AS THE WORLD TURNS: News Weekly
, May 28, 2011
High noon in Pakistan
The taking of Osama was a defeat for al Qaeda. It was a disaster for Pakistan.
The Assassination in Abbottabad was a strategic catastrophe for the military rulers of this slowly and painfully failing state. On the one hand, it leaves the reputation of Pakistan as an effective partner against fanatical terror groups in ruins.
The debate in Washington and around the world now is whether the Pakistani state is in league with al Qaeda or whether it is so weak, divided and incompetent that rogue factions within the state have escaped all control. …
It is transparently clear that whether incompetence or malfeasance is more to blame, the government of Pakistan cannot safely be trusted — by anyone, on anything.
The argument for a continued US-Pakistani alliance took a body blow. If Pakistan can’t or won’t help us with the capture of Osama bin Laden, what possible justification does the alliance have?
Arguably, the two people who have done the greatest damage to American interests in the last 20 years have been A.Q. Khan, ringmaster of the nuclear proliferation circus that helped countries like North Korea, Libya, Syria and Iran advance their nuclear ambitions, and Osama bin Laden. What country produced one and sheltered both?
Extract from Walter Russell Mead, “High noon in Pakistan, Via Meadia (The American Interest) blog, May 8, 2011.
Putin as King Midas
Between 2005 and 2010, at Putin’s direct order, just as the price of gold was setting new records, the Russian Central Bank more than doubled its holdings of the precious commodity. The Kremlin is now planning to increase those holdings by another 50 per cent even as the price once again strikes a new high ground.
A Moscow Times article recently called Putin’s 2005 decision “extraordinarily farsighted”. That’s because what happened next is that the price of gold tripled: the value of Russia’s holdings rose from $4 billion to $12 billion....
One of the most poorly reported and understood facts about the Putin dictatorship is its fundamental, abiding interest in instability in the Middle East. Every time there is a flare-up in the land of oil, the price of oil rises sharply. When it does, it takes the price of Russian crude right along with it, lining the pockets of the Kremlin oligarchs. Putin himself also reaps enormous personal profits.
That’s why it’s routine to see Russia actively supporting the rogues and scalawags of the region. It has aggressively supported Libya, Iran and Syria in their struggles against democracy and Western pressure, providing the regimes there with massive financial infusions, military hardware, and nuclear technology. In doing so, Putin the proud KGB spy is merely continuing the line originally adopted by the foreign policy of the USSR….
Kremlin insiders have routinely let it slip that their goal is to drive the price of oil into the territory of $200 per barrel. Not only does such a price guarantee limitless wealth for the Kremlin oligarchs, but it also assures a severe weakening of the Western economies and a concomitant rise of Russian power.
And Putin knows that when the world economy gets nervous, the price of gold rises. The less stable the world’s energy supply, the more it craves the security of gold. So it was child’s play for Putin to realize that Russia could reap a windfall not just from oil prices, but also from gold prices. And into the market he went.
Extract from Kim Zigfeld, “Putin as King Midas”, American Thinker, May 17, 2011.
Disgraced IMF chief
Under Mr Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the IMF took on a new role that enchanted Europe. Through the IMF, U.S. taxpayers are bailing out European nations to save European banks, just as U.S. taxpayers, through the Federal Reserve, secretly bailed out European banks throughout 2009 and 2010.
This is why the socialist Strauss-Kahn was a hero in the capitals of Europe. He was their agent in our capital.
Consider the winners and losers of this globalist racket. The people of Greece, Ireland and Portugal endure austerity and recession for years, while the European banks are assured 100 cents on the dollar for their bonds. And the deal-makers like Strauss-Kahn are put up at $3,000-a-night hotel rooms, fly first class and get tax-free salaries larger than those of the president of the United States, courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer.
Saturday at the Sofitel, we saw up-close the sense of arrogance and entitlement such privilege induces in our global elite.
Extract from Patrick Buchanan, “The dirty old man and the IMF”, The American Cause, May 17, 2011.
A-Z of political correctness
H IS FOR… HEALTH & SAFETY
PC’s armed, militant wing, responsible for all that pettifogging, intrusive legislation that doesn’t actually make anyone feel healthier or safer.
I IS FOR… ISLAMISM
Fertile source of many of the greatest PC idiocies of our age, mainly the result of white liberals treading on egg shells in their desperation not to offend. For example, the UK£80,000 recently paid by the British Government to militant Islamist Tafazal Mohammad in order to use his knowledge gleaned at terror camps, where he had trained with the 7/7 bombers, to lecture “youth leaders” and council workers on how to “engage” with Muslims.
K IS FOR… KFC
“And would that be ritually-slaughtered, blood-drained chicken nuggets you want with those fries, sir? Because if it isn’t — tough.” Already eight of KFC’s London outlets serve Halal-only menus, following the example of some Domino’s Pizza branches which — much to the annoyance of non-Muslim customers — now no longer serve pizza topped with pepperoni, sausage or ham.
O IS FOR… OFFENCE-TAKING
At which we have become so skilled at, it really ought to be our new Olympic sport. In the old days, we had a saying: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Now, almost certainly banned to avoid giving offence to sufferers of brittle bone disease.
Extracts from James Delingpole, “The A-Z of political correctness”, The Telegraph (UK), May 15, 2011.