I love that Politico says that we are in “at least 5″ wars. You know, because maybe 1 or 2 aren’t really wars technically, or the American public doesn’t really know about them, whatever. At least 5.
And let’s be real honest. They aren’t just lapdogs for Obama. They are lapdogs for Sheldon Adelson (Graham’s new sponsor) the billionaire head of Las Vegas Sands who hates Rand Paul and Paul’s father and anyone else who thinks that aid to Israel isn’t sacrosanct.
By the way, here’s a cute little picture of John McCain and Lindsey Graham, the 2 guys who say that Rand Paul is naive on matters of foreign policy, presenting a commendation to Abdelhakim Belhadj the current leader of ISIS in Libya.
(From War is Boring)
That’s $45 billion dollars the military can’t track and the reason is … ridiculous. According to SIGAR, the Pentagon didn’t check a box on an electronic form when it filed the information in government databases.
Many believe that the precipitous decline in the price of oil that the world just saw was Saudi Arabia’s reaction to Obama cozying up with Riyadh’s sworn (literally) enemy, Iran. Saudi Arabia essentially dropped an “oil bomb.” The blast from which the world appears to have absorbed for the most part.
Now the spigots are still on but the flow of oil isn’t increasing. As such the price of crude has more or less stabilized at between $45-$55/barrel. The bombing for the time being has stopped, or at least isn’t escalating.
Nick Gillespie is a great writer and advocate for liberty. Here he analyzes Rand Paul’s proposal in the Senate which will increase military spending by billions. Something which has disappointed many small government conservatives and libertarians.
I am disappointed to see this, but presidential politics are presidential politics. Overall what he is proposing is a large overall net decrease in expenditures which is excellent. His amendment reduces the size of government which is the point. Still, I hate to see more bloat at the Pentagon.
No big deal. What could terrorists possibly do with $500 million in US weapons?
I’ve noticed a pattern and it goes like this:
We engage in some desert state chock full of terrorists and soon to be terrorists. We engage militarily via different means. Sometimes we invade. Sometimes we arm the local “government” army. Sometimes we start droning bad guys from the sky. Usually it’s a combination.
Then at some point we pull out for whatever reason. Or the local government forces are defeated. Either way we leave behind plenty of high powered playthings for our enemy.
“And who could forget Eurocorps here in Strasbourg last year, virtually goosestepping that ghastly flag around the courtyard outside.”
Farage believes that the current rising tensions with Russia are being used by some in Europe as an excuse to expand EU military powers. Powers some in the EU have long coveted.
But an armed European Union with all of the Continent under 1 flag is a worrying development as far as Mr. Farage is concerned. And one he feels should be of concern to his countrymen and to the broader world.
The “goosestepping” jibe while the EU Parliament was meeting in Germany was calculated.
There is no doubt that this is a soft spot for the Russian leader. Putin is a crony of the highest order and he is surrounded by a constellation of lesser cronies. Russia is pretty much a cronocracy and has been for a long time.
It should be noted that no one is clean here. It’s not like Britain isn’t full of all sorts of financial nastiness. One need only look at the LIBOR scandal to see this. But the Russian oligarchs are a particularly brazen breed. For a Russian public which is now suffering through yet another currency crisis the oligarchs’s ostentatious style may be off putting and could provide a propaganda win for the West. On the other hand many Russians blame the West for their economic woes, not Putin.
A few weeks ago we wrote about the “mandarin class” which populates official and think tank Washington DC. We argued that many of the people making important policy decisions are dangerously out of touch with the real “blood” of America, the grit, the nuts and bolts. Many of this group of folks come from the same northeastern schools and have similar political dispositions (which is to say establishment liberal). This wonky concentration has only increased over the years.
In our prior post the emphasis was on domestic policy technocrats. But many of the same things can be said for some at Defense as well. “War mandarins” move up through the ranks of academia to find perches within official “Defense.” It is there that their theories can be executed on the world stage. Where they can play Risk with real armies and with real lives. Often with disastrous results.
Crony capitalists do well during wartime. There is a lot of money to be made in guns, bombs, and death. World War I, or as it was called, “The Great War” was the first time such destruction (and war commerce) was wrought on a global scale. I personally find it a fascinating time.
Consider that the Federal Reserve, the income tax, the plane, the tank, the machine gun, chemical warfare, The Soviet Union, and the First World War itself were all born within a few years of each other. It was a time of massive change and rising statism. Those few years in many respects defined the next 100.
These “friends and allies” supported (support?) ISIS because they are a Suni counter to Hezbollah, the Shiite army controlled by Iran.
So now we have to go in and spill American blood because the nutbar brush fire got out of hand? (And by extension help Iran and Hezbollah?) We’ve spilled enough blood for very questionable reasons in the Middle East.
By the way, if you want to read an absolutely fantastic article on the radical Islamic group Clark says our “friends” enabled I suggest What ISIS Really Wants in The Atlantic.
If there is any example of the disconnect between the oligarchs and the American people it is that some people with money to burn are willing to burn it supporting Lindsey Graham for president.
Lindsey Graham. Yes, that guy.
The oligarch to which we are referring is Sheldon Adelson. This is the same Sheldon Adelson who recently said that he didn’t like journalism and that Israel need not remain a democracy. Nice that he’s supporting “democracy” in the United States though.
Sweden cuts interest rates to below zero. The rest of Scandinavia looks about. Deflation looms. Ukraine fights. Greece revolts. France and Belgium are coming to terms with terrorist attacks. Obama asks for permission to widen the war in the Middle East. Russian billionaires spill into Switzerland forcing a de-peg from the euro. Russia herself writhes economic in crisis. China continues to slow. International shipping slows too.
Ghosts? We don’t believe in ghosts. But history and lessons learned or not learned is another issue.