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Archive for the ‘politics and social commentary’ Category
Posted by Adrian on April 3, 2009
Posted in Blogroll, Books, Comic Reviews, DVD reviews, Finance and Economics. Strategy and Society, Melbourne City Urban Visuals. Mixed images, philosophy and science, politics and social commentary, Popular Culture/Culture | 3 Comments »
Posted by Adrian on March 30, 2009
Does the US want to bankrupt the world? To create an even Keel? Conspiracy theory?
Russia and China have called for a global currency to replace the US dollar. The US and the UK want a coordinated stimulus plan, in other words they want the rest of the countries in the world to start quantitative easing on a massive scale. This would keep the USD as a reserve (as most currencies would fall equally or worst than the USD) and allow the US to maintain some kind of economic status as opposed to disappearing into the economic abyss.
Despite the desperation of political rhetoric. All countries are sliding further into protectionism. Japan is dreaming when it says that a bottom is near, when they will need the domestic spending power that will rival the world. It will never happen. China inventories are swelling. The US and UK are printing money as both economies are internally hemharging to death.
Can it get any worst…?
Posted by Adrian on February 19, 2009
In light of President Obama’s new pledge to increase troop numbers in Afghanistan, there has been some murmurs in the media of the difficulty that Afghanistan will be and is to occupying forces. Russia knows this, the UK should know this but seems to oblivious to their own history in Afghanistan.
Of course one should question the motives and gain to have a huge amount of US troops in Afghanistan. One UK cabinet minister mentioned it was to secure the western security interests, in other words destroy Al Quada training camps. Haven’t we heard that before ? Say Tony Blair and George Bush Jnr Foolish rhetoric and stupidity with their war on terror. Unfortunately Barack Obama is going down the same path. I don’t hold much hope that Obama will change anything in international US polices; he will just shift the cards around but the hand remands the same. Still with US overseas policy remaining to be short sided and as dangerous as ever, Afghanistan is the unwindable war. No invading country has ever one a war in Afghanistan. Russia of course understands the failing of an Afghanistan campaign and will sit back and passively discourage the US from gaining any ground in Afghanistan. A recent good example of this is Kyrgyzstan (country that boarders with Afghanistan) goverment refusal to renew it’s lease agreement for the US to use an airbase on it’s territory. This occurred after Russia offered 2 billion in Russian aid and loans to Kyrgyzstan, essentially to push for the closure of the US air base. Which has now occurred.
So the quote is from an unknown, although I did see a some point a name, possible a military leader in the English army circa 1800’s.
quote reads as:
“Afghanistan is the country that swallows armies”
Posted by Adrian on February 10, 2009
Saturday 7th February 2009 was a horrendous day for weather, it hit 46 degrees (115 F) with a wind that was like furnace. This ignited the worst bush fires (state of Victoria) in Australian history with a possible 300 death toll looming, already 173 people have lost their lives.
Posted by Adrian on January 15, 2009
The is a great quote from Sun Tzu ‘The Art of War’, it goes. “if the smaller side is stubborn, it becomes the captive of the larger side”. This quote could be interpreted as Israel as the larger side and Hamas being the smaller. But it can’t, instead it unfortunately reads the other way around. Israel is now becoming desperate and stubborn, especially with a cease fire being frantically pieced together by the UN and Egypt. The propaganda war has already being lost for Israel, whether deliberately or not the mass of civilian Palestinian causalities is so disproportional it is shocking.
The governments of the world and the UN, media and pretty much everyone agrees that Israel has gone too far and now is becoming entrenched in the same old error that America made in Vietnam, Iraq and next will be Afghanistan – a quagmire war. In which they become stuck in a continual battle that is un-winnable within the context of traditional warfare. The enemy adapts and adapts very well, entrenching positions and scaling back, relying on the other side to inflict it’s superior firepower that ends up killing a lot of civilians. Hence the smaller side gains a winning hand by showing the media the huge amount atrocities committed. If Israel is playing into this tactic, they will lose on a broader front, both from it’s standing in the world, it’s military antics and it’s political leadership.
So far Israel has targeted the UN three times, all from the excuse that Hamas has fired on Israeli positions near or in UN compounds. Of course all denied by the UN. What Israel could be doing is desperately trying to turn the media attention on Hamas, by saying Hamas are utilizing the UN as shields. This could be Israel’s attempt at demonizing the enemy. Has it worked? No. The media doesn’t buy it (because the have been banned independently from entering the Gaza strip), the UN certainly doesn’t buy it; so of course it will be another dent for the Israeli campaign.
Yet the civilian causalities pile up, disgraceful and aimless attacks on civilian positions serves only to weaken the moral of the campaign, both military and Israeli (home) support. Of course the US has a vested interest for Israel in the middle east which is to be it’s guard dog to watch Iran. So don’t expect too much from the incoming Obama administration.
Listening to some of theses Israeli officials, you wonder if these guys take some heavy drugs. Although an ex Israeli military commander did make a lot of sense in the media recently saying that the Israel’s outcome to ‘win’ this war, may not be achieved. Hamas knows this that is why they continue with their rocket attacks into Israel.
Hamas also knows they can’t win against Israel, it’s a deadlock with civilian annihilation (mostly from Gaza)
So some major negotiating has take tale place between Hamas and Israel. As demonstrated Israel could turn the whole Gaza strip into a desert. They both need to talk and resolve this once and for all.
Posted by Adrian on January 14, 2009
I have read articles by David Grossman and have been impressed with his rational measure, especially regarding the conflict between Israel and their Arab neighbours.
Check out his book Lion’s Honey: The Myth of Samson
Below is an exert from an article that he wrote printed in the Guardian newspaper in late 2008:
“Israel’s leaders know very well that, given the state of the Gaza Strip, it will be very difficult to achieve a total, unambiguous military victory. Instead, we are more likely to return to the state of ambiguity we know so well from Lebanon. Israel will then strike at Hamas and get struck, strike and get struck, get caught in all the snares that such a tit-for-tat sets, without achieving any real and vital aims. Despite our military strength, we will be unable to extricate ourselves, and will find that we have been carried away by a tide of violence and destruction.
“So let us stop. Hold our fire. For once, let us attempt to act against our usual reflexes. Against the deadly logic of military power and the dynamic of escalation. We can always start shooting again. The war will not run away, as Barak himself said two weeks ago. If we demonstrate that we can halt, we will not lose international support. We will gain even more if we demonstrate such well-considered self-control, and if we invite the international and Arab communities to intervene and mediate.”
Posted by Adrian on January 6, 2009
Unfortunately he will turn out to be a useless President. As his administration prepare an obsessively paranoid economic intervention plan – that will essentially destroy the US currency. Other geo political issues will prod at his Presidency, two come to mind apart from the disastrous and US ‘sanctioned’ Israeli invasion of Gaza, the Russian power play with gas supplies into broader Europe and the Iran situation; which I suspect at some point will test another missile and threaten Israel. Which they can do, in the sense either proper negotiate take place in the middle east, or Iran will pull the levers on oil output. Israel needs to pull back on it’s overt aggression immediately and since Obama won’t do anything. The terrible situation in the Gaza Strip will get far worst for the middle east and the world.
Posted by Adrian on January 6, 2009
There is great article written by Kurt Zenz House for the online site Bulletin of Atomic Scientists
Regarding oil output cuts and the attempt for the oil producing countries to bring the oil price back into high dollar ranges, such as to $70 – $100.
He also mentioned Iran’s situation and it’s reliance on a high oil price, House’s article was written prior to the Israel/Gaza conflict.
Article found here
Israels 2nd military blunder in two years, the rise of bandits and fudementalism – blame America’s pointless war on terror
Posted by Adrian on December 29, 2008
Israel is making another military plunder. The first recent Israeli military plunder was the 2007 Israel/Lebanese conflict, which was a good example of poor Israeli military decision making, that not only effects the vast majority of civilians on the ‘other side’ but again puts a huge dent in Israels international standing in the world. We can thank American military examples that have created precedences for it’s ally countries (and not so much ‘ally’ countries like Russia – refer to 2008 Georgian conflict), usually a massive disproportional attack, lead by air strikes, a lot of civilian deaths and in the end no resolve. In fact resolve in the sense the ‘enemy’ retrenches it’s self back into previous positions, note Afghanistan and Iraq. But a closer conflict to Israel was the failed Lebanese invasion in 2007. With Hezbollah still in power in the South of Lebanon, the conflict killed a lot of Lebanese civilians and did not change the power structure in the South of Lebanon.
Hamas are bandits, fueled by a Islamic fundamentalism. The more the US and Israel perpetuate the terrorism cycle, by creating an enemy. The more these conflict will occur and give more significance to rag tag Islamic armies. It is an un-winnable war with an enemy entrenched in a highly dense populated area (Gaza Strip), so the invertible outcome will be a ratio of civilian deaths the far succeed any justification to declare an ‘all out war’ on Hamas.
Still Israel will need to launch a full scale ground assault, air strikes have never essentially worked in a gorilla, or quagmire type conflicts. Will Israel commit to a ground assault? They will have to, in the sense the rocket attacks into Israel will continue well after the areal bombardments. Of course, even though Hamas are bandit type militia, a ground war stirs emotion. So Hamas will not be short of a lot of fighters in a ground conflict, with weapons smuggled in from Iran and/or are being stockpiled, I imagine that Israel will suffer a lot of causalities on the ground. Unless they flatten the whole Gaza Strip and kill as many civilian’s as possible. The point is as mentioned in Israel attacks the Gaza Strip 280+ dead in 2 days Iran could be the wild card, a conflict between Israel and Iran has been on the boil for a long time. Will the US help if Iran comes into the play, maybe not. Iran can tighten the oil supply, no problems, also as mentioned in my previous post; China will be the country to watch as they depend on the oil from Iran, from Bloomberg December 29th 2008: Prices also advanced as China, the world’s second-biggest energy consumer, said it will supplement its emergency oil stockpiles while prices are low, while Libya and the United Arab Emirates announced compliance with OPEC output cuts agreed on this month. “China’s plans to stockpile crude may take up some slack from the demand destruction from the economic slowdown,” said Rob Laughlin, a senior broker with MF Global Ltd. in London.
So if Iran participates in this conflict in some way, either with oil supply embargo, weapon supply or direct involvement – the oil price will definitely rise back into 60 – 70 a barrel range. Even with Chinese stockpiles and it’s own overall energy demand, Iran could just force China into the play (if Iran cuts oil, which they most likely will do if the conflict continues, which would be a good excuse to kick some life back into the oil price; hence gain more profits on a higher price); this would most likely broaden the problem. But as long a the US sits on it’s hands with this conflict, as it has for decades, the more useless the US policy machine will appear to the global community. But with the US facing a massive economic meltdown, a forever war continuing in Iraq and Afghanistan, a spike in the oil price could draw the US and other countries into a tense situation.
While Israel kills Palestinian civilians daily and the world sits complacent on this one, this conflict could spill over into something larger and more dangerous. So a military plunder by Israel could also be a plunder that effects everyone.
Posted by Adrian on December 29, 2008
A self perpetuating conflict with madmen on both sides, still no one will win this, especially Israel – who’s government credibility is dissipating into a hole and may never resurrect. With it’s biggest alley the USA collapsing (economically), the power shift in the middle east could change dramatically and quickly. Israel is making huge errors with their disproportional counter aggression.
Iran is the key player here, the world doesn’t care about the Palestinians, but if Iran comes into this conflict or creates an oil embargo. This may force the UN and Europe too negotiate a peace deal.
The Arab union is pretty much hopeless and Egypt couldn’t care less, Saudi Arabia doesn’t care either.
Does Iran have the balls? Well they hold the most cards, China will protect Iran’s oil routes, so Iran could bring China into this if Iran tightens the screws of the oil supply – as Western warships try to end embargo.
Biggest question of all, does Obama have the balls? The US could end this conflict once and for all (by negotiating a proper peace deal with power sharing in that region), so the US holds some cards.