Tag Archives: Ally

How to easily develop your knowledge of the way the world works

If you’re not reading IBD editorials every day, you are missing out. I agree with them on practically everything they write. I try to stay in touch with what’s happening in the world, with respect to economics and foreign policy, and Investors Business Daily is indispensable. (And sometimes, they even cover social issues like school choice, affirmative action and stem cell research). It’s not just the news that I want, it’s the analysis. They fit every data point into an argument – and that makes the world a very interesting place.

Here are four sample articles.

Did the latest European bailout fix anything?

Excerpt:

Led by the Fed, top central banks added dollars to the global financial system on Wednesday as Europe’s crisis deepened. We hate to rain on anyone’s parade, but this won’t solve the EU’s problems.

The central banks’ bold action, though met with wild enthusiasm by financial markets, amounts to little more than a multibillion dollar Band-Aid on a deep, dangerous wound.

[…]But even as they juggle and sell off their portfolios of bad loans, major banks in Europe, the U.S. and Asia are being forced to raise capital to meet new international banking standards. The result: a credit crunch.

In short, the global financial system is near collapse, and the central banks are madly pumping dollars into it to keep the collapse from happening.

It’s an emergency, we get it. But while such actions might help in the short run, they won’t in the long run.

The EU faces the same problems today as it did yesterday, and no amount of central bank money-printing changes that.

Namely, its 17 members, used to an ever-expanding welfare state and leisure-class lifestyle, can’t sustain that way of life with their chronically weak economies and aging, low-productivity workforces.

Contrary to recent actions, the EU’s problems aren’t short-term and financial, but long-term and fiscal.

The same kind of problems that we are having USA, as we have moved from 160 billion dollar deficits under Bush in 2007 to approximately 1.4 trillion dollar deficits in ever year that Obama has been President. Maybe we can learn some lessons from the mistakes that others have made and are making instead of making those mistakes again ourselves?

If global warming is real, where are all the hurricanes?

Excerpt:

Sunday will be the 2,232nd consecutive day that the U.S. has gone without being hit by a major hurricane. This is a big enough deal to be covered by the mainstream media. But of course it won’t be.

On Dec. 4, a new record will be set for the number of days between landfalls of category 3 or stronger storms. The previous streak, according to Roger Pielke Jr., began on Sept. 8, 1900, and ended on Oct. 19, 1906, when the Great Galveston Hurricane hit.

The record won’t be broken by just a day or even a week. Pielke, a professor of environmental studies at University of Colorado, says it will be crushed.

“Since there won’t be any intense hurricanes before next summer, the record will be shattered, with the days between intense hurricane landfalls likely to exceed 2,500 days,” he writes in his blog.

Why is this significant? Because the global warming alarmists have been telling us that man’s carbon dioxide emissions would bring bigger storms.

[…]The mainstream media has happily trafficked this nonsense, but it’s not likely to mention Pielke’s point even though it would be appropriate in stories covering our very mild hurricane season, which ended Wednesday.

Why won’t they do it? Because it’s inconsistent with their narrative. It’s like the latest batch of Climategate emails, which show again a group of scientists manipulating the process for political gain. News that contradicts the alarmists’ tale simply isn’t news to the media.

If you think that global warming alarmism has no effect on you, then you need to realize that it is being used to justify all kinds of job-killing regulations. If you want to know why companies ship jobs overseas and expand their operations outside the United States, then look no further than the EPA.

Is existing U.S. oil drilling in the EPA’s crosshairs?

Excerpt:

The latest salvo in the administration’s war on energy may be new rules and permits to regulate a process to get oil and gas from porous rock, sacrificing jobs and economic growth while under review.

There are a few areas of the U.S. that are booming. Two of these are in North Dakota and Pennsylvania, states that sit atop two massive shale rock formations, the Bakken and the Marcellus.

Extraction of oil and natural gas from these formations have created jobs and economic growth in the midst of a stagnant and parched economy.

[…]Yet the Environmental Protection Agency, bowing to environmentalists’ pressure and faithful to the administration mantra that fossil fuels are harmful and obsolete, is preparing to nip this economic boom in the bud by regulating it to death.

[…]Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor and Industry estimates fracking in the Marcellus created 72,000 jobs between the fourth quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2011. Drilling in the Bakken formation along the North Dakota-Montana border helps explain North Dakota’s unemployment rate of 3.2%, the nation’s lowest.

The Gulf Coast energy industry has never fully recovered from a similar moratorium and a new glacial permitting process.

Similarly, the job-creating Keystone XL pipeline project to bring Canadian tar sands oil to American refineries is stalled on environmental grounds.

It’s not enought that Obama blocks the creation of hundreds of thousands of new energy sector jobs – and wastes money on alternative energy companies connected to his campaign fundraisers – but now he might be going after existing energy production jobs, too.

Should we continue to send our “ally” Pakistan foreign aid?

Excerpt:

In what’s become a common occurrence, the Pakistani military — in an unprovoked attack — fired on coalition troops based across the border in Afghanistan. We responded by hitting two Pakistani border posts. The airstrikes killed two dozen Pakistani soldiers, sparking anti-American riots and threats of reprisal by Islamabad.

[…]So why still coddle Pakistan, diplomatically? Several reasons, not the least of which is Pakistan’s arsenal of nuclear weapons and cold war with India. But it’s mainly because we need its permission to transport military supplies across its border into landlocked Afghanistan, the terror swamp believed most worthy of draining.

More than 40% of the fuel, food, ammunition, equipment and other supplies sent to U.S. forces in Afghanistan are shipped via Pakistani ports and roads. Islamabad also gives us access to airspace — including landing rights at three air bases, where we launch the Predator drone aircraft targeting Pakistani-based terrorist camps in lieu of U.S. boots on the ground.

Islamabad could easily deny us those landing rights and cut off supply routes at any time, hamstringing our Afghan operations. Sure enough: Islamabad did exactly that over the weekend. After the coalition air strike that killed 24 of its troops, Pakistan blocked two coalition supply routes running through Pakistan. It also gave the U.S. two weeks to vacate the Shamsi air base in Balochistan, which has been used for drone sorties.

These moves make reducing our dependence on Pakistan all the more critical.

The Pentagon should hike supplies coming into Afghanistan from the north through Central Asia. To fund the added expense, it could use the billions in aid Pakistan is secretly using against us by funding and arming Afghan insurgents. It could also use a chunk of U.S. aid dollars to build larger fuel-storage facilities on the ground in Afghanistan, so that military operations can withstand major disruptions to supplies.

So there you have it – four great articles on the European crisis, global warming science, the employment situation at home, and foreign policy. And you get this analysis for free every day with Investors Business Daily. You can check out their editorials at this link, and bookmark it. Even if you don’t read the Heritage Foundation’s blog “The Foundry” and the American Enterprise Institute blog “The American”, you can still stay well informed by reading IBD every day. If you are interested in raw news without the analysis, then read CNS News.

It’s very important for Christians to understand that we have to be seen by others as aware and informed on other topics in order to be seen as aware and informed on religious issues. Part of that involves studying apologetics and being familiar with opposing arguments and evidence. Part of it is being informed about social issues like abortion, marriage and education. But part of it is just being a well-informed person in general. When topics like politics and economics and national security come up, our goal should not be to take whatever position is popular, or whatever position will make us look “nice”. We should have our own position, and we should be informed enough about the world to participate in – and even to dominate – conversations on those topics. We have to be the people who know how the world works.

Top ten foreign policy and national security issues for 2012

Map of Asia
Map of Asia

From the American Enterprise Institute.

Here’s the list:

  1. Iran, and the American retreat from Iraq
  2. Dealing with Islam and China in South Asia
  3. America’s strategy for Pakistan
  4. Defense spending priorities
  5. American support for Israel
  6. The Islamization of Turkey
  7. Collapse of the European economies
  8. Demographic crisis in Europe
  9. Demographic crisis in Russia
  10. Strategy for the Middle East

They have one article linked for each topic, so I chose the Islamization of Turkey.

Full text:

Turkey was a key American ally throughout the Cold War. As one of only two NATO countries to share a border with the Soviet Union, Turkey proved pivotal not only to the defense of Europe but also for American interests in Asia. The Turkish army fought alongside U.S. troops in Korea. Americans embraced Turkey not only for its strategic role, but also for its values. The Turkish government was decidedly Western-leaning. Turkey may have been majority Muslim, but most Turks saw their future tied more to the West than the Middle East.

Over the past nine years, however, Turkey has changed. No longer can Turkey be called a democracy. The Pew Global Attitudes Project now ranks Turkey as the most anti-American country it surveys. Reporters Without Frontiers ranks Turkish press freedom below even Zimbabwe and Venezuela. Turkey has imprisoned more journalists than even China and Iran. As Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has sought to Islamize society, Turkish women have lost both their equality and safety: The murder rate of women has increased 1,400 percent since Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party took power.

Erdoğan has reoriented Turkey’s foreign policy as well. Turkey now not only embraces the Arab world, but it allies itself with its more radical factions: Turkey endorses Hamas, Hezbollah, Sudan’s genocidal dictator Omar al-Bashir, and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Whereas a decade ago, the alliance between Turkey and Israel stabilized the Eastern Mediterranean, today diplomats worry that Turkey’s antagonism toward both Israel and Cyprus could lead to military conflict in the region. In September 2010, Turkey raised eyebrows at the Pentagon when it held secret war games with the Chinese air force without first alerting Washington. Because Turkey increasingly is the obstacle to NATO consensus, its future in the defensive alliance may now be open to question.

Any new president will be faced with serious decisions regarding Turkey. Should Turkey remain in NATO? If so, should the United States share its next generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, Predators, and AWACS aircraft with Turkey? Lastly, if Erdoğan fulfills his promise to use the Turkish navy to challenge Israel’s blockade of Gaza, leading to a fight between two traditional American allies, on whose side will the White House be, and what actions would the new president take?

This is a primer, so the articles are fairly short. Just enough to give you background information on the hot spots that the next President will have to deal with. Can you think of any issues they left out? I think that we should also be concerned with the drug cartels in Mexico, the continuous sabre-rattling from Venezuela, threats to our Asian allies from China, and whether we still need to have so many troops in Europe and South Korea.

It’s good for Christians to have some awareness of national security and foreign policy issues. It only takes an hour to read a few articles and to have some understanding of the issues we are facing, so that we can discuss them with others and vote properly. There’s going to be a foreign policy debate for the GOP primary on November 22, 2011, so it would be good for us to study up so we can understand what they are talking about.

Israel furious with Obama administration over Middle East nuclear policy

Story here on Breitbart. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

Washington’s unprecedented backing for a UN resolution for a nuclear-free Middle East that singles out Israel has both angered and deeply worried the Jewish state although officials are cagey about openly criticising their biggest ally.

The resolution adopted by the United Nations on Friday calls on Israel to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and urges it to open its facilities to inspection.

[…]The document, which singles out Israel but makes no mention of Iran’s controversial nuclear programme, drew a furious reaction from the Jewish state who decried it as “deeply flawed and hypocritical.”

But it was US backing for the resolution which has caused the most consternation among Israeli officials and commentators, who interpreted the move as “a resounding slap around the face” which has dealt a very public blow to Israel’s long-accepted policy of nuclear ambiguity.

Publicly, the Israel government has not criticised the US position but privately, officials expressed deep disappointment over the resolution, which Washington backed despite intensive Israeli efforts to block it.

According to the top-selling Yediot Aharonot daily, the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was “furious with the Obama administration for having failed to prevent the resolution from passing… and for choosing to support it.”

“The American support for the resolution, after decades in which it supported Israel on this issue, came as a complete surprise,” the paper said.

Barack Obama’s foreign policy consists of bowing to our enemies and backstabbing our closest allies. Is it any wonder that Turkey and Brazil are now assisting Iran to go nuclear?

UPDATE: You can find out more about how Israeli troops defended themselves against armed resistance when they boarded a Turkish vessel to inspect cargo.

and:

Be careful about listening to the mainstream media, they are not reliable on Middle East issues.