BURIED NEWS: CHINA SETTING UP AN AIRSTRIP CLOSE TO HAWAII
By Monica Showalter, February 11, 2022
As if the U.S. were not in bad enough shape militarily, China has a little surprise for us.
Here's the buried news item from Politico's national security newsletter, dated Jan. 11:
A “SURPRISE” IN THE PACIFIC: U.S. Indo-Pacific coordinator KURT CAMPBELL says the region could be in store for a “strategic surprise” — comments that Reuters’ DAVID BRUNNSTROM and KIRSTY NEEDHAM describe as “apparently referring to possible Chinese ambitions to establish Pacific-island bases.”
“If you look and if you ask me, where are the places where we are most likely to see certain kinds of strategic surprise — basing or certain kinds of agreements or arrangements — it may well be in the Pacific,” Campbell said Monday at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event.
“We have a very short amount of time, working with partners like Australia, like New Zealand, like Japan, like France, who have an interest in the Pacific, to step up our game across the board,” Campbell added, revealing it was the issue he is “most concerned about” for the next couple years.As Brunnstrom and Needham note, “lawmakers from the Pacific island republic of Kiribati told Reuters last year China has drawn up plans to upgrade an airstrip and bridge” on the small island of Kanton, southwest of Hawaii. The construction “would offer China a foothold deep in territory that had been firmly aligned to the United States and its allies since World War Two.”
That news is a month old, and I happened upon it by accident while researching Ukraine, yet how many people saw it? Did Joe Biden see it? Did anyone in the Biden administration who has Joe's feeble ear see it? Was there a news conference about this alarming development? It was buried down at the bottom in the Politico report and I sure didn't see it until now. The report keys off a Reuters report, which came and went, too.
Sure, it's just an analyst at a conference. Sure, it's just a guy speculating...
But look at the content:
China is building an airstrip about as close to Hawaii as it's possible to get,
well closer than Hawaii is to the mainland -- check the Google map screenshot
below -- and does anyone not think that China's sudden interest in constructing
things in that middle-of-nowhere part of the Pacific is about anything else but
menacing Hawaii? The strip is roughly 2,000 miles from Honolulu, while San Diego
is 2,600 miles from Honolulu and 3,300 miles from Kiribati. Based on advanced
fighter jet technology, 2,000-mile distances are doable and the shorter distance
provides some useful possibilities for China - not just in launching an attack,
but in constructing more lily-pad atolls.
China is building an airstrip on an inhabited island or atoll (reports give different descriptions) in the island archipelago nation of Kiribati, which in 2019 moved its relations from Taiwan to China, and now China is going all in on developing an airstrip for 'peaceful purposes,' as it claims.
Kiribati is a longtime friendly U.S. ally with close relations dating back to World War II. All of a sudden, we seem to have lost that relationship, with the Biden administration mismanaging it. Now Kiribati has gone off and allowed China to build its airstrip and analysts such as Campbell, cited above, consider this a likely platform for a "strategic surprise."
Campbell warned that it was the issue that he was "most concerned about in the next year or two," but then, from the Reuters report, goes on to spout nonsense about putting Kiribati on a "green energy" program as a supposedly solution. That's part of the problem. None of these things has anything to do with strategic superiority, pricey green energy is all part of the wokester madness that has gripped the military-industrial-consultant complex, with everything from pronouns to "green bullets" taking precedence over actual military superiority.
That's what we are stuck with as Joe Biden gets us bogged down in wokester military tripe with failed Gen. Mark Milley there to scare our enemies. He's also focused and bogged down in Ukraine, even sending Kamala Harris to get underfoot at a big conference in Europe, as the Europeans try to handle the matter.
While all that has his limited attention span in thrall, the Chicoms have gotten busy and analysts like Campbell say they've got a surprise for us.
I have no idea how they
are going to solve this, given that so much has been ignored and mismanaged in
the run-up to this. But what we have now is the U.S. being boxed in and losing
even its strategic advantage through its Hawaiian vantage point. That suggests
the surprise could be ugly and this won't end well for us so long as we have a
walking corpse unaware of anything going on beyond his porridge now padding the
halls of the Oval Office.
Reprinted with permission from the American Thinker: https://www.americanthinker.com
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'FAILED MISERABLY' --
PENTAGON'S WARGAME FAILURE SIGNALS THAT
WOKESTER GENERALS ARE FIGHTING THE LAST WARS
By Monica Showalter, July 27, 2021
The Pentagon's wokester generals, such as chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, have touted Critical Race Theory as the
military's focus and a great success story.
The guy under him, though, didn't have such good news.
According to DefenseOne (hat tip: Mickey Kaus):
A brutal loss in a wargaming exercise last October convinced the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. John Hyten to scrap the joint warfighting concept that had guided U.S. military operations for decades.
"Without overstating the issue, it failed miserably. An aggressive red team that had been studying the United States for the last 20 years just ran rings around us. They knew exactly what we're going to do before we did it," Hyten told an audience Monday at the launch of the Emerging Technologies Institute, an effort by the National Defense Industrial Association industry group to speed military modernization.
The Pentagon would not provide the name of the wargame, which was classified, but a defense official said one of the scenarios revolved around a battle for Taiwan. One key lesson: gathering ships, aircraft, and other forces to concentrate and reinforce each other's combat power also made them sitting ducks.
"We always aggregate to fight, and aggregate to survive. But in today's world, with hypersonic missiles, with significant long-range fires coming at us from all domains, if you're aggregated and everybody knows where you are, you're vulnerable," Hyten said.
Even more critically, the blue team lost access to its networks almost immediately.
This is ugly stuff. The military's top strategic and tactical maneuvers — such as the massing of force (remember "shock and awe"?) and information dominance from Big Tech, fell into enemy hands like a captured weapon. Long-range missiles made amassed force a liability, as such targets are easy to spot in a big group, while cyber-hacks (notice how those are stepping up?) took care of the rest, leaving the ships virtually useless with no information to go on.
Both things have served the U.S. well in the last wars, from the Persian Gulf War of 1991 to the Iraq and Afghanistan endless wars that followed. Apparently, the long endless wars that never ended until apparently now on Joe Biden's watch served as a study point for our enemies to observe our strategies and tactics. Leaving the show on for a long time permitted authentic enemies with big firepower, such as Russia and China, all the study time they needed to get a sense of how our military operates.
The fact that the Pentagon didn't seem to know that, or if it did, didn't know what to do about it, highlights just why a long, endless war against a hardly-worth-the-bother enemy, such as the stone-age Taliban, shouldn't be done — making President Trump right again.
Now the U.S. is being caught flat-footed in the real prospect of another war, something that can only embolden our enemies as they see how easy this is to do. They've prepared, while the Pentagon went wokester.
If we had a real president in office, these people would be fired as a hazard to national security. They are hidebound, bureaucrat-bound, law-bound, and fighting the last wars. They all should be fired before something awful happens. If it really did happen, it sure would shake up the likeliest enemies of the U.S., who'd no longer have the easy blueprint they seem to have now.
Reprinted with permission from the American Thinker: https://www.americanthinker.com
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STANDS UP FOR AN EMBEZZLER, BUT NOT FOR A MILLION SLAVES
By Don Surber, 4/19/2021 https://donsurber.blogspot.com
Remember way back on January 19, when
America had a president?
The Biden administration sent one of its boys -- national security adviser Jake Sullivan -- on CNN to rattle a saber over the imprisonment of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, who is in prison on embezzlement charges, a fact that CNN conveniently omitted from its report.
Sullivan said, "We have communicated to the Russian government that what happens to Mr. Navalny in their custody is their responsibility and they will be held accountable by the international community. In terms of the specific measures that we would take, we are looking at a variety of different costs that we would impose and I’m not going to telegraph that publicly at this point.
"But we have communicated that there will be consequences if Mr. Navalny dies."
Ah yes, the vaunted International Community.
You know, the same lummoxes who cower before Red China and refuse to call it out for enslaving and sterilizing a million Uighur Muslims.
Why are we punishing Russia for imprisoning Navalny? Our own American dissident, Lyndon LaRouche, went to prison after being convicted of mail fraud after running for president in 1976, 1980, 1984, and 1988. He ran four more times, including 1992 when he ran from prison.
Being a dissident does not grant one immunity from prosecution. Let us not deify Navalny. He falls somewhere between Konrad Adenauer and LaRouche when it comes to dissidents.
The same people who decry a fake interference by Russia in our 2016 presidential campaign are trying to interfere with Russia's next election.
The hypocrisy does not bother me because I expect Washington Establishment politicos and pundits to be hypocrites who do exactly the opposite of what they say.
My complaint is that this is a phony issue compared to the very real enslavement and pending genocide of Uighur Muslim in Red China.
Threats of sanctions on Russia are tiresome and pointless.
Sanctions on Red China would get response.
But Biden owes his presidency to the Communist Covid, does he not?
So the sabers are rattled on CNN against Russia, while Nike continue to import its slave-made shoes unmolested.
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TRUMP: "IF I DON'T WIN THE
ELECTION, CHINA WILL OWN THE UNITED STATES
ANDERS HAGSTROM, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, August 11, 2020
Trump suggested Tuesday that Americans would have to learn Chinese if he loses
the 2020 election, highlighting a U.S. intelligence report saying the communist
country wants former Vice President Joe Biden to win the November election.
Trump made the comments during a radio appearance on conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt’s show. Trump has turned his criticism of China into a major pillar of his reelection effort in recent weeks, blaming the regime for allowing coronavirus to build into a pandemic.
“If I don’t win the election, China will own the United States,” Trump said. “You’re going to have to learn to speak Chinese.”
Trump’s statement comes days after the office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) announced that both China and Russia were attempting to interfere in the 2020 election, and respectively for the opposing parties. China, the report said, would prefer a Biden presidency, while Russia would prefer Trump stay.
“We assess that China prefers that President Trump – whom Beijing sees as unpredictable – does not win reelection,” the statement said. “China has been expanding its influence efforts ahead of November 2020 to shape the policy environment in the United States, pressure political figures it views as opposed to China’s interests, and deflect and counter criticism of China.”
The DNI had a similar statement regarding Russia’s efforts.
“We assess that Russia is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former Vice President Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia ‘establishment,'” Evanina wrote. “This is consistent with Moscow’s public criticism of him when he was Vice President for his role in the Obama Administration’s policies on Ukraine and its support for the anti-Putin opposition inside Russia.
Reprinted with permission from the Daily Caller: https://dailycaller.com
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TRUMP'S OFFER MEXICO COULD NOT REFUSE
By Don Surber, 12/31/2019 https://donsurber.blogspot.com
Amid all the stories about
President Donald John Trump's triumphs in 2019 -- exoneration from Mueller, 3.5%
unemployment, killing al-Baghdadi, and a 33% rise in my 401-k -- having Mexico
protect our border is way down on the list.
Let me raise its profile because President Trump did the nearly impossible by getting Mexico to patrol our border. And he topped that by getting Mexico to keep people seeking asylum there until their cases are adjudicated.
On May 30, as he prepared to leave for a state visit to England, President Trump told Mexico to either start patrolling our border and taking those asylum seekers by the time I get back, or I am imposing a 5% tariff on June 8 that will keep rising until it is 25% in September.
The press howled.
This would destroy the economy.
This would raise the price of avocados.
CNN reported, "Chipotle could raise burrito prices by 5¢ if Mexico tariffs become permanent." Seldom is the network as vapid as it was in that story. And remember, it has 2 hours of Fredo and Don Lemon on each weeknight.
But President Trump is a very stable genius. He had made them an offer they could not refuse. Vice President Mike Pence met with them, and they agreed to patrol our borders and hold those seeking asylum until we could adjudicate their cases. That avoided a tariff.
In her year-end report, Amber Athey wrote, "Trump has implemented a number of new immigration policies since taking office to try to combat the national security and humanitarian crisis on the southern border, but arguably the most successful in the administration’s perspective has been the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, also known as the Remain in Mexico policy.
"The MPP program requires asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their claims are processed in the U.S., clearing some of the overcrowding from U.S. detention centers. In September, nearly 50,000 asylum seekers were held in Mexico under the program. Just 11 of those individuals ultimately qualified for asylum."
Illegal aliens so overwhelmed Yuma, Arizona, that it declared a state of emergency.
This month, it rescinded that declaration.
Mayor Douglas Nicholls said, "I am grateful to be able to withdraw the Proclamation of Emergency due to the Trump Administration's policy changes that diminish the flow of the migrant family units to the Yuma area and prevent releases into the Yuma community."
A media that predicted avocadolypse now ignores the success of President Trump giving Mexico a choice between tariffs and cooperation.
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A FRENCH SOLDIER'S VIEW OF US SOLDIERS IN AFGHANISTAN
By Thomas Lifson, September 9, 2019
A reader who, in this day of blacklists, must remain anonymous, sends this observation about our soldiers in Afghanistan:
It's not unusual for the French to comment on anything American and normally in the negative. What is rare is a Frenchman saying something positive about Americans; in this case heaping praise on our soldiers in Afghanistan.
Blogger and veteran Wes O'Donnell has translated an editorial in a French newspaper from a French soldier serving with a prestigious U.S. infantry battalion. I recommend reading the whole thing. Here are some excerpts:
US soldiers are in top physical shape compared to the French, and it appears much better in infantry tactics. The soldier notes:
Heavily built, fed at the earliest age with Gatorade, proteins, and creatine — they are all heads and shoulders taller than us and their muscles remind us of Rambo. Our frames are amusingly skinny to them — we are wimps, even the strongest of us — and because of that they often mistake us [the French] for Afghans. [snip] Even if some of them are a bit on the heavy side, all of them provide us everyday with lessons in infantry know-how. Beyond the wearing of a combat kit that never seems to discomfort them (helmet strap, helmet, combat goggles, rifles etc.) the long hours of watch at the outpost never seem to annoy them in the slightest.
In combat, US soldiers go on the offense in every encounter with the enemy in contrast to soldiers of other nations who have been taught to first defend and await orders:
And combat? If you have seen Rambo you have seen it all — always coming to the rescue when one of our teams gets in trouble, and always in the shortest delay. That is one of their tricks: they switch from T-shirt and sandals to combat ready in three minutes. Arriving in contact with the enemy, the way they fight is simple and disconcerting: they just charge! They disembark and assault in stride, they bomb first and ask questions later — which cuts any pussyfooting short.
To those who bestow us with the honor of sharing their combat outposts and who everyday give proof of their military excellence, to those who pay the daily tribute of America's army's deployment on Afghan soil, to those we owned this article, ourselves hoping that we will always remain worthy of them and to always continue hearing them say that we are all the same band of brothers.
Maybe the socialist candidates for president should be given a copy of this editorial, but they likely wouldn't read it, and if they did, they wouldn't acknowledge our brave warriors in the field.
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RARE EARTH MINERALS AND
By Mac MacDowell, June 3, 2019
There seems to be a similarity between international trade disputes and Texas Hold’em. There is always a certain amount of bluff that is part of the negotiations. The question is, how much is a bluff and how much is not. The Peoples Republic of China (PRC) has just revealed that they are going to use their stake in rare earth minerals production as their show card. Make no mistake -- the communist government is not bluffing. However, one good card does not make a winning hand.
To understand the problem, we first must understand where rare earth mineral deposits are found and why, we in the United States, no longer mine the deposits that we have domestically.
Rare earth minerals are found in a number of areas around the world, including North America. Rare earths are comprised of the 15 Lanthanide Elements in the periodic table and two outliers; Scandium and Yttrium. As with many mineral deposits, there are also other less desirable minerals collocated in these veins of rare earth minerals. These include uranium and thorium, which are radioactive.
When exploiting a deposit of rare earth minerals, the processing of the minerals leaves behind “mining tailings” of radioactive thorium and uranium. Although uranium has a market value, thorium currently is classified as radioactive waste which, according the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must be handled in a very specific and costly way to protect the ground water and the environment in general from becoming dangerously radioactive. These requirements make exploiting the domestic deposits of rare earth minerals prohibitively expensive.
By contrast, China does not care about the environmental impacts
of industry, which explains the toxic air quality of cities like Shanghai and
Beijing. The mining operations of the Chinese rare earth mineral deposits leaves
behind huge toxic and radioactive waste dumps. By simply refusing to clean up
their act, they can produce these minerals at a cost more competitive than
domestically produced rare earth minerals. This is how China has captured 97% of
the rare earth minerals market share.
This economic and environmental problem can be solved both in the short term and the long term because thorium is a very useful element. Thorium can be used in special type of nuclear reactor which has been shown to be proliferation resistant and safer than the High Pressure Water Reactors (HPWR) which are based upon uranium. Back in the early 1960s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) built a Liquid Fluoride-Thorium salt reactor (LFTR). The reactor was designed by Dr. Alvin Weinberg, who was the director of ORNL. The reactor operated without incident for a number of years before it was shut down by Congress in favor of fast breeder reactors and HPWR because each of these types of reactors produce weapons grade fissile plutonium and uranium which was in great demand because of the Cold War arms race.
The demonstration of the LFTR reactor was a magnificent success.
It proved that LFTR types of reactors were safer than uranium-based HPWR in a
number of ways: In a worst-case scenario, such as the Chernobyl meltdown, when
there is a breach in the containment
vessel (a profoundly dangerous event), a HPWR molten core will continue to melt through the Earth causing a “China Syndrome” event with the molten core continuing through the Earth until it hits ground water, then explosively spewing radioactive steam back up the same path into the atmosphere killing some in the area immediately and other a bit later with leukemia and other forms of cancer.
If a reactor vessel were to be breached in a LFTR, the molten fluoride salts would leak out and solidify and essentially selfheal the breach. Fluoride salts are not water soluble, so even if the breach occurred as the result of a tsunami (as was the triggering event at the Fukushima Daiichi reactor) the salts would only solidify that much faster.
LFTR types of reactors are also proliferation resistant. The byproducts of the operation of LFTR types of reactors are not suitable for nuclear weapons. Additionally, the LFTR types of reactors can be used to “consume” the thousands of spent fuel rods sitting in cooling ponds all over the world at HPWR sites.
The resulting byproducts from this consumption of these fuel rods would be radioactive only for a few hundred years rather than the current timeline of thousands of years for HPWR waste products.
Given that there are no LFTR reactors using thorium in operation, nor even under construction, this is clearly the long-term solution to our rare earth minerals problem.
Because trade negotiations are exclusively a government-to-government process, these solutions must originate with the federal government. The short-term solution is for the federal government to begin a purchasing program of domestic thorium tailings and storing the ore for later use in thorium-based LFTR types of reactors. This is not without precedent since the government had just such a program under the auspices of the Defense National Stockpile Center which has a small stockpile of thorium ore.
Further, Congress could authorize ORNL to begin a program of
cooperation with private industry to develop practical designs for LFTR-type
reactors to produce power as a template to replace the aging nuclear reactors in
the U.S. Needless to say such a power plant would be a zero-emission point
Without such a two-pronged approach, the Chinese will be able to withhold rare earth minerals which will significantly impact the modern 21 Century economic sectors of electronics and automotive industries, where the bulk of these minerals are used.
Mac McDowell worked for over twenty years as a government scientist and is now the Chief Technology Officer at Quantum Industrial Development Corp.
Reprinted with permission from the American Thinker: https://www.americanthinker.com
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THEY VOTED P.U. ON
By Don Surber, May 27, 2019 DonSurber@gmail.com
Nationalists won European
Parliament elections in England, France, Hungary, and Italy on Sunday because
the European Union is the biggest failure since the Soviet Union.
From my side of the ocean, I see people across a continent being told to sacrifice their national identities for the greater good. With some reluctance, they became Europeans.
But then they are told -- again for the greater good -- they must accept millions of people of another race, another religion, and another religion who do not have to assimilate.
Those Europeans who dare object are subject to harassment and jail. There are no-go zones that where Europeans are not allowed -- not even the police.
Add to this the ending of customs and the regulation of life from Brussels and you have alienated a people.
But while GOOD had a good day, EVIL will re-group. It will continue to favor Muslims over Europeans and fight to the last nail. They have no President Trump to rally them. Nigel Farage tries but after a couple of decades, they need new leadership.
England needs another Churchill.
France needs another Joan d'Arc.
As for Italy, I am afraid they have to go back to Julius Caesar.
But the people have grabbed the bureaucrats by the eyeteeth. Now for the strength to shake them till they come back to their senses.
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MORE SPONGING OFF AMERICA
By Don Surber, December 28, 2018 DonSurber@gmail.com
Melanie Phillips, a British
journalist, is a polite lady. She explained President Trump's laissez-faire
foreign policy in polite terms.
"But for the West in general, Trump’s decision has significance far beyond Syria or Iran. It signals the end of America’s role as world policeman — the end of what might be called the Pax Americana dependency culture," she wrote.
But we all know it as sponging off us.
We keep buying the keg, and they keep complaining the beer is too warm. Except the British, of course. They say it is too cold.
Canadian broadcaster Gordon Sinclair blasted this ingratitude in a commentary on June 5, 1973, when we were at a low point. He spoke of all the times we helped a neighbor (even 10,000 miles away) with little appreciation and no reciprocation.
"When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke. I can name to you 5,000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble," he said.
"Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.
"Our neighbors have faced it alone and I am one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. and when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles."
That was 45 years ago.
Finally, a president is ending this nonsense.
Phillips wrote, "He is scandalized by the way in which Europe and the rest of the West have leached off American blood and treasure to safeguard their own security. That’s why he has insisted that other members of NATO increase their contributions to the budget.
"That’s why he is so disdainful of E.U. countries that rail at America even while they are relying on its military and intelligence umbrella to keep them safe.
"That’s why, announcing that Saudi Arabia had responded to the U.S. pullout from Syria by saying it would help finance the rebuilding of the country, he tweeted: 'See? Isn’t it nice when immensely wealthy countries help rebuild their neighbors rather than a Great Country, the US, that is 5000 miles away.'"
Let the Arabs take care of Arabia, the Koreans take care of Korea, and the Europeans take care of Europe.
Her column was in support of supporting Saudi Arabia in its struggle in Yemen against Iran. Sadly, our Congress chose Death to America Iran over the 80-year ally in Riyadh.
That $170 billion Obama and a Republican Congress have Iran paid for lobbying. And likely that lobbying involved money or favors changing hands.
The Swamp is draining. Americans will take care of America.
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PLAYS CHINESE CHECKERS
By Don Surber, August 25, 2018 DonSurber@gmail.com
As readers know, I believe
North Korea's nuclear capabilities ended last September when a tunnel in Mount
Mantap collapsed, killing 200 workers. That was its nuclear testing facility. In
May, Kim Jong Un formally blew up all of that facility. He has since dismantled
his satellite and missile site.
Kim is playing nice, so why did President Trump cancel Pompeo's meeting?
(Twitter Messages) I have asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to go to North Korea, at this time, because I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula...
...Additionally, because of our much tougher Trading stance with China, I do not believe they are helping with the process of denuclearization as they once were (despite the UN Sanctions which are in place)...
...Secretary Pompeo looks forward to going to North Korea in the near future, most likely after our Trading relationship with China is resolved. In the meantime I would like to send my warmest regards and respect to Chairman Kim. I look forward to seeing him soon!
Kim is doing the things we asked, and the president stood him up?
Dilbert's creator has the answer.
Scott Adams Retweeted Donald J. Trump
China loses a bargaining chip.
It is that simple.
North Korea is on our side in the trade war. President Moon of the Republic of Korea has given Kim plenty of economic incentives to de-nuclearize, and Kim wants them. He wants a normal country. Being king of the Hermit Kingdom is no fun. He wants a McDonald's.
And yes, President Trump is behind this. He's the CEO of this project but Moon and Kim are working out the details. It is their peninsula. Let them take care of their problems.
President Trump has a bigger problem to tackle: Red China. He is lining up allies in the trade war. The states in the European Union are siding with us.
Heck, the Obama administration is.
CNBC reported, "The U.S. isn't alone in its frustration with Chinese trade policy, and the Trump administration should take advantage of that, former U.S. trade officials told CNBC on Thursday after the U.S. imposed new tariffs on $16 billion worth of Chinese imports."
It quoted Bruce Andrews, former U.S. deputy secretary of Commerce under Obama.
"I think the Chinese underestimated how frustrated and serious, not only the United States, but the entire global community, is with their practices that they need to change," Andrews said.
Of course, that has been President Trump's plan all along. It has the approval (and maybe authorship) of Arthur Laffer, he of Laffer Curve fame.
"President Trump won a victory for freer trade last week when he and the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, agreed to find ways to lower tariffs and other barriers to each other’s exports. The outlines of the deal are still sketchy, but it calls for the Europeans to buy more American petroleum, soybeans and manufactured goods and for Mr. Trump to reduce his auto and steel tariffs," he and two colleagues wrote last month.
The press called President Trump reckless for imposing those tariffs. Again, they were bargaining chips.
Meanwhile, the Washington Free Beacon reported Red China has bought off the media and political class with donations to the think tanks. I have long held that the Never Trump media reflects its donors.
The money comes from the Chinese Communist Party, which is headed by President Xi (which is why I call him Chairman Xi).
Those working for Red China include the Johns Hopkins School of Advance International Studies. I wish I had known that when I ripped one of its experts.
Others bought off by the Chinese communists include the Brookings Institution, Atlantic Council, Center for American Progress, EastWest Institute, Carter Center, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
This is war. Better a trade war than a military one. Still, you need allies. And you also need to purge the think tanks and cable news panels of their Red Chinese pawns.
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CHINESE ESPIONAGE ‘MOST SIGNIFICANT’ SPY THREAT FACING US
Chuck Ross. 7/19/2018 http://dailycaller.com
rather than Russia, is the “most significant” long-term threat to the United
States, FBI Director Christopher Wray said Wednesday.
During an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt at the Aspen Ideas Forum, Wray said that the FBI has economic espionage investigations in all 50 states that trace back to Chinese activity.
“It covers everything from corn seeds in Iowa to wind turbines in Massachusetts and everything in between,” said Wray.
Most of the forum focused on the FBI’s investigation of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election and in other arenas. Wray’s appearance comes in the wake of two significant indictments in Russia-related investigations. (RELATED: Trump Fights Back Against China By Limiting Chinese Student Visas)
The special counsel’s office on Friday indicted 12 Russian military intelligence officers allegedly involved in disseminating emails stolen from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee. And on Tuesday, a federal grand jury indicted a Russian national named Maria Butina who allegedly attempted to infiltrate Republican political circles and the National Rifle Association. (RELATED: Grand Jury Indicts Russian National Linked To NRA, Adds ‘Foreign Agent’ Charge)
Wray acknowledged the seriousness of the Russian threat, saying that the U.S. has to deal with it “very aggressively.”
“There are certainly other countries that…have their own ways of influencing our public opinion, our politicians, our business community. But there’s no question that Russia has been by far the most aggressive actor in the space we’re talking about right now,” he said of Russia’s campaign-related efforts.
But China is “trying to position itself as the sole dominant superpower,” said Wray. “They’re trying to replace the United States in that role.”
“I think China from a counterintelligence perspective represents in many ways represents the broadest, most challenging, most significant threat we face as a country,” he added.
He said that China’s espionage activities are “a whole of state effort” that involves “economic espionage as well as traditional espionage” and “human sources as well as cyber means.”
“The volume of it, the pervasive of it, the significance of it, is something that I think this country cannot underestimate,” he said.
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SHOWS OUR SPIES ARE LOUSY
By Don Surber, May 21, 2018, DonSurber@gmail.com
Bumbling Bob Mueller's witch hunt is
showing the federal system of spies and prosecutors is incompetent. Among other
things, Mueller indicted a company that did not exist during the time covered in
the indictment. I realize that prosecutors can indict a ham sandwich, but he
indicted an imaginary one.
While the abuse of power is an outrage, the level of incompetence of America's spies and the FBI is stunning.
These jokers fell for a wild tale that Donald John Trump hired hookers to pee in a bed the Obamas once slept in.
You wonder what other tales they have fallen for. I now understand the whole weapons of mass destruction claim (quantities of WMD large enough to pose a threat to the Western world). These people are easily bamboozled.
Consider Mueller. He went after the wrong guy in the post-9/11 anthrax case. The real villain was an anthrax expert in the next office over. Gee, do you think he misled Mueller on this one?
That we have given such a nincompoop like Mueller unchecked power is scary.
But equally scary is how incompetent he and his men are.
That Obama spied on Trump goes without saying. Investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson laid out the timeline for this Russian Dossier investigation. It begins in 2011, with Obama politicizing the National Security Agency just ahead of his re-election.
"2011: U.S. intel community vastly expands its surveillance authority, giving itself permission to spy on Americans who do nothing more than 'mention a foreign target in a single, discrete communication.' Intel officials also begin storing and entering into a searchable database sensitive intelligence on U.S. citizens whose communications are accidentally or 'incidentally' captured during surveillance of foreign targets. Prior to this point, such intelligence was supposed to be destroyed to protect the constitutional privacy rights the U.S. citizens. However, it’s required that names U.S. citizens be hidden or 'masked' – even inside U.S. intel agencies – to prevent abuse," she wrote.
That is an outrageous power handed over to people who believe in urinating ladies of the night. It's like giving your 7-year-old the keys to your Lamborghini.
Obama immediately abused this power. Given his unadulterated hatred of capitalism and Donald Trump -- who began his birther nonsense about this time -- I think we can assume he was among the first unmasked.
Obama corrupted the spy agencies. But they were broken long before he came upon the scene.
These Bozos probably bought the Brooklyn Bridge as well.
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AMERICA FIRST: EUROPEAN CEOS
GO ONE BY ONE TO TELL TRUMP THEY ARE INVESTING BILLIONS BACK IN THE US
By Benny Johnson, 1/25/2018
President Donald J.
Trump hosted a dinner with European business leaders and CEOs at the World
Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland Thursday evening. Trump has been making the
rounds in Davos, holding bilateral meetings with other world leaders and
conducting business roundtables. Trump met with various business leaders in
shadow of the recent economic boom in America.
In a stunning moment, one by one, European titans of industry from companies like Adidas, Siemens and Bayer went around the table to thank Trump for the passage of tax cuts and the easing of corporate tax burdens. Almost every CEO had a new US-based investment or strategic business to announce.
The president of Seimens, Joe Kaeser, said, “since you have been so successful in tax reform we have decided to develop the next generation gas turbines in the United States.”
Trump responded “That’s great!”
Exchanges like this continued all around the table. Those in attendance, according to the White House press pool:
Kasper Rorsted, Adidas (Apparel)—Germany
Joe Kaeser, Siemens AG (Tech)—Germany
Heinrich Hiesinger, Thyssenkrupp AG (Industrials)—Germany
Eldar Saetre, Statoil ASA (Energy)—Norway
Mark Schneider, Nestle SA (Food and Beverage)—Switzerland
Vas Narasimhan, Novartis AG (Pharmaceutical)—Switzerland
Mark Tucker, HSBC (Financial Services)—UK
Patrick Pouyanne, Total SA (Energy)—France
Carols Brito, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (Food and Beverage)—Netherlands
Rajeev Suri, Nokia Corporation (Technology)—Finland
Punit Renjen, Deloitte (Consulting)—UK
Martian Lundstedt, AB Volvo (Auto)—Sweden
Werner Baumann, Bayer AG (Pharmaceutical)—Germany
Bill McDermott, SAP SE (Technology)—Germany
Ulrich Spiesshofer, ABB Ltd (Manufacturing)—Switzerland
An America First moment.
Article reprinted with permission from The Daily Caller: http://dailycaller.com
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TRUMP WINNING IN
By Don Surber, September 21, 2017 http://donsurber.blogspot.com
Every time I get to the
point where I wash my hands of all newspaper columnists, a guy like Paul
Mulshine of the Star-Ledger in New Jersey comes through to renew my faith in a
trade that time should have passed by.
Did you see all those front-page stories last week about how ISIS is getting trounced in Syria?
Neither did I.
In recent weeks, I read more about the high heels that Melania Trump wore on a trip to Texas than I did about the positive developments in a war that was at the center of the foreign-policy debate in last year's presidential election.
That's Trumphobia porn. As Sinatra sang, some people get their kicks stompin' on a dream.
Or maybe they are into
At any rate, they do not want to acknowledge that 62 million people got the election right last year.
Mulshine went back a couple of years to a Republican debate on Syria.
Donald Trump went against most of the candidates from his own party in welcoming the Russian military into the war against ISIS as an ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
"Russia wants to get rid of ISIS as much as we do because they don't want them coming into Russia," he said way back in 2015.
Contrast this with the view of the Beltway establishment as voiced by none other than our own Chris Christie, who was then running against the Donald for the Republican nomination.
Around that time, Christie asked the voters to "Put me in the ring with Putin" and threatened to shoot down any Russian planes that entered the no-fly zone he would set up in Syria.
That was the conventional wisdom.
Trump, who built a resort
in Dubai, and his secretary of state, who headed Exxon, had practical
President Trump is working with Syria, Russia, and whoever else he can to destroy the Islamic State.
The truly weird thing about this foreign-policy debate is that the hard-headed realists who warned against these adventures are to this day considered outliers inside the Beltway and in the mainstream media.
Meanwhile the fantasists who had dreams of turning places like Syria into Swedish democracies are still the dominated voices.
Meanwhile, thanks to the Islamic State, Sweden may soon get a taste of Muslim "democracy."
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THEY SIGNED THE PARIS
AGREEMENT -- THEN BOUGHT OUR COAL
By Don Surber, July 30, 2017 http://donsurber.blogspot.com
Remember Larry Groce's song "Junk Food Junkie"?
Yeah, in the daytime I'm Mister Natural
Just as healthy as I can be
But at night I'm a junk food junkie
Good lord have pity on me
So it goes with Europe.
In the daytime, they're Mister Climate Change -- just as renewable
energy as can be.
But at night they await shipment of their coal from overseas.
U.S. exports of coal rose 60%, Reuters reported.
The previously unpublished figures provided to Reuters by the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed exports of the fuel from January through May totaled 36.79 million tons, up 60.3 percent from 22.94 million tons in the same period in 2016. While reflecting a bounce from 2016, the shipments remained well-below volumes recorded in equivalent periods the previous five years.
They included a surge to several European countries during the 2017 period, including a 175 percent increase in shipments to the United Kingdom, and a doubling to France - which had suffered a series of nuclear power plant outages that required it and regional neighbors to rely more heavily on coal.
"If Europe wants to lecture Trump on climate then EU member states need transition plans to phase out polluting coal," said Laurence Watson, a data scientist working on coal at independent think tank Carbon Tracker Initiative in London.
Don't worry, Europe. We'll keep secret your need for coal as a backup to all that wind and solar energy you pretend are all you need.
Don't forget, West Virginia coal is the best. Doesn't pollute like that brown coal the Germans and the Poles have.
Both the coal industry and the Trump administration said the rising exports of both steam coal, used to generate electricity, and metallurgical coal, used in heavy industry, were evidence that Trump's agenda was having a positive impact.
"Simply to know that coal no longer has to fight the government -- that has to have some effect on investment decisions and in the outlook by companies, producers and utilities that use coal," said Luke Popovich, a spokesman for the National Mining Association.
Shaylyn Hynes, a spokeswoman at the U.S. Energy Department, said: "These numbers clearly show that the Trump Administration's policies are helping to revive an industry that was the target of costly and job killing over-regulation from Washington for far too long."
But hey, my moral and intellectual superiors tell me coal is dead.
Reprinted with permission DonSurber@gmail.com
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WEAKNESS = SMELLING BLOOD = WAR
Jerry Philipson, September 13, 2011
War between Israel and one or more of her neighbors is fast approaching. The situation in the Middle East is becoming more volatile and explosive by the minute because Arab/Islamic countries in the region think the United States under President Obama is too weak to come to Israel's assistance if she is attacked in force, and Israel is too weak to defend herself by herself. In the Middle East strength trumps all, and it is only a matter of time before Israel is attacked in force by Egypt, Turkey, Syria, Iran or any combination thereof, with the support, tacit or otherwise, of any number of other actors. Perceived American and Israeli weakness means that the Arab/Islamic world in the Middle East is smelling blood and we can expect a full-scale military conflagration as a result.
The recent attack on the Israeli embassy in Cairo and Egypt's blatant failure to secure it, Turkey's continued provocations and saber-rattling toward Israel, Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons and her undoubted intention to use them against Israel, the ongoing attacks from Gaza and the U.S. failure to intervene in Syria (among many, many other things) are all tests of America's resolve. America has failed miserably. None of Israel's enemies in the Middle East is suffering any consequences at all from the United States and no one believes the U.S. under President Obama will come to Israel's defense when war breaks out. That's a recipe for further attacks and war if ever there was one.
Thanks to President Obama, Arab/Islamic countries in the Middle East will keep on provoking and attacking Israel and will go to war against her because they think the United States will sit on the sidelines when they do, because they think they can get away with it and because they think they can win and destroy the Jewish state. Are they correct in their thinking? We'll find out soon enough. President Obama isn't going to change his ways and they realize their window of opportunity is closing as his chances of being re-elected next year are slim and getting slimmer day by day.
Arab/Islamic countries in the Middle East are smelling blood alright. Israeli blood. To be followed soon after by American blood if Israel loses.
Maybe Israel will launch a preemptive attack on her own. That would be President Obama's fault too.
Page reprinted with permission from the American Thinker: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/09/weakness_smelling_blood_war.html
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NETHERLANDS ABANDONING MULTICULTURALISM
Thomas Lifson, June 25, 2011
In a landmark turnabout, one of the cornerstones of contemporary liberalism is being rejected by one of the fountainheads of liberalism. The politically correct doctrine of multiculturalism is heading for decline, as Holland, one of the most socially liberal societies on earth, is reversing its former policy of multiculturalism. Soeren Kern, writing for Hudson New York, covers an important story that has gotten almost no notice from the American media, which wishes to pretend that multiculturalism works just fine:
A new integration bill, which Dutch Interior Minister Piet Hein Donner presented to parliament on June 16, reads: "The government shares the social dissatisfaction over the multicultural society model and plans to shift priority to the values of the Dutch people. In the new integration system, the values of the Dutch society play a central role. With this change, the government steps away from the model of a multicultural society."
The letter continues: "A more obligatory integration is justified because the government also demands that from its own citizens. It is necessary because otherwise the society gradually grows apart and eventually no one feels at home anymore in the Netherlands. The integration will not be tailored to different groups."
The new integration policy will place more demands on immigrants. For example, immigrants will be required to learn the Dutch language, and the government will take a tougher approach to immigrants to ignore Dutch values or disobey Dutch law.
The government will also stop offering special subsidies for Muslim immigrants because, according to Donner, "it is not the government's job to integrate immigrants." The government will introduce new legislation that outlaws forced marriages and will also impose tougher measures against Muslim immigrants who lower their chances of employment by the way they dress. More specifically, the government will impose a ban on face-covering Islamic burqas as of January 1, 2013.
This occurred just a day before a Dutch court acquitted Geert Wilders of defaming Islam by, in part, reading from the Koran. It looks as though common sense is triumphing in one of the nations which led the western world down the path of political correctness. It is hard to overstate the potential importance of this development for societies elsewhere, including the United States.
Kern's report includes some fascinating background information on the transformation of the Dutch political environment, including an about face on the part of Interior Minister Donner on the subject.
Hat tip: John McMahon
Page reprinted with permission from the American Thinker: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/06/netherlands_abandoning_multiculturalism.html
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AL QAEDA'S TALIBAN TROUBLES
By Ray Robison, November 2, 2007
The signs of al Qaeda's downward spiral are accumulating. If the media were as anxious to find signs of victory as signs of failure in our war with al Qaeda, the incipient crumbling of its support in South Asia would already be noted. But of course that would require giving credit to the Bush Administration's war policies.
Already beleaguered in Iraq, where tribal leaders have turned against it, al Qaeda faces a crumbling of its tribal alliances in the Afghanistan/Pakistan borderland regions. New reporting reaffirms my belief that substantial portions of the Taliban, a tribal entity which is under the influence of the Maulana Fazlur Rahman, have turned against al Qaeda. To be sure, not every Taliban leader is going to turn, but a significant portion of them will.
The Maulana is already a target of al Qaeda, and he is working against them.
President Mushareef finally showed the will to act against the Maulana and his jihadists with a raid on a mosque a few months back, letting him know there is pressure. In addition, Mushareef is now sending forces -- which have been getting trounced by Taliban and tribal forces so far -- into tribal lands.
Enter back into the Pakistani political mix former Pakistan Prime Minister
Benazeer Bhutto. She worked closely with the Maulana when she was PM. He was
then and is still the political leader of the militant Islamic faction in
Pakistan. Bhutto will help bring him back into the inner circle. Though he will
not act by proclamation and his changes will be covert, he will affect the
Taliban by internal political maneuvering within his jihad-centric political
Al Qaeda has targeted the Maulana. Undoubtedly the U.S. is applying more than a little bit of pressure on him, and his former foreign sponsors Saddam and Qaddafi are no longer pumping millions to his jihad groups. The new Bhutto/Mushareef alliance leaves him divided from the military and democratic political interests of Pakistan. He is increasingly isolated.
But Bhutto also gives the Maulana an escape valve; a chance to earn a powerful ally. The Maulana is no fool and he sees the weakness of al Qaeda and the end of the current incarnation of its international jihad just around the corner. Already his vitriol against the United States has lessened.
He is positioning the Taliban to start making peace agreements.
Faced with the looming conflict with the Maulana, Al Qaeda is
concentrating its forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The New York Times
describes a new influx of foreign fighters into Pakistan and Afghanistan. As
always, the Times spins the hollowest analysis to portray defeat for the United
States. But there are some questions the Times didn't bother to ask or answer,
beyond the usual "the U.S. made them do it" tripe anyway. Chiefly, "why are they
coming to Afghanistan"?
As the Times notes, many of these new foreign fighters in Afghanistan are
being placed in leadership positions within the Taliban, usually under newer,
younger Taliban commanders. The article even notes that this is a somewhat "new"
vs. "old" battle for Taliban leadership. The Times fails to realize the obvious,
that these are al Qaeda fighters, and instead refers to them as new Taliban
recruits. But the timing of this "new phenomenon" makes the reality
These fighters were meant for Iraq but the core al Qaeda leadership has
realized that the war there is lost. They are no longer sending the new recruits
in large numbers. In the current environment, only small teams can go unmolested
in the Iraqi lands al Qaeda used to control. Since al Qaeda can no longer send
large numbers of fighters to Iraq and since their Taliban support base is
slipping away at home they have one option left to them.
Al Qaeda is attempting a hostile takeover of the Taliban.
And that signals the end of al Qaeda in Pakistan/Afghanistan just as it
did in Iraq when they tried to take over from local chieftains.
Other tribal leaders are also reported to be turning against AQ. The Daily
Telegraph has learned that the Afghan government hopes to seal the deal this
week with Mullah Abdul Salaam and his Alizai tribe, which has been fighting
alongside the Taliban in Helmand province.
Diplomats confirmed yesterday that Mullah Salaam was expected to change
sides within days. He is a former Taliban corps commander and governor of Herat
province under the government that fell in 2001.
Military sources said British forces in the province are "observing with interest" the potential deal in north Helmand, which echoes the efforts of US commanders in Iraq's western province to split Sunni tribal leaders from their al-Qa'eda allies.
Older Taliban commanders are flipping to our side. In response, al Qaeda
is seeking out young leaders to take over with the support of al Qaeda fighters.
Now we know that UBL's latest statement was about more than just the split of
his jihadists in Iraq. It is about the coming crumbling of the Taliban in
You can bet that Taliban commanders like Mullah Salaam would not be making
deals if they didn't have the support of the major players in Pakistan, namely
Maulana Fazlur Rahman. If this "new" vs. "old" stew with al Qaeda stirring the
pot comes to a boil, the fighting will resemble the Iraqi sectarian fighting,
except this time is will be all Taliban and al Qaeda fighters killing each other
in an all out war. And here is the bad news for The New York Times. When that
happens, we win.
In fact, al Qaeda is now engaging in a propaganda effort to conceal its Achilles heal of fractionalization. The Times of India is now reporting that a significant Taliban leader has just released a rare video reaffirming his commitment to al Qaeda.
A top Taliban commander has said his group maintains good relations and
military cooperation with the Al-Qaeda insurgents not only in Afghanistan but in
Iraq as well.
How very interesting that al Qaeda is so concerned about the jihadist
split that it is running videos from sympathetic Taliban commanders to refute
Hold on to your seats, things are about to get messy in South Asia. A war
is shaping up between New Taliban backed by al Qaeda on one side and Old Taliban
backed by Fazlur Rahman/Mushareef/Bhutto on the other side. The first shot came
with the bombing of Bhutto's motorcade, which killed over a hundred.
When these murders are fully targeting on each other instead of innocents they will kill thousands of their own fighters.
Ray Robison is proprietor of Ray Robison: Pointing out the Obvious to the
Reprinted by permission from The American Thinker: http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/11/al_qaedas_taliban_troubles_1.html
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DON'T LOSE SIGHT OF LOST
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a second hearing on the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) last week. [Ed. note -- the week of Oct. 10]
Senator Richard Lugar, Ranking Member said in his opening remarks: "As Admiral Patrick Walsh, the Vice Chief of Naval Operations and former commander of the Fifth Fleet, testified (Sept 27): 'Right now, where I sit, we have a deficiency, by not being party to the Law of the Sea Convention, and it is one that we must correct. This Convention is valuable to our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen and it's time we joined the Convention, and we owe it to them.' If we fail to ratify this treaty, we are allowing decisions that will affect our Navy, our ship operators, our off-shore industries, and other maritime interests to be made without U.S. representation. If the United States does not ratify this treaty, our ability to claim the vast extended continental shelf off Alaska will be seriously impeded."
Tom DeWeese, president of the American Policy Center, disputed Admiral Walsh's statement. If the Senate ratifies the LOST convention, "the odds are roughly 155 to 1 that the LOST tribunal [U.N. International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea] would vote to cede U.S. claims to the North Pole and its oil riches to the Russians."
Only two people who are against LOST were allowed to testify October 4. Frank Gaffney Jr., president and CEO of the Center for Security Policy, told the Committee that President Reagan was right that LOST was, and is wrong. Mr. Gaffney said that it is "frankly appalling to me that the present approach to Senate consideration of this accord amounts to little more than a rubber-stamp…a determined effort to keep the American people in the dark about what is going to happen to their rights, their constitutional, representative form of government and our national interests until after LOST is ratified and is too late to do anything about it." Fred L. Smith Jr. President and Founder of the Competitive Enterprise Institute also was critical of the Senate saying; "[The] Senate of the United States is the world's greatest deliberative body, but this hasty effort to rush through a fatally flawed treaty does you no credit. We do the world no favor by allowing this textual and legal dinosaur to stand in the path of mankind's future."
President Bush is pushing hard for LOST and has sent his minions to lobby for the destruction of the sovereign United States of America. The citizens of this country must stand firm against Bush's determination to place the U.S. under the control of global government. Waste no time in contacting your senators to demand they reject LOST. According to the American Policy Center, a vote to ratify will take place before the Christmas recess.
Contact information is provided at this location:
americanpolicy.org To view the October 4, 2007 LOST testimony before the Senate
Foreign Committee, go to: http://foreign.senate.gov/hearings/2007/hrg071004a.html.
Reprinted by permission from the October 17, 2007 Liberty Matters News Service. www.libertymatters.org
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HARRY REID, GEN. PETRAEUS, AND COOKING DATA
By Denis Keohane, September 17, 2--7
In an interview with the Reno Gazette-Journal, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid claimed a million Iraqis have been killed since the beginning of the invasion. How did Reid arrive at that figure? He probably got it from this poll. I know of no non-poll study suggesting anything like such a high number.
A poll! Questions were asked of a ‘representative sample' of 1,461 adults in Iraq, and from that casualty figures are determined. The pollsters actually suggest that their results indicate as many as 1,220,580 deaths since the invasion.
Among their conclusions, which they say are within plus or minus 2.4% (based purely on sampling size, not on the reliability of hearsay), they claim 20% of those have died as a result of car bombs. That is 244,000 deaths from car bombs, in four and a half years.
That's 150 people killed every single day by car bombs for 4 ½ years. I watch the news, and I don't see anything like that reported. Google news turns up a car bomb that killed ten in Baghdad three days ago. Reports will be in any moment now on the other dozen or so car bombs that went off that very same day, and the day before, and the day after... won't they?
Just several days before General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker reported to the House and Senate, we heard Democrats go on and on about cooking data. Nancy Pelosi invoked the phrase "The plural of anecdote is not data." Of course not! But her Senate counterpart seems to be saying poll results can yield casualty data.
Harry Reid was quoted by ABC News saying: "Before the [Petreaus] report arrives in Congress, it will pass through the White House spin machine, where facts are often ignored or twisted, and intelligence is cherry-picked."
Now he seems to assert that poll results are useful as data on casualties! Not police, hospital, morgue or cemetery records! Poll results, based on what the authors of the poll deem a "representative sample."
Harry Reid deserves a new nickname: "Give ‘em hooey Harry"!
Reprinted by permission from the American Thinker: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2007/09/harry_reid_gen_petraeus_and_co.html
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THE JIHAD FRACTURE WIDENS
By Ray Robison, May 31, 2007
Despite the impression created by the dominant media, global jihad is showing
signs of serious trouble. Bad news always tends to crowd out the good, of
course, and this natural tendency is magnified when the press is as politicized
and one-sided as it is today.
Last March I postulated that the Global Islamic Jihad Movement had begun to fracture. ( The assertion was controversial with disagreement and agreement found oft times from the same sources. The most notable response was an interview conducted by Bryan Preston at Hot Air with CIA veteran Dr. Tefft.
It was a great interview and I welcome diverging opinions (that are supportable with evidence, not bumper sticker arguments) so I update here not as a rebuttal but to enhance the previous debate.
In March my hypothesis was supported by two essential elements. First, that
reporting from Pakistan showed friction among al Qaeda, the Taliban and the
Islamic Party of Gulbudden Hekmatyar. Second, that funding to these groups was
drying up due to the loss of state sponsors. While these groups (representative
of, but not the entirety of global jihad) continue to receive private donations
and surely some rogue regime funding, the loss of Saddam, Libyan, Pakistani and
the U.A.E. support could only increase their woes.
In the last few months independent war reporting from Iraq has discussed the "anbar awakening." The term refers to the move by Sunni tribal chieftains in the al Anbar province to reassert power by fighting al Qaeda, allying with the Coalition and somewhat with Iraqi government forces. Even the mainstream media has begun to catch up and has reported the new development.
Recent reporting from Pakistan shows a similar but not so friendly development. There is little question that the new power broker of the Taliban, Maulvi Nazir is outwardly anti-U.S. and pro-al Qaeda. Yet at the same time he has adopted a "not in my backyard" stance as his Pashtun forces have killed and run off "Uzbeks" a colloquialism for al Qaeda used to refer to Arab and other foreign fighters (Pashtun and Uzbek ancient rivalries contribute to this designation). It is the age old story of infighting for power but this time it benefits the U.S. by reducing al Qaeda support and capabilities. The Sydney Morning Herald, in a fascinating series of interviews with different elements involved in the saga, quotes a Pakistani Governor about the treatment of "foreigners" - Arab jihadists:
"Virtually all of the tribes are ready to fight the militants. Yesterday the
southern tribes held a jurga [council] and decided that any foreigner was to be
shot dead and any tribesman supporting the foreigners would be banished from the
area or killed too. They have declared jihad and their plan is to annihilate any
of the foreigners who refuse to leave."
As a matter of fact, this sounds a lot like what is happening in Iraq. While this certainly does not make the Taliban leader a friend, it is much better to have the enemies killing each other off. It provides solid evidence that al Qaeda is losing a foothold in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan. The earlier reporting from the region predicted bin Laden might leave the region and now we might have a better idea why.
Just as the Iraqi Sunnis have decided to wrest control from al Qaeda, it would appear the tribal chieftains of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border are doing the same. Not quite an awakening but it appears al Qaeda has overstayed its' welcome again. Interestingly, a new study from the West Point Combating Terrorism Center identifies this same phenomenon in the horn of Africa among the regional tribes during the 90's and notes it as an exploitable weakness.
Could this be a covert US strategy?
However, care should be taken in rejoicing at the thought of al Qaeda and Taliban fighters killing each other off. Nazir opposes al Qaeda because it currently seeks to aim jihad at the Pakistan government which brings heat on the tribal areas (admittedly a slow burn), whereas Nazir would much rather have the warfare directed at coalition forces in Afghanistan, which doesn't particularly threaten Pakistani government survival and keeps the internal pressure off. Nazir has publicly claimed he would welcome bin Laden into his region if he capitulates to tribal governance. Yet it should be realized that Nazir knows Usama would never accept such terms and the offer is likely nothing but an effort to show that he is not a U.S. proxy.
According to the Asia Times, Nazir is a former pupil of Maulana Fazlur Rahman.
I discussed the Maulana in the "Fractured Jihad" article as one of the most
dangerous men on the planet because of his proximity to Pakistan's nuclear
arsenal and leadership of the government opposition plus leadership of
international terrorism. (My book Both In One Trench highlights his connection
Previously I noted reporting that Nazir was on the outs with al Qaeda, a very positive development. This claim finds more confirmation in India's popular news website Rediff.com "Old fundamentalist leaders of the 1980 Afghan war vintage such as...Maulana Fazlur Rahman... no longer command the kind of influence and obedience they commanded in the past." His loss of jihadist credentials may mean the end of significant support for al Qaeda.