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JD
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Re:Iran.
« Reply #15 on: 2006-02-28 18:12:39 »
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Quote from: Casey on 2006-02-28 09:57:57   

[Jonathan Davis]In the meantime, it does not help that the Democrats are back to their old protectionist selves over the Dubai Ports International affair.

[Casey]
I'm not sure what your sources are to support the above assertion, but living in the United States offers one a dearth of information; whether it be in the form of newspaper articles, tv interviews, or official government statements.  Suffice to say, it's not the Democrats alone who oppose this transaction.  There has been quite the uproar by Republicans who've sided with Democrats who happen to dispute handing over operations to the UAE owned, Dubai Ports World. 

I know there is bi-partisan concern. I believe some of the politicians are genuinely worried about security concerns. I believe the majority of  are politically motivated against this takeover.

The National Security argument holds no water.

This is a silly issue. The UAE is a moderate ally. It is downright absurd to object to the ports being managed by a given company just because it is based in an Arab country.

Since this forum is increasingly about purple prose and slogans, let me chime in:

Down with protectionism! Down with anti-Arab racism!

JD

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Re:Iran.
« Reply #16 on: 2006-03-01 03:59:58 »
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[Jonathan Davis] Down with protectionism! Down with anti-Arab racism!

[Hermit] Indeed. The P & O has always been a neoimperial organization (with Disney calibre costumes) which should be a perfect fit with the USA of today. And Dubai is clearly the Las Vegas of the Middle East. No threat to anything but Cheney's Halliburton's wallet.

[Hermit] Realization dawns.

[Hermit] Evidently we will have to nuke the UAE as well as Iran.

[Hermit] Speaking of Iran (and Dubai):

IAEA says no evidence of Iranian n-weapons plan
Report likely to influence agency's Vienna meet

Source: The Hindu
Authors: Atul Aneja
Dated: 2006-03-01

DUBAI: As the countdown for a crucial meeting on Iran on March 6 gets under way, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has revealed that it has not found any evidence that Teheran had diverted material towards making atomic weapons.

In its report which has been circulated to its 35 board members, the IAEA said that its three years of investigations had not shown "any diversion of nuclear material to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices", the Associated Press reported.

Cooperation sought

However, it called upon Iran to substantially increase its cooperation with the IAEA inspectors as the agency has not been able "to conclude that there are no undeclared nuclear materials or activities in Iran."

Without heightened cooperation, the agency would be unable to establish whether some of Iran's past nuclear activities under wraps were not linked to the manufacture of nuclear weapons. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki who has been visiting Japan said, "They (IAEA) could not find evidence which shows that Iran has diverted from its peaceful purposes of nuclear activities in Iran." The report is likely to strongly influence the March 6 meeting in Vienna where the IAEA board is expected to discuss the future course of action on Iran.

On February 4, the board had decided to report Iran's case to the U.N. Security Council, which can take action against Iran, including the imposition of economic sanctions.

Buoyed by the report, Iran is rushing the head of its Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Larijani to Russia for another round of talks.

A Russian delegation led by Sergei Kiriyenko held talks with Iran over the weekend.

These discussions had revolved around the establishment of a joint venture facility in Russia, which would produce enriched uranium for generating electricity.

That meeting produced an "agreement in principle" on this subject.

However, later, differences appear to have surfaced on another issue on whether Iran would be allowed to operate a small-scale enrichment plant for research purposes.

The IAEA report said that Iran had begun enrichment using 10 centrifuges a move which can result in the production of only minute quantities of enriched uranium.
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Re:Iran.
« Reply #17 on: 2006-03-01 05:53:58 »
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[Hermit] I'll post more on this issue when I get a chance. In the meantime, I do think that there are signs that at least some in the US may be seeing a war with Iran as an ideal way of burying some of the economic catastrophe caused by the war in Iraq - and possibly even to make it turn a profit.

[Jonathan Davis] Not even you can blame this economic mess on Bush. This is the culmination of 20 years of fiscal policy.

[Hermit] Really? Why not? In Clinton's last year the deficit was 18 billion dollars. This year the deficit will exceed 600 billion. Somebody was behind this.



[Jonathan Davis] I invite you to read "The Truth About Markets : Why Some Countries are Rich and Others Remain Poor " by John Kay for a sound overview of the facts undistorted by any anti-Bush biases.

[Hermit] Does it notice the fact that most people in the US now are vastly poorer than their counterparts in Europe and their chances of escaping poverty are lower even than those in Portugal (Refer Inequality.org)? The picture is as skewed by averages as the distribution itself.



[Jonathan Davis] I do not believe the US will attack Iran. I agree with Stratfor's assessment that the Iranians have learned from North Korea that the best way to get US attention is to threaten with the nuclear issue.

[Hermit] I don't weyken that belief is sensible or that yours is well grounded. Anticipating rational behaviour from the US appears more optimistic than realistic.

[Jonathan Davis] Iran knows Israel will destroy it if it develops weapons (capability plus delivery system). An Israeli attack on Iran, particularly a nuclear attack, is a doomsday scenario and all the players know it.

[Hermit] As senior Israeli political figures have repeatedly threatened (and not just Iran). This does not, you think, form solid grounds to apply sanctions or worse on Israel to attempt to reduce this threat?

[Jonathan Davis] Since you appear to understand economics,

[Hermit] Why thank-you.

[Jonathan Davis] I find it odd that you would think that a war with Iran will "[bury] some of the economic catastrophe caused by the war in Iraq" yet fail to explain why that mechanism does not work with Iraq?

[Hermit] Halliburton, BP and others which have just had record years would disagree with you. It works fine - for some - for Iraq. But there is much more money to be made.

[Jonathan Davis] In short, war stimulates the US economy. That stimulation comes at a cost of more debt, but that net cost is masked by the fact that compared to the debts accrued over the last 20 years, the outflow from Iraq is tiny.

[Hermit] Iraq (and Afghanistan) have cost the US economy at least 2 Trillion dollars and arguably much more - with no end in sight. The accrued debt when Clinton left office was approximately 6 Trillion dollars and, despite an hostile congress, falling. Today it is about 10 Trillion dollars - and rising. This despite last years "windfall" as a result of the now expired one-time tax-break granted to multinationals repatriating funds.

[Jonathan Davis] The global economic situation is not good. The US is the powerhouse of the global economy and it *appears* to be running on vapours.

[Hermit] Much worse. The US has to import as it no longer has the capacity to produce much of what is needed on a day to day basis - including raw materials and agricultural goods. On the other hand, what is exported is largely goods which others could easily obtain elsewhere - or wean themselves from. Not a position of strength.

[Jonathan Davis] There are contrarian voices calling people like you and me Cassandra's (e.g http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20050301facomment84201/david-h-levey-stuart-s-brown/the-overstretch-myth.html). I hope they are right.

[Hermit] He argues that the deficit is unimportant. When the GDP was growing and the US exported things that others wanted, I agreed. Today that is not the case.



[Jonathan Davis] In the meantime, it does not help that the Democrats are back to their old protectionist selves over the Dubai Ports International affair.

[Hermit] In the USA there is no effective difference between the left and right, Democrats or Republicans any longer. The difference is between the securicrats who are the aged haves,  and everyone else who have far less than they realise.

[Hermit] So long as Fox and CNN wind their viewers up over issues, the public will act as a useful mob to those controlling their opinions. As my tagline here has said for a while, "Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices." (Voltaire). And as America has proved of late, there is no absurdity so great that the mass cannot be made to swallow it.
« Last Edit: 2006-03-01 05:56:08 by Hermit » Report to moderator   Logged

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Re:Iran.
« Reply #18 on: 2006-03-02 09:07:33 »
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Quote from: Hermit on 2006-03-01 05:53:58   

[Hermit] I'll post more on this issue when I get a chance. In the meantime, I do think that there are signs that at least some in the US may be seeing a war with Iran as an ideal way of burying some of the economic catastrophe caused by the war in Iraq - and possibly even to make it turn a profit.

[Jonathan Davis] Not even you can blame this economic mess on Bush. This is the culmination of 20 years of fiscal policy.

[Hermit] Really? Why not? In Clinton's last year the deficit was 18 billion dollars. This year the deficit will exceed 600 billion. Somebody was behind this.

That is an excellent post H. Those graphs are extraordinary. I had no idea that the deficit had grown so large so fast. 

Could it be macro-economic attractors? I mean could a government achieve that sort of increase if they *tried*?

JD


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Re:Iran.
« Reply #19 on: 2006-03-03 11:16:53 »
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[]Jonathan Davis] I mean could a government achieve that sort of increase if they *tried*?

[Hermit] The reason that Bush has just invalidated the NPT is China. The only reason that Bush is trying to be nice to India, arguing that they should keep answering American phones and programming American computers, despite the cost in decreasing popularity from the protectionionists at home  (basically all Americans) is China.

[Hermit] The largest single holder of US bonds after Japan is China (see http://www.ustreas.gov/tic/mfh.txt).

[Hermit] In terms of the deal, the US will supply India with enriched Uranium fuel to power her "civilian" reactors, meaning that India can preserve the output from her non IAEA inspected fast breeder reactors for military purposes. Put another way, India has been given the green light to produce 12 additional nuclear weapons a year by Bush. I'm sure that China and Pakistan are feeling safer.

[Hermit] Of course, a secondary reason is that US Arms sales (major foreign currency generator) to India will now soar...

[Hermit] Now what happens if the dollar devalues?

[Hermit] Now answer, the question...
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Re:Iran.
« Reply #20 on: 2006-03-05 11:21:08 »
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Quote from: Hermit on 2006-03-03 11:16:53   


[Hermit] Now what happens if the dollar devalues?

[Hermit] Now answer, the question...

China, Japan and other Asian bond holders suffer greatly. The US debt load is lightened considerably....

I suspect this is a rhetorical question you may be prepared to answer for me? 

JD
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Re:Iran.
« Reply #21 on: 2006-03-05 14:53:30 »
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[Jonathan Davis] I mean could a government achieve that sort of increase if they *tried*?

[Jonathan Davis] China, Japan and other Asian bond holders suffer greatly. The US debt load is lightened considerably....

[Jonathan Davis] I suspect this is a rhetorical question you may be prepared to answer for me?

[Hermit] The answer to all the above is the same, "yes". In a letter to his wife, Bess, just before overiding his Chief of Staff, Admiral William D. Leahy, who warned that atomic bombs would be in the same category as poison gas, a violation of "all of the known acts of war.", Truman wrote, Uncle Will "says the Lord made a white man of dust, a nigger from mud, then threw up what was left and it came down a Chinaman. He does hate Chinese and Japs. So do I." Nothing much has changed since then. The jump of 3 Trillion since Clinton means that approximately $28,000 debt is owed per American (man, woman and mewling infant). Reducing that by devaluing the currency will principally harm Japan, China and the UK. The Neocons might once have spared a tear for the UK.

[Hermit] For an on-line debt clock try http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/
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Re:Iran.
« Reply #22 on: 2006-03-06 09:02:49 »
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Quote from: Hermit on 2006-03-05 14:53:30   

The jump of 3 Trillion since Clinton means that approximately $28,000 debt is owed per American (man, woman and mewling infant). Reducing that by devaluing the currency will principally harm Japan, China and the UK. The Neocons might once have spared a tear for the UK.

[Hermit] For an on-line debt clock try http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/

I saw the Chairman of HSBC on CNN this morning. They just announced 21 Billion dollar profit.

He made some very cryptic comments to Todd Benjamin who was interviewing him, saying in effect that the short term picture was fine and the profit was all well and good but the longer term picture was stark and very challenging.

When asked what he meant, he said (I am recalling this from grogy memory) that the US was the engine of global growth but it had a massive external deficit which was profoundly worrying.

he said there were two scenarios and I am not sure what he meant.

He said the deficit would "unwind" but the question is would it do so in a rapidly (catastrophically) or would it do so gradually.

He claimed that he was an optimist and he thought it would do so gradually with US citizens increasing their savings and thereby neutralizing the deficit.

You might want to track down a transcript, it was an extraordinary statement from such a powerful man.

JD

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