Obama, Congress, Treasury, Fed: Shameful Mismanagement of Your Money, Recovery

March 19, 2009

If you are a fan of movies featuring a hero who steps forward to add courage, virtue and good thinking to a disaster to make things right; the AIG bonus flap will cause you disappointment and worry.

There are no leading men or heroes here.  Just bad actors.

And the really worrisome point is this: the AIG bonus flap is about is just $165 million out of trillions of dollars now flowing through the decision makers in the White House, Congress, the Treasury and Federal Reserve.

The outrage expressed over the AIG bonuses is like being worried about one molecule on an elephant standing on your food and dying of cancer without  medical attention.

The elephant is the economy and the poorly managed recovery so far.  Money has been hemorrhaging  out of the taxpayers’ coffers and into all kinds of hands you would never approve of — for months — and the president is preaching “transparency.”

The courage, virtue and good thinking so far has apparently only been delivered during carefully scripted TV appearances — and now even Obama and Biden are not allowed out of their bathrooms without telepromters.

Obama, Pelosi: Anything to Win

The root cause of the AIG flap?  The quickly executed and poorly cobbled together stimulus bill for starters.  Nancy Pelosi’s stimulus bill.  Chris Dodd, with help, undoubtedly, inserted language legalizing just the kind of bonuses AIG paid — so everyone who expressed “outrage” from the president on down is to blame for rushing through congress a hash bill of over $700 billion — and then blaming a company that thought they were doing the right thing, the legal thing, the thing they told the Fed about months ago.

And the president is going through the books line by line….

No “lawmaker” admitted to even reading the stimulus before making it a law: which should sound alarm bells that the White House the Congress and all else involved were into a stampede of good intentions which seldom yields good law.  Even the lobbyists couldn’t keep up with the stimulus….

Then add poor performance on the part of those responsible for oversight.

What we have is a witches brew of White House, Congress, Treasury and Fed.

The problem is Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke and their many munchkins — not mean old AIG executives and lawyers and Wall Street — this time.

Politically, if history is any guide, “No Drama Obama” will continue to receive love and support from an adoring public and media: but he’s the one that slammed the stimulus down the throats of congress and he’s the one that picked Tim Geithner.

The president didn’t create the crisis but he fueled it and pushed hard for speedy action — not well thought out legislation.

We fault the president for not speaking the truth on this, which he is often not very good at.

But we still have hope, which the president often urges, that Barack Obama will come clean with the American people and tell them that the federal government screwed up and can, will and should do a lot better.

By firing Geithner the president can go a long way in quieting this storm.  Standing by this Treasury Secretary just leaves a giant hunk of doubt, suspicion and guilt in the middle of the “recovery” that the president has said requires confidence.

And that doubt is now the elephant in the room.

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

Related:
In AIG flap, it’s not just about bonuses anymore

Defining Moment for Obama’s Treasury Secretary

Fed Failed to Tell Obama About AIG Bonuses For Months

Robert Reich: AIG,Transparency, Treasury, Fed: Lost?

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/
19/where-in-the-world-146/

Obama, Congress, Treasury, Fed: Shameful Mismanagement of Your Money, Recovery

Fed Failed to Tell Obama About AIG Bonuses For Months

“Dodd The Dodge” — Senator Weasels Away The Truth; And Not Artfully

Dodd Allowed AIG To Thrive in His State, Approved Bonuses: Now Throws Them Under The Bus

Amid AIG Furor, Dodd Tries to Undo Bonus Protections He and Geithner Put In 

Did Obama White House Fuel AIG Bonus Mess To Enact Tougher Rules With Public Support, “Outrage”?

http://cinie.wordpress.com/20
09/03/19/psssst-theyre-all-lying/

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Dodd Allowed AIG To Thrive in His State, Approved Bonuses: Now Throws Them Under The Bus

March 17, 2009

This is now a major Democratic integrity issue:  Chris Dodd allowed AIG to rake in billions of dollars in his home state, allowed the bonuses now so famous, and he is saying he’ll work his tail off for the Citizens of America to recoup every dollar.

YIKES!

He doesn’t have the stones to tell the President: “We screwed up, Mister President.  Better we  own up to the American people.”

And neither does Tim Geithner.  He knew about the AIG bonuses, and he allowed the president to go on a rant yesterday.  Geithner knew about AIG’s bonuses, he allowed them, and he allowed the president to grandstand yesterday in a self-righteous speech about “outrage.”

Or faux outrage.

Related:
Inside the Piñata At AIG: Death Threats and Disappointment in Elected Leaders

 Obama, Congress, Treasury, Fed: Shameful Mismanagement of Your Money, Recovery

“Dodd The Dodge” — Senator Weasels Away The Truth; And Not Artfully

The president knew abut the AIG bonus money last week and faked the big outrage event yesterday.

AIG Bonus Money Is Not The Problem: Government Is The Problem
.
Obama’s AIG Outrage: All Talk, No Action

And most of the mainstream media has swallowed this BS — like CNN.  That’s a real outrage.

What is outrageous here is Obama, Geithner, Obama and Dodd.  And most of the media which is silent and “outraged.”

Few know more about the bailout of AIG than Senator Chistopher Dodd (D-Conn), chairman of the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.

Senate staffers tell us he allowed the AIG contracts that provide the bonus money now at issue — and now he has joined the fight to get that same money back.

Dodd suggested a tax provision to recoup the bonuses — which he should have never allowed.

Much of the bonus money will be paid to AIG people who are not American citizens and work overseas — so the horse has already left the barn in many respects….

Dodd allowed AIG to prosper in his home state and now he has thrown them under the bus.

The Washington Post said today that hired guards stood watch outside the suburban Connecticut offices of AIG Financial Products, the division whose exotic derivatives brought the insurance giant to the brink of collapse last year.

Senator Richard Shelby is saying Treasury Secretary Geithner also knew about the bonuses and allowed them to be paid….

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., ... 
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., left, and the committee’s ranking Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., listen during a hearing on modernizing insurance regulations, Tuesday, March 17, 2009, on Capitol Hill in Washington.(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Related:
 Obama: Fire Geithner

Washington Post:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn
/content/article/2009/03/16/AR2009
031602961_pf.html

CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS
/03/17/aig.bonuses/index.html?sec
tion=cnn_latest

Sen. Chris Dodd said the government could apply a tax to the AIG bonuses.

China’s Love/Hate Relationship With The U.S.

March 13, 2009

China has a love-hate-envy relationship with the United States.

The Chinese people love American culture and can’t get enough of the American movies, videos, and music — much of it on the internet.

Yet the Chinese government blocks much of the internet because the cultural trends of these same Chinese people, most of them young and with growing affluence, worries older leaders in Beijing.

China envys the U.S. and its powerful military and almost unchallenged influence in the world.  Leaders crave such influence and dispatched the first ever long-range naval mission far from China in modern times when ships went to fight piracy near Somalia last December.

China is building an aircraft carrier, its first ever, and the incident at sea between Cninese ships and USNC  Impeccable last weekend was no accident.  China wants the U.S. and the world to know that it is claiming sovereignty over a vast expanse of sea.

This US Navy file photo shows the military Sealift Command ocean ... 
This US Navy file photo shows the military Sealift Command ocean surveillance ship USNS Impeccable (T-AGOS-23). Five Chinese vessels maneuvered dangerously close to a US Navy ship in the South China Sea on Sunday, March 8, 2009, approaching within 25 feet of the unarmed surveillance ship, the Pentagon said.(AFP/NVNS)

China aslo loves and fears the U.S. dollar.

China has so much reserve money that it has to be invested, and in many ways, that almost always has meant buying U.S. Treasuries.

China has invested almost $1 billion in U.S. bonds.

This huge holding has to worry the Chinese since the crash of the stock market and the global economic recession — which the Chinese blame on U.S. debt and greed.

Luo Ping, a director-general of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, tried to explain how China feels about the recession and China’s continuing purchases of U.S. debt:

“We hate you guys. Once you start issuing $1 trillion-$2 trillion… we know the dollar is going to depreciate, so we hate you guys but there is nothing much we can do….

Ping, “whose English tends towards the colloquial,” according to the Financial Times’ Henny Sender, also asked “Except for US Treasuries, what can you hold? Gold? You don’t hold Japanese government bonds or UK bonds. US Treasuries are the safe haven. For everyone, including China, it is the only option.”

The global recession means China’s exports have ground to a halt and along with that, many factories and factory jobs stand idle.

About 20 million  Chinese people, many of them migrant laborers, returned home last January and are out of work.  China is rushing aid to the unemployment and fears social unrest.

The Independent (UK) reported in early March:

“China’s growth has dropped from 13 per cent in 2007 to 6.8 per cent in the most recent quarter. The rapid slowdown in the global economy, and in the US in particular, has hit China’s export-led economy, which has been at the heart of wider Asian growth in recent years. While extremely high compared with growth levels in mature economies, the slower pace is well below the 8 per cent the Government needs to create jobs for the millions of rural workers heading for China’s cities.The slowdown has left 20 million rural labourers unemployed, with 7 million college graduates also seeking work. The authorities are desperate to stop sporadic clashes between police and protesting workers turning into more general unrest against the Communist Party.”

But the recent economic woes of the United States undoubtedly worry the Chinese — and it is not a surprise that Premier Wen Jiabao said on Friday, “We have loaned a huge amount of money to the United States,” said Wen at a news conference in Beijing. “Of course, we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I’m a little bit worried. I would like for you [a Western reporter] to call on the United States to honor its word and stay a credible nation and ensure the safety of Chinese assets.”

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

China's Premier Wen Jiabao gestures as he answers a question ... 
China’s Premier Wen Jiabao gestures as he answers a question at a news conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing March 13, 2009.REUTERS/Jason Lee (CHINA POLITICS SOCIETY)

Related:
Obama Wasting America’s Strategic World Power; China Surges Despite Economy
.
Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists

 Global Economy Weakness Leading To Social Unrest

Stimulus: China Will Fund U.S. Debt But “We Hate You Guys”

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORL
D/asiapcf/03/13/china.wen/index.html

Obama: Playing not to lose

March 12, 2009

President Obama is not playing to win.  He’s playing not to lose.  After 50 days in office he is trying to run out the clock: with 1,410 days to go.

He’s playing not to lose the next election.

A president playing to win would have started on the economy on day one: and would never have delivered the inauguration address Barack Obama did.  A president playing to win would have declared war on the economy by now, fired Tim Geithner by now, and delivered a plan based-upon a well thought out national mission we could all hold on to.  The way the nation is going is more like Alice in Wonderland than the economic “catastrophe” we face in reality.

And the thought that we can still start spending on a host of new initiatives including universal health care, education, energy and climate change reminds me of the Yellow Brick Road.

Barack is behind the curtain: where he signed the shameful omnibus pork bill yesterday instead of declaring a veto as part of his “new boss in town” approach.  Instead our approach is: we can have it all.

Well: first get some jobs and houses back, Barack.  And you’ll need to fix the banks to do that.

Stop playing not to lose.  Playing not to lose is great for lawyers, professors and community organizers.  But we are no longer in a law firm, a class room or in Reverend Wright’s church.

ACORN and “God Damn America” won’t work here: and if you think it will good luck.  But remember: you’re gambling with my money, my childrens’ money, my grandchildrens’ money and China’s money.

The casino Barack Obama is spending our money in is the world and China, which holds much of the U.S. debt, and China could break his legs…..

President Obama says we need a total rebuilding of American health care, education and energy: but we’ll just push reset with the rest of the world….It just seems like a sophomoric and socialistic thought process that can’t work.  The Soviet Union spent itself to death trying to keep up with U.S. military advances.  Now China and Russia will just watch as America spends itself to death with $1 billion dollars an hour of borrowed (much from China) money….

We cannot fix everything until we fix one thing: the economy.

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

Related:
 Buffett: Obama not at war; has toxic message machine on economy

53% Say It’s Likely the U.S. Will Enter a Depression

Obama Reelection Effort Begins

Hey Obama: You had me at “hello.”

From January 21, 2009:

My expectations for Barack Obama starting on this Inauguration Day could not be higher.

He’s a gifted public orator with a huge election win under his belt and “political capital” like few ever before him.  As the throng on the mall this morning shows, people from all over America love this man and expect greatness from him.

He has to deliver.

He has to change the nation’s course and perhaps that of the world.

I want to hear his real vision.  Not rhetoric.  I want to hear a master plan from a Harvard educated black man that has risen as high as any American can go.

I want to hear “We Americans are no longer the land of pork barrel spending, party divisions, racial strife and discord.  We will meet any challenge, climb any mountain….”

Above from our inauguration day hopes…
Obama: Nation’s Hopes Never Higher, Times Seldom Tougher, Give Us Your Highest Vision

Now:

We can have it all got us into this economic mess, which Barack Obama chased after to solve.  The presidency was not “inherited.” And with this economy it seems we can not have it all….

China Provoked Obama; Now Works To Smooth Situation: Why?

March 11, 2009

China probably provoked the U.S. at sea last weekend in an effort to gain an edge over new President Barack Obama.

China did just that, analysts now say, in the early months of George W. Bush’s presidency.

On April 1, 2001 , two Chinese J-8 fighter jets intercepted a U.S. Navy EP-3 surveillance aircraft that was 70 miles off Hainan Island , resulting in a collision with one of them, forcing it into the sea. The EP-3 made an emergency landing on Hainan , where China kept it captive for three months, long after the 24 crew members were released.

File:Orion.usnavy.750pix.jpg
U.S. Navy P-3 aircraft

At that time, China used this approach: the U.S. violated intenational law, China was within its rights, the U.S. needs to back off.

China is fairly predictable and formulaic, sometimes.

When China was found to have a deadly disease called SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) spreading a few years ago (November 2002 to July 2003; over 700 people died)China used this media strategy: denial, discovery, immense response, media explosion of good news, return to normal.

China used this same play-book when accused of exporting all kinds of poisoned food products from toothpaste to dog and cat food, cough medicine, cookies, candy and seafood. 

Denial, discovery, immense response, media explosion of good news, return to normal.

When China was accused of building shoddy schools which quickly collapsed killing tens of thousands of school children in the recent earthquakes, the Chinese public response included denial, discovery, immense response, media explosion of good news, return to normal.

In 2006, Senator John McCain called China “immature” over its lack of effort in helping the U.S. and the world to address North Korea’s nuclear program. 

Laugh at McCain now — but North Korea remains a trouble spot in the world today only because China allows them to play that role.
Just this week, North Korea threatened war with the United States — a war that would certainly involve Japan and South Korea.  North Korea could not be making such threats and could not even think about testing a long range strategic missile just now unless China consented to this brazen move or at least looked the other way.  China supplies North Korea with almost all of its food, oil, luxury goods and currency.  Without China, North Korea would be impotent and meaningless.

China’s at sea provocation of international law and Barack Obama seems remarkably similar to previous Chinese forays into the mind of at least one previous President of the United States sending the unmistakable message: the U.S. violated intenational law, China was within its rights, the U.S. needs to back off.

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

An excellent report on the international law:
http://fredtopeka.wordpress.com/2009/03/
10/us-or-china-provoke-naval-incident/

***************

By FOSTER KLUG, Associated Press Writer

The top U.S. and Chinese diplomats have work to do to keep a confrontation between American and Chinese naval vessels from damaging a relationship that President Barack Obama deems crucial to confronting the world’s toughest crises.

Even if diplomatic efforts by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi are successful in toning down the dispute — the two were scheduled to meet Wednesday in Washington — they may ease anger only temporarily over a larger military disagreement.

Beijing has long complained about U.S. surveillance operations around China’s borders. Without better communications between the two militaries as they operate in the South China Sea, the possibility for future conflict will remain.

Clinton and Yang “can have a productive exchange to keep this bounded, but the real bureaucracies that need to be there aren’t going to be at the meeting,” said Jonathan Pollack, professor of Asian studies at the U.S. Naval War College.

This US Navy file photo shows the military Sealift Command ocean ... 
This US Navy file photo shows the military Sealift Command ocean surveillance ship USNS Impeccable (T-AGOS-23). Five Chinese vessels maneuvered dangerously close to a US Navy ship in the South China Sea on Sunday, March 8, 2009, approaching within 25 feet of the unarmed surveillance ship, the Pentagon said.(AFP/NVNS)

He suggested that without stronger military-to-military links, the potential for “something ugly” happening “should not be minimized.”

China says a U.S. Navy mapping ship confronted by Chinese vessels Sunday was operating illegally in China’s exclusive economic zone. The United States says Chinese ships surrounded and harassed the Navy vessel in international waters in the South China Sea.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090311
/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_china

Related:
CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asia
pcf/03/10/us.navy.china/index.html

Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists

China Wants U.S. Out of Asia’s International Waters
.
Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists
.
 Pentagon: Chinese Ships Harassed Unarmed U.S. Navy Craft in International Waters

What’s China’s Long Term Global Strategy?

China uses naval showdown with U.S. to flex muscle

China Says U.S. Ship Was Breaking Law

Philippines Enacts Law Claiming Islands also Claimed by China, Others

China’s Naval Officers Join Anti-American Voices
http://defencedebates.wordpress.com/2009
/03/11/china-navy-officers-harangue-us-ov
er-sea-spat/

 China’s Love/Hate Relationship With The U.S.

Behind the U.S. and China At Sea Incident

Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists

March 9, 2009

Like it or not, the era of President Barack Obama and American weakness, real or perceived, has already emboldened many nations with long-term anti-American strategic goals: namely, Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.

Many in the world have already concluded that Brack Obama is soft, for his overtures so far toward the Taliban, Russia, Iran and others.

Related:
Various Views On Obama Foreign Policy: “Just Like Bush” Or Radical Change?

President Obama’s move to close the terrorist prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba (Gitmo) was cause for applause in human rights circles and also with terrorists.

On Afghanistan, Peter Begen of the New America Foundation said “It is a longstanding cliché that there is no military solution in Afghanistan, only a political one.”  On President Obama’s idea to hold talks with the Taliban he said, “Doing deals with the Taliban today could further destabilize Afghanistan. ”

And economically, there is no dobt that the U.S. is weakened.

Just today, North Korea threatened war with the United States — a war that would certainly involve Japan and South Korea.  North Korea could not be making such threats and could not even think about testing a long range strategic missile just now unless China consented to this brazen move or at least looked the other way.  China supplies North Korea with almost all of its food, oil, luxury goods and currency.  Without China, North Korea would be impotent and meaningless.

Yet China is acceding to North Korea’s bluster and browbeating of the United States just as China itself is harassing a U.S. Naval vessel in international waters — a violation of international law.

This US Navy file photo shows the military Sealift Command ocean ... 
This US Navy file photo shows the military Sealift Command ocean surveillance ship USNS Impeccable (T-AGOS-23). Five Chinese vessels maneuvered dangerously close to a US Navy ship in the South China Sea on Sunday, March 8, 2009, approaching within 25 feet of the unarmed surveillance ship, the Pentagon said.(AFP/NVNS)

China doesn’t care much for international law and international waters: just ask Japan and Vietnam.  Both those nations have long struggles with China encroaching upon the coasts of Japan and Vietnam as the Chinese super power searches for more oil beneath the sea floor.

China has become the most voracious user of oil and other mineral resources on the planet as it strives to keep its factories busy producing goods for sale overseas.  China is in Afghanistan, protected from the Taliban by U.S. troops, while Chinese companies exploit Afghan copper.  And China just signed a $50 billion (U.S. dollars, cast) agreement to get oil from Russia for ten years.

Last year China was no help when the U.S. wanted access to Myanmar to deliver humanitarian relief supplies to those stricken by the cyclone.  After the crisis passed, China signed a big oil deal with Myanmar.

China wants the U.S. out of its sphere of influence from North Asia to Somalia, and is planning an ocean-going navy to eventualy make that goal a military reality.

China recently opened the largest sea port in the world, in Gwadar, Pakistan — directly astride the sea lanes used to bring out out of the Persian Gulf to Japan, the U.S. and others.

Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to go into debt — to China.

China allows North Korea to antagonize the United States because that is in China’s long term strategic interest — and a weakening U.S. plays into China’s strategy perfectly.

Russia also wants the U.S. out of its area of influencce.  Russia recently paid off Kyrgyzstan, which was helping the American effort in Afghanistan with an air base. Just after Russia gave  Kyrgyzstan its big aid deal, that nation announced the closure of the Manas air base supporting the U.S.

File:ManasAirbase KC135.jpg
A KC-135 Stratotanker sits on the flightline at Manas Air Base, Kyrgyzstan, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2006. Ground crews will have to de-ice the tanker before it can take off on a refueling mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Paul Clifford)

Generous Russian loans to Kyrgyzstan totaling US$2 billion and a non-repayable US$150 million grant, were announced the day before Kyrgyzstan said Manas would be closed and the U.S. Air Force evicted.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation had been insisting on the closure of Manas to the U.S. Air Force since 2005.

What the heck is the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation?

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is an intergovernmental mutual-security organisation which was founded in 2001 by the leaders of China , Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

But the key players of the SCO are Russia and China who don’t want the U.S. or anyone else in the West anywhere near that region of the world, rich in oil and other minerals, that includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

China and Russia conducted their largest joint military exercise ever last year.

And finally Iran wants the U.S. out of the Persian Gulf, away from Arab oil, and at arms length from Isreal.

Joshua Gross wrote for the Christian Sciences Monitor today,  “Iran recently launched its first satellite into orbit in what The New York Times called, ‘a shot across the bow of American diplomacy,’ and US President Barack Obama passed along a secret letter to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in an attempt to enlist the Russians in an international effort to contain Iran’s nuclear program.”

The global economic crisis, which has eliminated something like $50 trillion in world wealth, has hit the United States and NATO very hard, which fuels the beliefe that Mr. Obama and the U.S. are weaker than ever just now.

That’s why Iran and North Korea are talking missiles and nukes, China has chosen just now to harass a U.S. ship, and Russia is gloating like a cat bird that Obama is already pleading for help with Iran from Putin and Medvedev….

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia
March 9, 2009

Iranian clerics watch the launch of a Shahab-3 ballistic missile ... 
Iranian clerics watch the launch of a Shahab-3 ballistic missile outside Qom in 2006. A top Iranian military commander said that the country has missiles that can reach the nuclear sites of its arch-foe Israel.(AFP/File/null)

Related:
Stimulus: China Will Fund U.S. Debt But “We Hate You Guys”

Russia, “Desperate For Cash,” Sells Oil to China In “Very Bad Deal”

India, China jostle for influence in Indian Ocean

 China Extends Navy’s Anti-Piracy Mission Near Somalia

 China Says Its Navy Expansion “No threat to others”

 Pentagon: Chinese Ships Harassed Unarmed U.S. Navy Craft in International Waters

 North Korea Warns: Shoot Down Our Satellite Will “Prompt Counterstrikes by the Most Powerful Military Means”

Obama’s First Major Foreign Crisis Brewing?

China’s thirst for copper could hold key to Afghanistan’s future

Obama says US is losing war in Afghanistan and hints at Taleban talks

Despite Global Economy Downturn, China Still Lending

Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/09/analys
ts-to-obama-there-are-no-taliban-moderates-yo
u-nitwit/

What’s China’s Long Term Global Strategy?

http://jonathanturley.org/2009/03/09/ira
nian-justice-eight-women-face-stoning-dea
ths-for-adultery/

http://spectator.org/archives/2009/03
/09/slickness-with-a-straight-face

CNN on Peter Bergen and Afghanistan:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/PO
LITICS/03/09/bergen.taliban/index.html

Joshua Gross on Iran:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20
090309/cm_csm/ygross

Obama’s First Major Foreign Crisis Brewing?

March 9, 2009

North Korea could launch a long range missile at any time, and according to Jae-Soon Chang of the Associated Press, “Analysts say the regime is trying to grab President Barack Obama‘s attention as his administration formulates its North Korea policy.”

Iran tested a new missile this last weekend.

Iranian clerics watch the launch of a Shahab-3 ballistic missile ... 
Iranian clerics watch the launch of a Shahab-3 ballistic missile outside Qom in 2006. A top Iranian military commander said that the country has missiles that can reach the nuclear sites of its arch-foe Israel.(AFP/File/null)

The Jerusalem Post reported Sunday that Israel’s Military Intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin, who told the cabinet on Sunday that Iran had “crossed the technological threshold” and that its attainment of  nuclear military capability was now a matter of “incorporating the goal of producing an atomic bomb to its strategy.”

More U.S. troops are headed to Afghanistan which Evan Thomas of Newsweek has already dubbed “Obama’s War.”

CNN on North Korea:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiap
cf/03/08/nkorea.launch/index.html

Jerusalem Post on Iran’s nuclear effort See:
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid
=1236269373103&pagename=JPost%2FJP
Article%2FShowFull

And the Independent Newspaper in Britain warns that “This year both American and British officials have become increasingly open about their fear that Pakistan – which has nuclear weapons under the control of a military at least to some extent open to extremist influence – is a greater danger than Afghanistan.”

And all of this includes Russia.  Despite Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov playing nice last weekend, and an apparent plea from Mr. Obama for Russian help with the Iran problem, it is by no means certain that Russia will be helpful.

Russia cut off heating oil to Europe this winter over a dispute with Ukraine and Vladimir Putin threatened another cut-off just last week.  Just last summer saw Russian tanks and troops in South Ossetia and Georgia — just as Georgia was making noise about joining NATO.

Since President Obama’s inauguration, Russia has been testing Mr. Obama and his administration rigorously and continuously.

“Mark my words,” Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden warned last October. “It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking.”

“Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”

Time is runing out on Obama’s “Honeymoon,” and the economy is no longer the only entre on the plate.

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapal, Virginia

Related:
North Korea Warns: Shoot Down Our Satellite Will “Prompt Counterstrikes by the Most Powerful Military Means”

Obama says US is losing war in Afghanistan and hints at Taleban talks

Pakistan: The Greatest Threat
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/worl
d/asia/pakistan-the-greatest-threat-16397
79.html

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Russia, U.S. Missile Defense Dispute

Russian Relations With U.S., Europe Improve: But Putin, Medvedev Understand Strength, Power More than Diplomacy

 Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”
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Israel Ponders War on Iran; Obama, Russia HaggleRussia Testing Obama: Just as Biden Predicted
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Russia building anti-satellite weapons

 Russia: Medvedev Pushing Putin Out?

Russia Verifies “American, Western Weakness”

Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”

Mr. Obama and Russia
NYT Editorial: Russia only understands strength….

 Chutzpah: Admire Russia’s Arrogance
Russia, Obama and the Strategic Chess Tournament

homewhiteningcare.org/

Iranians walk past a replica of a Shahab-3 missile on display ... 
Iranians walk past a replica of a Shahab-3 missile on display in Tehran. The Fars news agency says Iran has “successfully” tested a new air-to-sea missile with a range of 110 kilometres (68 miles).(AFP/File/Atta Kenare)

Russia, “Desperate For Cash,” Sells Oil to China In “Very Bad Deal”

March 8, 2009

“Russia, just a few months ago a very oil rich nation, just made a very bad deal to raise $25 billion in cash from China by giving them oil for 10 years.  It is a very bad deal and shows how bad the world economy has become.”

That according to Newt Gingrich on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday March 8.

**************

From the People’s Daily

China will further promote cooperation and exchanges with Russia this year as the two countries embrace the 60th anniversary of their establishment of diplomatic ties, said China’s Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi here Saturday.

China will fully carry out practical cooperation with Russia in various fields, including energy and science and technology, he told a press conference on the sidelines of an annual parliament session.

The two sides’ recent agreement on the construction of a crude oil pipeline project, a long-term crude oil trading deal and a financing scheme was a “mutually beneficial and win-win result”, said Yang.

The agreement signed in February allowed China to lend 25 billion U.S. dollars to Russia in an exchange for a 20-year oil supply starting from 2011 with a total volume of 300 million tons.

“China and Russia have come a long way in the past 13 years since the Sino-Russian Strategic Partnership of Cooperation was established,” said Yang. “A lot of achievements have been made in recent years particularly.”

He urged the two countries, both major countries and permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, to join hands to promote world multi-polarity and greater democracy in international order.

Gas flares off under heavy snowfall at a liquefied natural gas ... 
Gas flares off under heavy snowfall at a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant on Sakhalin island outside the town Korsakovi Russia.(AFP/File/Natalia Kolesnikova)

“We should make greater contribution to promoting world peace, stability and development,” said Yang.

He also pledged to enhance high-level exchanges and mutual visits between the two countries and boost people-to-people interaction through such activities as the Year of the Russian Language in China that falls this year.

Source:Xinhua

Related:

Recession on track to be longest in postwar period

 Russia Reclaiming Raw Materials Like Oil, Coal

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The Next Big War Will Be Over Commodities

By John E. Carey
2008

Last Month President Bush went to Saudi Arabia to ask his friends there to increase oil production. The White House believed that by increasing supply, the price of gasoline per gallon at your friendly service station would drop. The president was rebuffed.

This month the United States urged upon the other large users of oil in the world community to join the “produce more” bandwagon.”

China, Japan, India and South Korea went along with the U.S. plan.

Cabinet ministers from the five countries, which account for more than half the world’s consumption of energy, agreed that the sharp surge in oil prices was a menace to the world economy, and that more petroleum should be produced to meet rising demand.

The five consumer countries, meeting in Japan before an energy conference of the Group of Eight industrialized nations plus Russia on June 8, 2008, argued that the unprecedented prices were against the interests of both producers and consumers, and imposed a “heavy burden” on developing countries.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries current president, Chakib Khelil, said that the cartel will make no new decision on production levels until OPEC’s September 9, 2008 meeting in Vienna.

So in just a few weeks time, we witnessed the President of the United States pleading for more production and the senior energy ministers from the U.S., China, India, Japan and South Korea joining in a chorus.

We at Peace and Freedom believe that when the engine of the free market jumps the tracks and supply and demand are ignored; one had better get ready for bad blood.

Then we have food. In the Philippines the people took to the streets demanding more rice. In Egypt, the people took to the streets demanding more bread. And some bad blood developed between Thailand, the world’s leading rice exporter, and Vietnam, perhaps the second most important rice exporter.

It seems the Vietnamese had underbid the Thais on contracts to export rice. The Vietnamese saw this as good business. The Thais viewed it as theft. Never mind that Thai rice is of higher quality and thus cists more.

China recently announced that it had “overbuilt” its industry and removed too much farmland from production. China now is instituting new regulations to preserve farmland and it is mapping a strategy to import more food.

Ethanol and other bio fuels seemed like a great idea to help add to U.S. oil stocks. But when all that corn disappeared into your fuel tank, the price of all corn went up. And corn not only feeds people but it is a huge source of livestock feed. So the price of pork and beef and all that other livestock that makes its way to the dinner table went up.

And food and fuels have never been in such demand. Never mind the huge increases in global population; with the combined populations of India and China eight times that of the U.S.

The world, believe it or not, is becoming more “middle class.” That means more people want gas burning cars which suck up a lot of fuel and add to global pollution. These new “middle class” folks also want a higher protein diet.

If one eats rice or corn or other grains the costs are somewhat manageable. But it takes four times more grain (and sometimes as much as six times) to put meat on pork or cattle before human beings eat that meat. So the high protein diet has a huge cost. It sucks up a lot more grain that human grain eaters ever would and it means the eaters need more dollars, rupees euros, yen or other denominations to buy every meal.

Bacon and eggs are more expensive, say, than the traditional rice bowl.

Finally, all these goodies, usually called commodities, are moving around the globe.

The Associated Press had an excellent article by Gavin Rabinowitz out on June 7.

India, China jostle for influence in Indian Ocean

 

Mr. Rabinowitz pointed out that looking south from Sri Lanka “just over the horizon runs one of the world’s great trade arteries, the shipping lanes where thousands of vessels carry oil from the Middle East and raw materials to Asia, returning with television sets, toys and sneakers for European consumers.”

That shipping lane is a possible flashpoint between India and China. Add in Japan, which gets just about all of its oil by that sea lane. And don’t forget the U.S. and the U.S. Navy. Those boys don’t want to see that sea lane interrupted by war, terrorism, piracy or any other form of bad blood.

So the bottom line, from our small window of the world is this: The next big war could well be over “commodities.”

We’ve used food and oil here as the most obvious examples of commodities worth fighting for. But it could be over uranium, tin, gold or who knows what. Even fresh water.

California is already starting to limit development due to water shortages. Australia is in the midst of a multi-year drought which has crippled Aussie grain production. And over use of fertilizers and pesticides in China and Vietnam have poisoned much of the ground water.

The next big war could well be over commodities.

Welcome to the new millennium.

Related:
China’s thirst for copper could hold key to Afghanistan’s future

Philippines Enacts Law Claiming Islands also Claimed by China, Others

PTSD and Senior Military Officers

March 7, 2009

Anyone can suffer from the torment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  I spoke to a retired General Officer just today who suffers from PTSD.  He was in a huge battle in Vietnam in 1968.

CNN has a story about how Generals returning from Iraq want the Army to handle PTSD which is very insightful.

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/03
/06/generals.ptsd/index.html

Brig. Gen. Gary S. Patton says he wants the military to change the way it views post-traumatic stress disorder.

Brig. Gen. Gary S. Patton says he wants the military to change the way it views post-traumatic stress disorder.

I wrote a six part series on PTSD and below is what I found among senior officers:
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Very little is written about the impact of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) on the “Commander, “ meaning Field Grade Officers and above.

Company Grade Officers, Captains and below, are generally believed to be impacted by PTSD about the same way as their combat GI’s. But the officers in the rank of Major and above experience war from a different vantage point: they send men into destruction, make the plans that lead to horrific death, and bring together the fighting forces that create the nightmares and the ghosts the poet in Part II refers to.

The Commanders leave the battlefield and return to a very different life from that encountered by the junior enlisted men. The Commanders are unlikely to be eating in soup kitchens, seeking treatment from the VA, or ending up in shelters.

The Commanders are almost always highly educated with families and money to fall back on. Therefore, after the Commander leave the battlefield, they bypass the normal PTSD “tracking system” of VA statistical analyses.

So how do we know about The Commanders and their PTSD experience?

Well, what we know is mostly anecdotal.

Peace and Freedom sought out the Commanders through research in the Northern Virginia community of Vietnam war veterans. The officers interviewed, all now retired, were brigade and battalion commanders, pilots and air wing commanders, ship Commanding Officers and the like. One was a Navy SEAL, two were green Berets, one a Marine Colonel.

The Commanders told us that they, like the front line combat soldiers, felt PTSD very deeply but that their place in the community generally shielded their lives from any public scrutiny. Many told us they suffered from alcoholism or alcohol abuse and one even told us he was addicted to drugs.

The Commanders generally lived their lives in a very structured, orderly environment. Therefore, more so than with the frontline combat veterans, these veterans have a low incidence of DUI, public drunkenness and other aberrant behaviors that might involve the police.

One Vietnam Veteran Commander, Mike, said to us, “The Commanders, as you call us, are just as sick, just as disassociated, just as traumatized by war as the guy who led a platoon, maybe more so. I figure I sent about 800 men to their deaths and that doesn’t sit well with me. Moreover, I came home to an America I couldn’t understand. I guess when you think about it, I left the United States for Korea and the Army in the early 1950s. When I got back to Virginia in the early 1980s and looked around — I was in a foreign country. Nobody much understood me. Nobody much had any use for me. And I couldn’t relate to many people or many things in my environment.”

What did you do? I asked him.

“Well, I drank for a few years because I could and then I decided God still had some things for me to do. I joined the church, got involved in a lot of activities, and so it goes.”

What activities?

“I am the President of the Church Council, I drive for Meals of Wheels, I dance one night a week, I teach college one night a week, I take my dog to the hospital to amuse patients on Wednesdays, that sort of thing. It keeps the mind active and helps the community a little I guess.”

Mike is now 77 years young and still going strong.

Sam graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1965. As a young Lieutenant he led a platoon in Vietnam, then a Company, and then, as a Major he served in a staff.

“I guess I am more like a GI than most of the guys you refer to as ‘commanders,’” Sam told us.

“But I did witness the anguish up close of a General Officer who had to put these wonderful young men into combat. All pay-grades suffer PTSD. It is just that senior officers don’t readily admit to it. It tears them up inside and often tears their lives up, tears up their families. Often senior officers who have returned from combat have trouble relating to people, even their own wives and children. They suffer and relive the war and the battles alone. Mentally, what I’ve seen, there seems to be a higher incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease and that sort of thing as they age. I know there are no statistics on this but I feel I am right. I know it is true.”

George told us, “I was the guy who shook the hand of the soldier, the young sergeant and their captain. Then I had the unfortunate duty to send them to their ends. Then I had to tell their families what I had done. War hurts every participant. Sometimes I think it is the lucky one who died.”

John E. Carey

Read Part I at:
http://johnib.wordpress.com/2007/02/15/war-wounds
-of-the-mind-part-i-historical-perspective-on-ptsd/

Read Part II at:
http://johnib.wordpress.com/2007/02/16/war-
wounds-of-the-mind-part-ii-discussions-with-p
tsd-sufferers/

My blog on PTSD:
http://johnib.wordpress.com/category/po
st-traumatic-stress-disorder/

Part IV:
http://www.opednews.com/articles/ope
dne_john_car_070221_war_wounds_o
f_the_mi.htm

Obama Team: Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing

February 15, 2009

“Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing;” seems to be the mantra of team Obama.

Great, right?

The president himself told Republicans why he didn’t care to hear their inputs on the stimulus in two words:  “I won.”

In today’s New York Times columnist Frank Rich gloats his share asking, “Am I crazy, or wasn’t the Obama presidency pronounced dead just days ago?”

Well, Frank, as if often the case, the way a guy “wins” sometimes has long term implications.

So Frank, you are still crazy if you believe President Obama has a delightful “win” in this stimulus — both the process and the practical impact.

Ignoring the input of all Republicans and 47% of the voters who did not vote for Mr. Obama, and ramming the stimulus down everyone’s throat and lying along the way… well, there just might be a long term echo there.

“I won” and “we won” lacks some significant people: the American people.

The stimulus isn’t being widely heralded as a victory for the American people by the American people.

Emotions are mixed on even if this is a victory for Obama and the American people.

But it all depends upon what your definition of “is” is….
.
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said, “Obama contradicted everything he said he stood for” during the process of making the stimulus.

“He did not work toward bipartianship and got not one conservative Republican vote.”

Krauthammer said “the president showed he would enact legislation by ramming it down throats,” a reference to the language President Obama used at last Monday’s press conference.

He also criticized the ugly process used to make the stimulus bill and the speed of the legislation; much of the blame for which lies with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

So it depends what your definition of “win” is……

The New York Times showed a long time ago that it is pro-Obama and screw the truth.  Ditto the Washington Post which strarted today with the headline “Obama Scores Early Victory of Historic Proportions.”

First of all, nobody will know for a year or two if the stimulus is a good thing or not.  And this humble servant will say that ignoring 47% of the voters and their elected representatives while our children and grandchildren are robbed and looted will leave some of us happy and some not.

China and Arab States that hold U.S. debt might be happy, along with the New York Times, Washington Post, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and a flock of Democrats.

The rest of us will remain more cautious, I think.

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

Related:

From Frank Rich:
Stimulus: Obama Outsmarts Everyone 

Obama Respects Afghans More Than Americans
.
 Stimulus: China Will Fund U.S. Debt But “We Hate You Guys”

 Stimulus Surprise: Bipartisanship, Cooperation So Lacking From Dems That GOP Stays Unified

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winning_isn’t_e
verything%3B_it’s_the_only_thing
.

Missing from Congress’ stimulus negotiations: transparency

 Stimulus Proves Obama (And The NYT) Have No Idea What “Bipartisanship” Means; Or Could Care Less

 Stimulus: “Obama is popular but has no clout”

Obama Dead Wrong On Stimulus in Peoria, Caterpillar Remarks

 Barack Is Mostly Showman, Not Statesman; and Now Putin and Ahmadinejad Know

Obama Scores Early Victory of Historic Proportions
The Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/art
icle/2009/02/13/AR2009021303475.html?hpid=topnews

http://midd-blog.com/2009/02/15/sunday-rea
ding-the-stimulus/

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/02/15/taxp
ayer-revolt-porkulus-protest-in-seattle/