Recently in International Category

No, Not Restraint.

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Oh, for crying out loud. Once again the New York Times shows it has hired wanna be mind readers instead of journalists.

(NYT) BEIRUT, Lebanon -- Thousands of Syrians took to the streets again on Friday in virtually every region of the country, but in some locales, Syrian security forces showed restraint in not firing on the demonstrations in a possible bid to keep down a death toll that has brought growing international pressure and strained relations with Syria's few allies.
How about, instead of attempting to read the mind of people half a world away, they instead go by recent middle east history and recognize that the Syrian leadership is losing the support of the security forces. But no, that would be showing bias. Best to make it appear the Syrian leadership is not losing control of the country. We couldn't have that now, could we?

Maroons.

Can I Have Your Attention

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Do you really think the French, during our revolution, cared one iota about saving the colonists, or democracy. Hell no. They were all about economic benefit. Anything to stick it to the English. However, in the process the United States of American came into existence.

Oh, and yes, the people of Libya would be ignored if there was no oil. However, I can not help but wonder if the violence would even be happening in the Middle East if there was no oil.

Now, that being said; Mustang Bobby is right:

All war is just a bad, bad idea. It means that there are no ideas left, and that just isn't acceptable.

Spade Time

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It's time to call the fighting in Pakistan a civil war, one that's been going on for many decades, and one that George W. Bush managed to put us smack dab in the middle of because of allowing Osama to escape.
Normally, I am not one to jump to any conclusions in regards to a person's, or nation's, intentions. However, considering that North Korea's rocket flew directly over Japan and supposedly failed to place it's payload into orbit, I'd be willing to go out on a limb and say they just signaled to the rest of the world they are now a nuclear power.

Do they have enough to go toe to toe with us, or any other country with a left over cold war arsenal? Probably not. In fact, I'd go so far as to say North Korea has assured it's own destruction. If they lob one of their inferior bombs at, say, Pakistan or India, good bye North Korea.

Now, if they pointed one of those bombs at the US, hell we wouldn't even need to use any nuclear weapons in retaliation. A good week of carpet bombing with conventional weapons would be just as effective as a few lobbed nucs. The North Korean government and military is posing, images of grandeur populating their collective imagination in compensation for their lack of true might and completely ignorant of their inability to stand up to the big boys at the moment.

However, that does not mean they will remain impotent. Having possibly developed nuclear weapon capability, and obviously having developed the very real capability of transporting a nuclear weapon, we are going to have to deal with North Korea quickly.

I could go on at this point about the failure of the last administration in preventing North Korea from developing nuclear capability, but that will not change the facts now in place. North Korea has shown itself capable of inflicting severe damage to it's neighbors and disrupting an already unstable global state of affairs. Regardless of how North Korea managed to achieve nuclear weapons capability, we now have to address the issues.

Even more frightening is the real possibility of North Korea setting off World War III. With North Korea stands China. Whether we like it or not, China will have much to say in the manner of how North Korea is dealt. We mishandle China - look out.

The United States once managed to put into place a framework to keep North Korea sedate. Then, with our collective heads shoved up our collective asses, we placed George W. Bush into the Oval Office - twice! We now are facing the real consequences of that insanity. I hope to God we've managed to place a man in the Oval Office capable of rectifying this mess left for him; and us.

Too Big To Fail

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Too big to exist.

Bottom line; AIG is a cancer that has successfully metastasized.

Amid the flap over bonuses at American International Group Inc. two of the company's top managers in Paris have resigned. Their moves have left the giant insurer and officials scrambling to replace them to avoid an unlikely but expensive situation in which billions in AIG trading contracts could default.

Representatives of the Federal Reserve, AIG's lead U.S. overseer, are talking with French regulators and AIG officials to deal with the consequences of a complicated legal scenario in which the departures of the managers in Banque AIG, a subsidiary of AIG's Financial Products unit, could trigger defaults in $234 billion of derivative transactions, according to people familiar with the situation and a document AIG provided to the U.S. Treasury.

Whether we'd like it to or not, I suspect in the end AIG will fall, and with it the global economy. What's worse, the executives set it up purposely to cause this kind of chaos. Well, actually, even worse yet; the governments of the world stood by and let it happen.

Welcome to globalization.

Putin Challenging Obama?

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(CNN) -- Kyrgyzstan parliament has voted to close a base the U.S. military uses as a route for troops and supplies heading into Afghanistan, a government spokesman said Thursday.

Of the 87 members of parliament who attended the session, 78 voted to close it, the spokesman said.

The law must now be signed by the Kyrgyz president. It will then be forwarded to the United States, after which the U.S. military has 180 days in which to withdraw from the base, the spokesman said.

Somehow, Putin figures into this move. Does he have enough clout with the Kyrgyzstan parliament to cause this move? I suspect he does. Unfortunately, all I have are suppositions and hunches. But, then, once upon a time, that's all our administration had.

Do you know how nice it is to write "had?"

Opps

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LONDON, England (CNN) -- A British Royal Navy nuclear submarine was involved in an accident with a French submarine while on operations in the Atlantic Ocean, CNN has learned. Both vessels are understood to have been carrying nuclear warheads at the time and to have suffered damage.
I know there was a time France and England were enemies, but still.....

Anyway, there are two Captains without commands. Ever.

Mean While, Back At The Sand Box

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(CNN) -- The second-highest ranking official in Iraqi President Jalal Talabani's political party resigned Saturday, along with four other high-ranking Kurdish politicians, officials said.
The kids just don't seem to be getting along. They are not playing or working well with each other.

Should Not Be Happening

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You know, had the previous administration actually acted faithfully and competently, we would not be reading stories like this:

(CNN) -- Five children were among "a number" of civilians killed in a firefight between insurgents and Australian troops in Afghanistan's Oruzgan Province, Australia's Defense Ministry said in a news release issued Friday.
Sorry, but this kind of incident pisses me off to the end.

My Sky Is Getting Crowded

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MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- Two satellites, one Russian and one American, have collided some 800 kilometers (500 miles) above Siberia, the Russian federal space agency, Roscosmos, said Thursday

The collision produced two large debris clouds, which are not believed to pose a threat to the International Space Station as long as the clouds continue moving in a lower orbit, Roscosmos said.

There is a chance the debris could hit other satellites at the same altitude, however, the space agency said.

"We have not received a warning of the possible danger to the ISS. The fragments may descend to the ISS orbit in several years, although I do not rule out that some fragments may go down within several days," Mikhail Martirosov, from the Russian mission control center, told the Russian news agency Interfax Thursday.

Looks like there's a need for Space Traffic Control.

The Domino Effect

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Growing up I was taught the Domino Theory; the fall of one country to communism would inevitably result in the fall of another, then another, so on and so forth. That theory itself seems to have had a set back in the end of the 80s when the Soviet Union fell apart. China's move to capitalism certainly nailed the coffin shut.

However, when it comes to economics, especially globally, I suspect we are seeing the first in what no doubt will be a Domino Effect; the fall of Iceland. Where as the collapse of communism in eastern Europe was hailed as a failure of socialism, I can't help but see now the failure of capitalism.

While Kevin Drum frets about nationalization of the banks, I figure it's a done deal, only being held back because of fear of the plunge. But extremes never work long term, whether it be socialism or capitalism. What needs to happen is a nice, steady balance of both. Unfortunately, I suspect there will be a swing closer to socialism for a bit until some of the more worthy capitalism systems are stabilized. Until then, prepare for a bumpy ride.
CNN

Hamas rocket fire into southern Israel prompted Israeli forces to launch a military campaign in Gaza 10 days ago, which culminated in a major ground offensive at the weekend.
All things considered, both Hamas and Israel can proudly thump their chests at having caused the death of 530 people, including 100 women and children, and the injuries to 2,600 others.

This is stupidity on the part of humanity as a whole, but especially for Hamas and Israel. Neither have any claim to righteousness. In fact, it goes without saying that violence and righteousness together form an oxymoron. What really sucks is that, for the most part, the leadership of both sides sit comfortably on the sidelines while the majority of death occurs to the average person.

The use of violence is proof that intelligent people are not in control of the situation.

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the International category.

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