Pipeline repaired as China works to contain spill– direct hands-on at risk! http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38358995/ns/us_news-environment
BEIJING — China and environmental observers said cleanup efforts on the country’s largest reported oil spill were progressing Thursday, but the environmental and economic damage was clear.
The cleanup — marred by the drowning of a worker this week, his body coated in crude — continued over a 165 square mile (430 square kilometer) stretch of the Yellow Sea off the northeastern city of Dalian, one of China’s major ports and strategic oil reserve sites.
China National Petroleum Corp. said Thursday that the pipeline that exploded and caused the oil spill last Friday had resumed operations. The blast had reduced oil shipments from part of China’s strategic oil reserves to the rest of the country. The cause of the explosion that started the spill was still not clear.
The company, Asia’s biggest oil-and-gas producer by volume, also said more than 400 tons of oil had been cleaned up by 9 a.m. Wednesday, according to a posting on its website.
The environmental group Greenpeace China released photos Thursday of local fishermen cleaning up oily sludge at Weitang Bay with shovels, and of an employee scooping up dead snails at Guotai Water Products Farm, about 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) from the site of the explosion and spill.
“Dalian’s seafood farming and tourism industries have taken critical hits,” Greenpeace China said in a statement. It estimated 10,000 shellfish farms have been contaminated.
Fishing in the waters around Dalian has been banned through the end of August, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.
Greenpeace China also saw progress in the cleanup at Jinshitan, one of Dalian’s most popular beaches.
“On Jinshitan beach, several hundred fishermen, citizens and paramilitary police were using straw mats to absorb the oil,” said Zhong Yu, a Greenpeace China worker. “The cleanup there was almost done, but the air still remained smelly.”
The Dalian Daily newspaper cited an official in charge of cleanup efforts as saying the polluted area was shrinking, but no update on the spill size was issued Thursday.
It remained unclear exactly how much oil has spilled, but state media has said no more is leaking into the sea.
China Central Television earlier reported an estimate of 1,500 tons of oil has spilled. That would amount roughly to 400,000 gallons (1,500,000 liters) — as compared with 94 million to 184 million gallons in the BP oil spill off the U.S. coast.
The ecological harm from the spill could last a decade, Zhao Zhangyuan, a researcher with the China Environmental Science Research Institute, told the Shanghai Morning News earlier this week.
“The most critical is the effect on people, the effect on health,” Zhao said, because the decomposing oil will produce some carcinogenic substances that could move along the food chain to humans.
Question? What will happen as countless people in China DEMAND oil for their new found ‘Western’ lifestyle desirers?
Just stop the world, I want to get off please. NOW!
…. who made it and who was in on it????
Okay folks– just for the sheer sake of jumpstarting your nervous system today. Read this report. I promise you that in it you will discover one sentence that will make you pause your breath for a second– and then you will think “ How did I not already figure that was coming”. What a deal folks, what a deal!!!!!!!!!!!
European Stocks Climb for Sixth Day; BMW, BP Shares Advance
July 13, 2010, 12:14 PM EDT
July 13 (Bloomberg) — European stocks climbed for a sixth day to a three-week high as Alcoa Inc. began the U.S. earnings season with profit that beat estimates, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG raised its forecast and BP Plc gained.
BMW, the world’s biggest maker of luxury cars, jumped the most in 15 months after saying higher volumes in 2010 will boost profit. BP increased 2.9 percent after installing a new cap on its leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico and as Abu Dhabi said it’s considering making an investment in the company.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 1.9 percent to 255.99, erasing this year’s losses. The measure has risen 8.2 percent over the past six days amid easing concern about the economic recovery and speculation that the selloff in equities since April has overshot the outlook for company profits. The gauge remains 5.9 percent below this year’s high.
Earnings “forecasts look too low and we expect a strong majority of companies to beat their numbers,” said Graham Bishop, the London-based head of pan-European equity strategy at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. “We already know a great deal about the performance of the global economy through the second quarter. Consensus economic forecasts have actually been revised materially higher.”
Portugal’s PSI-20 Index was the second-weakest western European market today as Moody’s Investors Service cut the nation’s credit rating by two notches to A1 because of a growing debt burden and weak economic growth prospects. The gauge gained 0.1 percent, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 and France’s CAC 40 surged 2 percent. Germany’s DAX rallied 1.9 percent.
Greek Bond Sale
Greece’s ASE Index surged 2.6 percent as the nation sold 1.63 billion euros ($2.1 billion) of 26-week Treasury bills at a rate below the 5 percent charged by the European Union for its bailout package, easing concern the country faces punitive costs to borrow.
BMW rallied 8.3 percent to 42.13 euros, leading a gauge of auto stocks to the biggest gain among 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600. The luxury-car maker forecast 2010 sales volumes will rise by about 10 percent to more than 1.4 million units, with a full-year profit margin of more than 5 percent expected for the automobiles segment. Rival Daimler AG advanced 5.4 percent to 43.81 euros.
Peugeot SA climbed 5.3 percent to 24.37 euros and Volkswagen AG preferred shares gained 5.2 percent to 77 euros. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its price estimate on the French carmaker by 3 percent to 34 euros and on the German automaker by 4 percent to 78 euros, saying increased demand and “attractive valuations” favor the industry, according to a report today.
BP advanced 2.9 percent to 410.35 pence, extending yesterday’s 9.4 percent jump. The oil company installed a new cap on its leaking Gulf of Mexico well and will start testing today whether this will stop the gusher while work continues on a permanent plug. Separately, the Financial Times reported that BP expects to be able to write off the oil-spill cleanup costs against taxes, without saying where it got its information.
Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said the emirate is considering making an investment in BP.
“We are still thinking about it,” he said in an interview in Abu Dhabi today, when asked about potentially buying a stake in the London-based oil producer. “We are looking across the board. We have been partners with BP for years.”
Alcoa, the largest U.S. aluminum producer reported second- quarter profit that topped analysts’ projections as higher metal prices boosted sales. Earnings from continuing operations were 13 cents a share, exceeding the 11-cent average estimate of 17 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Profits for S&P 500 companies are projected to have increased 34 percent in the second quarter and by the same amount in 2010, according to analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Intel Corp., the biggest maker of semiconductors which reports quarterly earnings after the close of U.S. exchanges today, is among 23 companies in the index to announce results this week.
Burberry Group Plc surged 3.7 percent to 818.5 pence, the highest level since at least 2002. The U.K.’s largest luxury retailer posted a 27 percent gain in first-quarter sales, beating analysts’ estimates, led by growth in Asia and deliveries to wholesale customers.
Unilever, the world’s second-largest maker of consumer products, gained 2.9 percent to 1,898 pence and British American Tobacco Plc advanced 2.6 percent to 2,277 pence as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. upgraded both companies to “buy” from “neutral.”
SEB AB surged 4.9 percent to 48.75 kronor after the second- largest bank in the Baltic countries returned to profit in the second quarter as loan losses in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania decreased.
DNO International ASA rallied 4.9 percent to 8.74 kroner, the highest close since April, after the Daily Telegraph reported that RAK Petroleum Pcl has made an offer to buy the remainder of the Norwegian oil producer. DNO Chief Executive Officer Helge Eide said he had “no comment and no information” on the report.
–Editors: Andrew Rummer, David Merritt.
WTF are people supposed to do?? Hell, I wish my Grandfather was here so I could get some insight as to how to navigate through times such as these!!! He was born in 1898. I did listen to him when he spoke about the Depression– but I sincerely would like to of heard the deep ‘how tos’. God Bless those fromback then– and God Bless us from today!
Michael A. FletcherWashington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 13, 2010 TOMS RIVER, N.J. — Even before his unemployment checks ended, Dwight Michael Frazee’s days were filled with the pursuit of any idea that could earn him a buck. But few are working out, and now his nights are filled with dread.
In the coming weeks, the Senate is expected to resume its debate about whether to extend the emergency jobless benefits that were passed in response to the steep increase in unemployment caused by the recession. But people like Frazee, who have suffered the longest in the downturn, will not be part of that conversation. They are among the 1.4 million workers who have been unemployed for at least 99 weeks, according to the Labor Department, reaching the limit for the insurance. Their numbers have grown sixfold in the past three years.
The 99ers are glaring examples of the nation’s most serious bout of long-term joblessness since the Great Depression. Nearly 46 percent of the country’s 14.6 million unemployed people have been out of work for more than six months, and forecasters project that the situation will not improve anytime soon. Currently, the Labor Department says there are nearly five unemployed people for every job opening.
Frazee, 50, has applied for work at more places than he can remember since he lost his construction job two years ago. He has tried car dealerships, Kmart, Home Depot and the funky shops on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights, near Toms River. He looked into becoming a commercial crabber, working in title insurance and as a bail bondsman. But no dice.
While searching for work, he lived on $585 a week in unemployment payments. But the checks were cut off in May when he reached 99 weeks. Now Frazee, who is married and has a 5-year-old daughter, is in a financial free fall with no safety net.
“My life has been total stress. I sleep maybe four hours a night, worrying about money,” he said. “I understood the president and Congress had to stabilize the banks, get Wall Street going. I figured something would be done for middle-class Americans, that they couldn’t abandon us. But I was wrong.”
Since the recession began in December 2007, lawmakers have passed several extensions that stretched the normal 26-week limit for unemployment benefits to as long as 99 weeks in the hardest-hit states. In the Washington area, only workers in the District, where unemployment is 10.4 percent — well above the 9.5 percent national rate — qualify for the longest-term unemployment benefits. Virginia and Maryland residents can receive benefits as long as 86 weeks, including 60 weeks of federally financed benefits. The Labor Department has no statistics on the number of workers in each jurisdiction who have exhausted their benefits.
With the federal extensions now up for renewal, Congress has shown decreasing enthusiasm for them amid increasing concern about the ballooning deficit.
On several occasions, Senate Republicans have said they would not vote for stimulus bills that included unemployment extensions, saying any new spending must be offset by cuts elsewhere. With the extensions expired at least temporarily, more than 2 million Americans have lost their unemployment benefits, according to the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal research organization. A report by the House Ways and Means Committee estimated that 21,700 Virginians, 12,300 Marylanders and 5,200 D.C. residents lost their benefits when the extensions ended.
Congress’s inaction has been accompanied by a growing sentiment among lawmakers that long-term unemployment benefits create a disincentive for the jobless to find work.
“Workers are less likely to look for work, or accept less-than-ideal jobs, as long as they are protected from the full consequences of being unemployed,” said Michael D. Tanner, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank. “That is not to say that anyone is getting rich off unemployment, or that unemployed people are lazy. But it is simple human nature that people are a little less motivated as long as a check is coming in.”
That was disputed by Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, who cited a recent study ordered by congressional Democrats. “These benefits do not inhibit job seekers from vigorously looking for or accepting work,” she said.
The growing backlash against unemployment insurance has left the 99ers with few political advocates. President Obama, buffeted by GOP criticism of his economic policies as unemployment rates hover at their highest levels in 28 years, has been struggling to win support for renewing the extended jobless benefits. Consequently, any help for the 99ers is off the table, at least for now — leaving them angry at their political leaders.
“President Obama talks a lot about making the victims of the gulf disaster whole, but what about the victims of this economic disaster?” Frazee said. “Nowadays, he seems mostly concerned with image. Now, he doesn’t want to be seen as a big spender. But people need help.”
A 34-year-old resident of Vienna, Va., named Brian, who withheld his last name because of his embarrassment about being out of work, worked in corporate finance for nine years before being laid off three years ago. He exhausted his unemployment benefits long ago and has been living off savings and credit. “Before this, I figured that if you can’t find a job in two years, you’re not looking,” he said. “But I keep looking and jobs just are not there. The economy is not recovering. It’s being propped up by government spending. But when that ends, I think this whole mess is not over with.”
Here in Toms River, Frazee has not earned a regular paycheck since working as a $75,000-a-year laborer during the construction of the Borgata hotel in Atlantic City. That was in July 2008, just as the economy was imploding — and just after he was returning to health after having a cancerous appendix removed.
Since then, he has not worked, save for a recent four-day stint cleaning up a construction site at a nearby state college. He has fallen behind on mortgage payments for his sunny townhouse, and he is staring at the prospect of foreclosure even after negotiating a loan modification with his lender, Wells Fargo.
Most of the time, Frazee said, he has been confident that things would work out, if only because they always have. He started as a construction worker after his father’s endorsement helped him land a spot in the Laborers’ International Union Local 415 shortly after he graduated from Toms River South High School in 1978.
When he wasn’t working construction, he had jobs on oil rigs off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif., and in the Gulf of Mexico. He also was a bounty hunter. “I’ve never been one to feel sorry for myself,” he said. “I’ve always worked.”
Until now. The longer he is out of a job, the more unemployable he feels. He suspects that potential employers are turned off by his age and by the fact that he has been out of work for so long. But he is moving near the top of the hiring list for his union. And in the meantime, he has been buying mail-order children’s quartz watches from China and selling them on consignment at local convenience stores. He clears close to $3 per watch.
“I’m a union construction worker, but I think I can be a hell of a salesman,” Frazee said. “A lot of the stores around here are owned by Indian Americans, and they like me. They’re taking my watches. Maybe India and China are going to help me out of this jam if my country won’t.”
The above is the full 8 minutes
Ya know– I hate ‘sound-bites’ and I sure am wise enough to know when I end up listening to something in pieces, that I do not nor will I ever have the entire history regarding anything that I just heard. Now– I do know the following–
1] This woman was in control of the call and dialoge
2] I do not believe he knew it was being taped
3] She said what she wanted said on the tape
4] If we taped anyone of us during a domestic tyrate it would not be pretty
5] He sounds like every Biker [sorry bikers] I ever knew
6] IF domestic violence did happen, he is wrong– flat out wrong
7] I am not a shrink, so there can be no diagnosis from me while I sit in my armcahir
8] I have used almost every word he used at one time in my life
9] I actually don’t think this tape is any of our business
10] Obviously he is out of control about something way past what we are aware of… in their life together
11]… He should never ever hit nor threated to put her [or anyone] under.
12] Can anyone one of us look back honestly in our own lives and say that we or someone we knew had never ever gotten into a heated screaming match? Would you want it recorded for all to hear out of contents??
AGAIN== Mel is wrong with his rage and violence… I am just speaking to the ‘taping’.
The media is having a hayday with this… Mel needs help, counceling…. something. And she needs to just do what she has to do in court, get to court and settle whatever she wants to settle– but ya know, somewhere in the nasty oh-so-wrong shit is a bid for money– and tons of it. I am not saying Mel didn’t do terrible stuff, he most likely sure as hell did– but I am just not excusing her or the media on this one either. The Radar Online folks stated that she personally did not give them the tapes. I am sure she sure as hell had a hand in it– she needed public outrage, or so she thinks. Screw this mess… I want to hear the well is capped and the clean-up is going well, and the troops are coming home [which will add to millions of more unemployed Americans because WHERE ARE OUR TROOPS GONNA WORK?? So there ya have it– this story is not a news worthy story!!! Jobs, Troops, Wars, Unemploymeny, healthcare, enviornment are true stories!!!
I am lost and forgotten in this hell where countless Americans exist!! My Unemployment runs out very soon… and also while you read this, know that they only cleared me for $16.00 per month for Food Stamps! Now let me bitch about the new healthcare for Pre-Existing folks. What I feared the most about this bill came true! I knew they all talked about healthcare for everyone– no one turned away or denied. BUT what they never ever said was ’ affordable to the poor”. I contacted the state about the pre-existing Ins. Oh, I can get it– but the premium is 600 per month!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Suck, things suck badly! WTF! People need jobs!!!!!!
WASHINGTON — Keeping unemployment benefits flowing for millions of workers whose jobs were eaten by the recession should have been a slam dunk in an election year.
But until this month, Senate Democrats have been unable to bring themselves to pass a simple bill that just does it. Instead they’ve demanded a series of unrelated and often controversial tax and spending add-ons that have enabled Republicans to mount successful filibusters.
Now that the legislation has been shorn of all the extras, the bill could win final passage soon. It can’t come soon enough for more than 2 million people whose checks have been cut off in a five-month impasse in which there’s plenty of blame to go around:
_ Democrats and their leaders made several decisions that in retrospect look like miscalculations, like pulling the rug out from under a bipartisan measure launched back in February and loading a subsequent bill with $24 billion for governors — guaranteeing that most Republicans would vote against it.
_ Republican moderates voted one way in March to help the bill pass but changed their minds just weeks later, having gotten religion from GOP leaders and tea partiers on the budget deficit.
Little remembered amid the ongoing partisanship and recrimination is that jobless benefits also got sideswiped by President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.
To reduce the health care bill’s impact on the deficit, Democrats decided to close almost $30 billion in tax loopholes. Until the final health care push, those revenues had been designated to cover the cost of extending other popular family and business tax breaks as part of a broad bipartisan jobless benefits package.
Besides the jobless aid, the measure contained a payroll tax holiday for businesses, tax breaks for business, health insurance subsidies and help for doctors facing a cut in their Medicaid payments. It had support from across the political spectrum, from Obama to conservative Senate Republicans.
Some liberals, however, balked at the deal, which was cut principally by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and the committee’s senior Republican, Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa. The liberals didn’t like that their “jobs agenda” seemed hijacked by business lobbyists, who won items like research and development tax credits and some arcane measures such as tax breaks for NASCAR tracks. With unemployment hovering just under 10 percent, they also thought it was too light on subsidies for preserving and creating jobs.
So Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid blew up the agreement, instead advancing a pared-back jobs bill excusing businesses from having to pay the employer share of Social Security taxes this year on any new workers they hire. Economists were dubious it would produce many jobs. Meanwhile, unemployment aid would wait for later legislation.
“We could have had this bill passed in three days and … Reid decided to scuttle it,” Grassley complained. “Baucus read about it in the paper.”
The delays meant that Congress had to pass a short-term extension of jobless benefits at the end of February. Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., worked out a deal for a quick vote to avoid an interruption in benefits.
But another Kentucky Republican, Sen. Jim Bunning, single-handedly held up the bill for days, demanding that government spending elsewhere be cut to pay for the jobless benefits rather than add to the federal debt. Bunning folded on March 2. But his fight resonated with tea partiers and millions of other voters worried about year after year of trillion-dollar deficits.
In the meantime, Reid resurrected the longer-term jobless aid package. He mixed in familiar elements like extending expired tax breaks and added a $24 billion package of aid to cash-starved state governments so they could avoid layoffs of tens of thousands of public employees — a key part of last year’s economic stimulus bill.
The result was a bill adding almost $100 billion to the deficit. That meant that GOP support would be limited. But it still passed in March with support from several Republicans, including key moderate Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine and George Voinovich of Ohio.
That was the bill’s high point. The political sands soon began to shift.
Another short-term unemployment insurance extension — needed to buy time for negotiations on the bigger bill — came at the end of March. It would be the last. Beginning in June, hundreds of thousands of workers unemployed for more than six months started losing the weekly checks.
More Republicans picked up on Bunning’s position and demanded cuts in other programs, including Obama’s $862 billion stimulus bill passed a year earlier, to pay for the extension.
It was a message the party felt increasingly comfortable with after losing the health care fight, especially as the European debt crisis roiled the markets and the U.S. government’s debt topped $13 trillion. Republicans stressed that with the unemployment rate still near double digits, jobless benefits averaging $300 a week should be extended — but that they should be paid for.
“You never know in politics when that magic moment comes when things really begin to change, but I believe that it has occurred now,” GOP Whip Jon Kyl of Arizona told reporters March 26. “I think you’ll see a much greater commitment now to fiscal responsibility.”
The short-term jobless aid extension passed, but it took until late May for their House and Senate negotiators to agree on a longer-term jobless aid package featuring new business tax increases but still racking up $115 billion in new government debt over the next decade.
This time, conservative House Democrats recoiled. House leaders were forced to sharply pare the measure back, eliminating new aid for state governments as well as a longer-term fix for doctors threatened with a 21 percent cut in Medicare payments.
The House passed the bill on May 28, returning the measure to the Senate, where debate consumed the Senate’s entire June schedule. Democrats still wanted to help governors with their payrolls but ultimately acceded to cutting it by one-third and paying for it partly with cuts from last year’s stimulus bill. Even that measure failed just before Congress recessed for the July 4 holiday.
Reid is now resigned to a stand-alone six-month extension of unemployment benefits at a cost of $33 billion. Aides say he will try to pass it when West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin names a successor to fill the seat of Democratic Sen. Robert C. Byrd, who died two weeks ago. Those who lost benefits will get them retroactively.
Democrats also maintain hopes of passing a $16 billion aid package for governors aimed at preserving the jobs of tens of thousands of state workers through the election. They intend to pay for it in part by cutting food stamp benefits.
I am not sure this even begins to cover the countless people crossing our borders unheeded. God only knows what they are carrying, delivering etc. All and all if they are claiming that NAFTA secures borders or jobs… well again and again this bright idea failed the country.
These are the figures for U.S. Trade per Country….
Call me crazy– but first : I don’t believe ‘all’ the figures
and secondly I just keep thinking ‘ what exactly did we trade for that couldn’t of been produced here?”
And why the hell do we trade with our enemies???? To win their hearts and minds…? How about winning your own citizens hearts and minds so they can get back to work, make a liveable wage, stay healthy… and pay into their own systems .
The above link is to their site….
Thought you all might be interested…
Remember— teach it— celebrate it.
Start with 1776…
Camp is empty report and video link
I watched the report on this on BBC. This camp is empty because AGAIN the haitian Government is elitist and corrupt. The ‘weathly’ folks who used to live in fine Starter-Castles and McMansions said they wouldn’t live there. And AFTER the USA donated these tents, bathrooms, watering stations etc.. the Haitian government built this camp for the RICH folks who will not live there. They demand the government TEAR THEM DOWN and build them their big homes again on that level land!!! Meanwhile, starving poor folks who have nothing are across the road in a slum camp seeing this camp and are not allowed there. I tell you what, I think the poor folk need to revolt!! and march their starved asses over to the new camp… and squat. Ok I know, they would most likely be killed… but damn it this makes me so friggin mad. THIS IS EXACTLY wtf has been wrong in haiti all along. Its not that other countries haven’t helped… but their government keeps the donations and goods for the upper elite [as if they are really classey folk! ]… geeeece.
Nation building in Afghanistan is not our job— it is theirs.
By Eugene Robinson
Friday, June 25, 2010
The good news? Nobody has to pretend anymore that Gen. Stanley McChrystal knew how to fix Afghanistan within a year. The bad news? No
President Obama was absolutely right to sack the preening McChrystal, whose inner circle, as portrayed in Rolling Stone magazine, had all the seriousness and decorum of a frat house keg party. And it was a brilliant political move to turn to Petraeus, who is made of purest Teflon. Critics who might have been tempted to blast the president for changing horses in midstream can hardly object when he has given the reins to the man who averted a humiliating U.S. defeat in Iraq.
Note that I didn’t credit Petraeus with “winning” in Iraq. He didn’t. What he managed to do was redeem the situation to the point where the United States could begin bringing home its combat troops. If the Obama administration’s aims in Afghanistan are recalibrated to accommodate objective reality, then Petraeus can succeed there, too. But this means that the general’s assignment should be a narrow one: Lay the groundwork for a U.S. withdrawal to begin next summer, as Obama has pledged.
After relieving McChrystal of his command Wednesday, Obama called in his national security team and read the riot act. No more bickering, sniping, backbiting or name-calling, the president ordered. Play nice.
But all the comity in the world doesn’t resolve the essential tension between those who believe our goal in Afghanistan should be defined as “victory” and those who believe it should be defined as “finding the exit.” Two thousand years of history are on the side of the “exit” camp, and the fact is that at some point we’re going to leave. The question is how much time will pass — and how many more young Americans will be killed or wounded — before that inevitable day comes.
McChrystal, who designed the counterinsurgency strategy being attempted in Afghanistan, didn’t disguise his opposition to administration officials such as Vice President Biden, Ambassador Karl Eikenberry and special envoy Richard Holbrooke, who questioned whether the strategy could work. Petraeus is far too good a politician to fall into that trap. He won’t allow any daylight between himself and the civilian leadership.
But ultimately, there’s going to be no way to avoid the central question: What kind of Afghanistan will we leave behind?
One answer would be that we have to leave in place a durable, functional central government that has full legitimacy and control within the nation’s borders. This would provide the United States with a reliable ally in a dangerous region and also ensure that Afghanistan would never again be used as a launching pad for attacks by al-Qaeda. But to get the country to that point, given where it is now, could take a decade or more of sustained, concentrated attention. It would mean not just defeating the Taliban but molding the regime of Afghan President Hamid Karzai into a reasonably honest, effective government. This would be a tall order even if Karzai were a stable, consistent, loyal partner. Does anybody believe that he is?
A better answer would be that it’s enough to leave behind an Afghanistan that no longer poses a serious threat to the United States or its vital interests. Nation-building would be the Afghans’ problem, not ours.
Petraeus was successful in Iraq because he realized that he couldn’t create an Athenian democracy in Baghdad. But the highly imperfect Iraqi government is light-years beyond what the general is likely to be able to achieve in Kabul. Even after the war, Iraq was left with modern infrastructure, a highly educated and sophisticated population, and a sizable percentage of the world’s proven oil reserves. Afghanistan has none of these advantages. The political culture is stubbornly medieval; the populace is poor, uneducated and wary of foreign influences. Afghanistan does have great mineral wealth, apparently, but no mining industry to dig it out and no railroads to get it to the marketplace.
In recent testimony before Congress, Petraeus was less than definitive when asked about Obama’s July 2011 deadline. Because he has such credibility and standing in Washington, his view on when we can begin to leave Afghanistan will be more important than McChrystal’s ever was. I hope that by putting Petraeus in charge of the war, President Obama hasn’t consigned us to a longer stay. His comments Thursday seem to indicate the possibility.
Oh– and I can bet you that Petraeus told the President that he would accept this position with a few conditions– Like ‘Hey I am a Battle Field General.. And I want to WIN, [ like there is such a thing as win] not mandy-pandy around. I am going to make a few changes to your rules of combat– LIKE allow the men to shoot!!!!!” “ Oh and by the way, Rolling Stone Mag, set up McChrystal!”
6 weeks in thousands of seconds! way cool
Many folks have remarked that they think this is all Muslim backed… how about 1] At least our President can read 2] he is reading a book openly not appearing to hide it. God forbid!
so… in your opinion whats the big deal?
You know its bad when the IDF won’t even use the current name of the boat they just stopped. We also need to understand that seven of the nine killed on the Mavi Marmara were reportedly shot IN THE BACKS and HEADS.
Nine Turkish men on board the Mavi Marmara were shot a total of 30 times and five were killed by gunshot wounds to the head, according to the vice-chairman of the Turkish council of forensic medicine, which carried out the autopsies for the Turkish ministry of justice today.
The results revealed that a 60-year-old man, Ibrahim Bilgen, was shot four times in the temple, chest, hip and back. A 19-year-old, named as Fulkan Dogan, who also has US citizenship, was shot five times from less that 45cm, in the face, in the back of the head, twice in the leg and once in the back. Two other men were shot four times, and five of the victims were shot either in the back of the head or in the back, said Yalcin Buyuk, vice-chairman of the council of forensic medicine.
Dude, those people were systematically hit. You do not accidentally put 4 rounds in a man’s head.
How nice. Especially from America’s Closest and Bestest Friend in the world.
The hero John Boehner said it best:
“… Israel has every right to defend itself against terrorists which threaten its very survival. The United States has no closer friend than Israel, and the American people stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Israelis…”
And don’t think it is just the “right-wing” hacks that are protecting the murdering criminals. That stalwart “left-wing” hack, Brad Sherman, believes that we should take things even further. He thinks that any Americans that were on that ship (one was shot in the head, so he won’t be in prison any time soon) should be arrested, have their balls cut off and fed to Bibi Netananywho.
In a conference call organized by The Israel Project, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) told reporters that activists participating in the flotilla were aiding Hamas and therefore breaking US law.
“The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 makes it absolutely illegal for any American to give food, money, school supplies, paper clips, concrete or weapons to Hamas or any of its officials,” Sherman said, as quoted at Jim Lobe’s foreign policy blog. “And so I will be asking the Attorney General to prosecute any American involved in what was clearly an effort to give items of value to a terrorist organization.”
Brad, you dumb-ass. Do I have to do a contribution search on you to find where your money roll is buttered? Bet how much of your funding comes from AIPAC?
As a matter of fact, the contribution list is long and telling (originally from Maplight.org, and reproduced at OpEdNews):
AIPAC campaign contributions to congressmen, highest first, full list at link…
Top Senate Recipients Funded
Joseph Lieberman $1,226,956
John McCain $750,368
Benjamin Cardin $487,572
Mitch McConnell $415,710
Richard Durbin $376,387
Carl Levin $366,378
Arlen Specter $338,080
Debbie Ann Stabenow $329,053
Bill Nelson $324,691
Jon Kyl $312,358
Mary Landrieu $291,609
Frank Lautenberg $260,333
Robert Menéndez $219,135
Daniel Inouye $197,750
Harry Reid $179,640
Sheldon Whitehouse $170,421
Ron Wyden $163,771
Maria Cantwell $162,598
Mark Udall $161,173
Christopher Dodd $158,132
Barbara Mikulski $152,050
Kent Conrad $150,410
Susan Collins $139,518
Mark Pryor $138,250
Jeff Merkley $136,130
Top House Recipients Funded
Mark Kirk $458,979
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen $141,507
Howard Berman $122,600
Eric Cantor $119,350
Ted Deutch $104,031
Steny Hoyer $100,050
Shelley Berkley $98,501
Gary Peters $94,522
Ron Klein $88,550
Nancy Pelosi $83,400
Steve Israel $77,000
Nita Lowey $68,600
Paul Hodes $65,950
Ike Skelton $64,049
Kendrick Meek $57,601
Deborah Halvorson $56,622
Gabrielle Giffords $56,000
Eliot Engel $54,600
Brad Sherman $53,500
Janice Schakowsky $53,195
Roy Blunt $47,550
Dan Burton $47,350
Alcee Hastings $46,150
Mary Jo Kilroy $46,135
Bill Foster $45,550
Debbie Wasserman Schultz $45,060
Robert Andrews $43,825
Patrick Murphy $41,000
Gary Ackerman $39,950
Brad Ellsworth $38,850
Silvestre Reyes $38,750
Lincoln Diaz-Balart $35,775
Steven LaTourette $35,325
Allyson Schwartz $33,625
Jerry Moran $33,300
Melissa Bean $33,150
Mike Pence $31,700
They aren’t our ally. Nothing could be farther from the truth than that bogus lie perpetuated on gullible Sheoplistic Americans (especially the brain-numbed religious ones that believe that bombs represent Jesus and that somehow, defying all logic, they believe that the contemptuously evil Zionists will “carry Christ’s cross for them”). I don’t know what’s worse, the fools who defy Christ, but carry His name, or the evil and murdering assholes who laugh at those very same false-religious buffoons’ every gullibility.
It is time to cut off that evil cancer known as Israel. That is what you do with enemies. Cut their head’s off, right? Let us cut off the money and the head will follow.