Thursday, June 26, 2008
Did the Supreme Court even hear about this when they accorded Constitutional Rights to Enemy Combatants held in Guantanemo? And other instances of those released going back to being anti-U.S.A. terrorists?
Not in uniforms or part of formal nations' military as would be required by the Geneva Convention. so on what basis did the Supreme Court make their decision? Emotional "rights" not in the consitution and NOT ever in real life.
We can expect more American deaths by order of the Supreme Court!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Palestinian Rockets Hit Israel, Breaking Hamas Truce - Isabel KershnerThree Kassam rockets fired from Gaza on Tuesday struck the Israeli town of Sderot and its environs, constituting the first serious breach of a truce between Israel and Hamas, the Islamic group that controls Gaza. Mark Regev, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, said the rocket fire from Gaza had been "a grave violation of the calm" that came into effect last Thursday. Islamic Jihad, a small extremist group, claimed responsibility for the attack. Previous cease-fire understandings in Gaza have fallen apart over the inability of Palestinian leaders to contain the smaller groups. (New York Times)
Syria Planned to Supply Iran with Nuclear Fuel, Israel Says - Ian BlackIsrael believes that Syria was planning to supply Iran with spent nuclear fuel for reprocessing into weapons-grade plutonium from the site it bombed last September, and which is currently being inspected by the UN's nuclear watchdog. An adviser to Israel's national security council said Tuesday, "The Iranians were involved in the Syrian program. The idea was that the Syrians produce plutonium and the Iranians get their share. Syria had no reprocessing facility for the spent fuel. It's not deduction alone that brings almost everyone to think that the link exists." (Guardian-UK)
Ahmadinejad Proposes Trial for Leaders of Countries Sanctioning TehranPresident Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proposed the formation of a special court to punish the world "tyrants" for their attempt to thwart Iran's nuclear program. Ahmadinejad told a group of judges that "a court should be formed to try and punish all world criminals who invade the rights of the Iranian nation." (AP/FOX News)
Iran Would Consider U.S. Diplomatic PresenceTehran would consider any U.S. request to set up a diplomatic presence in Iran, the country's official news agency reported on Tuesday. On Monday, U.S. officials floated the idea of opening an interests section in Iran. Iran has operated an interests section in Washington for years, but the U.S. has had no diplomatic presence in Tehran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution and embassy hostage crisis. The U.S. currently relies on the Swiss Embassy in Tehran to handle the affairs of U.S. citizens in the country. A U.S. interests section in Tehran would be similar to the one the State Department runs in Havana. (AP/MSNBC)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Gaza Crossings Sealed in Response to Palestinian Rocket Attack - Barak Ravid, Amos Harel, Yuval Azoulay and Fadi EyadatDefense Minister Ehud Barak has ordered the closure of all crossings through which goods enter Gaza in response to Tuesday's Kassam rocket fire on Israel, Israel Radio reported on Wednesday. The continued rocket fire constitutes a "blatant violation of the cease-fire on the part of Palestinian groups," Prime Minister Olmert said. Senior security sources said Israel would not be able to ignore the attack. (Ha'aretz)
After Olmert-Mubarak Meeting: Gaza Crossing to Remain Shut Until Abducted Israeli Soldier Freed - Tomer ZarchinEgypt assured Israel on Tuesday that the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt will remain closed until a deal is reached that secures the release of Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, a senior Israeli official said after meetings in Sharm el-Sheikh between Prime Minister Olmert and Egyptian President Mubarak. Mubarak said that Egypt was working to secure Shalit's release, and Olmert thanked him for Cairo's role in the Gaza cease-fire agreement. The leaders also discussed arms smuggling into Gaza during the meeting. The London-based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat quoted Olmert as saying that if the smuggling of weapons into Gaza does not cease, Israel will consider the cease-fire agreement violated and will be forced to respond militarily. (Ha'aretz)
Attempted Coup Splits Hamas Military Forces - Avi IssacharoffThe Hamas military wing, Iz al-Din al-Qassam, has split into two groups after an attempt to replace its military commander, Ahmed Al-Jabari, with Imad Akal. Mohammed Deif, the former head of Iz al-Din al-Qassam, was behind the attempt, according to Palestinian sources. There are now two camps: one led by Al-Jabari and the other by Akal. There have been long-standing disagreements between Al-Jabari and the political leadership of Hamas in Gaza. The tension exploded when Hamas police attempted to arrest members of the military group who were suspected of criminal activities. The Hamas militants resisted arrest, and the police and Iz al-Din al-Qassam members exchanged fire. According to the sources, Iz al-Din al-Qassam is divided, and there have been several attempts by commanders to kill their rivals to ensure they control an area or the organization's assets. In Khan Yunis, for example, for over a year there have been three local commanders, each of whom considers himself the chief in the region. In addition, senior Iz al-Din commanders have become more involved in criminal activities, particularly smuggling, which they control exclusively. (Ha'aretz)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
A Surprise from Syria and Israel? - David IgnatiusWhat's going on between Syria and Israel? Are the indirect peace negotiations through Turkish mediators that were announced last month for real? Syrian President Bashar al-Assad favored an opening to Israel to counter attempts by the U.S., France and Saudi Arabia to isolate his country. Oddly enough, the attack on Syria's secret nuclear reactor, which was destroyed by the Israelis on Sept. 6, 2007, may have helped the peace talks. The Israelis felt that their decisive action helped restore the credibility of their deterrence policy. The Syrians appreciated that Israeli and American silence allowed them time to cover their tracks. Finally, the fact that Assad kept the nuclear effort a secret, and that he managed the post-attack pressures, showed Israelis that he was truly master of his own house, and thus a plausible negotiating partner. (Washington Post)
Israel's Side of the Story - Lenny Ben-DavidNicholas Kristof in the New York Times (22June08) finds the idea of Jews living in their second holiest city, Hebron, illegal or "utterly impractical." Sorry, Mr. Kristof, many Jews want the right to visit the Tomb of the Patriarchs, something denied to Jews after the 1929 massacre of Hebron's Jews. Many of those closed shops you referred to were once Jewish properties. You claim one-third of settlement land is privately owned by Palestinians.
Not according to the Israeli Supreme Court - the "paragon of justice, decency, and fairness" - that allowed the construction of settlements on "state land." When a settlement was built on private land, the court ordered it removed immediately. (The Elon Moreh case.) The delay of sick Palestinians in ambulances at checkpoints is tragic, but the use of those ambulances to ferry explosives used by suicide bombers is lethal and criminal. I'm not surprised they get delayed at checkpoints.
Your portrait of evil Israelis just can't be complete without the canard of Israelis using five times more water than Palestinians. A study by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences along with their Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli counterparts ten years ago found: "Per capita water use for urban Palestinians reaches a maximum of 100 cubic meters a year, similar to Israeli use." The study suggests that low figures for rural Palestinians "is likely to increase with improvement in the level of living."
Lastly, all modern, developed 21st century societies use much more water than developing societies. Cross the U.S. border into Mexico and per capita water usage drops by two-thirds. The writer served as deputy chief of mission in Israel's embassy in Washington. (New York Times) See also The Two Israels - Nicholas D. Kristof (New York Times)
Israel: Security Must Exist Prior to the Establishment of a Palestinian State - Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni addressed the Berlin Conference in Support of Palestinian Civil Police and the Rule of Law on Tuesday:
We cannot simply determine the border of the Palestinian state, without being able to hand over the keys to an effective and responsible government able to restore law and order - the subject of today's conference - on the other side.
Security, law and order are necessary conditions that must exist prior to the establishment of the Palestinian state. Our ability for compromise during negotiations is dependent on real change in these areas, and also upon appropriate arrangements in the agreement. The faith of the Israeli public in the process is dependent on that.
Israel will not accept another extreme Islamic state - another terror state in the area - or a situation wherein a state is unable to fulfill its commitments and to control its own territory. Take the example of the Gaza Strip. We disengaged from Gaza; we evacuated settlements and redeployed our military. In return, we got terror.
The situation in Gaza must change, and none of us can permit ourselves to take a similar risk regarding the West Bank. The actual security situation in the West Bank, and certainly in Gaza, continues to be difficult. Our ability to remove a roadblock is determined by the security of Israelis on its other side. We must be certain that we are not putting our citizens at risk in any situation.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
No one likes war. War is a horrific affair, bloody and expensive. Sending our men and women into battle to perhaps die or be maimed is an unconscionable thought.
Yet some wars need to be waged, and someone needs to lead. The citizenry and Congress are often ambivalent or largely opposed to any given war.
It's up to our leader to convince them. That's why we call the leader "Commander in Chief."
George W.'s war was no different. There was lots of resistance to it.
Many in Congress were vehemently against the idea.
The Commander in Chief had to lobby for legislative approval.
Along with supporters, George W. used the force of his convictions, the power of his title and every ounce of moral suasion he could muster to rally support.
He had to assure Congress and the public that the war was morally justified, winnable and affordable. Congress eventually came around and voted overwhelmingly to wage war.
George W. then lobbied foreign governments for support. But in the end, only one European nation helped us. The rest of the world sat on its hands and watched.
After a few quick victories, things started to go bad.
There were many dark days when all the news was discouraging. Casualties began to mount.
It became obvious that our forces were too small.
Congress began to drag its feet about funding the effort. Many who had voted to support the war just a few years earlier were beginning to speak against it and accuse the Commander in Chief of misleading them.
Many critics began to call him incompetent, an idiot and even a liar.
Journalists joined the negative chorus with a vengeance. As the war entered its fourth year, the public began to grow weary of the conflict and the casualties.
George W.'s popularity plummeted. Yet through it all, he stood firm, supporting the troops and endorsing the struggle.
Without his unwavering support, the war would have surely ended, then and there, in overwhelming and total defeat.
At this darkest of times, he began to make some changes. More troops were added and trained. Some advisers were shuffled, and new generals installed.
Then, unexpectedly and gradually, things began to improve. Now it was the enemy that appeared to be growing weary of the lengthy conflict and losingsupport. Victories began to come, and hope returned.
Many critics in Congress and the press said the improvements were just George W.'s good luck. The progress, they said, would be temporary. He knew, however, that in warfare good fortune counts.
Then, in the unlikeliest of circumstances and perhaps the most historic example of military luck, the enemy blundered and was resoundingly defeated. After six long years of war, the Commander in Chief basked in a most hard-fought victory.
So on that historic day, Oct. 19, 1781, in a place called Yorktown, a satisfied George Washington sat upon his beautiful white horse and accepted the surrender of Lord Cornwallis, effectively ending the Revolutionary War.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Alan Comment: Ardent Moslem, Prime Minister Erdogan has for some time been laying the groundwork for the return of Fethullah Gulen, the convicted but pardonned Islamist who will bring a Moslem, Khomeini style, sharia State to Turkey to overthrow the secular one established decades ago by Kemal Atta Turk.
Recently the Turkish Supreme Court, packed with Erdegon chosen judges, heard an appeal on Gulen's previous conviction and (surprise, surprise) found him not guilty of trying to replace the current Constitution with a religious Islamic one.
Gulen, currently in self-imposed exile in Philadelphia, would thus be free to return to Turkey and sow his Islamic, Khomeini type, revolution on the fertile soil Erdegan has been ploughing for him. the country would return to the Ottoman type of Caliphate it used to be historicaly with the Moslem "sharia" law as the over-arching control. Similar to what it is in Islamic Iran.
As "guardians" of the Constitution, the Military will oppose the move and most likely embroil Turkey into an Islamic Iran type revolution - with plenty of bloodshed, as unlike in Iran, the military will not be fooled by some of their own traitorous commanders to turn them neutral and surrender to the jihadists.
With a nucleus of a couple of million supporters, Gulen can easily fan the Moslem fervor Erdegan has helped create and overthrow the Consititution by massive demonstrations and strikes as did Khomeini.
THIS COULD BE WITHIN MONTHS IF ERDEGAN WINS HIS CASE AS DESCRIBED BELOW - READ AND BEWARE!
by Michael Rubin
Sometime this summer, Turkey's Constitutional Court will decide whether Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) violated the "principles of a democratic and secular republic" that undergird the Turkish constitution and should be barred from politics.
Across the Turkish political spectrum, most officials expect the Court to rule against the AKP, thus dissolving the party and banning Erdoğan and his closest aides for at least five years.
Although the prime minister, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, and influential AKP advisers have tried to depict this as the unjust outgrowth of a dispute over headscarves in public universities—and perhaps even a "judicial coup"—the case is legitimate.
Erdoğan's supporters often point to his embrace of the European Union accession process as proof of his liberalism. But Erdoğan has used the EU accession process to unravel Turkey's system of checks and balances. He cares little for EU institutions.
When the European Court of Human Rights upheld a ban on headscarves in public schools—the same ban that the Turkey's own Constitutional Court later upheld—Erdoğan chastised the European justices for applying civil law to a religious matter, declaring, "It is wrong that those who have no connection to this field [of religion] make such a decision…without consulting religious scholars."
Europe's encouragement of Turkish reforms has been important. In a mature democracy, the military should remain aloof from politics. Brussels should be applauded for pressuring Turkey to reform its National Security Council to give the powerful body a civilian majority with a civilian head.
By failing to encourage the creation of an alternate check-and-balance mechanism to replace the military's traditional role as guardian of the constitution, however, the EU committed diplomatic malpractice.
Erdoğan seized the opportunity to run roughshod over Turkish secularism and democracy.
Indeed, despite its self-description as secular, liberal, and democratic, the AKP is quite the opposite.
Babacan ordered Turkish officials to remove references to secularism from Turkey's position paper ahead of EU negotiations over education policy.
Domestically, the AKP has placed religion above the law.
Turkey has long regulated supplemental Koran schools, ensuring instructor qualifications and imposing minimum age requirements to prevent indoctrination. When Saudi mullahs fanned out across Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia to promote a radical version of Islam, they largely bypassed Turkey.
Not only did the AKP loosen limits upon the religious schools, but it also eviscerated the penalties for violations, leading some illegal madrassas to begin advertising openly.
As he consolidates power, Erdoğan has become the Turkish Vladimir Putin.
Upon taking office, Erdoğan sought to lower the mandatory retirement age for public servants from 65 to 61, which effectively allowed his party to appoint almost half of the nation's prosecutors and judges.
With patronage appointments, the prime minister transformed technocratic bodies such as the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF), an entity empowered to seize private businesses and media outlets, into virtual party wings.
The TMSF today is staffed almost entirely by appointees transferred from Saudi-based financial institutions.
Placement in key ministries and government departments used to depend on success in civil service exams. Erdoğan imposed a subjective interview process that enabled him to choose political loyalists.
The practice spread to state-owned industries; Turkish Airlines, for example, began quizzing employees on the Koran.
Women have suffered the most.
As analyst Soner Çağaptay observes in Newsweek, "under the AKP, women are largely excluded from decision-making positions in government and the workforce, relegated to the confines of their homes."
The AKP has even resorted to wiretapping the conversations of its political rivals.
Late last month, Vakit, an Islamist paper close to the AKP, published a wiretap conversation between the opposition's deputy leader and a governor. This episode, which the media have called "Turkey's Watergate," has sent chills through the secular elite.
The AKP has also sought to diminish the power of Turkey's independent judiciary.
In May 2005, AKP co-founder and parliamentary speaker Bülent Arınç said that if the Constitutional Court continued to declare AKP legislation unconstitutional, the AKP might simply dissolve it.
When the Danıştay, the country's supreme administrative court, ruled against the previous government's seizure of a bank and Erdoğan's transfer of its European subsidiary to a political ally, the prime minister ignored the ruling.
Contrary to AKP claims, this summer's Court decision will not mark the end of Turkish democracy, but rather its rebirth.
Erdoğan, too, will begin a new chapter. Even if he is banned from politics, a quirk in Turkish election law would allow him to seek office as an independent.
In other words, Erdoğan could conceivably wind up presiding over other AKP alumni as an independent prime minister.
Here, the issue is less ambition than immunity. When Erdoğan leaves parliament, he will face a multitude of corruption charges.
While compiling his immense wealth, he has refused to give a full financial disclosure.
As the clock runs out on his premiership, Erdoğan has dispensed with even the appearance of legality. He has used the AKP's parliamentary majority to suppress investigation of a recent TMSF deal in which an opposition newspaper and television station were sold to an Erdoğan ally after the prime minister interceded illegally.
Alan note: sounds just like the Mullahs in Islamic Iran methodology and greed and becomes part of the reward of supporting the Isalmic Jihad Gulen will bring with him.
On June 18, Habertürk's Fatih Altaylı reported that the Austrian energy firm OMV has submitted an affidavit swearing that Erdoğan told OMV the way to unfreeze a $3 billion energy project would be to dump its longtime Turkish partner and work instead with his son-in-law.
Perhaps it should not be a surprise, then, that Erdoğan has used what could be his last weeks as prime minister to appoint political loyalists to the Sayıştay, Turkey's supreme court of accounts and audits, which will soon investigate his conduct.
Friday, June 20, 2008
The Moslem oil sheikh can look you in the eye and say:
'We are at war with you infidels and have been since the embargo in the 1970s. You are so arrogant you haven't even recognized it.
You have more missiles, bombs, and technology; so we are fighting with the best weapon we have and extracting on a net basis about $700 billion/year out of your economy.
We will destroy you! Death to you filthy kufar, infidels!
While I am here I would like to thank you for the following:
Not developing your 250-300+ year supply of oil shale and tar sands. We know that if you did this, it would create thousands of good jobs for U.S. citizens, expand your engineering and scientific capabilities, and keep the wealth in the U.S. instead of sending it to us to finance our multi-faceted war against you moronic infidels.
Thanks for limiting Defense Dept. purchases of oil sands from your neighbors to the north. We love it when you confuse and betray your allies.
Thanks for over-regulating every segment of your economy and thus delaying, by decades, the development of sound, practical alternate fuel technologies.
Thanks for limiting drilling off your coasts, in Alaska, and anyplace where there is an insignificant insect, bird, fish, or plant that might be inconvenienced. Better that your people suffer.
Glad to see that our multi-billion petro-dollar funded lobbying efforts have been so effective:
We own your President;
we own some of your past presidents;
we own many of your Senators and congressmen, and they dance when we tell them to dance, and they vote the way we want them to vote, not the way you dorks want them to vote.
We have placed our people or our surrogates in high places and your so called national security organizations are ineffective jokes.
Corn based Ethanol. Praise Allah for this sham program! Perhaps you will destroy yourself from the inside with theses types of policies.
This idiocy of yours is a gift from Allah, praise his name! We never would have thought of this one! This is better than when you pay your farmers NOT TO GROW FOOD.
Have them use more energy to create less energy, and simultaneously drive up food prices.
Thank you, U.S. Congress!
And finally, we appreciate you letting us fleece you without end.
You will be glad to know we have been accumulating shares in your banks, real estate, and publicly held companies.
We also finance a good portion of your debt and now manipulate your markets, currency, and economy, as well as brainwash your silly children for our benefit.
THANK YOU AMERICA!
You stupid fools! Praise Allah!!
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
By George Friedman
The Irish voted against a proposed European Union treaty that included creation of a full-time president, increased power to pursue a European foreign policy and increased power for Europe’s parliament.
Since the European constitutional process depends on unanimous consent by all 27 members, the Irish vote effectively sinks this version of the new constitution, much as Dutch and French voters sank the previous version in 2005.The Irish vote was not a landslide.
Only 54 percent of the voters cast their ballots against the constitution. But that misses the point. Whether it had been 54 percent for or against the constitution, the point was that the Irish were deeply divided. In every country, there is at least a substantial minority that opposes the constitution.
Given that all 27 EU countries must approve the constitution, the odds against some country not sinking it are pretty long. The Europeans are not going to get a strengthened constitution this way.
But the deeper point is that you can’t create a constitution without a deep consensus about needing it. Even when there is — as the United States showed during its Civil War — critical details not settled by consensus can lead to conflict.
In the case of the United States, the issues of the relative power of states and the federal government, along with the question of slavery, ripped the country apart. They could only be settled by war and a series of amendments to the U.S. Constitution forced through by the winning side after the war.
The Constitutional Challenge
Creating a constitution is not like passing a law — and this treaty was, in all practical terms, a constitution.
Constitutions do not represent public policy, but a shared vision of the regime and the purpose of the nation. The U.S. Constitution was born in battle. It emerged from a long war of independence and from the lessons learned in that war about the need for a strong executive to wage war, a strong congress to allocate funds and raise revenue, and a judiciary to interpret the constitution. War, along with the teachings of John Locke, framed the discussions in Philadelphia, because the founders’ experience in a war where there was only a congress and no president convinced them of the need for a strong executive.
And even that was not enough to prevent civil war over the issue of state sovereignty versus federal sovereignty. Making a constitution is hard.The European constitution was also born in battle, but in a different way.
For centuries, the Europeans had engaged in increasingly savage wars. The question they wanted to address was how to banish war from Europe. In truth, that decision was not in their hands, but in the hands of Americans and Soviets.
But the core issue remained: how to restrain European savagery. The core idea was relatively simple. European wars arose from European divisions; and, for centuries, those divisions ran along national lines.
If a United States of Europe could be created on the order of the United States of America, then the endless battling of France, Germany and England would be eliminated. In the exhaustion of the postwar world — really lasting through the lives of the generation that endured World War II — the concept was deeply seductive. Europe after World War II was exhausted in every sense. It allowed its empires to slip away with a combination of indifference and relief.
What Europeans wanted postwar was to make a living and be left alone by ideology and nationalism; they had experienced quite enough of those two. Even France under the influence of Charles de Gaulle, the champion of the idea of the nation-state and its interests, could not arouse a spirit of nationalism anywhere close to what had been.
There is a saying that some people are exhausted and confuse their state with virtue. If that is true, then it is surely true of Europe in the last couple of generations. The European Union reflected these origins.
It began as a pact — the European Community — of nations looking to reduce tariff barriers. It evolved into a nearly Europe-wide grouping of countries bound together in a trade bloc, with many of those countries sharing a common currency. Its goal was not the creation of a more perfect union, or, as the Americans put it, a “novus ordo seclorum.”
It was not to be the city on the hill. Its commitment was to a more prosperous life, without genocide. Though not exactly inspiring, given the brutality of European history, it was not a trivial goal.The problem was that when push came to shove, the European Community evolved into the European Union, which consisted of four things:
1. A free trade zone with somewhat synchronized economic polices, not infrequently overridden by the sovereign power of member states.
2. A complex bureaucracy designed to oversee the harmonization of European economies. This was seen as impenetrable and engaged in intensive and intrusive work from the trivial to the extremely significant, charged with defining everything from when a salami may be called a salami and whether Microsoft was a monopoly.
3. A single currency and central bank to which 15 of the 27 EU members subscribed.
4. Had Ireland voted differently, a set of proto-institutions would have been created — complete with a presidency and foreign policy chief — which would have given the European Union the trappings of statehood.
The president, who would rotate out of office after a short time, would have been the head of one of the EU member states.
Rejecting a European Regime
The Irish referendum was all about transforming the fourth category into a regime. The Irish rejected it not because they objected to the first three sets of solutions — they have become the second-wealthiest country in Europe per capita under their aegis.
They objected to it because they did not want to create a European regime.
As French and Dutch voters have said before, the Irish said they want a free trade zone. They will put up with the Brussels bureaucracy even though its intrusiveness and lack of accountability troubles them.
They can live with a single currency so long as it does not simply become a prisoner of German and French economic policy. But they do not want to create a European state.
The French and German governments do want to create such a state.
As with the creation of the United States, the reasons have to do with war, past and future. Franco-German animosity helped created the two world wars of the 20th century. Those two powers now want a framework for preventing war within Europe.
They also — particularly the French — want a vehicle for influencing the course of world events. In their view, the European Union, as a whole, has a gross domestic product comparable to that of the United States. It should be the equal of the United States in shaping the world. This isn’t simply a moral position, but a practical one.
The United States throws its weight around because it can, frequently harming Europe’s interests. The French and Germans want to control the United States.To do this, they need to move beyond having an economic union.
They need to have a European foreign and defense policy. But before they can have that, they need a European government that can carry out this policy.
And before they can have a European government they must have a European regime, before which they must have a European constitution that enumerates the powers of the European president, parliament and courts.
They also need to specify how these officials will be chosen. The French and Germans would welcome all this if they could get it. They know, given population, economic power and so on, that they would dominate the foreign policy created by a European state.
Not so the Irish and Danes; they understand they would have little influence on the course of European foreign policy. They already feel the pain of having little influence on European economic policy, particularly the policies of the European Central Bank (ECB).
Even the French public has expressed itself in the 2006 election about fears of Brussels and the ECB. But for countries like Ireland and Denmark, each of which fought very hard to create and retain their national sovereignty, merging into a Europe in which they would lose their veto power to a European parliamentary and presidential system is an appalling prospect.
Economists always have trouble understanding nationalism.
To an economist, all human beings are concerned with maximizing their own private wealth. Economists can never deal with the empirical fact that this simply isn’t true. Many Irish fought against being cogs in a multinational British Empire.
The Danes fought against being absorbed by Germany.
The prospect of abandoning the struggle for national sovereignty to Europe is not particularly pleasing, even if it means economic advantage.
Europe is not going to become a nation-state in the way the United States is. It is increasingly clear that Europeans are not going to reach a consensus on a European constitution.
They are not in agreement on what European institutions should look like, how elections should be held and, above all, about the relation between individual nations and a central government. The Europeans have achieved all they are going to achieve.
They have achieved a free trade zone with a regulatory body managing it. They have created a currency that is optional to EU members, and from which we expect some members to withdraw from at times while others join in.
There will be no collective European foreign or defense policy simply because the Europeans do not have a common interest in foreign and defense policy.
Paris Reads the Writing on the Wall
The French have realized this most clearly. Once the strongest advocates of a federated Europe, the French under President Nicolas Sarkozy have started moving toward new strategies. Certainly, they remain committed to the European Union in its current structure, but they no longer expect it to have a single integrated foreign and defense policy.
Instead, the French are pursuing initiatives by themselves. One aspect of this involves drawing closer to the United States on some foreign policy issues. Rather than trying to construct a single Europe that might resist the United States — former President Jacques Chirac’s vision — the French are moving to align themselves to some degree with American policies.
Iran is an example.The most intriguing initiative from France is the idea of a Mediterranean union drawing together the countries of the Mediterranean basin, from Algeria to Israel to Turkey.
Apart from whether these nations could coexist in such a union, the idea raises the question of whether France (or Italy or Greece) can simultaneously belong to the European Union and another economic union.
While questions — such as whether North African access to the French market would provide access to the rest of the European Union — remain to be answered, the Germans have strongly rejected this French vision.The vision derives directly from French geopolitical reality.
To this point, the French focus has been on France as a European country whose primary commitment is to Europe. But France also is a Mediterranean country, with historical ties and interests in the Mediterranean basin.
France’s geographical position gives it options, and it has begun examining those options independent of its European partners.The single most important consequence of the Irish vote is that it makes clear that European political union is not likely to happen.
It therefore forces EU members to consider their own foreign and defense policies — and, therefore, their own geopolitical positions. Whether an economic union can survive in a region of political diversity really depends on whether the diversity evolves into rivalry.
While that has been European history, it is not clear that Europe has the inclination to resurrect national rivalries. At the same time, if France does pursue interests independent of the Germans, the question will be this:
Will the mutual interest in economic unity override the tendency toward political conflict?
The idea was that Europe would moot the question by creating a federation. That isn’t going to happen, so the question is on the table. And that question can be framed simply: When speaking of political and military matters, is it reasonable any longer to use the term Europe to denote a single entity?
Europe, as it once was envisioned, appears to have disappeared in Ireland.
Alan Note: with Islam and sharia law permeating Europe and to a noticeable extent taking over the region, Europe is in a lot more of a disarray than not being able to have an unanimous vote on a Consittution. In a couple of decades, or less, Europe as it now knows itself may no longer exist.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
By The Associated Press
Tags: North Korea, nuclear weapons
An international smuggling ring may have secretly shared blueprints for an advanced nuclear weapon with Iran, North Korea and other rogue countries, The Washington Post reported Sunday. The now-defunct ring led by Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan is previously known to have sold bomb-related parts to Libya, Iran and North Korea.
A draft report by former top United Nations arms inspector David Albright says the smugglers also acquired designs for building a more sophisticated compact nuclear device that could be fitted on a type of ballistic missile used by Iran and other developing countries, according to the Post.
The drawings were discovered in 2006 on computers owned by Swiss businessmen; they were recently destroyed by the Swiss government under the supervision of the UN nuclear watchdog agency to keep them out of terrorists' hands.
But U.N. officials said they could not rule out that the material had already been shared. These advanced nuclear weapons designs may have long ago been sold off to some of the most treacherous regimes in the world, Albright wrote in the draft report, which was expected to be published later this week, the Post reported.
A spokesman for the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, Nadeem Kiani, did not rebut the report's findings.
The government of Pakistan has adequately investigated allegations of nuclear proliferation by A.Q. Khan and shared the information with the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency, Kiani told the Post. It considers the A.Q. Khan affair to be over.
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Saturday, June 7, 2008
There was a pre-Lewinsky time, before moral relativism blurred America's vision, when associating with people like Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers would have automatically excluded someone from attaining the highest office in the land.
Back then, anyone with well known connections to such America-averse personalities would have been rejected by a super-majority of the electorate during primary season and almost certainly blocked by the Democratic Party before they could have gotten to within a mile of the White House.
But those days -- when patriotic, true liberals like Joe Lieberman were considered typical Democratic Party politicians -- are gone.
Now politicians like Lieberman are banished to the Party's periphery and leftists, not liberals, like Denis Kucinich, Bernie Sanders, Jim McDermott, John Kerry, (who served in Vietnam), Jim McGovern, Patrick Leahy, Richard Durbin, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have replaced them.
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Friday, June 6, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
That's the message that Obama supporters are trying to put out and they have a point. After all McCain is clearly old.
McCain is an aged 71 while Obama is a spring chicken at the tender age of 46.
Unlike McCain, Obama is unconfused and on the ball all the time. As shown below. What happens if he gets confused? Global annihilation?
For example Obama knows that there are 57 states in the Union and he's visited every one of them.
Obama knows that 10,000 people died in a Kansas tornado that killed only 10 people. Clearly math was never his strong subject.
At Selma, Obama informed us that his parents met four years after he was born and that his Kenyan diplomat father had a flag draped coffin.
He knows that Canada's Prime Minister is actually a President
Obama knows they speak Arabic in Afghanistan and that there are poppy fields in Iraq
Obama knows that Matt Lauer is really Tim Russert
Obama had no idea whatsoever that his home church and the reverend with whom he had a 20 year relationship was a crazy america hating racist.
Hell Obama couldn't even figure out how to use the voting buttons in the Illinois State Senate
Barack Obama angered fellow Democrats in the Illinois Senate when he voted to strip millions of dollars from a child welfare office on Chicago's West Side.
But Obama had a ready explanation: He goofed."I was not aware that I had voted no," he said that day in June 2002, asking that the record be changed to reflect that he "intended to vote yes."
On March 19, 1997, he announced he had fumbled an election-reform vote the day before, on a measure that passed 51 to 6: "I was trying to vote yes on this, and I was recorded as a no," he said.
The next day, he acknowledged voting "present" on a key telecommunications vote.
He stood on March 11, 1999, to take back his vote against legislation to end good-behavior credits for certain felons in county jails. "I pressed the wrong button on that," he said.
Obama was the lone dissenter on Feb. 24, 2000, against 57 yeas for a ban on human cloning. "I pressed the wrong button by accident," he said.
On Nov. 14, 1997, he backed legislation to permit riverboat casinos to operate even when the boats were dockside.
Moments after its passage he rose to say, "I'd like to be recorded as a no vote," explaining that he had mistakenly voted for it.
Maybe Obama was just tired all these years and needed a nap.
Let's just hope he manages to figure out how the nuclear button and the intercom button works before he blows up the planet while trying to order some Spanish ham.
But don't worry, when Obama's campaign makes a mistake, it's always his staffers who are at fault.
After the Politico raised questions about questionnaire Obama filled out in 1996, Obama supporter Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wa., took to Tucker Carlson's MSNBC Show to say, "He didn't fill it out and he did not support those positions then . . . That was a questionnaire filled out in his first state Senate campaign back in 1996 not by Senator Obama but by somebody on his staff that didn't get it cleared."
Well that sort of thing can happen once or twice, right? Or over and over again.
But what can you expect from a guy who doesn't even know what letters he's writing or for whom?
In a March 2008 interview with the Chicago Sun-Times to answer questions about Tony Rezko, Obama was asked about the fact that Obama had told the newspaper in November 2006 that he had never been asked to do anything to advance Rezko's business interests.
But the Sun-Times had subsequently learned about a October 28, 1998 letter Obama wrote to city and state housing officials on behalf of a housing project for seniors that Rezko was working on.Responded Obama: "I wasn't even aware that we wrote the letter.
The answer that I gave at the time was accurate as far as I knew...This was one of many form letters, or letters of recommendation we would send out constantly for all sorts of projects. And my understanding is that our letter was just one of many. And I wasn’t a decision maker in any of this process.”
Who does the buck stop with? Not with Barack Obama who barely even knows when he's writing a letter in support of building a senior center on a toxic chemical spill waste site for the guy closely tied to his law firm who raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for him.
I mean whatdaya expect anyway?
He's not a decision maker.
But with all of Obama's confusion and his ignorance of how many states there are and his constant inability to keep his staff from fooling him, maybe Obama is just too old and confused to be President.
At 46 isn't it time for Barack Obama who has had a dignified record of pressing the wrong buttons in the Illinois Senate and a hundred days or so in the US Senate voting Present on many major issues, to be put out to pasture and retire so he can finally enjoy the good life?
Far be it from me to mock Obama's premature senility but it would seem that his age and mental confusion makes the Presidency a too high pressure job for someone with his fragile memory and awareness.
Instead maybe it's time for the Democratic party to let in some fresh new blood such as 32 year old Rep. Patrick McHenry from North Carolina or 21 year old superdelegate Jason Rae.
They clearly have the fresh ideas and the experience garnered from years of videogaming to figure out which buttons to press to vote on crucial issues.If younger is better, than we can certainly do better than Obama.
It's time for new ideas and less confusion. It's time for Obama to take his nap and make way for the younger generation. The fact is he's clearly too old and confused to be President anyway.
Obama is too Old and Confused to be President