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It’s bad news week, very Bad!
by harley Wednesday, May 7 2008, 8:02am
international / environment / commentary

It hasn’t been good for planet earth this week; a killer cyclone hit Burma and is predicted to take 100,000 lives, but no one has mentioned the liability issue of climate change/killer storms and the affluent nations that are clearly responsible!

chaiten.jpg

The USA and Israel continue their very desperate efforts to ignite WWIII in the Persian Gulf, but have failed to do it surreptitiously, so it seems they may throw caution to the (irradiated) wind and just go for it!

The USA is acutely aware that it has been vanquished by the new economic Goliaths of the world, China and India. Even Japan, traditional enemy of China, has welcomed Hu Jintao for talks; the writing is on the wall, Japan is loosening ties with the USA in favour of economic powerhouse, China. Both nations are currently dumping their greenback reserves.

The obvious conclusion the west chooses NOT to face is that laissez-faire or FREE MARKET CAPITALISM IS A DEAD MAN FALLING! Therefore the last trump card – military madness -- is about to be played on a supremely deserving public. The USA has one last (diminishing) advantage over other nations and it will not hesitate to use it! Madness, mayhem and annihilation are the rewards for allowing the most incompetent administration in American history to remain in the White house for eight years – the wages of incompetence are ruination.

But the most alarming news of all is geophysical. Self-important fleas and Homo sapiens are placed in perspective when the earth literally moves under our feet. The Chilean volcano, Chaitén, which has lain dormant for nine thousand years, has just blown its stack and continues to spew poisonous smoke and ash (thirty thousand feet) into the atmosphere. Vulcanologists and geophysicists are aware that an ‘event’ on the Ring of Fire is never isolated. If Mt Pelée and Mt Etna follow suit then expect major cataclysms on the West Coast of America – millions may die overnight!

If nothing else these events should put man’s foolishness and pettiness in proper perspective – cooperation may be learnt the hard way, which is unfortunately the usual way mankind learns.


“It’s good news week”
Written and recorded by Hedgehoppers Anonymous

It's good news week,
Someone's dropped a bomb somewhere,
Contaminating atmosphere
And blackening the sky,
It's good news week,
Someone’s found a way to give,
The rotting dead a will to live,
Go on and never die….


“Eve of Destruction”
Recorded by: "Barry McGuire"
Written by: (P.F. Sloan)

The eastern world it is explodin',
violence flarin', bullets loadin',
you're old enough to kill but not for votin',
you don't believe in war, what's that gun you're totin',
and even the Jordan river has bodies floatin',
but you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
nah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction.

Don't you understand, what I'm trying to say?
Can't you see the fears that I'm feeling today?
If the button is pushed, there's no running away,
There'll be no one to save with the world in a grave,
take a look around you, boy, it's bound to scare you, boy,
and you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
nah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction.

Yeah, my blood's so mad, feels like coagulatin',
I'm sittin' here, just contemplatin',
I can't twist the truth, it knows no regulation,
handful of Senators don't pass legislation,
and marches alone can't bring integration,
when human respect is disintegratin',
this whole crazy world is just too frustratin',
and you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
nah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction.

Think of all the hate there is in Red China
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama!
Ah, you may leave here, for four days in space,
but when you return, it's the same old place,
the poundin' of the drums, the pride and disgrace,
you can bury your dead, but don't leave a trace,
hate your next-door-neighbour, but don't forget to say grace,
and you tell me over and over and over and over again my friend,
you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction.
no no you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction.


Copyright applies to song lyrics.

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A Warning Shot from Moscow?
by Anne Applebaum via fleet - AEI Wednesday, May 7 2008, 7:09pm

Before it happened, nobody imagined that the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo would set off World War I. Before the "shot heard round the world" was fired, I doubt that 18th-century Concord expected to go down in history as the place where the American Revolution began. Before last weekend, when the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS declared that the government of Georgia was about to invade Abkhazia, nobody had really thought about Abkhazia at all. As a public service to readers who need a break from the American presidential campaign, this column is therefore devoted to considering the possibility that Abkhazia could become the starting point of a larger war.

If you haven't heard of Abkhazia, don't worry: It's a pretty safe bet that it's probably not the priority of many people in the White House, either, and it hasn't even been one of those "can you name the general who's in charge of Pakistan" trick questions in the campaign. On the contrary, Abkhazia ranks right up there with Nagorno-Karabakh, Dagestan, South Ossetia and all the other forgotten Caucasian regions, cities and statelets that no one wants to think about too hard but where, occasionally, something really awful happens.

For the record, Abkhazia is a province of Georgia that declared its independence in 1992. A small war followed, and ethnic cleansing of Georgians from Abkhazia came after that. There have been some U.N. attempts to make peace, and Georgia has tried offering Abkhazia wide autonomy, but, mostly, Georgia and Abkhazia maintain an uneasy stalemate, which occasionally turns into an extremely uneasy stalemate. Usually this happens when an atmosphere of extreme uneasiness is useful to Russia, which is Abkhazia's closest military, economic and political ally and has a long-term interest in the destabilization of pro-American, pro-Western, pro-NATO Georgia.

If Russia does invade Georgia--an emerging democracy, an aspiring NATO ally, a country with troops in Iraq and many implicit assurances of security from Washington and Brussels--then the West will have to come up with a major response.

Thus, when the Russian news agency announces that Georgia is about to invade Abkhazia, it may mean that Georgia really is about to invade Abkhazia. But it might also mean, as everyone in the region understands, that Russia is about to invade Georgia--as a "preemptive strike," of course.

Why would the Russians do that? Or even hint that they want to do that? Russian politics having become utterly opaque, it's hard to say. Some think Russia began stirring up trouble in Abkhazia in recent weeks to exact revenge for NATO's recognition of Kosovo--or perhaps to be able to strike quickly, had NATO decided at its recent summit to offer Georgia a clear path to membership, which President Bush vocally supported. Others think that recent Russian pronouncements, some of which come close to recognition of Abkhazian independence, are related to the inauguration this week of the new Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev. Maybe Medvedev wants to demonstrate how tough he is, right at the beginning. Or maybe someone else wants to demonstrate how tough Medvedev is, on his behalf. In any case, someone, Abkhazian or Russian, has shot down at least two and maybe four unmanned Georgian military planes in the past six weeks in what looks like a pretty obvious attempt to create a casus belli.

It might not work--and for the moment the Georgians say they have no intention of declaring war. But Georgia holds parliamentary elections this month, under the leadership of a president who might be grateful for a chance to look bold. If the provocation works, or if Russia does invade Georgia--an emerging democracy, an aspiring NATO ally, a country with troops in Iraq and many implicit assurances of security from Washington and Brussels--then the West will have to come up with a major response, if not military then political and diplomatic.

The timing couldn't be worse. There are many wonderful things about the American political system, but one of the least wonderful is the amount of energy a presidential campaign sucks out of public life. Between now and January, the current president is a lame duck: Could he make any credible response to a Russian invasion of Abkhazia, should such a thing happen? Is anybody ready to debate a whole new part of the world? Last weekend, the American media focused unprecedented attention on . . . the Guam primary, in which 4,500 people cast ballots and Barack Obama won by seven votes.

Of course, from another perspective, the timing couldn't be better: If you wanted to attack an American ally, or if you just wanted to destabilize and unnerve an American ally, wouldn't this be the perfect moment? Perhaps if the Russians don't take the opportunity, someone else will.

© 2008 American Enterprise Institute


 
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