A vote for Clinton is a vote for War

Hillary R. Clinton ran the US State Department from 2009 through 2013, overseeing the Grand Debacle in the Middle East and the collapse of US diplomacy into the trap of demanding Syria’s Assad departure or else.

It is in foreign relations that she claims her greater advantage over Bernie Sanders but Clinton still embraces the old Cold War Russophobia, this at a time when the US and Russia must work together t manage the multiple crisis points.

Of course, everybody knows she supported H.W. Bush with her vote for war against Iraq in the U.S. Senate in 2003. Much sorrow has come from that vote.

A View into the Future: Post Script to June-November 2012

Using the previous 4 years experience as guide we may expect:

The national economy will continue to languish with low growth and high unemployment. I do not believe we will enter another recession during the next four years but we will be becalmed. Some states – New Jersey under Christie/Sweeney among them – will continue to apply the brakes on the nations’s economic growth. Neither Obama nor Romney, and certainly not the U.S. Congress, will address the factors in the U.S. tax code which encourage capital export.  Accordingly, regardless of who wins, Wall Street will remain disconnected from Main Street.

Needless to say, the national debt will continue to grow with either one.

Even if president Obama wins in November 2012, we already know his capability for abdicating postulates made while campaigning. We should expect that there will be negative effects on Social Security and Medicare, two social programs which candidate Romney has on his hit list, even if Obama is victorious. Obama will adopt some of Romney’s proposals. Such effects would most likely be cuts in both programs, perhaps somewhat smaller under Obama than those which would be implemented by a hypothetical President Romney.

We should also expect a re-elected President Obama to slightly reduce other social programs that he is now, during the campaign, defending with vigor. Either Obama or Romney will sweeten draconian cuts by phasing them onto the younger generations.

I would also expect that a re-elected President Obama would abandon at least some of his tax positions in support of the lower and middle classes, all for the sake of compromise. Similarly, there will be retreats in issues such as the environment and Wall Street regulatory statutes.

As a rule of thumb, President Obama will cede ground wherever big money is involved. He will hold out better in social issues such as birth control and same sex marriage.

President Romney would be very negative on the social issues mentioned above and similarly or even more accommodating toward big money.

Income gap would grow more under Romney than under Obama although the difference between the two will not be large.

We should expect that either President Obama or Romney will continue making inroads into our civil liberties using terrorism as excuse, even after Al Qaeda is wiped out.

A President Romney would be more likely to get the United States involved in another major foreign war.

With either president, New Jersey should expect very little help from Washington and that is why our own gubernatorial election of 2013 is so important: We will be basically on our own. We can hardly afford irresponsibility, demagoguery, and incompetence any longer.

In Drugs, Cuba Topics, the U.S. Is Isolated at Summit of the Americas

Drug war, including legalization, hot topic at Summit of the Americas – CNN.com.

“Obama voiced his view that legalizing drugs isn’t a valid option in the United States twice on Saturday — first during a meeting of business leaders alongside Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Santos and later during the event’s opening day session.”

I ask: Why? We are not winning the drug war. In fact, we are not winning any war but we kept on getting  in trouble because it is good business – for some; not necessarily for the county. And also because our leaders are not the ones doing the fighting nor are their kids. No wonder Milton Friedman, the economic adviser and ideologist of the Reagan administration, considered ending the military draft his greatest achievement.  The voluntary army makes war less disturbing among the high circles at tea time.

I digressed a bit. Back to the drug issue: With less than 5% of the world population, we have 25% of the prisoners of the world – that is counting all the bad guys such as North Korea, Burma, Cuba, etc. Does the lyric “the land of the free” in our National Anthem still apply?

From a Ron Paul website:

# 1 United States: 2,019,234 prisoners
# 2 China: 1,549,000 prisoners
# 3 Russia: 846,967 prisoners
# 4 India: 313,635 prisoners
# 5 Brazil: 308,304 prisoners
# 6 Thailand: 213,815 prisoners
# 7 Ukraine: 198,386 prisoners

And per capita:

# 1 United States: 715 per 100,000 people
# 2 Russia: 584 per 100,000 people
# 3 Belarus: 554 per 100,000 people
# 4 Palau: 523 per 100,000 people
# 5 Belize: 459 per 100,000 people
# 6 Suriname: 437 per 100,000 people
# 7 Dominica: 420 per 100,000 people

Drug legalization has gained traction in Central America, which is being squeezed between the suppliers to the south and the consumers to the north. Mexico is in a virtual state of civil war, notably in the northern region near the U.S. border. The cartels get their arms from across the Rio Grande. Even peaceful Costa Rica is beginning to feel the effect of the drug traffic and its president recently called for the legalization of pot.

President Obama’s best reason to oppose legalization (of anything) is that we have prohibited those substances for such a long time that is almost a tradition now. The man who promised “Change you can Believe in” has brought very little of it. And his likely opponent, Romney, is not any better; possibly worse.

If elected governor  in 2013, I intend to propose the decriminalization of marijuana sale and use in New Jersey – with the exception of the established radius around schools. However, under federal law, it will still be a crime. The N.J. Police will not chase you but the US DEA will if my proposal is adopted. I also intend to pardon a number of non-violent drug prisoners, notably those arrested because of possession of pot, now in N.J. jails.

I don’t think New Jersey is ready for more than that at the moment.

As for admitting Cuba back in the OAS and the entire US policy toward Cuba, I will just say this: It has become another traditional policy that does not take us anywhere but we have no imagination or courage to change it. The US embargo was a big problem for us in the opposition inside. We had no supply lines because of it. We were abandoned. Castro, on the other hand, has used it for propaganda purposes with great success for 52 years.

War with Iran Unjustifiable and Would Be Disastruous for the United States Economy

There is no way that an attack on Iran will be limited to a few air strikes and then the conflict will fizzle out. If israel or the United States – or both – attack Iran, we will be opening the Pandora’s Box of war in the entire Middle East. In such a conflict, it is more than likely that the bulk of our allies will stay neutral. Many Iranians who oppose their current tyrannical regime will rally to defend their country from Israeli and U.S. attack.

Among the steps that Iran may take to respond to our attack are stirring up the secession of Shiite southern Iraq thus cutting off access of the rest of the country to the Persian Gulf, disrupting Iraqi oil production, sinking ships in the relatively narrow and shallow Strait of Hormuz to block Kuwaiti, Bahraini, Qatari and Saudi oil exports, mine-laying in the Persian Gulf and even in the adjacent Gulf of Oman, unleashing Hezbollah on the northern border of Israel, opening a front on the western border of Afghanistan which is relatively quiet now, etc

Disruption of the commercial traffic through the Strait of Hormuz will send the price of oil sky high. Needless to say what effect that would have on New Jersey’s economy and the entire country.

Notice that in the data below there is no box indicating how many times the two nations have been attacked: Israel was attacked in 1948 – right after declaring independence – and in 1973 – the Yom Kippur War – but Iran was not among the aggressors in either conflict.

Iran, on the other hand, was occupied by the Soviet Union and Great Britain during WWII, saw a coup d’etat engineered by the CIA and MI6 in 1953, and was invaded by Iraq in 1980.

From Globalfirepower.com.

Population Israel: 7.2 Million Iran: 70 Million
Wars launched on neighbors: Israel: 1956, 1967, 1982, 2006, 2008-9 Iran: 0
Nuclear Warheads Israel: ~200 Iran: 0
Military Budgets: Israel: $13.4 Billion * Iran: $7.4 Billion
Per capita military expenditure: Israel: $1,805 Iran: $105
Total Aircraft Israel: 1,220 Iran: 84***
Active Military and Reserve Personnel Israel: ~600,000 Iran: 875,000
Total land-based weapons: Israel: 14,200 ** Iran: 5,499 **

* Includes $2 Billion in U.S aid.

** May include tanks, pieces of artillery, rocket launchers. etc

*** Most Iranian aircraft are pre-revolution models, such as the Phantom-4 of the Vietnam War era.

The AIPAC (American Israeli Political Affairs Committee), which is essentially a super PAC, has strong influence in Washington and is pushing the U.S. closer toward the Israeli position of taking military action this year. We should be committed to Israel’s defense; not to Israel’s aggression. I have zero sympathy for the tyrannical regime of Iran. But that is not the point here. The President of the United States should never subordinate the interests of this nation to those of others.

War with Iran is not in the interest of the United States even if Iran develops a nuclear weapon. We are living with countries such as Pakistan and North Korea with nuclear arms. That is why the United States (and Israel) have a nuclear deterrent for.

Of War and the Reign of Fear – Forever

Todd : «La réalité de l’Amérique est qu’elle est toujours en guerre».

“The reality of America is that she is always at war”

Do not take me for a dove. I was going berserk – in Old Blog – last year when Obama and NATO were hesitant while the forces of Libyan dictator Kadhafi approached Benghazi. I implored for supporting the rebels and almost threw a party when I heard that the French planes had begun attacking the advancing army in the desert and that we were about to help too. I supported president Obama in that moment as I had supported him in November 2008.

I opposed, and still oppose communism.  I was a political prisoner in Cuba. Those times deeply marked me. I believe we must have a strong defense. But there are limits. We have clearly gone over those limits with the Indefinite Detention Clause in the NDAA.  And the bellicose atmosphere is pervasive. Even the mainstream media is always talking about powerful weapons and the warfare of the future. Point in case: The NYT yesterday. NYT: Take a chill pill. Will there be a future if we go on this path?

Guns or Butter?

We have over 1000 military bases in the world. But many of our young are unemployed or underemployed. Many veterans too.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/05/politics/pentagon-strategy-shift/index.html?hpt=hp_c1

I am supporting Ron Paul today because every other candidate out there, including the incumbent president, are bent on maintaining a state of constant war and fear which is redefining the country not only in substance but in our minds and the minds of the rest of the world. I do not support Paul in everything but he resonates in the most important factors: Liberty and Peace.

And it is time for Peace. The few thousand terrorists across the globe are a police, special forces, and intelligence matter; not an army and navy issue. In the case of Iran, we have a nuclear deterrent and it has served us well against more formidable foes.

The Marianne.Fr article above is a synopsis of a book which says precisely that. And the worse part is that we are NOT winning wars, or minds, or hearts. We are feared, hated, and losing: Iraq is again showing its fault lines.  There is also an attempt to justify the heavy military footprint with the argument that the military-related industry in vital for the economy: I do not dispute that. But the facts, the experience, history, all show that military expending generates much less growth than conventional, infrastructure, industrial, education, R&D spending.

I believe our defense budget is greater that all the other defense budgets in the planet combined. We have more people in jail than China, a communist country with 4 times our population.

To enhance the war, but also – I suspect – to squash any dissidence at home, Congress and Obama have teamed up to shred the 4th. Amendment of the Constitution of the United States on New Years Eve.

People, wake up! To allegedly protect liberty, our current government is suppressing it. We do not need or want a police state in what was the Land of the Free.

2011 Ends in Flux

BBC News – Ireland faces new wave of emigration.

It is not only the Irish. There are also many young Spaniards, French, Portuguese, Italians, emigrating to Germany Australia, Canada, and the U.S. But the euro is dropping and that may mean that European exports will become cheaper. Italy’s bonds are selling at lower interest. There could be light at the end of the long eurozone tunnel.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/12/unemployment_claims_rise_after.html

Meanwhile, the U. S. economy continues to sputter. It is moving but painfully so.

Employment is a function of supply, which in turn is a function of demand, which in turn is a function of disposable, income, wages, wealth shaped in a reasonably low and widely-based  pyramid. Does anybody understand that concatenated relationship? It is of no use to have cheap credit if there is no demand.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/29/opinion/nasr-iran-oil-hormuz/index.html?hpt=hp_c1

Another War?

Who cares if Iran develops a nuclear weapon? That is why we have a nuclear deterrent, isn’t it? North Korea and Pakistan both have nukes and the chances of terrorists getting their hands on one bomb are at least as great in those countries as it would be in Iran.

Is it in the interests of the United States to enter another conflict? My answer is a resoundingly no and I urge the president not to sign the law black-listing the Iranian Central Bank. The ICB sells the Iranian oil. The law would essentially be  an embargo against Iran. President Obama has said he does not like the law but will sign it anyway… Why is he doing it then for?

Every war-monger I have seen would not be doing the fighting.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2011/12/20111226145144638282.html

China is looking north. China does not invade anybody for oil. They simply buy it.

China is the largest trading nation and has the largest merchant fleet in the world.  While we develop the new super aircraft carrier, the Ford Class, they build the largest container ships.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2011/12/2011122944024838879.html

The Arab Spring stretches into Winter:

Fighting continues in Syria, Egypt, Yemen. Tunisia and Libya sound like success stories although un islamist party won the first elections in Tunisia – not a surprise considering they were the spearhead of the resistance for many years.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/12/during_radio_appearances_chris.html

And poor New Jersey, ends the year with the announcement – by the governor himself – that 2012 will be the year of education. It is ironic, Fidel Castro, a master of demagoguery, used to dedicate the years to some grand enterprise too, at least during the first decade of the revolution. Yes, we had an education year in Cuba too and if I remember well it was 1961.

So for New Jersey, 2012 will be the year of the dismantling of public education while the root factors in the failing districts are ignored. Why are they ignored? Because they are ideological taboos for this governor.

To educate more and better, we must have the children in an education-auspicious-setting for longer time; much longer time.

In the meantime, out New Jersey economy stumbles along at a languid pace, and a dentist in central New Jersey measures our decay in the teeth of his patients:

http://www.app.com/article/20111228/NJNEWS/312280045/Manalapan-dentists-offer-day-of-free-care?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CFrontpage%7Cs

We are not only losing our jobs and our homes; we are losing our teeth too.

After the Passage of the NDAA, We All Could Become Mannings

Whistleblower in Court: US Determined to Punish Bradley Manning – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International.

The only real piece of incriminating evidence he revealed was the official video and voice recording of an Apache helicopter blasting a BBC news crew to bits in Iraq – and laughing about it. Other than that, the revelations published in Wikileaks amounted to thousands and thousands of pages of boring diplomatic gossip and chit chat. But those pages might have been the inanimate contributors to the Arab uprisings.

Who has done more harm to this nation? Manning or the politicians who led this country to the debacle in Iraq?

President Obama already condemned Manning in a public statement – “He broke the law” – although candidate Obama spoke favorably of whistle blowers during his 2008 campaign.

The principal charge against Manning is “aiding the enemy” although there is no evidence that he ever had any contact with any terrorist group. From the perspective of military justice, any anti-war protester could be considered to be aiding the enemy.

He could spend the rest of his life in military prison if convicted. The pre trail hearing started today at Fort Meade, Maryland, under heavy security.

I support Bradley Manning. He already served 18 months in military prison. He should be freed.