Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘collateral damages

Notes and tidbits posted on FB and Twitter. Part 83

Note 1: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. The page is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains months-old events that are worth refreshing your memory.

Note 2: If you are Not tri-lingual, you will stumble on Arabic notes, written in Latin characters and with numbers representing vocals Not available in Latin languages.

The Maronite clergy struck a protocol with the Vatican and Israel Not to make a big deal of the fact that Marie and Jesus lived in Qana (Lebanon) and won’t invest in the cave of Qana that sheltered the disciples of Jesus during early persecutions.

If it were Not for the people in south Lebanon, the town of Qana where Marie, her parents and Jesus lived would have been ignored by the Maronite clergy. Israel already bombed this town twice with hundreds of casualties.

In 1996, Israel bombed Qana killing 106 of the Lebanese who took refuge in the UN compound. USA made it impossible for US lawyers to demand compensation.

Pas besoin que les reves se realisent, tant qu’ on persiste a rever et etre capable de se satisfaire de peu

Peut-on aimer sans respecter? En tout cas, les sentiments des femmes sont diverse et trop compliques pour moi.

Penses-tu qu’ il y ait de l’ inflation dans nos reves? Les reves possibles a realiser demandent toujours de l’ aide: L’ inflation vient de notre refus de les communiquer avec acharnement.

Croit -tu que Jane Austen avait cesse de rever a ce stade? (son livre inacheve’)

Un seul cheveux separe le sentiment d’ independence de la betise

“Collateral damages”? A notion invented by USA for its reckless endemic violence. Got to stare at ugly pictures of handicapped soldiers and civilians 

England provided cluster bombs to Israel, 3 days before cease fire in 2006, in order to prevent people from returning home. 10 years later, the UN are still de-mining south Lebanon

US cooks, Europe does the dishes of the devastation that Israel does in Palestine.

Hezbollah fighters are to get ready to liberate our borders from ISIS on their own, again and again, and suffer the flatulent verbal attacks of insignificant political ” leaders”: The permanent delay of the Lebanese army to attack means experiencing the traditional Not to get involved in political position “Al na2i 3an al nafess”

The political system in Lebanon cannot but generate an impotent State, dawleh bila baydaat

Al 3awamiyyeh (Awamiyeh) is a Saudi eastern Shia town (Qateef province) blockaded for 92 days by Saudi army, for demanding equal rights and opportunity.

Etre dorlote’ n’ amene pas a l’ amelioration: Il faut apprendre a regler les reparations et amendements. USA evite depuis un siecle de reapprendre ce principe d’ ethique 

Action is saying it all: rhetoric have their “impotent” masters, leaders for a moment, before they are swept aside by the invisible and mighty power of people willing to face authority figures on equal terms…

The elite classes are never satisfied, except by parting from the crumbs in the usual trickle down economic policies.

The revolution is the act of looking fear in the eyes and getting used to facing the authority figures on equal terms…

The tiny behavior that make me different are what make me.

Start making better choices to improve your happy life: Keep in mind that communication and connection increase your choices. Do your due diligence

How much did you inspire people to improve their life? They will communicate you great accomplishments

Baby steps are the reality of life in all your challenging endeavors: Especially when you set your mind to change your habits

Logic will not change an emotion, but action will: Tailor make your attitudes. Keep giving hope to people you meet

How can a speech, a plan, a policy, a program be coordinated to get the entire people on the street to approve, agree on parts and bits of a declaration of a revolution on the march? One bit to fill the stomach and another bit to remind them of a common national myth.

There is a political and militia “leader” Samir Ja3ja who never missed a fight to kill Lebanese during the civil war. He says he represent the position of the State Not to fight the terrorist ISIS in Lebanon. Yen2e 3an nafsaho

The pressure of being the world’s most decorated Olympian, swimmer Michael Phelps, (22 medals, 18 of them gold) led him to realize that  “I thought of myself as just a swimmer, and nobody else, and You know what? Screw this.

The attribute of an addictive normal person: The harder we resist, the harsher we succumb. Enjoy the game of being born a suckered

 

All European newborn Babies will be Microchipped starting May 2014

 posted on January 22, 2014

On May 2014, newborn children, throughout Europe,will be compelled to take in a subcutaneous RFID chip.

Public clinics in the European Union are to be alerted.

The chip will contain the report sheet on the newborn.

This chip will be doted with an impressive GPS sensor that will task with a micro- disposable battery every 2 years in state clinics. GPS chip grants an edge of error of 5 meters.

The GPS will be linked straight to a satellite, which will guide the networks.

As forecasted, this chip will be essential for all kids born after May 2014 , but with a present confirmation date until December 2016.

Note 1: Apparently, babies in Europe are becoming an endangered species given the low demographics trends

Note 2: I have a few worries:

1. Endangered species have been tagged for quite some time to study their whereabouts and how they are faring. You are under the impression that microchipping at this early years is safe and has no collateral damages as the babies grow up. I beg to differ.

2. Before this method is applied systematically, all the thousands of babies undergoing the “micro-chipping” will be analyzed as cobays.

RELATED:

Former DARPA director Wants You to Swallow ID Microchips

All Americans Microchipped by 2017 (Video)

Who may be taken down Assad or Obama? The consequences of Syria Chemical weapon climate of anxieties…

Do you think a few of the major players, among Presidents, Prime Ministers, UN inspectors, a few head of intelligence services… will pay the price for this extended game of keeping the world community on its toes?

Is the premature US president’s handling of the Syria crisis and its bad timing of any effects on his ultimate downfall?

So far, Russia pulled the Joker card that satisfies all parties, except those who wants Syria destroyed, completely ruined, desolate for decades and divided.

The USA, Russia and China have reached an agreement on the dominion partition of this region.

Ridding the Middle East of all chemical and biological weapon factories and depots is a must. And this policy should apply to Israel, especially Israel that master the modern techniques for biological warfare.

Sahar Charara shared a link from Aljazeera English:

HIGHLY CLASSIFIED. FOR YOUR EYES ONLY (a letter of Obama to Syrian President Assad?)
Dear Mr Assad,

This letter is to inform you that some time in the next two weeks, you will be the subject of a focused, limited and narrow attack by US cruise missiles in response to your recent alleged use of chemical weapons on your own people without our permission.

Here are some helpful hints to help you get through this uncomfortable episode:
1- Send the wives and kids of senior government personnel to Beirut and Paris for a shopping holiday.
2- Remove any chemical weapons from the map I have conveniently appended to this letter of potential bombing locations.
3- Move in political prisoners to use as human shields and ensure maximum collateral damage and thus publicity value when we do bomb.
4- Loudly declare your willingness to attend a UN-sponsored peace conference “under fair conditions“, but don’t lay them out in any detail. Skype call Bibi (Israel PM) if you have any questions on how to do this. The Israelis are the world experts in this field.
5- Point out to anyone who will listen that, while there’s no proof that you were responsible for this attack (even though we both know you did it), the US knowingly provided Saddam Hussein with intelligence while he gassed Iranian soldiers during the Iran-Iraq War, and we’ve not even so much as offered an apology to Iran, never mind to Iraq for the hundreds of thousands of people we killed in a generation of sanctions, invasions and occupation.
6- Tell your broker in Beirut to buy stock in Raytheon before the attack is launched; the price is climbing quite nicely as we approach bomb date and there’s no reason you shouldn’t earn a little something for your trouble.

Hoping the events of the next few weeks aren’t too unpleasant,

Sincerely, Barack Obama

Mark LeVine posted:

Simply put, the entire process by which the president has tried to steer the US towards a bombing campaign reveals such a shocking display of political and diplomatic incompetence – one of the greatest in US history – that he couldn’t have done more to aid the Assad regime if he tried.

Unable even to conceive over 3 years of actually using the full weight of the UN for the purposes it was intended – to stop war – or to lay a proper groundwork for the use of force against Syria when it inevitably crossed the “red line” of large-scale chemical weapon use, the Obama administration, which clearly hasn’t wanted any part of military action in Syria, has allowed itself to get behind a ridiculous plan of action that is allowing the likes of Assad’s son and Russian President Putin to taunt him like a schoolyard bully when no teachers are in sight.

The mess extends in several directions.

The first is the lack of willingness of the Whitehouse to make amends for the chemical weapons-based lies it deployed a decade ago to justify the invasion of Iraq, let alone its own large-scale use of weapons such as White Phosphorus and depleted uranium, the direct support provided to Saddam Hussein for his use of chemical weapons during the Iran-Iraq War – or the even more colossal impact of Washington’s use of Agent Orange and napalm in Vietnam.

Had Obama owned up for the American misdeeds of the past half century, the US might have a little credibility at the moment.

Instead, it’s as if he dusted off the script from 2002-03. Even if this time the script is true, it’s hard not to imagine Dick Cheney hiding somewhere in the Whitehouse attic pulling the strings.

Second, while the president talks about “international credibility” being on the line, his administration has done absolutely nothing to engage in serious reform of the UN – the legitimate embodiment of the international community – and particularly the Security Council, so that countries such as Russia or China could no longer veto action against murderers such as Assad.

The reason, of course, is that this would mean the UN could stop murderers and thieves such as Israelis Netanyahu and Peres, not to mention the US, Russia and China, from pursuing all the policies that routinely violate international law.

At the same time, Obama has done even less to support real democracy in the Arab world, instead strengthening the hands of dictators and despots the region over.

In this environment, there was really never any way the administration could offer the kind of help to the civil resistance in Syria that might have given them a fighting chance without moving to violence, an arena in which they could only be hopelessly outgunned in the current international environment.

Yet neither did it arm the secular opposition early on, when it could have made a difference and prevented the inevitable takeover of the resistance by amply funded extremist jihadis (of the Nusra Front).

As important, by allowing the UN to remain removed from the equation, Obama has given other great powers, in particular Russia, the ability to challenge the US directly, as Putin has indicated he would do, in response to any military action by the US.

If this wasn’t bad enough, not only does the president disregard international law by declaring his willingness to use force without a UN mandate, he also declares that he can use force without Congressional approval, but then goes and seeks it anyway.

These possibilities are all bad.

Either the US Congress becomes complicit in launching an attack that is a clear violation of international law, or the president winds up acting in complete isolation to the vast majority of the international community, the US political establishment, and the American people, who oppose the use of force by a wide margin.

What’s worse, in the hopes of appeasing critics at home and abroad, the president has promised to make the strikes narrowly focused and limited – that is, meaningless in practical terms.

If the president is looking only to degrade Syria’s chemical weapons capabilities, he’s given Assad so much time to prepare that no limited strike would accomplish that goal.

If he’s hoping, as his new ally Senator John McCain advocates, to use this opportunity to change the balance of power on the ground, a limited strike will be even more useless.

And if he strikes harder and longer than he said he would, he will look like a liar – and the Russians will no doubt come to the Syrians’ aid with deliveries of advanced weapons systems.

It’s worth noting that, during the 1967 war, it was the Soviet Union’s secret message to the US that it would become directly involved to protect its client regimes that led President Johnson to pull the Israelis back from conquering even more territory.

The US administration’s attempts to win the propaganda battle have been equally amateurish.

After beginning a unilateral move towards military action before it could be determined who was responsible for the attack, it did not release the evidence it says it has until after its main ally, Britain, had already seen its parliament vote against authorizing violence – plunging the “special” US-UK relationship into one of its deepest crises in decades.

When the administration does release evidence, it doesn’t in fact release any evidence – only a narrative about what the “secret” evidence shows, and assumes anyone will accept it at face value.

In the meantime, it once again delegitimizes the work of weapons inspectors, while engaging in a campaign of coordinated leaks about the evidence – rather than merely presenting such in the open – that so confuses and annoys the press corps.

This risible, almost Keystone Cops-esque attempt to manage information and public discourse on Syria has only strengthened another dictator and mass murderer, Russian President Putin (anyone remember the tens of thousands of deaths during the second Chechen War?), who can take the high road of calling for bringing everything to the UN or the G20 precisely because he knows he has the veto power to protect his allies, the Syrian regime.

If there was any silver lining to this absolute foreign policy disaster, it’s that the people of the United States and their British counterparts have apparently decided they will no longer back the use of force without a full and open debate. (This is a major victory to world peace: Seeking the debates in parliaments before any preemptive war)

But what good is this if the US government believes it can ignore its own citizens?

Key members of the Congressional establishment will back the government, despite widespread public opposition, on the claim that “American credibility” is at stake.

Perhaps the worst part of this whole diplomatic and political fiasco is that the loss of credibility and focus has allowed the one claim Obama has made that remains valid and of utmost importance – that normalising the use of chemical weapons would be an utter disaster for the world community and would wind up seeing it used with increasing frequency by governments, armed groups and terrorists – is left in a shambles.

If there’s one thing that’s certain, we’ll all be the worse off for ignoring chemical weapons use.

It’s hard to see how Obama’s attempt to intervene in the Syrian civil war can produce any kind of successful outcome from either the American or Syrian civilian perspective, if Assad is left still standing with nothing worse than a bloody nose.

And if events play out as it seems they will – a “narrow and limited strike” that rallies people around Assad and shifts focus away from his murderous campaign against his own people – Obama will have succeeded in making the situation even worse for the Syrians on whose behalf he is supposedly striking.

Truly, Syria could wind up being one of the worst foreign policy disasters in US history, destroying whatever shred of diplomatic credibility the Obama administration had left.

It’s almost enough to make one nostalgic for the days of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld…

Mark LeVine is professor of Middle Eastern history at UC Irvine and distinguished visiting professor at the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies at Lund University in Sweden and the author of the forthcoming book about the revolutions in the Arab world,  The Five Year Old Who Toppled a Pharaoh. 

His book,  Heavy Metal Islam,  which focused on ‘rock and resistance and the struggle for soul’ in the evolving music scene of the Middle East and North Africa, was published in 2008.

Follow him on Twitter:  @culturejamming

Note: The 5 principles of propaganda before launching a preemptive war:

1. Never mention any economic interests

2. Completely Forget history and geography: Your citizens should remain in a total blank on where your targeted enemy is located, and whether it had any long history of resistance to invaders and occupiers…

3. Demonize the opponent (club of evils). Just focus on the bad history of the enemy related to violent crimes against humanity…

4. Vehemently claim to defend the victims, the same ones that your bombs and missile will re-kill first in collateral damages”…

5. Monopolize the debate and prevent the opposing opinions

Note 2:

Joumana Hadeed, a Syrian woman, Destroys McCain at Townhall Meeting
Length: 3:17
Note 3: Hitler was asked “Who do you despise most?”
Reply: “The ones who aided me in the occupation of their countries”

Israel to bomb chemical weapons in Syria? Would the civilian casualties be forgotten as “collateral damages”?

The vast recent war maneuver of Israel in the Golan Heights (in occupied Syria territory since 1967), and the simultaneous and concomitant maneuvers in south Lebanon, demonstrates the decision in Israel to bomb the chemical weapons in Syria, for various reasons:

1. For two years now, Israel of Netanyahu PM has been disseminating the suffocating smokescreen that Iran is the nemesis, particularly its nuclear program. On the assumption that “Islamic Iran” intends to produce an atomic bomb and impose its theocratic regime in the region. The real objective of this propaganda was to forget the Palestinian problem and relegate it to the bottom of the list of priorities in the US Administration.

It is working and the Palestinians are feeling helpless and neglected and not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

But Israel is unable to bomb anything in Iran and the US is not ready to be carried away in a war project that the end results are at best inconclusive and blurred… The US knows that any military engagement in Iran has to be a full-fledged, wide scale confrontation…? Why?

Just “Bombing nuclear installations” will pressure Iran to actually produce the atomic bomb. And the closing of the Hermuz Straight is not that difficult at all, regardless of scores of “demining” ships in these water.

To bomb Iran, Israel has to cross the air spaces of many Arab States, and it is doubtful that the people in these Arab States are to believe that their governments were taken by surprise and didn’t give their approval…

Otherwise, Israel has to use US bases or US aircraft carriers to reach the Iranian airspace: A de fact US declaration of war…

In any case, the Israeli citizens and the military are not hot about these military projects and they voiced their opinions and refusal to this hazardous idea pretty bluntly…

2. Now that Israel is not capable of bombing Iran and the US is not ready to get engaged, Israel has to diffuse its military incapacity by bombing targets that can be reached. Like what? Syria supposed chemical installations.  As Israel did by bombing Syria supposed nuclear installation in Deir al Zour in 2007, and the one in Iraq in 1980, without any perceptible political flaps internally and externally.

In the last two weeks, Israel and the western States have been spreading the possibility that the Assad regime is about to use chemical weapons on the armed insurgents, and relocating the weapons to various “unknown” location for the serious eventuality of being bombed by Israel…

Israel is under the previous assumption that, also this time around, the bombing of chemical installation will go unchecked in any serious reactions, since the western nations are in favor of such “local engagement” and does not disturb the flow of oil and gas…

Israel wish that this bombing will decide Iran to provide a “casus belli reason” for the western nations to get engaged militarily against Iran…Will not happen.  And the probability is high that the reactions from the Assad regime and Hezbollah in Lebanon will drag the military confrontations to over a month, as it happened in 2006 during the preemptive war against Hezbollah and all Lebanon.

Netanyahu thinks that his government is cohesive enough to try this bombing project. The main difficulty is that the soldiers going to the front are not the ultra orthodox or the sons of liberal capitalists: They are these liberal citizens who are paying the taxes and the body count so that the ultra orthodox and liberal capitalist classes reap whatever advantages any preemptive war generates in the short-term.

It is no longer what the radical right-wing ultra capitalist governments in Israel wish in matter of military actions that will decide the army to obey: It is “Are the soldiers ready to go along with another foolish military excursion, with no tangible benefits to the economic situation and the welfare of the middle classes?”

Note: https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/how-serious-is-a-preemptive-military-attack-on-iran/

Chilling anger in Yemen: And the “Muhammad Film” reaping more coverage…

And very few have seen the film yet. I didn’t even see the trail on Youtube, and I think millions of Moslems didn’t either, and might never see it. And the producer Sam B. is in hiding, somewhere in California?

And it doesn’t mean that because the film is not seen that it is not outrageous, and totally political in nature. Even Sam said that the film was political…And why right now on the “anniversary” of 9/11?

So far, the US embassies in the Moslem World are the direct targets, and might extend to Israel embassies wherever they are established in the Islamic World: In any case, it is getting obvious that Israel has funded the film (500 Jews contributed their money) and the director is Israeli, and the actors have at least Israeli passports…One of the actors is a new convert to Christianity and the son of a Hamas leader…

Hezbollah uncovered a long series of demonstrations this week in almost every large town in Lebanon. Starting Monday afternoon in Dahieh, Wednesday in Tyr (Sour), Thursday in Bint Jbeil, Friday in Baalbek, Saturday in Hermel…and expecting more demonstrations next week as the program is fine tuned…

Adam Baron, a freelance journalist based in Sanaa, published on September 15, 2012:

SANAA, YEMEN—As a mob of angry demonstrators descended on the heavily guarded United States Embassy in Sanaa, many observers seemed stunned into disbelief: The breach of the Embassy itself was unthinkable.

And the sheer anger displayed by the demonstrators, even according to many Yemenis, was chilling. But even if a video regarded as blasphemous prompted Thursday’s events, the factors at play involve much more than a movie.

Ostensibly, what sparked the siege on the US Embassy were statements by a number of religious leaders—amplified by social media and word of mouth—who condemned the film and called for protests.
 
While many in politically contentious Sanaa seemed eager to tie the protests to a prominent figure or faction, the truth was far less simple. Most of those taking part in the demonstrations lacked any obvious signs of religiosity: rather than bearded men or tribesmen in traditional garb, the bulk of those at the embassy were young men in western clothes, united, if anything, by their rage.

Vowing to sacrifice themselves for the honor of the Prophet Mohamed, they marched towards the embassy, and upon arriving at the walls surrounding the compound, apparently had little difficulty overwhelming the troops guarding the building.

Scaling walls, they moved to break glass, set cars alight and loot whatever they could, leaving graffiti expressions of “God is Great” and “Death to America” as testaments to their sentiments prior to being pushed out by Yemeni security forces about an hour later.

As word spread of the siege, few were surprised that protests against the video had occurred.  The logistics of the attack on the embassy compound left many Yemenis incredulous.  Among the most secure buildings in the capital, the American Embassy bears greater resemblance to a fortress than the sumptuous diplomatic residences of less volatile capitals.

In the context of Yemen’s contentious political scene, it was hard to believe that the breach of the embassy merely represented a security failure.

Although current president Abdo Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who formally replaced former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in accordance with an internationally backed power transfer agreement this February, Saleh is still a major player behind the scenes, as his relatives control key branches of the Yemeni Armed Forces.

Most of the troops guarding the embassy hailed from the Central Security Forces, a branch of the Yemeni military led by Yahya Mohamed Saleh, a nephew of former president Saleh. And in the wake of Thursday’s events, local observers expressed suspicions that the former president had a hand in the attack, or at least allowed it to happen.

“It’s nearly impossible to imagine that the Embassy could be breached with such ease,” said one Yemeni analyst, commenting the evening after the demonstration. “It’s not hard to suspect that something beyond incompetence was involved.”

But while tensions within Yemen’s divided military may have played a contributing role in allowing for the embassy breach itself, the origins of the anti-American rage displayed by demonstrators lie elsewhere.

Thursday’s events were not solely a response to the controversial film, which few Yemenis—including those taking part in the demonstrations—have seen. Rather, the film struck a nerve in Yemen because of long-simmering resentment of American policy.

Specifically, Yemenis resent what they characterize as the United States’ persistent meddling in Yemen’s internal affairs.  Even as government forces cracked down on peaceful anti-government demonstrations last year, the United States appeared reluctant to drop support for Saleh, who American officials viewed as a key ally in the battle against Yemen’s local Al Qaeda franchise.

Faced with the choice between siding with the Yemeni people and siding with the corrupt government, hundreds of thousands took to the streets to topple what they believe to be the US chose for Saleh oligarchical system.

Since Saleh ceded power, resentment over the United States’ past alliance with the former president has lingered.

Even today, many powerful opponents of Saleh claim that the United States still has not done enough to force the former president’s allies from power.

One opposition politician, while condemning the siege, commented that the CSF’s failure to protect the embassy was ironic payback for the United States’ hesitation to make a full break with the Saleh family.  After all, CSF commander Yahya Saleh was once a favored US commander.

At the same time, factions outside of Yemen’s political establishment have said that American reliance on traditional elites has contributed to their marginalization.

Beyond political issues, many Yemenis have expressed deep resentment over the ongoing American drone campaigns against local Al Qaeda (AQAP) figures. While the Yemeni government has permitted the strikes, many Yemenis see drone attacks as an infringement of the nation’s sovereignty and a violation of the rule of law, and they bristle at the way civilian casualties are brushed off as “collateral damages.”

Some Yemeni politicians and tribal leaders have long quietly argued that the drone strikes have led to a hardening of anti-American sentiment in Yemen. The recent deaths last week of 10 Yemeni civilians in an apparent US drone strike further inflamed popular anger over the drones.

Today is your day, oh Ambassador,” shouted the youthful crowd as it triumphantly ran through embassy property, mentioning Ambassador Gerald Feierstein by name.

Feierstein is largely praised by policy makers in Washington and he has held his post since September 2010. Feierstein is viewed in Yemen as a deeply controversial figure and profiled as Yemen’s “new dictator” by a prominent Yemeni journalist. 

Feierstein has come to personify unpopular American policies. The United States may have moved past its previous relationship with Saleh, providing important backing for his successor, but few Yemenis have forgotten that Feierstein himself stood by Saleh’s side, and a number of the ambassador’s apparent gaffes continue to resonate—most infamously, his characterization of the “Life March,” a 155-mile protest march undertaken by unarmed demonstrators in December, as an effort to “generate chaos.”

Activists charged that Feierstein’s statement effectively gave government forces a green light to launch a deadly crackdown on the march that left nine dead.

Ali al-Kamaly, a Yemeni youth activist, said: “The American administration has to rethink its foreign policy as the world has changed. The ambassador chose to oppose the aspirations of the Yemeni people during the life march last year. The movie was just the drop that inundated the beaker…peoples’ beliefs, rights and lives are the true redline.”

Note: So far, president Obama has executed Bush Jr foreign policies in the Middle-East, as if he was mind-reading what Bush Jr. might have decided…and making a policy to decapitate the “leaders” of Al Qaeda using drone attacks…Why?

Obama wants to prove to the US citizens that whoever is elected president will invariably follow the Middle-East foreign policies, even if the counsellors and political analysts in the CIA and State department have demonstrated to be incompetent and totally biased against Arabs and Moslems…

Note 2: I keep wondering: Why most US ambassadors in the Middle-East have to have a Jewish last name?

Capitalism Version 2012:  And My set of Grand Bargain priorities

THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN had disseminated the concept that, any neighborhood around the world, even in “rogue listed States“, if it is lucky to have opened one of the US international corporation franchise (such as McDonald, Burger King, Coca Cola…), this neighborhood is immune to any “collateral damages” from air strikes, drone attacks…

In a sense, the citizens of the State under US military reprisal operations would be far safer if they gather in “franchise quarters” rather fleeing to Mosques, churches, hospitals, or embassies…

THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN published on March 13 “Capitalism, Version 2012” (with slight editing):
David Rothkopf, the chief executive and editor-at-large of Foreign Policy magazine, has a new book out, entitled “Power, Inc.”   It is about the epic rivalry between big business and government that captures what the 2012 election should be about.
And it’s not “contraception”: It’s the future of “Capitalism” and whether it will be shaped in America or somewhere else.

Rothkopf argues that, while for much of the 20th century the great struggle on the world stage was between capitalism and communism, the great struggle in the 21st century will be about which version of capitalism will win, which one will prove the most effective at generating growth and become the most emulated.

Will it be Beijing’s capitalism with Chinese characteristics?” asks Rothkopf. “Will it be the democratic development capitalism of India and Brazil? Will it be entrepreneurial small-State capitalism of Singapore and Israel? Will it be European safety-net capitalism? Or will it be American capitalism?”

It raises another question: “What is American capitalism today, and what will enable it to thrive in the 21st century?”

Rothkopf’s view, which I share, is that the bargain that most admired and system tried to emulate about American capitalism is precisely what we’ve been ignoring: America’s success for over 200 years was largely due to its healthy, balanced public-private partnership.

Mainly, the government provided the institutions, rules, safety nets, education, research and infrastructure to empower the private sector to innovate, invest and take the risks that promote growth and jobs.

As the private sector overwhelms the public, you get the 2008 subprime crisis.

When the public overwhelms the private, you get choking regulations.

You need a balance, which is why we have to get past this cartoon argument that “the choice is either all government or all the market”

The lesson of history is that capitalism thrives best when you have this balance, and “when you lose the balance, you get in trouble.”

For that reason, the ideal 2012 election would be one that offered the public competing conservative and liberal versions of the key grand bargains, the key balances, that America needs to forge to adapt its capitalism to this century.

First grand bargain is to repair our long-term structural deficit via tax reform: by phasing in $1 in tax increases for every $3 to $4 in cuts to entitlements and defense over the next decade. If the Republican Party continues to take the view that there must be no tax increases, we’re stuck. Capitalism can’t work without safety nets or fiscal prudence, and we need both in a sustainable balance.

As part of this, we will need an inter-generational grand bargain so we don’t end up in an inter-generational civil war. We need a proper balance between government spending on nursing homes and nursery schools — on the last six months of life and the first six months of life.

Second grand bargain we need is between the environmental community and the oil and gas industry over how to do two things at once: safely exploit America’s new found riches in natural gas, while simultaneously building a bridge to a low-carbon energy economy, with greater emphasis on energy efficiency.

Third grand bargain we need is on infrastructure. We have more than a $2 trillion deficit in bridges, roads, airports, ports and bandwidth, and the government doesn’t have the money to make it up. We need a bargain that enables the government to both enlist and partner with the private sector to unleash private investments in infrastructure that will serve the public and offer investors appropriate returns.

Fourth grand bargain should focus on education and health care. We need grand bargains that better allocate resources between remediation and prevention. In both health and education, we spend more than anyone else in the world — with no better outcomes. We waste too much money treating people for preventable diseases and re-teaching students in college what they should have learned in high school. Modern capitalism requires skilled workers and workers with portable health care that allows them to move for any job.

Fifth grand bargain  among employers, employees and government.  In Germany government provides the incentives for employers to hire, train and retrain labor.

We can’t have any of these bargains without a more informed public debate. Bill Gates said to me in a recent interview “The big thing that’s missing in U.S. politics today is this technocratic understanding of the facts and where things are working and where they’re not working,” so the debate can be driven by data, not ideology.

Capitalism and political systems — like companies — must constantly evolve to stay vital. People are watching how we evolve and whether our version of democratic capitalism can continue to thrive. A lot is at stake here.

Rothkopf argues: “If we continue to treat politics as a reality show played for cheap theatrics, we increase the likelihood that the next chapter in the ongoing story of capitalism is going to be written somewhere else.” End of quote

I have My set of Grand Bargain priorities:

First grand bargain: Drop the laws on tax-exempt religious businesses, cancel the privileges that clerics enjoy that common citizens lack, penalize candidates and institutions (private and public) that capitalize on religious “fervor” in order to gain election votes or pressure public institutions…

Second grand bargain: Be candid and make transparent on what capitalism is based on. For example,

1. Keeping 20% of the population poor regardless of surpluses, so that this part of the population keeps maintaining the capitalists interests in low paying-jobs,

2. Inventing preemptive wars in order to capture the surplus in lower middle-class citizens that capitalism claims its inability to absorb in the market place.

3. Appointing a council of 10 members, independent of the government, to investigate financial irregularities in ministries and pinpointing publicly the conflict of interests and biases in public institutions

Third grand bargain in political reforms. For example:

1. Denying the President the right to appoint Supreme Court judges

2. Making election laws fair, affordable, understandable and readable by the common citizen

3. Curtailing the monarchic rights of Presidents

4. Eliminating the incarceration policy of youth in schools for 13 years because they are too virulent for the system to contain their aspiration for change and reforms

5. Setting a cap on upper income and enforcing the concept of reducing inequality image among communities…You may add your alternatives, and they are many…

Note: You may read on private properties https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2010/09/25/part-2-private-properties-can-capitalism-be-reformed/

To protect civilian casualties? How’s the UN prosecuting its involvement?

Former French ambassador to Libya, Francois Nicolo, wrote in the French daily Le Monde:

“In the sky, large planets reflect the path of light.  On earth, it is the superpower States that distort the principles of international laws according to their vested interests. This fact was demonstrated on the Libyan ground.

On March 17, the UN council agreed to taking all necessary steps, save land invasion, to protect Libyan civilians (from a brutal dictator Qadhafi).

Two days later, a summit held in Paris decided to execute the UN resolution.  Since then, the superpower forces of the US, France, England, and the NATO have dropped thousands of tons of bombs in Libya, in a conflict that quickly turned to civil war.

This massive foreign intervention has proven how considering the protection of civilian can be used as an excuse for States private interests.

It is going to be extremely hard to bring the proposal of “protecting civilians” as a viable and plausible excuse in further UN assemblies for direct foreign interventions in other States.”

Ann Mary Sloter wrote in The Atlantic: “The discussions on foreign intervention in Libya are considering the 3 consequences that occurred in Libya:

First, Foreign interventions change the nature of autonomy in States succumbing to such interventions,

Second, Has the decision to intervene in Libya bad, good, or lead to nothing of value?

Third, Should the US and the other foreign States intervene in Middle-East troubles?”

It is reported that Libya suffered over 60,000 casualties since the beginning of the civil war.

Would the UN have the guts to publish what was the ratio of casualties done by “collateral damages” and “friendly fire” in a country of barely 4 million and as vast as the US?

A State leader said in the UN General Assembly:

“The Security Council in the UN is practicing political feudalismSince the creation of the UN, we witnessed 65 wars that, not only the UN could not prevent, but many superpower States contributed to igniting and supporting these wars, and directly participated in these wars. The veto power States (monopolizing nuclear arsenal), enjoyed by the US, Russia, China, France, and England, have started most of these wars for their own geopolitical interests.

I declare that the veto right is contrary to the charters of the UN.  Who gave these superpower States this right?

How these States secured permanent seats in the security council?

It is written in the UN Charters that all recognized State are equal. Are we indeed?

The veto right is illegal and dictatorial in nature.

I demand that the prerogatives of the Security Council be transferred to the UN General Assembly.  We can no longer accept to be considered as decorative States.  We are being mocked at every meeting. We are simply entitled to deliver speeches.

We are marginalized. The superpower States don’t give a hoot of the remaining recognized States.

We refuse to be allocated a few seats in the Security Council (10 out of 5 seats) in order to fight us.

Security Council was instituted as a tool of terror and to sanction States that disagree with the superpower States dicta.

Security Council never condemned one of its members.

Security Council made us wear cloths dating from the 40’s.

I demand that Africa, the African Union, the Arab League, the European Union, the Latin American Union, and world organizations… have a seat in the Security Council.

I demand that the UN starts investigating crimes against humanity and genocide perpetrated by the superpowers.

Why the genocide witnessed in Rwanda, the Palestinian camps of Sabra, Chatila, Jenine, and Gaza are not investigated by the UN?

Why Israel should have the privileged of denying entrance to UN investigative teams?…”

Suppose that this speech was delivered by Qadhafi in 2009, would the facts be considered nul and void, simply because voiced by Qadhafi?

Would the rights of neglected 120 States to enjoying recognition as equal in the UN be mocked and sidetracked, simply because Qadhafi (the lunatic) expressed their opinions?

Note: Massive leaks and evidence are coming out proving that France and England have planned (politically and militarily) ousting Qadhafi, way before the Tunisian upheavals.  Why? Qadhafi decided to purchase Russia military hardware and declined the offers of France and England.  Does anyone think that superpowers get involved out of the compassion in their hearts for foreign civilians?

Part Two: “The Great Disillusion”; (Mar. 24, 2010)

Joseph Stieglitz, Nobel Prize for economics, stated in his book “The Great Disillusion, 2002”:

“Today, Globalization is not working; not for the poor of the world and developing States; not for the environment; and not for world economic stability.”

Although it is no longer feasible to abandon globalization, its management must be reformed according to greater consensus on the rules of the game that needs to be revisited for it to work.

Globalization has functioned relatively well in the Far East of Asia by promoting trades and technological exchange and transfer.

It also brought great successes in health progress and in galvanizing civil societies toward dynamic social justice and greater transparencies in policies and administration.

So far, the real culprits for the failure of globalization were the international institutions such as the World Bank (WB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Commerce Organization (WCO).  Why?

These institutions fixed the rules of the game unilaterally to the profit of the developed States and specifically the USA: the US imposed options for recovery to other developing States that it had rejected for its own economic development.

Although these international institutions are public institutions they in fact are not accountable but to the Central Banks Chiefs and the corresponding ministers of the leading economic and financial States.

Thus, the international institutions that were meant to rescue faltering developing countries functioned mostly according to the interest of the industrial and developed nations.

There is great need for serious reforms to the financial structure and management practices.  Debates are demanded to be more open in World Forums.

Until now, it appears that the international institutions are not serious in engaging any reforms: they simply changed their discourse to mentioning “poverty” more often.

Financial interests dominated the ideology of the IMF as economic interests dominated the World Commerce Organization. The same as the IMF feels not concerned with the poor (its focuses is on banks crisis), and the WCO is ready to sacrifice everything to trade facilities for the rich nations. For example, environment and fishing industries that kill many varieties of fishes such as turtles and small fishes are considered as collateral damages.

The greatest challenge is in the mind of the institution structures because they simply reflect the state of mind of those they are responsible to. Their theses do not enjoy any consensus.

For example, the governor of a central bank starts his day by worrying of inflation statistics and not on its effects on the poor.  The minister of trade and commerce worries on export numbers and care less of pollution indexes.

There is a need for a functional economic global system vision such as it was extended by Adam Smith and Karl Marx.

Many States have better standard of living per capita than the USA and they still have much lower inequalities and far better health care systems.

It is how State governments intervene in the market that makes the difference in matter of health, unemployment, adequate retirees’ compensations, and social justice for all.

The performing States ensure high quality education, convenient infrastructures, independent efficient legal systems and regulations, technological development and innovations.

It is important that economic structure differ among States: some States have strong syndicates and others have high levels of debts among enterprises. Thus, alternative resolutions for financial and economic aid should be tailored made to economic structures in order not to penalize the entire society and the poorer of the poor.

The next post will provide details on reforms for collective global participation in the international institutions, the mode of governance of these institutions, and further transparency in their management and decision processes.

How can I win the war on “Terrorism”? Part two; (Jan. 28, 2010)

            I set the fundamentals in part one.  This part dwells on details.  Ilyass Kashmiri is presumably the Pakistani leader of the Islamic Kashmir independence movement (from the Indian Kashmir region).  Ilyass’s movement is called Lashkar Al Zil (army of the shadow).  In Arabic, Zil means shade and Zol means indignity; thus, it depends how the word is understood or pronounced in that part of Pakistan.  Lashkar Al Zil was known as Brigade 055 (was it initially a brigade of the Pakistani army?) Lashkar Al Zil has vast networks for intelligence gathering.  It is understood that currently most of the radical Sunni Islamic movements, including Al Qaeda, are taking umbrage under Lashkar Al Zil and not the way around since it has established popular bases in many self-autonomous districts in north Pakistan.

            Ilyass Kashmiri may be orchestrating most of the suicidal operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan; his movement has extended its influence in Yemen and Somalia (Al Chabab). Saleh Al Somali was killed by a drone in Pakistan in 2008.  David Coleman Headly was arrested in Chicago for preparing the aggression on the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten; he participated in the Bombay massacre of November 2008 and Ilyass was one of Headly’s contacts.

            Another Al Qaeda leader working with Ilyass is Yahya Al Libi. Yahya Al Libi is from Libya and his pragmatic goal is to overthrow the Kadhafi regime. In the mean time, Yahya Al Libi is taking the strategy of antagonizing the Islamic Shiaa sect movements (the Shiaa are mostly concentrated in Iran, Iraq, and India); the bombing of the mosque in Ramadi (Iraq) is of his doing (23 dead); the bombing of the Shiaa mosque in Karachi (Pakistan) resulted in 30 dead victims.  Al Libi has a different strategy than Zawahiri (Egyptian and second in command in Al Qaeda) who wants to unite the forces of all Islamic forces.

            Ilyass and Yahaya want the Western forces to intervene militarily so that they can infiltrate the Islamic masses at no cost to them.  Currently, their first target is the Pakistani army that finally got carried away with the US pressures to attack the fundamentalists. The Pakistani government is realizing that the gamble was premature: the Pakistani army is suffering from this unpopular civil war and losing its status as the backbone for Pakistan unity among the various ethnic diversity groups.

            The Lashkar Al Zil and its Afghanistan allies are preparing a counter offensive as snow melts against the Pakistani army in the districts of Khyber, Kurram, Hungu, and Orakzai (in Pakistan) and in the valley of Tera (facing the Afghan mountain chains of Tora Bora).  Saudi Arabia is heavily involved in Yemen because this Wahhabi monarchy is conscious that the vise of the fundamentalist movements is closing on from all directions (Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, and eventually Egypt).  Saudi Arabia has extended $two billion to the Yemenite government and moved its army and air force in operations in Yemen. 

            Some people believe that the USA is indeed fomenting these Islamic movements in order to have excuses for militarily accesses in Yemen and Somalia, in addition to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Arab Gulf mini-States.  People believe that the US wants to secure Africa and the oil shipments in the Middle East. People have reached this implicit feeling of US definite conspiracy from past evidences and because the US is the only superpower to dominate all the seas and oceans by its naval forces. Actually, the US drones have been bombing targets in the sub-Sahara States of Africa (Mauritania, Chad, and Niger) for sometimes.

            During the Bush Junior Administration, the CIA was extended the mission to develop its paramilitary branch (Special Activities Division SAD) in order to carry out vast secret operations.  The former “private security service” company of Blackwater (re-named Xe) was and is sub-contracting a few of these CIA secret operations. Currently, the US government is pressuring Congress to drop all judiciary cases leveled against Blackwater operators.

            The CIA was recently exposed by the suicide bombing of Humam Al Balawi in its Khost (Afghanistan) advanced post that killed 7 CIA agents and 6 other soldiers in December 2009. The Jordanian secret agent, Humam Al Balawi, was lent by Jordan to the CIA to facilitate intelligence gathering on extremist Sunni movements in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  The CIA installed a series of support bases in South and East of Afghanistan to gather intelligence for drone attacks on particular “targets” of extremist leaders.  The US military has boasted of killing over one hundred targets; most of the victims were civilians in “collateral damages”.  The increased number of civilian casualties prompted the Pakistani government to get involved in the rules of engagement and drone operations.

            The Afghan army is heavily infiltrated by Taliban elements: last week, the Capital Kabul awoke to a nightmare: it was rocked by 5 attacks on 5 government institutions, including the Presidential Palace of Karzai.

            What is happening in the region are series of civil wars; the factions are mainly borrowing the discourse of Al Qaeda but this movement is plainly limited to fringe countries in Africa.  Nevertheless, US Medias refuse to change the decades catch all term of Al Qaeda to means civil unrest and “terrorism” in Islamic states: they prefer disinformation instead of educating the public to the new realities. Is it simply because it is too “complex” for the little mind of the public to comprehend?

            So far, the US has heavily fallen in the trap of disseminating the image of fighting Islam instead of targeting “terrorist” bases.  More military involvement is bound to stick this image in the mind and heart of moderate Islamists who will be pressured to extend leniency attitudes to the extremist elements and factions.

BANG, not the Big One: Tell me more; (October 23, 2009)

 

            Bits, atoms, neurons, and genes form the acronym BANG.  Several disciplines in chemistry, biology, molecular sciences, pharmacology, genetics, electronics, and physics have one thing in common: nano-particles; it opened wide a trillion dollars industries with no check and balance.  In 1960, many developed nations had surpluses of food stuff; this is no longer the case.  It is predicted that by 2017 famine will be the lot of 70 impoverished States harming 1.2 billion human.

            Actually, antitrust laws are so far not being applied to the six organically modified seeds industries that share scientific discoveries and have sole monopoly of 90% of organic seeds.  Monsano, Dow Agrosciences, BASF, Syngena, Bayer, and Dupont have deposited more than 500 patents on genes “adapting to climatic changes”; in another word, how to profit from degradation of the environment.  In 2008, Monsato has increased by 35% the prices on organically modified seeds that it has exclusive rights to produce and distribute. Monsano and Dow Agrosciences associated to produce in 2010 genetically modified wheat seeds that can withstand 8 kinds of “natural enemies”, mainly herbicides and insecticides; thus, 87% of modified seeds used around the world bear the label Monsano.

            The multinational oil companies of BP, Shell, Chevron, and Cargill are linking up with these nano-sciences of agro-technologies to transform biological matters such as (agricultural harvest, forests, algae…) into industrial sugar; then converting sugar into chemical products and nano-products with high added values. Chemistry linked to oil products could now be adapted to vegetable carbon.  Entire countries such as Madagascar and Angola are now being leased to cultivate modified breeds of harvests.

            The scientific counselor to Barak Obama, John Holdren, is encouraging the application of geo-engineering to fighting atmospheric changes.  Among such engineering techniques is sprinkling the atmosphere with nano-particles of sulfates to veil the sunrays.  Monster farms of phytoplankton are created to absorb or capture CO2.

            The UN views these geo-engineering projects as purely speculative in nature with unknown risks for collateral damages.  A joint Indo-German oceanographic Institute discarded the decision of the Conference of the UN and carried on its project: it “fertilized” a large zone in the Antarctic Ocean by dumping tons of iron sulfates; the microscopic unicellular algae were meant to grow in abundance and capture CO2.  The zooplankton ate the algae and the experiment was not conclusive; this temporary failure is encouraging other multinationals such as Climos Inc. or (Planktos Science) to resume these kinds of projects under the name of “eco-restoration” for substantial financial returns.           

 

Note 1: 94% of US citizens have the toxic substance biphenyl (BPA) in their system.  This is due to the fact that baby milk bottles were manufactured since 1930 with this synthesized chemical product that proved to render plastic more malleable and supple. A substitute of this product, diethylstilbestrol, that has female sexual hormone characteristics, was widely prescribed to pregnant women in the 70’s with devastating consequences to malformed newborns.

 

Note 2:  Most of the information was taken from the French monthly journal “Le Monde Diplomatic” of October 2009.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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