“Demonstrate to the world there is “No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy” than a U.S. Marine. Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.” — America’s next Secretary of Defense.
I tried to find a unifying angle but I’m in a hurry.
- First, it looks like Hillary has, just barely, won the official, popular vote. She lost geographically. Only in minority-dominated counties and the biggest cities, did majorities of people like her. States (or the Electoral College) still matter.
- We’re getting a look at Trump’s possible Cabinet. Sadly, Trump is considering people from Big Banking (Goldman Sachs or in other rumors, JP Morgan) for his Treasury secretary. Trump could turn out to be rather less anti-Establishment than some have hoped.
- Rudy Giuliani, a candidate for Trump’s Attorney General, has publicly suggested that President Obama not pardon Hillary. That’s good advice.
In general, Democrats (like Obama) are trying to spread the myth that prosecuting Hillary would only be political. The true issue would be the Clinton Foundation’s corruption and/or Hillary’s major security breaches. And whether or not the Clintons are allowed to lie, destroy evidence, etc. to obstruct justice? Let normal processes of investigation and justice do their work.
- It looks like Trump and Obama are both playing grownup in the transition. Obama called their conversation “excellent”. But, if Trump is such a racist xenophobic bigoted monster (as the Left tells us), how could that be?
- Speaking of Obama, I still remember being told in 2008 that the Lightworker’s brown skin would make foreigners love us. Update: In Greece, anti-Obama protestors storm the U.S. consulate.
- And the big winner of the 2016 election was… Weed.
…who sought-and-received such special treatment that now, in her own person, she embodies the most corrupt, disgraceful and dangerous aspects of American political life.
Allen B. West gives a summary:
…here’s what FBI Director Comey said regarding Hillary Clinton and this email server episode:
- He concluded Hillary was “extremely careless” in handling our nation’s secrets.
- He admitted no reasonable person could have believed putting these emails on a private server was at all appropriate or acceptable.
- He admitted 110 emails on the server were classified at the time they were sent — showing Hillary not only lied, but knowingly endangered national security as secretary of state.
- He admitted Hillary deleted work-related emails before turning them over to the State Department, despite her claims otherwise.
- And, most shocking, Mr. Comey even admitted it’s likely foreign governments hacked her emails — and our adversaries could know critical secrets about the U.S. government because of Hillary’s actions.
Consider that just last week, there was a secret, private meeting between former President Bill Clinton and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch…Over the weekend, quietly, Hillary Clinton visited FBI headquarters and then came out to give an interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd — who stated he had inside information there would be no charges. Then…Director Comey announces a press conference — as the pre-flight checks were being conducted on Air Force One, preparing to fly President Obama and Hillary Clinton on a campaign ride to North Carolina…Comey announces no charges, and Air Force One takes off. Barack Obama is flying, on taxpayer dollar, not with someone under criminal investigation — but a recently-exonerated Hillary Clinton. This, Ladies and Gents, is the “policy of political corruption” on full display.
When Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton stood together on that stage [in North Carolina last weekend], you saw two people who abandoned Americans to die and lied about it.
In short, and even if we leave aside the Benghazi deaths, Hillary Clinton is 100% guilty of crimes of negligence – and obstruction of justice (lying to prevent investigation). She was given a giant pass, for no reason except politics.
- 6 criminal laws that the Obama administration nullified for Hillary.
- 5 people who were prosecuted under those laws. Because, you know, they weren’t Bill or Hillary.
- Speaker Ryan has asked, rightly, that Hillary not receive classified info for the rest of the election campaign.
- Comey admits that he never bothered to interview Hillary under oath or recording.
- Via Powerline, video of Comey admitting to Congress that the FBI had found that Hillary repeatedly lied to them.
- Did Hillary & associates illegally steal classified information and damage U.S. national security? Yes.
Iran’s news agency, apparently with the support of some Iraqis, has been pushing a story that ISIS is a UK / US creation. They started pushing it in 2014, but the following is from Feb 23 of this year:
Iraqi Army Downs 2 UK Planes Carrying Weapons for ISIL
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iraq’s army has shot down two British planes as they were carrying weapons for the ISIL terrorists in Al-Anbar province, a senior [Iraqi] lawmaker disclosed on Monday.
“The Iraqi Parliament’s National Security and Defense Committee has access to the photos of both planes that are British and have crashed while they were carrying weapons for the ISIL,” Head of the committee Hakem al-Zameli said, according to a Monday report of the Arabic-language information center of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq.
Obviously, I don’t want to quote the entire linked article; you can read it. It goes on for awhile, giving names of Iraqi lawmakers and their specific charges about the U.S.-led effort against ISIS being a mask for Western aid to ISIS, “as it does not want the ISIL crisis to come to an end.”
I do NOT automatically believe this story, because Iran’s news agency is hardly a reliable source. And because many Iraqi lawmakers are probably on Iran’s payroll; as fellow Shias, they would oppose ISIS – while preferring Iran to lead the effort.
Sad to say, I also can’t automatically disbelieve this story, for the following reasons:
- *If* the Sunni-Shia divide really matters (and I’m not 100% persuaded that it does), we must grant at least a little sincerity to Iran’s opposition to ISIS.
- We know that in Syria, the Obama administration supports Islamist, al Qaeda-type “rebels” who are much the same as ISIS. Even after we discard any notion that the US / UK created ISIS on purpose, we must still consider whether ISIS could be an *inadvertent* US / UK creation – as the well-supplied, Sunni Islamist “rebels” from one theater (Syria) simply drive a few hundred miles across the desert to their buddies in the other theater (northern Iraq).
- And it would be just like the Obama administration to stumble into such a foolish, contradictory policy. We do know that ISIS has a lot of U.S. weapons; it’s just that they are normally viewed as captured weapons.
If you can shed any light on this, please post in the comments. I’d be looking either for some proof of the story that doesn’t merely come from an anti-U.S. mouthpiece (like Iran or Alex Jones) – or/and, for some disproof of the story that doesn’t merely come from a pro-Obama mouthpiece.
As I’ve blogged before, I have mixed feelings about Edward Snowden and his revelations about U.S. government spying on everybody. I understand why some consider him a traitor – because yes, we do need to fight Islamic terrorism.
And I understand why some consider him a hero – because we need to fight Islamic terrorism with appropriate tools; not tools that expand government power to the point where it could easily be used (and perhaps already gets used?) for purposes of tyranny. With that in mind, here are a couple of news items:
- China drops Apple, Cisco, Intel and other U.S. tech leaders from its “approved state purchase lists”. China’s action may have several motives; but fear of the expansive NSA spying (that Snowden revealed) is surely among them.
- Snowden gets libertarian, arguing for limited government and the right of the governed (us) to reject excessive government control.
There must always be a balance of power between the governing and the governed…
Our rights are not granted by governments…They are inherent to our nature. But it’s entirely the opposite for governments: their privileges are precisely equal to only those which we suffer them to enjoy.
A viewpoint which all Americans ought to support, considering our origins.
While we’re at it: According to The Guardian (a left-wing British paper), Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago Police are running their own black site for secret interrogations – and not just for anti-terrorism. True? Exaggerated? From the comments: A Chicago cop says it’s BS.
Our allies don’t want want a war over Ukraine’s ethnic Russians. Even Nicolas Sarkozy, perhaps the only pro-U.S. Frenchman, thinks we’re nuts. While Greece and even Egypt drift toward Russia.
If Mitt Romney was such an old-fashioned dummy in 2012 for saying that Russia was still our main geopolitical enemy: why are we now pushing sticks into Russia’s eyes? When the IS will be the threat – if (or after) it takes over Iraq-Syria-Jordan-Yemen-Egypt, and destroys Saudi Arabia? It’s already getting a foothold in Libya.
President Smart Power always suggested that *he* would astutely settle our differences with Russia. OK then, why hasn’t he? Couldn’t we use Russia’s help in beating Islamism?
And given that ISIS exists, is the Iraq war really “ended”, as President Obama has claimed? I don’t think so. I think the worst is yet to come. (Assuming we don’t just surrender to Islam, first.)
Update (and from the comments): Part of the answer to these questions is, of course, Marie Harf. Not her personally; but her as an example of leftie/Obama thinking. In her recent comments, the “root cause” of the Islamic State would be the Middle East’s “lack of opportunity for jobs…We can help them build their economies so they can have job opportunities.” What. A. Tool.
Remember the Left going on and on about President Bush’s supposedly “illegal” and “unilateral” Iraq war? When, in reality, the Bush administration had gone to great lengths to obtain (and did obtain) authorization for Iraq from both Congress and the U.N.
Even Senator Obama got in on the act, saying later in 2007 that “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” His words were correct – but again, irrelevant to the Bush case (since Bush had Congressional, bipartisan approval).
Then President Obama felt like bombing Libya out of the blue (no terrorist threat was involved – until after Ghaddafi was gone). And he sought no authorization from Congress. Did the Left care? A little; but really not much.
President Peace Prize also went on to embroil the U.S. in wars in Syria and Ukraine – unilaterally and with no authorization. And to blow any gains of the Iraq war, allowing ISIS to take hold; an event that President Orwell referred to as his having “ended the war”.
Now that he has done so, he proposes to resume the Iraq war. Except this time, he finally wants authorization first. I suppose that’s nice of him. I suppose we must be grateful, to such a terribly great man, for the small graces that he grants to us, his subjects.
HotAir had this clip a few days ago, making the point that President Obama is flailing on his Egypt policy. I’m more into the “human interest” side of it.
The State Dept. spokeswoman has only meaningless answers on Egypt. Her smile frozen, she delivers her lines to her skeptical audience in a patronizing tone. When it’s over, she confessionally mutters, “That Egypt line is ridiculous.”
I almost feel sorry for her. But, if being Bree on Desperate Housewives were my job, I’d quit.
— Zaid Benjamin (@zaidbenjamin) November 13, 2014
What does this mean? As I’ve tried to explain before, the U.S. dollar has been the center of world trade and finance since the end of WW2. Oil, among other things, has been traded in dollars. So other countries need dollars (e.g., before they can buy oil). When they invest in bonds, they also like U.S. Treasury bonds.
All that has let the U.S. get away with running large deficits (both trade deficit and fiscal deficit). Other countries send us real goods in exchange for our paper (or electronic) dollars and Treasury bonds. That is why Walmart and Target have been able to supply cheap goods to Americans, all these years.
ISIS is saying, forget that! ISIS will exclude the dollar from its own financial system, and probably from its dealings with other countries. Remember, if these guys are successful, they will sell (or control) a lot of oil. If successful, they will be wealthy and important. Now they’re saying that their financial system will be founded on precious metals – i.e., NOT on the U.S. dollar or the U.S. Treasury bond. I feel certain that, if they aren’t doing so already, ISIS will also be trading oil only in non-U.S. currencies like the Euro or yen, and/or in gold.
If ISIS succeeds as a country, then, it’s another step in the world’s process of “de-dollarization”, or removing the U.S. dollar as the centerpiece of the world system. Although it is arguably an understandable and well-justified act, it is not a friendly act: ISIS is taking aim at (what they perceive to be) the heart of U.S. prosperity and power in the world.
I expect that the alarm bells in Washington are ringing a bit louder. At a minimum, look for President Obama to escalate his rhetoric against ISIS, with bipartisan support. (Which will mean, in the Democrats’ case, going against their own anti-U.S. / pro-Islam instincts; but they will.)
To follow up on V’s post about chemical weapons found in Iraq: Guess Who, in the Bush administration, didn’t want anyone talking about the weapons?
Theories vary, but according to Eli Lake’s article, it would have been Karl Rove:
Starting in 2004, some members of the George W. Bush administration and Republican lawmakers began to find evidence of discarded chemical weapons in Iraq. But when the information was brought up with the White House, senior adviser Karl Rove told them to “let these sleeping dogs lie.”
The issue of Iraq’s WMD remnants was suddenly thrust back into the fore this week, with a blockbuster New York Times report accusing the Bush administration of covering up American troops’ chemically induced wounds…
Dave Wurmser—who served at the time as a senior adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney on national-security issues—remembers…“In 2005-6, Karl Rove and his team blocked public disclosure of these findings and said, ‘Let these sleeping dogs lie; we have lost that fight so better not to remind anyone of it.’”
Rove’s reasons make sense. Except they don’t.
It’s true that a lot of politics is about Controlling The Narrative, and you want people talking about the narratives that work for your side. So you talk up the narratives that do, and you shut up about the ones that don’t. It is sometimes called “message discipline” or “staying on message”.
Except in one important case: WHEN YOU’VE BEEN LIED ABOUT. When someone (the Left) has lied about your integrity or key issue maliciously, you don’t pass up chances to air the exculpatory evidence – also known as The Truth – which will expose your opponents as liars. Especially when those chances to air the truth aren’t going to cost you much.
If Lake’s story is accurate, Rove was so clever about Controlling The Narrative that he lost sight of the most important narrative of all: Spreading the truth. Getting the real story out.
Rove may also have lost sight of the next most important narrative, Obeying the law:
After the U.S. found thousands of the old chemical-weapons shells, Wurmser and others at one point argued that they had an obligation to declare the stocks of chemical weapons under the Chemical Weapons Convention and destroy them. The United States was, after all, the occupier of Iraq and had assumed the country’s sovereign responsibilities as a signatory to the convention.
“It was all for nothing; Rove wanted the issue buried,” Wurmser said.
The law being the Chemical Weapons Convention, in this case.
I should acknowledge here that, if Lake’s story is accurate, then the rise of ISIS isn’t 100% the Obama administration’s fault. Oh yes, it’s largely their fault: the Obama administration was quite negligent in letting the Islamists in Iraq make a comeback. But apparently, the Bush administration may have been negligent in its failure to declare-and-destroy Saddam’s WMD stockpiles.
I come across items from time to time, of which I don’t know what to make. Conspiracy theorists make something of them. Not tending to be one, I file them in the back of my mind and await more information.
The latest is, a prominent German journalist discussing how intelligence agencies manage the media, whether by perks, bribes, help in writing stories (which are thus ‘planted’ stories), or harassment and retaliation on journalists who don’t co-operate. The implication is that our biased media is managed, not only by the political Left, but by the U.S. and other governments.
Another is this year’s spate of deaths among mid-level bankers (previously mentioned here). Most of them are officially suicides, but it’s an odd cluster; the more so as the last few years have been great for the financial sector. Whether these deaths are murders (to cover up something) or genuine suicides by the despondent, either way they would suggest a banking system much worse off than is generally believed.
Finally, there’s this chart:
The first implication is that, while the Taliban’s rule of Afghanistan in 2001 was repressive, at least they shut down heroin production. The darker-minded might also suggest that wealthy narcotics interests (and by extension, banking interests?) were particularly offended by the Taliban and eager to see them go. Which, if true, could make Afghanistan at least partly (apart from the al Qaeda/9-11 aspect) a modern-day Opium War.
P.S. If you want to help make sense of any of these in the comments, be my guest!
President Obama acknowledged Sunday that U.S. intelligence officials “underestimated” the threat posed by the Islamic State and overestimated the Iraqi army’s capacity to defeat the militant group…
Let’s be clear: Officials who were chosen and supported by Obama. The administration of Barack Hussein Obama underestimated ISIS.
Or else, we can make this entry #39,422 in the files of “Obama pretends that he hasn’t been president all these years”. In the interview, Obama goes on to also blame Iraq’s PM al-Maliki for the problems; never himself.
One more thing. Does Obama still have the U.S. backing the world’s evil dictators? It seems so:
Obama also acknowledged that the U.S. is dealing with a conundrum in Syria, as the U.S.-led military campaign against the Islamic State is helping Syrian President Bashar Assad, whom the U.N. has accused of war crimes.
“I recognize the contradiction in a contradictory land and a contradictory circumstance,” Obama said…
Bush practically would have been impeached, for saying that. (And Bush wouldn’t have said it because Bush did what he could, to push U.S. policy in the direction of overthrowing the world’s evil dictators.)
One more thing. Has Obama made it a thing of the past, that the U.S. might strike its enemies pre-emptively (or perhaps unilaterally, as the Left calls it)? Not so much:
Obama called the threat from the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, and other terror groups a more “immediate concern that has to be dealt with…” “…in terms of immediate threats to the United States, ISIL, Khorasan Group — those folks could kill Americans,” he said…
Both groups have been targeted by U.S. airstrikes in recent days…
Barack Obama: Just what the Left always *accused* Bush of being. And of course, the media lets him get away with it.
UPDATE: Some Democrats agree that it was the Obama White House, more than the U.S. intelligence community, which underestimated ISIS.
Former Rear Admiral Joe Sestak, a two-term Democratic member of the House of Representatives…appeared to surprise his MSNBC interlocutor when he noted that the only people who got ISIS wrong work in the Obama administration.
“If you remember back in January and February, the head — the general, the Defense Intelligence Agency, actually testified before the House and Senate that in 2014, ISIS would take over large swaths of territory,” the Navy veteran asserted. “In fact, at the time he testified, they had already seized Ramadi and Fallujah — 35 miles from Baghdad.”
A decade ago, Fallujah was a crucial victory for the Marines (some of whom gave their lives) against an earlier version of ISIS. I guess Obama threw it back.
UPDATE: A report that Obama was warned about ISIS in 2012. As Ed Morrissey puts it:
…the US intelligence community told him of the danger at the same time Obama ridiculed Mitt Romney during the presidential debates…for wanting a residual force in Iraq to prevent exactly what Romney warned would happen.
While China, Russia and Iran may not be natural allies, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” and they’re getting together to oppose the U.S. I’ve suggested before that President Obama’s efforts to isolate Russia are only goading these countries in their ongoing efforts to create a non-U.S. system for world trade and finance, a system that other countries (Germany, other BRICs, etc.) would come to do business with. Eventually bringing about the decline (or overthrow) of the U.S. dollar as the world’s key currency.
- BRICS countries are still setting up a Development Bank, like the IMF and World Bank but serving their own interests. It “will begin operating as soon as in 2015…The currency reserve pool will assist a member country with resolving problems with its balance of payments” – such problems as, oh, the U.S. trying to undermine Russia’s economy.
- Russia has dumped 20% of its U.S. Treasury bond holdings. (It will be more significant when China does it, but there it begins.)
- China has slammed Obama’s sanctions against Russia.
- China and Russia deepen their ongoing military ties, such as a joint naval drill which they held a few days ago.
- China and Iran announce plans to deepen their military ties. “According to an Iranian news report, [China's Defense Minister] Chang also said that China views Iran as a strategic partner.”
- A top EU Commissioner warned that “Any ‘sensible’ European Union citizen should oppose further sanctions on Russia because of the economic cost for Europe.” More recently, Germany’s Finance minister implies that the U.S. is a poor partner.
- If you believe the Voice of Russia (which tends to spew propaganda), Russia is reviving the GECF (like an OPEC for natural gas) with help from Qatar and other gas-producing countries. Also, Russia intends to use ruble/yuan instead of dollars in its energy trading.
- Putin opens Russia to greater Chinese investment. And large Russian and Chinese banks work out deals to settle payments in ruble and yuan, rather than dollars.
- A huge step forward for Russia and China: They finally sign their big natural gas deal. It’s worth $400 billion over 30 years, took a decade to negotiate and will involve tens of billions of joint capital expenditure by the two countries (e.g., new pipelines).
- “Russia may sign an agreement to build 8 nuclear reactors in Iran.” In other words, Russia views Iran as a strategic partner, and strives to help Iran’s nuclear program.
- In an interview, Putin says the ‘unipolar’ world order has run its course – and much more.
The non-U.S. dominated world: bit by bit, it’s coming.
Hat tip to Zero Hedge, which has long covered this story and furnished several of the above links.
Recall how in 2003, a massive scandal erupted when Richard Armitage, a State Department official under then-Secretary Colin Powell, happened to leak Valerie Plame’s name to a journalist. Plame was a CIA Stateside employee (arguably NOT under cover). Armitage was basically gossiping, and he never underwent any prosecution because it was no big deal. Except, of course, the Left/media had a field day pushing the scandal complete with the darkest possible allegations against President Bush, lionization of Plame and her partisan-liar of a husband, a federal prosecutor and a ‘gotcha’ conviction of Scooter Libby (a Bush staffer who was not the key leaker; Armitage was).
Recently, the White House leaked the name of a top CIA officer in Kabul, Afghanistan. His name was really a secret. He does serve abroad (and in a danger zone), and he is endangered by the leak. As the Washington Post puts it:
The Post is withholding the name of the CIA officer at the request of Obama administration officials who warned that the officer and his family could be at risk if the name were published…
The CIA officer was one of 15 senior U.S. officials identified as taking part in a military briefing for Obama…Their names were included on a list…circulated by e-mail to reporters…
It is unclear whether the disclosure will force the CIA to pull the officer out of Afghanistan…The identities of at least three CIA station chiefs in Pakistan have been exposed in recent years. In one case, a CIA officer became a target of death threats after his cover was blown, forcing the agency to rush him out of the country.
Should we expect any big scandal, Left/media outrage, federal prosecutors or trumped-up convictions over this?
Hillary thinks he’s a traitor. She recently said:
When he emerged and when he absconded with all that material, I was puzzled because we have all these protections for whistle-blowers. If he were concerned and wanted to be part of the American debate, he could have been…It’s sort of odd that he would flee…I don’t understand why he couldn’t have been part of the debate here at home. He could have quit, he could have taken whistleblower protection…
[GWU admissions officer] Freitag skimmed the extracurriculars, read the first essay, rated it good. GW also asks students to list a role model and two words to describe themselves. As for herself, Freitag said, she would list “Martha Stewart/Tina Fey” and “sassy/classy.” This year, she’s seeing a lot of Edward Snowden citations.
So whose view is right? Hillary’s, or the schoolkids’?
I must say this much: I don’t believe Hillary for one second when she talks about “whistleblower protections”, like she always honors them. I think that Snowden may have been right to fear for his life (not only his freedom), if should stay in the U.S. and try to play that game. And after seeing the U.S. government grow hideously out-of-control in the last 6-8 years, I would rather know about the NSA spying, than not.
So, on present information, I think it’s possible for Snowden to be both traitor (on foreign payroll?) and hero.
UPDATE: Meant to blog on these items sooner. They speak to the losses of liberty and privacy that we have suffered, in the last few years.
- Yes, the Obama administration does *warrantless* wiretaps and Internet monitoring on Americans, in America.
- The NSA reportedly knew about the ‘Heartbleed bug’ for 2 years and used it to steal people’s passwords and data, rather than helping to fix it – thus leaving everyone exposed to criminal hackers, as well as the NSA. The government denies the report – should that be taken as a confirmation of it?
- Obama signs a law that bans spies from entering the U.S. Hmm, did he just ban himself?
We know the Ukraine crisis is hot, with Ukraine and Russia accusing each other of terrorism and east Ukraine basically expecting a Russian invasion. But what interests me is the larger backdrop: the erosion of the U.S. dollar as the world “reserve currency” (or centerpiece of global finance and trade).
You see, the more President Obama tries to isolate Putin, the more he pushes Russia and its trading partners – such as China, India, Germany, Iran – to speed their efforts to integrate their economies and financial systems, to the exclusion of the U.S.
Consider the following news items. None are earth-shattering, but each reveals a bit of the picture.
- As I blogged two weeks ago, Russia and Iran are making progress on a large trade deal, which is being called ‘barter’ because the U.S. dollar won’t be used.
- Now the U.S. has warned Russia against that deal, saying it would trigger immediate, greater sanctions against Russia.
So, Russia annexing territory (the Crimea) is not really a big deal to Washington; it triggers token U.S. sanctions. But Russia trading with its own neighbor (Iran), in a way that bypasses the dollar-based financial system and thus the U.S. ability to eject little countries from world trade – that gets Washington’s attention. That tells you where the sore spot is.
- Russia has doubled military spending since 2010 and continues to increase it.
- Russia has doubled the price that Ukraine must pay for natural gas, and makes threatening noises about Ukraine’s failure to pay.
- Could those things be warnings to Europe? Why yes, along with more direct warnings: for example, Putin suggests that Europe’s gas supplies will be reduced if Europe doesn’t play ball with Russia.
- Could the threats work, prying Europe loose(r) from the U.S.? Possibly: A top German official warns that Germany needs Russian gas.
- Russia is set to strike a new gas deal with China, which speaks to further Russia-China integration.
- And Russian companies are getting set to issue Yuan-denominated debt, another sign of growing Russia-China integration.
Do you see where this is going? Not toward Russia being isolated. Maybe, in time, toward the U.S. being isolated.
UPDATE: Ordinary Russians are only annoyed, not frightened, by U.S. sanctions.
Like aging, the overthrow of the U.S. dollar (as the key world currency) is a gradual process. In the last month, I’ve blogged on Russia as a U.S. financial opponent, growing ties among the BRICS nations, and growing Germany-China ties, all tending toward the decline (or eventual elimination) of the dollar from those countries’ relationships with each other.
Today it’s growing Russia-Iran ties (that remove the U.S. dollar from their partnership):
(Reuters) – Iran and Russia have made progress towards an oil-for-goods deal sources said would be worth up to $20 billion, which would enable Tehran to boost vital energy exports in defiance of Western sanctions, people familiar with the negotiations told Reuters.
In January Reuters reported Moscow and Tehran were discussing a barter deal that would see Moscow buy up to 500,000 barrels a day of Iranian oil in exchange for Russian equipment and goods…
[A] source said the two sides were looking at a barter arrangement that would see Iranian oil being exchanged for industrial goods including metals and food…
The Iranian official said missiles would also be part of the deal, together with Russia providing assistance with building two nuclear plants in Iran…
Missiles? Yikes! But this is what you can expect, with
Jimmy Carter President Obama at the helm. He should have assisted Iran’s (aborted) Green Revolution back in 2009-10, when he had the chance.
Hat tip, ZH.
Russia is well-along in its plan of gobbling up Ukraine and its plan to deploy bombers and warships in Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. And East Asia in 2014 looks more and more like Europe in 1914, with China in the role of Germany (rising power), Japan in the role of Great Britain (declining power), and the Koreas in the role of Austria-Hungary (just one crazy event away from igniting the whole powderkeg).
And what is Obama doing? Gutting the American military to Great Depression levels. The latest budget also eliminates three of the military’s most vital weapons systems — the A-10 Warthog attack fighter, the Hellfire missile, and the Tomahawk missile.
The cost of the Tomhawk missile program is less than $200 million per year. In perspective, that cost is less than 1/3 the cost of the hopeless Obamacare website. It is less than the cost of two foreign vacations for Michelle Obama. It is less than half the amount of money that was flushed into Solyndra. It is less than half of the taxpayer dollars given to Planned Parenthood every year.
There can be no doubt that the despicable man in the White House is bound and determined to reduce the United States to a bankrupt, ineffectual, third-rate power. And the Congress will do nothing to stop him. We have in this country a “Let it burn” Congress and a pyromaniac in the White House.
This will not end well.
Related (from Jeff): A legitimate question, What would a Republican president do about Ukraine? “At this point, the GOP is split among hawks, realists and libertarians.”
We’ve gone from liberals who’d make fun of former GOP standard-bearer Mitt Romney (on Russia), to…well…Russians openly mocking President Obama.
Now being remembered, a typical example of liberals who made fun of Romney:
So I guess if Romney is elected we can get ready for a new cold war with Russia.
Romney got in his (well-justified) “I told you so” last weekend:
Why, across the world, are America’s hands so tied?
A large part of the answer is our leader’s terrible timing. In virtually every foreign-affairs crisis we have faced these past five years, there was a point when America had good choices and good options. There was a juncture when America had the potential to influence events. But we failed to act at the propitious point; that moment having passed, we were left without acceptable options….
“The US and EU sanctions against Russia are absurd and unreal,” State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Deputy Chairman Alexander Romanovich told Itar-Tass…“This is an operetta, and we can only laugh…”
UPDATE: Russia and China drawing closer together. “The worse Russia’s relations are with the West, the closer Russia will want to be to China. If China supports you, no one can say you’re isolated.” It’s just like Obama, to not get that.