...the reality of ISIS and what this group seeks is opaque to the public, and to policymakers not clued into the private salons where the details of secrets can be discussed. Even among those policymakers, the compartmentalized national security establishment means that no one really grasps the whole picture. The attempt to get the US into a war in Syria a year ago was similarly opaque. The public cannot make well-informed decisions about national security choices because information critical to such choices is withheld from them. It is withheld from them at the source, through the classification-censorship process, then by obfuscations in the salons and think tanks of DC and New York, and then finally through the bottleneck of the mass media itself.
The Solution to ISIS Is the First Amendment
by Matt Stoler [more inside]
In 2009, a remarkably gifted politician, confronting a remarkably difficult set of challenges
, will have to learn to say "No we can't"
, Guantánamo will prove a moral minefield
, economic recovery will be invisible to the naked eye
, governments must prepare for the day they stop financial guarantees
, we will judge our commitment to sustainability
, scientists should research the causes of religion
, we will all be potential online paparazzi
, English will have more words than any other language
(but it's meaningless), Afghanistan will see a surge of Western (read: American) troops
, Iran will continue its nuclear quest
while diplomacy lies in shambles
, the sea floor is the new frontier
, we should rethink aging
, (non-)voters will continue to thwart the European project
-- but cheap travel will continue to buoy it
-- though it has some unfinished business to attend to
, and a Nordic defence bond will blossom
.The Economist: The World in 2009
. [more inside]
Fables of the Reconstruction.
According to a new GAO report
of full report], the surge has resulted in security gains and reduced violence in Iraq, but the political goals the surge was supposed to buy time for mostly haven't happened
. [more inside]
In the U.S., motorists do not pay their way.
The US government spends more on highways and other auto-related expenses than it receives from auto-related taxes, unlike almost every country in Europe. In a recent report [pdf], Mark Delucchi
calculates automobile-related costs and revenues in three different ways and concludes the subsidy is around 20-70 cents per gallon or $24-105 billion in 2002. But what are automobile-related costs, you ask? [more inside]
Following the script from A Crude Awakening
, Australian Defence Minister Brendan Nelson announced
today that new reasons for staying the course in helping Iraqi forces stand up as we stand down is not regime change nor ridding the country of weapons of mass destruction, but… ensuring Australia's “energy security”
"The Blessings-of-Civilization Trust,
wisely and cautiously administered, is a Daisy
. There is more money
in it, more territory
, more sovereignty
, and other kinds of emolument, than there is in any other game that is played. But Christendom has been playing it badly of late years, and must certainly suffer by it, in my opinion. She has been so eager to get every stake that appeared on the green cloth, that the People who Sit in Darkness
have noticed it – they have noticed it, and have begun to show alarm
. They have become suspicious of the Blessings of Civilization."
How Much Oil Has Iraq Been Exporting Since We Invaded?
And how much revenue should be recorded? --Iraq’s oil exports hit another post-invasion low in December and January, according to the Oil & Gas Journal. How do they know? Good question: according to Reuters, production and exports have gone unmetered since the Coalition Provisional Authority took over the country following the 2003 invasion; until new meters are installed (in 1-2 more years), everybody’s just guessing.
Our Government's Energy Information Administration
has all sorts of statistics--anyone wanna figure out how they're derived regarding Iraq?
Former GOP senior strategist Kevin Phillips wrote the political Bible of the New Right, The Emerging Republican Majority
. He coined the term "Sun Belt." He voted for Reagan twice and still considers himself a staunch Republican. But now Phillips, the author of a new book called American Theocracy
, is warning that the party of George Bush and Karl Rove ("W brand Republicans," in the phrase of GOP pollster Jan van Lohuizen) has become "God's own party
" -- the champion of a convergence of "petroleum-defined national security; a crusading, simplistic Christianity; and a reckless credit-feeding financial complex." Phillips also cautions that the W-brand party's "sense of how to win elections comes out of a CIA manual
, not out of the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution." [Phillips was also discussed here
Zeitgeistfilter: Lumpen Leisure
and Welcome to Middle-Class Lockdown... Now Shut Up and Buy Something
-- two fine rants about our current state of disunion by James Howard Kuntsler, author of The Long Emergency
), and writer and Vietnam vet Joe Bageant
. "All over but the keening for our soon-to-be-lost machine world," Kunstler predicts in The American Conservative
, while Bageant taps the inner stream-of-unconsciousness for Dissident Voice
: "Things cannot be as bad as the alarmists say. They cannot be as bad as I often suspect they are. If there really were such a thing as global warming they would be starting to do something about it. And besides, even if it were true, science will find a way to fix it. If there really were genocide going on in so many places far more people would be concerned... If the earth were heating up we would surely notice it. If our soldiers and government agencies were torturing people around the world it would make the news. If millions were being exterminated, it would be more obvious, would it not?" (Kunstler's book previously discussed here
, Bageant here
What has happened to Iraq's missing $1bn?
"The money missing from all ministries under the interim Iraqi government appointed by the US in June 2004 may turn out to be close[r] to $2bn... Many Iraqi soldiers and police have died because they were not properly equipped. In Baghdad they often ride in civilian pick-up trucks vulnerable to gunfire, rocket- propelled grenades or roadside bombs. For months even men defusing bombs had no protection against blasts because they worked without bullet-proof vests. These were often promised but never turned up."
Turns out that it's about the oil, after all.
We've been screaming it for years, and he's totally ignored our allegations. But, there's no demonstration chant a good spin-doctor can't turn into a point for their side. Remember, the terrists hate our Amercun
15 of 19 were Saudis.
And now, continuing a trend from the Kingdom
, most of the suicide bombers
in Iraq are known to be Saudi Arabian
US 'backed illegal Iraqi oil deals'
The United States administration turned a blind eye to extensive sanctions-busting in the prewar sale of Iraqi oil, according to a new Senate investigation.
A report released last night by Democratic staff on a Senate investigations committee presents documentary evidence that the Bush administration was made aware of illegal oil sales and kickbacks paid to the Saddam Hussein regime but did nothing to stop them.
The scale of the shipments involved dwarfs those previously alleged by the Senate committee against UN staff and European politicians like the British MP, George Galloway, and the former French minister, Charles Pasqua.
I know this has been on everyone's
mind, but I just read this
article today and was astounded at my lack of foresight.
Silly me, here I was worrying about global warming when what I need to be fretting about is the decrease in fuel's impact on the structure of international banking!
Will we run out of fossil fuel before it's too late
to save the environment
from pollution and greenhouse gasses? The abiotic nuts
think we've got plenty more.
Personally, I think we can kiss the marvel that is suburbia goodbye
and start contemplating the fact that the focus on the post-post industrial revolution will not be information, but rather agriculture
And since solar panels and windmills and the like are made of materials that are extracted, transported, and fashioned by using oil-powered machinery, my money's on the folks who're stockpiling uranium
for all those shiny new nuclear plants we're going to need.
So, do we have a plan? You bet we do!
Oh. Well, we'll just rely on the advancement of technology
to allow us to weasel out of it!
Me? I've actually always wanted a horse
Whereas, in the past, national power was thought to reside in the possession of a mighty arsenal and the maintenance of extended alliance systems, it is now associated with economic dynamism and the cultivation of technological innovation. To exercise leadership in the current epoch, states are expected to possess a vigorous domestic economy and to outperform other states in the development and export of high-tech goods. While a potent military establishment is still considered essential to national security, it must be balanced by a strong and vibrant economy. 'National security depends on successful engagement in the global economy,' the Institute for National Security Studies observed in a recent Pentagon study.
Regarding Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Petroleum Dependency
by Michael T. Klare, here is an excerpt
from the book and here is his most recent article--Oil and the Coming War With Iran
. Well, at least he has been consistent--consider The Geopolitics of War
, Wars Without End
, Oiling the Wheels of War
, and Imperial Reach
from his articles
for The Nation
alone. Here is an excerpt from his previous Resource Wars
and here is Scraping the bottom of the barrel
and Bush-Cheney Energy Strategy: Procuring the Rest of the World's Oil
. Well, as to his position on current events, I don't think we need to draw a picture here.
Anybody see this coming?
The United States has asked Israel to check the possibility of pumping oil from Iraq to the oil refineries in Haifa. The request came in a telegram last week from a senior Pentagon official to a top Foreign Ministry official in Jerusalem.
is an provocative proponent of the American Empire
theory, indeed. Here are excerpts from his Blow Back: The Cost And Consequences of American Empire
I heard Johnson interviewed on Episode II, War And Conflict In The Post-Cold War, Post-9/11 Era
of The Whole Wide World
The Cold War and its central conflict - the physical and ideological battles between the United States, the Soviet Union and their proxy states - imposed a certain logic and consistency on the world. Take that away and add the bloody wars in the Balkans, Africa and the Middle East in the ‘90s as well as the terror attacks and warnings of more recent times and you get a very confused picture of a world at war. Is this breaking storm in Iraq about oil, democracy, freedom, empire, culture, water, diamonds, modernizing Islam or nation building in the Middle East? Some, one or all of these things?
It was an excellent program and well worth your listen, either by RA now or mp3 later. (From listening to the radio)
The State of the Energy: Ahead of rumors
Bush is set to propose a hydrogen fuel plan, fuel cell producer stocks jump
. In the event of an Iraqi war, the oil fields there will be siezed
to prevent their drestruction and Colin Powell says the US will hold them "in trust
US buys up Iraqi oil to stave off crisis
Buy now. Own later. Is this odd or what?
Why Gen X doesn't care that Gen X doesn't care about the war
- in which an irreverent, arrogant, crass young essayist hits a nerve. What RAND has to say about the impact of Iraqi oil on the world economy
. Who's organizing large demonstrations against war on Iraq
, and who's upset
about this. Spend an hour with the real experts on Iraq, real Iraqis, and real people who can't make the case for war
. (RealPlayer) This in-depth broadcast interview features some truly key players, the real arguments on both sides, and you probably never heard it, making the case for Internet Radio.
Is it all about oil?
Iraq war protesters insist a war wil be about oil. Others say no. Here the writer argues that it is both--it is not all about oil but we will control the oil should we take control.
This may not make as effective a sales pitch
as "weapons of mass destruction," but with two oil men in office, it can't be ignored as a possible ulterior motive to war in Iraq. Am I a cynic or should we be asking if this "preemptive" war is really about what they are saying it's about?
War Could Unshackle Oil in Iraq
..All five permanent members of the Security Council -- the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China -- have international oil companies with major stakes in a change of leadership in Baghdad.
Okay, everybody say it with me now...It's about the OIL!
Mo Mowlam (former UK Government cabinet member) says the real goal of an Iraq war "is the seizure of Saudi oil".
The much-loved Northern Ireland peace process go-between writes that the threat of Saddam Hussein is already well-contained and that "Bush wants war to keep US control of the region". Hers is a view espoused fairly regularly of late. Would it really damage the American position to admit that this more about oil than about terrorism?
Molly Ivins wraps it up nicely and ties a bow on top. When Dick Cheney was CEO of the oilfield supply firm Halliburton, the company did $23.8 million in business with Saddam Hussein, the evildoer "prepared to share his weapons of mass destruction with terrorists."
Back from a vigorous and exhausting vacation of petty but life sustaining activities, I find this
overview of our larger reality, without the noisy claptrap of narrowly self serving ideologies, yet worrisome enough to shake the world's boat I'm travelling in with some comfort and some reasonable concern spiced with anxiety. (NYT)
Finally, finally, finally!! Someone in the mainstream media is finally asking some questions.
Lots of people (here and abroad) have known about this book for some time. I think it deserves some checking into.
According to this editorial,
the Russians have outmaneuvered the US oil interests by encouraging the Northern Alliance to take Kabul. "The alliance is now Afghanistan's dominant force and, heedless of multi-party
political talks in Germany going on this week, styles itself as the new "lawful"
government, a claim fully backed by Moscow."
Why am I and a few others
the only ones interested in this angle of the war story. I have been doing research
about our disappearing VP
and have found
than I can link here
. No implied conspiracy theory, just more of those things that make you say Hmmmm.
See if you can connect the dots!