Monday, June 30, 2008

IBD Asks: 'Are Volcanoes Melting the Arctic?'

Investor's Business Daily writes: "While the media scream that man-made global warming is making the North Pole ice-free, another possible cause is as old as the Earth itself. They just have to look deeper."

IBD editorializes:

To the delight of Al Gore and the rest of the Gaia groupies, scientists at the National Snow & Ice Data Center in Colorado are predicting that the North Pole will be completely free of ice this summer. The apocalyptic headlines already are starting to appear.

"From the viewpoint of science, the North Pole is just another point on the globe, but symbolically it is hugely important," says the center's Mark Serreze. "There is supposed to be ice at the North Pole, not open water."

From a media standpoint, this is another sign of the apocalypse—proof positive of man-made climate change. But we've heard this before.

In August 2000 the New York Times ran a piece claiming the pole was free of ice for the first time in 50 million years, long before SUVs roamed Earth. As earth scientist Patrick Michaels noted, "It was retracted three weeks later as a barrage of scientists protested that open water is common at or near the pole at the end of summer."

As reported in the June 26 edition of ScienceDaily, a research team led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) has uncovered evidence of massive undersea volcanic eruptions deep beneath the ice-covered surface of the Arctic Ocean.

"Explosive volatile discharge has clearly been a widespread, and ongoing, process," according to the WHOI team.

The WHOI researchers found that evidence of a series of strong quakes and eruptions as big as the one that buried the ancient city of Pompeii took place in 1999 along the Gakkel Ridge, an underwater mountain range snaking 1,100 miles from the northern tip of Greenland to Siberia.

Their first glimpse of the ocean floor 13,000 feet beneath the Arctic ice through visual and sonar images showed an ocean valet filled with flat-topped volcanoes over a mile wide and hundreds of feet high that remain active. They're not like Mount St. Helens or Krakatoa, but more like the less bombastic, oozing Kilauea variety that slowly built the Hawaiian Islands.

Robert Sohn, WHOI geophysicist, lead author and chief scientist of the July 27, 2007, Arctic Gakkel Vents Expedition, estimates that exploding mixtures of lava and gas were expelled at speeds of more than 500 meters a second.

Sohn says the large volumes of CO2 gas that belched out of the undersea volcanoes likely contributed to rising concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Is it possible that it these eruptions, part of an "ongoing process," have played a part in whatever melting there has been of the Greenland and Arctic ice sheets?

Click here to continue reading.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Food Producers Push Prices Up by Curbing Exports

If you like resource (oil and gas) nationalism, you will love food nationalism.

The New York Times reports on food hoarding by exporting nations, which is driving food prices ever higher.

At least 29 countries have sharply curbed food exports in recent months, to ensure that their own people have enough to eat, at affordable prices.

When it comes to rice, India, Vietnam, China and 11 other countries have limited or banned exports. Fifteen countries, including Pakistan and Bolivia, have capped or halted wheat exports. More than a dozen have limited corn exports. Kazakhstan has restricted exports of sunflower seeds.

The restrictions are making it harder for impoverished importing countries to afford the food they need. The export limits are forcing some of the most vulnerable people, those who rely on relief agencies, to go hungry....

An obscure rule of the World Trade Organization requires members to notify the agency when they restrict food exports. But there are no penalties for ignoring the rule, and not one of the countries that has imposed restrictions in the past year has complied, according to the W.T.O.

Japan and Switzerland are leading a group of food-importing nations so alarmed by restrictions that they are seeking an international agreement preventing countries from unilaterally limiting food exports. The agreement would be part of the current, already-rocky Doha round of trade talks, named for the city in Qatar where negotiations began.

But the proposal ran into a procedural snag right off: food export restrictions are such a new issue that they are only tangentially mentioned as part of the Doha round agenda, which is not easily modified.

A hungry planet may also need an international agreement banning commodity speculation, which serves no productive purpose. Speculation, as defined by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, means buying and selling futures contracts by entities or individuals incapable of ever taking possession of the actual commodity. It's one thing for oil refiners and food companies to bet on the future prices of petroleum and soy, say, and another thing, entirely, for investment bankers, hedge funds, and pension funds to do that.

According to The Times, Thailand, Brazil, Canada and the United States are among the few nations still exporting large quantities of food. The US and Canada could outlaw commodity speculation--which is contributing to food inflation and may be responsible for 60% of the 40% increase in the price of oil since January--and lead a UN effort to ban it internationally.

The US could also end corn-based ethanol mandates and subsidies that are fueling food inflation, and remove tariffs on imported Brazilian ethanol, which is made from sugarcane; but that's another story.

Iran Escalates War of Words Against Israel

Foreign Confidential....

Islamist Iran escalated its anti-Israel rhetoric Sunday. The foreign minister said Israel was not in a position to attack Iran cover its nuclear program; and an Iranian general announced plans to prepare 320,000 graves for enemy soldiers.

Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Israel was still dealing with the consequences of its 2006 war with Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon and was also suffering a "crisis of deepening illegitimacy" in the Middle East.

"That's why we do not see the Zionist regime in a situation in which they would want to engage in such adventurism," he said when asked about the possibility of an Israeli attack. "They know full well what the consequences of such an act would be."

Mirfeysal Baqerzadeh, a Revolutionary Guards brigadier-general, said that in order to "respect the enemies' dead soldiers" there were plans for volunteers to dig 320,000 graves for them in border areas.

This would enable Iran to bury "all of them at the same time," Fars News Agency quoted him as saying. In an emergency situation, they would be buried in mass graves, he said.

Rice Praises China's Quake Response

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice praised China on Sunday for its efforts to cope with the massive earthquake that struck southwestern Sichuan province in May. Her comments came during a tour of the disaster zone. Stephanie Ho reports from Beijing.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with quake victims and toured a relief camp in hard-hit Dujiangyan, a city near the epicenter of the May 12 earthquake.

"I'm tremendously impressed with the recovery, with the resiliency and spirit of the people," Rice said.

She was briefed by local officials about the devastation, and spoke in English to young children who survived the quake.

The death toll from the huge earthquake is near 70,000 people, with many more still missing and believed to be buried under the rubble.

"With the disaster with this magnitude, no one can do it alone. And we are very glad that the Chinese government, the Chinese people, have reached out to the international community, allow the international community to help," she added.

Contrast With Burma

She contrasted China's response with that of neighboring Burma, where more than 130,000 people died from Cyclone Nargis, which also struck in May.

She said the Burmese government has put up barriers to efforts by the international community to help the Burmese people.

"We are all trying to encourage the Burmese to allow us to help the people there. Many lives could have been saved, perhaps still many more could still be saved if we can get that response. We will continue to talk to China and others who have influence," Rice said.

From Sichuan, Rice traveled to Beijing, where she is due to meet Monday with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Iran Vows to Use Oil Weapon if Attacked

Reuters reports:

The Revolutionary Guards said Iran would impose controls on shipping in the vital Gulf oil route if Iran was attacked and warned regional states of reprisals if they took part, a newspaper reported on Saturday.

Fear of an escalation in the standoff between the West and Iran, the world's fourth largest oil producer, have been one factor propping up sky-high oil prices. Crude hit a record level on international markets near $143 a barrel on Friday.

Speculation about a possible attack on Iran because of its disputed nuclear ambitions has risen since a report this month said Israel had practiced such a strike, prompting increasingly tough talk of retaliation, if pushed, from Tehran.

"Naturally every country under attack by an enemy uses all its capacity and opportunities to confront the enemy," Guards commander-in-chief Mohammad Ali Jafari told Jam-e Jam newspaper in some of the toughest language Iran has used so far.

Analysts say Iran may not match the firepower of US forces but could still cause havoc in the region using unconventional tactics, such as deploying small craft to attack ships, or using allies in the area to strike at US or Israeli interests.

"Regarding the main route for exiting energy, Iran will definitely act to impose control on the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz," Jafari said of the Gulf waterway through which about two-fifths of all globally traded oil passes.

Jafari also threatened to bombard Israel with missiles. AP reports:

The commander ... warned that Tehran would respond to an attack against it by barraging Israel with missiles....

Jafari said there were strong deterrents against striking Iran, including the country's missile power, the vulnerability of Israeli and US forces in the region and the low probability of a successful attack.

Jafari also warned that an attack against Iran will also prompt Muslims, including Shiites, to harm US and Israeli interests throughout the Middle East in retaliation to any attack against Iran. He mentioned the Tehran-backed Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

Iranian Unemployment Estimated at 20%

Foreign Confidential....

Our correspondent in Tehran writes that nearly three decades into the Iranian revolution, the clerical fascist regime needs nuclear power--and tension with the West--to divert attention from domestic woes.

Inflation rose from 12 percent in October 2006 to 19 percent in January 2008, according to the Iranian Central Bank.

Unemployment is estimated at 20 percent. Prices for fruits and vegetables have tripled in the last two years. Housing costs have doubled.

Some revolution.

The Price of Oil Will Rise and There Will be Blood

Dateline USA....

Abandoned, rusty cars and blood in the streets.

That's what lies in store for the United States, thanks to US greed and stupidity, market manipulation and financial speculation, the resource nationalism of oil producing countries and their national oil companies, and the environmental extremism that has put America's so-called fossil fuel resources--real energy as opposed to fake alternatives--out of reach.

Our correspondent in Toronto reports that the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce expects the price of oil to soar to over US$200 a barrel by 2012. The CIBC, which is one of Canada's largest banks, says this will translate into steadily rising prices at gas pumps, rising to as much as US$7 a gallon by 2012.

In other words, millions of Americans will not be able to afford to drive their cars within the next few years because the price of gasoline will have risen so much.

In the northern regions, people will freeze, starve and die. The middle and working classes will be pauperized; the poor, wiped out. Banditry, riots and rebellion will be everyday occurrences.

There will be blood; but the politicians and the pundits don't seem to care all that much.

Past Presidents like Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan must be turning in their graves. The country they loved is being brought to its knees.

Heaven help us.

Friday, June 27, 2008

No-Drill Democrats and Speculators Push Oil Higher

Dateline USA....

Environmental extremists and global warming zealots have created a shortage of gasoline and diesel fuel by blocking both the development of new refineries and drilling and exploration for offshore and onshore domestic oil reserves.

Meanwhile, the price of oil is soaring as a result of financial institutions buying oil futures. Speculators are driving up the price of oil--and threatening millions of people with pauperization and death.

Oil speculation should be outlawed. Only companies directly involved in the production and supply of fuel should be allowed to trade the commodity on which the modern world runs and most probably will continue to run for the next two decades. Put differently, unless you can physically take possession of and store the oil--or any commodity, for that matter--that you are trading, you should be banned from this activity, defined as speculation by the US Commodity Futures Trade Commission.

In the United States, neither Presidential candidate has the courage to call for an end to life-threatening speculation in oil and agricultural commodities. Barack Obama and John McCain have that much in common.

Obama Waffles on Gun Control

Dateline USA....

Investor's Business Daily notes that Barack Hussein "Obama claims he believes the Second Amendment says you can own a gun but that local communities can still opt out of the Constitution."

IBD asks: "What will he say as his political hometown is sued by the NRA?"

While campaigning in Pennsylvania earlier this year, Barack Obama was having breakfast with his Democratic Senate colleague Bob Casey. A reporter asked Obama about Jimmy Carter's trip to see the terrorist group Hamas. Obama responded: "Why is it that, like, I can't just eat my waffle?"

There's going to be another waffle Obama's going to eat as he tries to explain his simultaneous support for the District of Columbia gun ban he called constitutional and the Supreme Court decision in the Heller case that said it wasn't. Obama has developed an almost Clintonesque ability to take both sides of an issue.

That ability will be put to the test as gun-rights groups sue to overturn similar gun bans in Chicago and nearby suburbs. Hours after the high court's 5-4 ruling was made public Thursday, the Second Amendment Foundation and the Illinois State Rifle Association sued Chicago and its mayor in an effort to overturn the city's 26-year-old ban on handguns.

Click here to continue reading.

Kimist Regime Will Never Abandon Atomic Arms

Foreign Confidential....

America's shameful agreement with North Korea confirms our view that the Stalinist/Kimist/criminal regime has no intention of ever abandoning atomic arms. Pyongyang has played Washington for a fool, using every stalling and negotiating trick and tactic in the totalitarian playbook to buy time while aiding Iran's nuclear and missile development programs.

The next President of the United States will thus have to deal with two nuclear-armed enemies--North Korea and Iran--unless the US and Israel attack Iran during the Bush administration's remaining months.

Countdown to Conflict: Israel Preparing for War

Foreign Confidential....

Israel is preparing for war with Iran. But the Jewish state has no intention of losing the element of surprise; nor will it attack in a way that will allow Iran to make good on its genocidal pledge to level Israeli cities with massive missile strikes.

With the above in mind, Iran's entire military infrastructure--including missile installations and nuclear, chemical and biological arms development facilities--is in Israeli gun sights.

Also on the hit list: Iran's Islamist proxies, Hezbollah, which is bristling with missiles, having rearmed itself under UN protection, and Hamas, which has created a terrorist state in Gaza, and Iran's secular ally, Syria, which has a formidable missile arsenal and stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons. But Israel's destruction of the nuclear reactor that North Korea was helping Iran to build on Syrian territory has caused Damascus to reconsider its relationship with Iran.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Asparagus on Mars?

Scientists with the US space agency NASA appear to have finally found what they were seeking when they sent Phoenix millions of kilometers to the Red Planet.

When the lander analyzed soil it had scooped up two weeks ago, water vapor was released when the lander heated the dirt to over 538 degrees centigrade.

Sam Kovanis, the lead chemist with the Phoenix Mars project at the University of Arizona, says: "This is the first wet chemical analysis on the Martian soil and any other planet besides Earth, and we were all flabbergasted with the data we got back."

To the surprise of scientists, the soil was not too acidic to sustain life. In fact, Kovanis says it appears to contain enough minerals that make Earth bound plants flourish.

"We basically have found what appears to be the requirements, the nutrients, to support life, whether past, present or future, the sort of soil you have there, the type of soil you'd probably have in your backyard, alkaline, you might be able to grow asparagus in it really well, strawberries not very well," he said. "And again, this is one more piece of evidence showing that the soil's out there by some sort of liquid water action in the history of Mars."

At this point, scientists say they are can only measure the chemistry of the Red Planet, not determine what, if any, life inhabited Mars.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Obama's Corn-Fed Fake: Subsidized Ethanol

Investor's Business Daily asks: "If [Barack Hussein] Obama wants energy independence through alternative fuels, why doesn't he back imported sugar-based ethanol?"

The answer, according to IBD, is that "this old-style politician knows it isn't grown in the Midwest and Brazil has no electoral votes."


Barack Obama says he represents change. He also criticizes John McCain for trying to drill our way to energy independence to add to the profits of Big Oil. But it's Obama who's playing politics by trying to plant our way to energy independence, buying votes with alternative fuel subsidies that benefit ethanol producers such as Archer Daniels Midland.

ADM is based in Illinois, the second-largest corn-producing state. Not long after arriving in the US Senate, Obama flew twice on corporate jets owned by the nation's largest ethanol producer. Imagine if McCain flew on the corporate jets of Exxon Mobil.

Corn-based ethanol gets a 51-cents-a-gallon tax subsidy that will cost taxpayers $4.5 billion this year. McCain opposes ethanol subsidies while Obama supports them. McCain opposed them even though Iowa is the first caucus state. Obama, touted by Caroline Kennedy as another JFK, was no profile in courage in Iowa.

That subsidy was cut to 45 cents a gallon in the new farm bill, but more money was pushed toward other biofuels such as switch grass. The Democrats can't wait for offshore oil or ANWR, but they can wait for switch grass. The tariff on imported ethanol was extended. Neither candidate voted on the bill, but Obama said he supported it. McCain said as president he would have vetoed it.

If Obama is sincere about alternative fuels, why does he oppose imported sugar-based ethanol from countries like Brazil? He supports not only the domestic subsidy, but a 54-cents-a-gallon tariff on imported ethanol. McCain opposes both.

Click here to continue reading.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Referring to Obama's close ties to ADM, IBD says "Imagine if McCain flew on the corporate jets of Exxon Mobil." That is an insult--to Exxon Mobil. ADM and other agribusiness giants have deliberately used the ethanol scam to drive up corn prices, regardless of the cost in human life and suffering. There is no parallel in the oil industry. The closest analogy might be the surprisingly pro-Obama big banks, hedge funds and pension funds, whose speculation in oil may account for as much as 60% of the 40% increase in oil prices since January.

Icahn Blogs for Corporate Democracy

Dateline USA....

One of the world's greatest investors and financial minds, Carl C. Icahn, has launched a fascinating blog.

The Icahn Report is must reading. An excerpt from his brilliant essay on the myth of corporate democracy follows.

Recently, there has been a great deal of outrage concerning the huge pay and severance packages awarded to a number of CEOs. There has been much criticism of the fact that CEOs earn 520 times that of the average worker. A great deal has been made of the scandalous actions of a number of CEOs and boards concerning the backdating of options. Sadly, a much deeper, more pernicious, more threatening problem of the future of our economy exists at today’s corporations: many corporate boards and managers are doing an abysmal job. The lack of competent leadership makes our companies less competitive day by day, causing an upward spiraling trade and current account deficit, as well as a near meltdown of the financial sector. The buildup of incompetent boards and managers is the result of poor corporate governance. Poor corporate governance now threatens more than just potential shareholder value; it threatens this country’s very economic survival.

To paraphrase Winston Churchill, "democracy might not be the greatest system there is but it is the greatest system mankind has invented so far." Many American corporations are dysfunctional because corporate democracy is a myth in the United States. They run like a decaying socialistic state. Our boards and CEOs exist in a symbiotic relationship where the boards nourish the CEO with massive stock options that are re-priced downward if the companies stock declines - making them forever valuable. They reward the CEO with pay packages and bonuses when the stock is floundering or the CEO is leaving the company. Corporate performance and the shareholders welfare seldom enter the picture. What kind of democracy is this? There is no accountability.

Click here to continue reading. If only he would buy The New York Times....

Islamists, Nazis Flourish in Albania/Kosovo

Foreign Confidential....

Thanks to the appeasement-oriented, Islamist-leaning US State Department and NATO, Al Qaeda-associated Islamists and Nazis are thriving in Muslim Albania and Kosovo, as shown on the left by the recent photograph of the insignia on a Pristina wall of Bali i Kombetar, the Albanian Nazi party. It was a volunteer Kosovo Albanian Nazi organization formed in 1939. Himmler described it to Hitler as the most elite of Kosovo Albanian Nazis responsible for slaughtering thousands of Serbs and Jews in WWII. Today, the revived Albanian Nazi organization is freely flourishing under the protection of NATO troops.

Atlas Shrugs has published an exclusive, in-depth report on the Islamist threat to the Balkans. Click here to read it.

Yes, They Can! Democrats Would Crush Country Life

Dateline USA....

The Democrats' war on suburban and rural America is coming into sharp focus. Click here to read an important article in The New York Times about the threat that rising energy prices pose to "The Country Life."

Led by the nation's most left-wing and urban Presidential candidate, Barack Hussein Obama, the Democrats actually like and want to maintain high oil prices. First, the Wall Street hedge funds and investment banks that are backing the Democrats need to keep on manipulating the oil markets in order to recover their losses in real estate and the stock market, and to invest in alternative energy and carbon trading schemes. Second, the Democrats have historically despised suburban and rural residents and sought to destroy their ways of life. They tend to be too independent and self-reliant for the Democrats, for whom the ideal American is an apartment-dwelling, subway-riding, government worker.

So Obama and his left-wing zealots hope to use high energy prices--and the bogus theory of manmade global warming causing catastrophic climate change--to transform and further collectivize American society. They seek a massive population transfer, a Stalinist-style eradication of small towns and surviving family farms. The Democrats' long-range goal is an urban America and, ultimately, an urban planet ... and an end to free enterprise ... and freedom itself ... as we know it. Remember: this is not your father's or your grandfather's Democratic party. The Left has taken it over; the extremists who failed to make a revolution in 1968 are 40 years later within striking distance of occupying the White House. The Reds are winning; and this reporter is not referring to red--as in Republican--states.

In short, anyone who dreams of living on government assistance in a giant housing project should vote for Obama. Others should make every effort possible to elect John McCain.

POST SCRIPT: The irony is incredible. During the 1950s and 1960s, when the South and Puerto Rico were exporting poverty to New York and other northern cities, liberal (and Communist and Communist-leaning) Democrats deployed a range of weapons--including welfare, scattered-site, low-income housing projects, and super-block demolition of lower middle and working class buildings to make way for the projects--in order to drive middle class city dwellers to the suburbs. The Democrats then did their best to destroy the older suburbs by spreading welfare class crime and poverty to those areas, driving the middle class even further from the cities. Now, the Democrats, with the help of liberal loons like The Times' Thomas Friedman, are supporting soaring gasoline, home heating oil and propane prices to force a reverse migration to the cities. Stalin would be so proud....

-Andre Pachter
Copyright 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pelosi Praises Obama's Inexperience

Dateline USA....

One of the nation's most despicable political personalities, the Islamist-sympathizing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has given a shocking interview to Fox News.

The radical left-wing demagogue made clear to Greta Van Susteren that she really does not care too much about high gasoline prices, considers Barack Obama's paper-thin resume--particularly his lack of legislative accomplishments of any kind--a major plus, because she hates Washington, and remains sympathetic to Obama's anti-American former spiritual adviser, Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

Click here to watch the interview.

Wanted: a TR for Our Time

Dateline USA....

Where is our Theodore Roosevelt?

Trust-busting is any government activity designed to break up trusts or monopolies--large business entities that control markets. Theodore Roosevelt is the US President most associated with dissolving trusts. Forty-four trusts were dissolved during his two terms in the White House.

As we write, there is a growing consensus that perhaps 60% of the 40% increase in the price of oil since January can be attributed to speculation--i.e. large hedge funds, financial services firms and pension funds investing in oil futures when they have no ability to actually take possession of the physical commodity. Speculation in energy--the lifeblood of a nation--should be outlawed. Period. And anyone guilty of market manipulation should be jailed.

Soaring energy prices have contributed to rising food prices. But giant agribusiness companies have also used mandated, subsidized agrofuels, also known as biofuels, to drive up the prices of corn and soy and other crops. The resulting food inflation has hurt the middle and working classes and brought millions of poor people in developing nations to the edge of starvation.

US Democrats to Ordinary Americans: Drop Dead

Dateline USA....

The limousine/Learjet liberals who control the defeatist Democratic Party are determined to drive the nation's ordinary, hard working people into their graves way ahead of their time.

Enslaved to environmental extremism and Wall Street bankers salivating over the coming carbon trading market, the Left opposes offshore oil drilling, enhanced oil recovery, heavy crude and tar sands development, oil shale production, burning and liquefying coal, and nuclear power.

In short, the Left, led by Barack Hussein Obama, are fanatically anti-oil and anti-conventional energy. At best, their pie-in-the-sky, alternative energy dreams, schemes, and scams are a diversion; at worst, they do more harm than good, as shown by biofueled food inflation.

How ironic. A political party led by America's first Muslim-born and African-American Presidential candidate hates oil, the source of great wealth for several Middle Eastern and African nations, and the energy source on which the world runs ... and on which it will run ... for at least the next 20 years.

Iran Feverishly Developing Missiles for Nukes

Investor's Business Daily comments on "Iran's Nuclear Hourglass:"

The production of an Iranian bomb itself is not the only concern. Iran's Islamofascist regime is also feverishly developing missiles with which to carry its future weapons of mass destruction.

Dinshaw Mistry, professor and missile proliferation expert at the University of Cincinnati, warns of the development or acquisition of missiles that "would give Iran the capability to strike Western Europe. A 3,000-kilometer-range Iranian missile could reach Rome and Berlin; a 4,000-kilometer-range missile could reach London and Paris."

Iran may well have missiles of such range up and running before a missile defense system is operational in Europe, expected in about 2012.

What's more, if Iran acquired North Korea's improved 10,000-kilometer-range Taepo Dong technology, it might even be able to deliver a nuclear bomb to a US city.

"If North Korea successfully tests such a missile during 2008-2010, and these missiles or their major subsystems such as engines and airframes are transferred to Iran," Mistry writes, "then Iran could plausibly have a few ICBMs by 2012-2015."
And the ballistic missile launch earlier this year for Iran's aspiring "space program" might be cover for developing Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) capability.

Click here to read the entire article.

China Deploying Missiles to Boost Olympic Security

Reuters reports that China will use missiles to boost Olympic security.

China has bolstered its Olympic security effort by deploying a battery of surface-to-air missile launchers a kilometer south of the showpiece venues for the Beijing Games.

At least two camouflaged Hongqi 7 missile launchers were visible from a public road close to the stadium built for the 1990 Asian Games, which is just across the city's fourth ring road from the Bird's Nest arena and Water Cube aquatics centre.

Radar dishes and other military vehicles along with uniformed air force personnel were also visible through a fence on which was posted a notice reading "Military Administrative District, No Admittance."

Aircraft are almost never seen in the skies above central Beijing, which is restricted airspace. Olympic broadcasters, however, will be allowed to use helicopters to cover the August 8-24 Games....

China ... regards terrorism as the biggest threat and claims to have foiled bomb plots and plans to kidnap athletes by militants from the far-Western region of Xinjiang.

Beijing said last week that a special 100,000-strong security force, including the elite Snow Wolf Commando Unit (SWCU), was already on alert for terrorists.

Each SWCU officer is estimated to be outfitted with about $40,000 worth of equipment, including weapons, body armour, and communications equipment.

The SWCU and the People's Armed Police Beijing SWAT unit are tasked with most of the security responsibilities of the Summer Olympic Games.

The SWCU name was chosen because of the tenacity of arctic wolves and their ability to survive in extremely harsh conditions.

North Korea Won't Declare Atomic Arms; Kimist Regime Played US Like a Violin to Play for Time

One of the world's most horrific and dangerous regimes--nuclear proliferating, terrorist sponsoring, Communist North Korea--has played the United States like a violin in order to play for time to continue profiting from its evil acts.

The Stalinist/Kimist/criminal regime is expected to make a show of blowing up the cooling tower of its Yongbyon nuclear reactor and hand over to Washington as early as tomorrow a long-awaited declaration of its nuclear development activities, which will allow for the resumption of multilateral disarmament talks.

But North Korea, which has helped Iran to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, will neither disclose nor dismantle its nuclear weapons.

The regime's biological and chemical weapons are not even on the table for discussion.

Christopher Hill, the US assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific Affairs, said the declaration expected this week will only list nuclear materials and facilities, according to a spokeswoman for the US Embassy in Beijing.

"The weapons are to be determined at a subsequent phase. The declaration, at this point, the purpose of it, is to list all of their nuclear materials and all their nuclear facilities and programmes," the spokeswoman quoted Hill as saying.

"So with regard to weapons, that has always been envisioned for the subsequent phase.... The North Koreans acknowledged that we have to deal with the weapons, but not in this phase."

AFP reports:

The White House said Monday it expects the declaration to be handed over Thursday but cautioned that it would not be taken on trust. "It must be correct and verifiable," said spokeswoman Dana Perino.

Under a landmark deal struck in February 2007 between the two Koreas, the US, China, Russia, and Japan , the North agreed to disable its nuclear plants at Yongbyon and declare all nuclear programmes by the end of that year.

The secretive state, which tested a nuclear weapon in October 2006, has been disabling the plutonium-producing plants in return for energy aid but disputes over the declaration have stalled the process.

US suspicions of a secret uranium-enrichment weapons programme and of nuclear proliferation will now reportedly be addressed in a separate document.

The main declaration to China, which chairs six-party talks, will cover the production and stockpiling of plutonium at the ageing Yongbyon complex. The North will reportedly declare a 37-kilogram (81-pound) stockpile, less than US estimates.

Hill told reporters: "The key element of the declaration of course is that the North Koreans, in addition to laying out all their facilities, have to give us a verifiable figure for how much plutonium they have."

Hill acknowledged the existence of a separate negotiation, but refrained from going into specifics.

"We are going to deal with it as soon as we sit down again to begin to map out the remaining piece of this negotiation," Hill said, referring to the atomic weapons.

He added that a verification agreement would have to be set up within 45 days of the declaration.

After the declaration, US President George W. Bush will inform Congress of plans to remove North Korea from a list of state sponsors of terrorism and refrain from penalising the regime under the US Trading with the Enemy Act.

In a symbolic gesture possibly on Friday, the North will blow up the cooling tower at Yongbyon in the presence of US and other TV crews.

Full six-party talks have not been held since last October but a new round is likely to be called soon after the declaration is submitted.

It will focus on verifying the declaration and on preparations for the third phase, the permanent dismantlement of nuclear plants and the handover of all weapons and material.

In return, the North would establish diplomatic relations with Washington and Japan and a peace treaty would be drawn up formally ending the Korean war five decades ago.

Tokyo has been critical of any US move to de-list North Korea until it accounts for all Japanese civilians believed kidnapped in the 1970s and 1980s.

Japan called Tuesday for Washington to pressure North Korea over the issue.

Afghanistan Says Foreign Agents Tried to Kill Karzai

Foreign Confidential....

The Afghan government claims that a "foreign intelligence agency" was responsible for the April 27 assassination attempt on President Hamid Karzai.

Afghan presidential spokesman Humayum Hamidzada said Tuesday the investigation into the attack is continuing. He did not name a specific country or agency.

Hamidzada also said Pakistan must stop militants from crossing the border to attack targets in Afghanistan, otherwise Kabul would "take action to defend the country and people."

Three People Died

Karzai survived the attack at the nation's biggest annual military parade, but three other Afghans were killed, one of them a parliamentarian.

"Evidence shows the hallmark of a particular foreign intelligence agency which we believe was behind this attack," Karzai's spokesman Homayun Hamidzada said, citing an investigation into the incident.

"We cannot provide further details at this time as the investigation continues," the spokesman told reporters, refusing to name the foreign country or the spy organisation.

Pakistan Suspected

Afghan officials, including Karzai ,have in the past accused neighbouring Pakistan's Inter Service Intelligence of supporting Taliban militants who are waging a bloody insurgency against the Kabul administration.

The Taliban claimed responsibility at the time of the parade attack, which involved three militant gunmen who opened fire on Karzai and a host of foreign and Afghan dignitaries.

Several people including a defence ministry weapons expert and a police nurse were arrested for allegedly facilitating the attack. The rebels who took part in the attack were killed in return fire by Karzai's guards.

Days later, Afghan security forces raided a house in a Kabul suburb and killed three militants including a woman whom the Taliban said were involved in the attack. A child was also killed.

Al Qaeda Connections

Eight senior government officials, including the Kabul police chief, have already been suspended from their jobs over their alleged negligence in failing to prevent the attack.

Pakistan nurtured the Taliban and supported the Islamist movement during its 1996-2001 control of Afghanistan and alliance with Al Qaeda; but President Pervez Musharraf turned against the Taliban under US pressure after the 9/11 attacks.

Islamabad strenuously denies that its intelligence agencies have any links to the insurgents.

Monday, June 23, 2008

It is Not a Slur to Say Obama Was Born a Muslim

Pointing out that Barack Hussein Obama II was born a Muslim according to Islamic religious law--which traces one's religion through one's father--is a fact, not a slur.

Nor is it a slur to report that Obama studied and practiced Islam as a child in Indonesia.

In fact, it is an insult to Muslims the world-over to deny that Obama, who has for decades identified himself as a Christian, and may have formally converted to Christianity, is America's first Muslim-born Presidential candidate.

Ironically, BHO, who pledged to defend Muslims against abuse and discrimination after the Islamist attacks of 9/11, seems most uncomfortable with his Muslim roots. In that regard, his candidacy clearly complicates efforts to differentiate among radical Islam, or Islamism, which is a clerical fascist movement that aims to destroy our civilization; individual Muslims, including people who believe in democracy and progress; and Islam itself. The religion, though inherently intolerant and violent, should be capable of reform; however, its leading institutions and organizations have basically been taken over by Islamists. As a result, secular, modern Muslims are increasingly isolated and threatened; and organized Islam has for all practical purposes become synonymous with Islamism.

So much for Obama's Muslim Roots. His "red roots" are also noteworthy, according to Investor's Business Daily, which recently editorialized:

It's natural to be skeptical of excessive claims about Obama's radical associations. After all, there are so many. But one bears attention — because it helped him get his start in politics. In 1996, he won an Illinois state senate seat on a "fusion" ticket of the Democratic Party and leftist group called the "New Party."

The New Party, founded in 1992 with 7,000 members at its peak, had been an explicitly anti-capitalist party of ex-Communists, socialists and activists from ACORN, the hard-left group that's constantly in trouble over voter fraud. The New Party didn't ask for Obama's association; he asked for the New Party's endorsement.

Iran Developing Missiles to Hit America

Foreign Confidential....

There is a growing consensus among intelligence analysts and defense experts that given its present rate of progress, Iran will have intercontinental missiles capable of striking every European city and the United States by 2015.

We believe that Iran is less than a year away from acquiring a nuclear weapon; warheads to match missiles are the goal.

Diplomacy has clearly failed to deter the monstrous mullahocracy from its warlike course. Appeasement--camouflaged as calls for face-to-face negotiations with Iranian leaders, including the Holocaust-denying, head monster, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad--will not preserve the peace. Rather, appeasement will make war inevitable--on Iranian terms.

Fuel for Thought ...

Modern life is unimaginable without electricity. It lights houses, buildings, streets, provides domestic and industrial heat, and powers most equipment used in homes, offices and machinery in factories. Improving access to electricity worldwide is as a key factor in alleviating poverty.

But few people ever ask: "Where does electricity come from?"

A surprising number of people believe that electricity is totally clean and comes from a water-powered plant. In reality, hydropower supplies only 10% of our electricity.

Others will say that their power comes from the plug on the wall. They demand more electric cars without any appreciation or understanding of where electricity comes from. Electricity is clean and simple, almost magical, they assume.

In fact, coal and nuclear power is where most of the electricity we use comes from--not dams.

A move to electric cars will send the demand for electricity skyrocketing. More coal, and even more nuclear power stations will be needed.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Three Radical Energy Proposals

Dateline USA....

Neither Republicans nor Democrats make much sense when it comes to dealing with menacing, soaring energy prices.

Republicans act as if energy is just another industry instead of the lifeblood of a nation.

Democrats act as if electricity comes from nowhere--it is simply available behind that outlet in the wall of your home or office, they seem to think--and as if oil and gas are inherently evil.

Whereas Republicans worship free market theories above national security, Democrats despise the market, and are slaves to manmade global warming theory--a giant hoax that has redefined pollution as "carbon emissions."

In the meantime, the economic lives of tens of millions of ordinary Americans are threatened; and millions of middle and working class people face pauperization.

So what is to be done?

Three radical proposals are set forth below.

1. Outlaw the speculation by hedge funds, banks, pension funds and other institutional investors that is driving up oil prices. Speculation could be the cause of as much as 60% of the 40% increase in oil prices since January.

The US Commodities Futures Trading Commission defines a speculator as a person who “does not produce or use the commodity, but risks his or her own capital trading futures in that commodity in hopes of making a profit on price changes.” Large purchases of crude oil futures contracts by speculators have created an unprecedented additional demand for oil, driving up its price for future delivery just as demand for contracts for the delivery of a physical barrel of oil today drives up the price of crude on the spot market. From a market perspective, demand for a barrel of oil that results from the purchase of a futures contract by a speculator is just as real as the demand for a barrel that results from the purchase of a futures contract by a refiner or other user of petroleum.

In June 2006, when oil traded in futures markets at about $60 a barrel, the US Senate estimated that about $25 of that price was due to pure financial speculation. One analyst estimated in August 2005 that US oil inventory levels suggested crude prices should be around $25 a barrel, and not $60.

By purchasing large numbers of futures contracts, and thereby pushing up futures prices to even higher levels than current prices, speculators have provided a financial incentive for oil companies to buy even more oil and place it in storage. A refiner will purchase extra oil today, regardless of its cost, if the futures price is even higher.

As a result, over the past two years crude oil inventories have been steadily growing, and US crude oil inventories are now higher than at any time in the previous eight years. The large influx of speculative investment into oil futures has led to a situation where we have both high supplies of crude oil and high crude oil prices.

Amid a declining US economy and a falling US dollar, speculators and ordinary investment funds desperate for more profitable investments have taken to selling the dollar “short” and oil “long.” The strategy is one of the best ways to get huge speculative gains, as continued unrest in the Middle East, in Sudan, in Venezuela and Pakistan combine with firm oil demand in China and most of the world outside the US to fuel the rumor mill that in turn helps to push up oil prices.

2. Create a national oil company for the US. It is the only large, advanced nation without one--at a time when US-based, vertically integrated, multinational oil companies are being eclipsed by national oil companies and resource nationalism. Energy is too important to leave to companies that answer to stockholders and analysts. A national oil company could exploit the energy resources that are profitable, but perhaps not profitable enough in the eyes of listed companies. We're referring to the nation's massive, untapped reserves of both conventional and heavy crude oils and tar sands, as well as oil shale and the oil that can be liquified from coal. Just as the US has an armed forces and a federal postal system, and does not rely on Fedex and UPS to deliver the mail, it needs its own behemoth to exploit energy in the national interest.

3. Stand up to the global warming scammers and hoaxers. The science of manmade climate change is far from settled, contrary to the claims of former Vice President Al Gore and other charlatans and environmental extremists. More and more scientists and climate experts are speaking out against global warming dogma; there is increasing evidence that the Earth stopped warming a few years ago, and that the warming that did occur was natural and not at all anthropogenic. Enough is enough; if the nation does not get serious about immediately lowering energy prices and producing real energy (as opposed to food inflation-causing biofuels and other phony "alternatives"), a great meany people will freeze and starve ... and die ... next winter.

Iran Threatens 'Limitless' Retaliation

Foreign Confidential....

Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najar Sunday warned of a "limitless" response to any military strike.

"Iran will not begin any conflict but will punish any aggressor with force. With determination and using all the options -- without limit in time and space -- we will give a destructive response to any hostile action," Najar said.

His comments came after the UN atomic watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei warned on Saturday that an attack on Iran would turn the region into a "ball of fire."

The comments confirm our analysis--namely, that an attack on Iran must be swift and crushing. Every missile site must be wiped out, along with virtually the entire Revolutionary Guard, in order to prevent the monstrous mullahocracy from attacking Israeli cities and American troops, bases and ships in the Persian Gulf.

Diplomacy Failed

Israeli parliament foreign affairs and defence committee chairman Tsahi Hanegbi said on Saturday that Western diplomatic efforts to halt Iran's nuclear programme had failed and "next year and the year after that will be crucial."

In related news, the suspected Syrian nuclear facility that Israel bombed last September had in fact been built by Syria with North Korean assistance in order to facilitate Iran's nuclear program, according to the German magazine Der Spiegel.

The magazine cited intelligence reports that confirmed the site was a secret nuclear reactor, where North Korean engineers were aiding Iran in producing plutonium for use in nuclear weapons.

Iran has managed to enrich a significant amount of uranium, but had no experience with plutonium, and could not risk having the North Koreans come to Iran to teach them there.

Iranian plans to construct plutonium producing heavy-water reactors are viewed with great suspicion by the international community.

Nigeria Orders Military Offensive on Rebels

Foreign Confidential....

Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua has ordered a military offensive to curb the rising mayhem in the oil-rich Niger Delta. The action comes days after oil rebels attacked a key petroleum facility in the region. Gilbert da Costa reports from Abuja.

The president's spokesman, Segun Adeniyi, told reporters that a major military crackdown in the troubled Niger Delta is inevitable as the government seeks to halt the spiraling violence.

"While the federal government remains fully committed to rapid resolution of problems and grievance of the people of the Niger Delta, it will not shirk its responsibility for law and order, as well as the safety of lives and property in the Niger Delta and all other parts of Nigeria. Militants in the region who continue to spurn the peace overtures of the federal government must be prepared to face the full consequences of taking up arms against their fatherland," the spokesman said. "The federal government will take all necessary action to stop criminals from willfully depriving the region of this indispensable ingredient of development."

Rebels Stormed Oil Fields

The planned military offensive comes after Delta rebels stormed the offshore Bonga oil fields operated by Royal Dutch Shell, in the vast wetland region which has all of Nigeria's oil, resulting in the company's decision to cut output by 200,000 barrels per day.

The most powerful rebel group in the region, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, has claimed responsibility for the attack and promised further raids on the oil industry.

The group has made the release of its presumed leader, Henry Okah, who is currently on trial for treason, a pre-condition for suspending its campaign of violence.

Oil Output Cut

At peak production levels, Nigeria can pump around 2.6 million barrels of crude daily, but attacks by militants have cut production by 25 percent.

Delta rebels say they are fighting for control of the region's oil wealth, but their fight is intertwined with communal and ethnic rivalries in the delta, where kidnapping for ransom, extortion and oil theft are also big business.

Despite the rising tensions, the government says constructive dialogue with local communities will continue.

Authorities have acknowledged that poverty and neglect lie at the root of many of the Delta's problems. Recent measures to try and foster development in the region have failed to quell discontent.

Nigeria has lost its status as Africa's leading oil producer to Angola since April and at least one Western oil company, Total, is reviewing its future operation in Nigeria due to the violence.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

China Says it Freed Over 1,000 Tibet Rioters

China says it has released more than 1,000 people held for alleged involvement in anti-government riots in Tibet's capital, Lhasa, three months ago.

The official Xinhua news agency Friday said authorities released 1,157 people who participated in deadly protests in March. It said 12 others were sentenced this week for their role in the protests.

In April, authorities handed down punishments to 30 people on charges including arson, robbery and attack on state organs during the unrest.

Xinhua quoted Tibet's vice chairman Palma Trily as saying another 116 people remain in custody awaiting trial.

The report was published two days after Amnesty International urged China to reveal what happened to more than a thousand people arrested during the government crackdown on protesters.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Iran Counting on Obama, Missiles, and Diplomacy to Prevent Israeli or American Attacks on Nuclear Sites

Foreign Confidential....

Reacting to media reports that the Pentagon views recent, large-scale Israeli military exercises as a rehearsal for possible air strikes against Iran's suspect nuclear facilities, Tehran has again threatened Israel and the United States with devastating counterattacks.

"If the enemies, particularly Israel and its American backers, adopt a language of force against Iran, they can be sure that they will receive a strong slap on the face from Iran," influential Iranian cleric Ahmad Khatami told worshippers at Tehran University, in a speech broadcast live on state radio. Khatami has strong ties to Iran's Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"The Iranian nation is a logical and brave nation and its reply to logical methods will be logical."

Our correspondent in Iran reports the regime is counting on four factors to save itself from crushing Israeli and/or US military action: Iran's arsenal of ballistic missiles, which could level Israeli population centers, especially if launched in coordination with Iran's Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, which is bristling with missiles and eager for a confrontation with the Jewish state; Russian and Chinese opposition to use of force to end Iran's nuclear program; US antiwar public opinion, led by Barack Obama and his Left-liberal supporters; and an Obama victory in the US general election. The presumptive Democratic candidate for President has promised to diplomatically engage--code for appease--the Islamist nation (and Islamism in general).

EDITOR'S NOTE: Iran is also counting on the threat of international terrorism, including use of sleeper cells and activation of cargo ships at sea that may already be armed with concealed missile launchers, to dissuade the US from attacking it.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

China's Turkic Muslims Demand Separate State

More must-reading: Robert D. Kaplan's report in The Atlantic on "China's Still-Wild West."

It isn’t only Tibetans who have risen up against Chinese rule, but also Turkic Moslem Uighurs in China’s far western province of Xinjiang. The Chinese have reacted by arresting Uighur (pronounced WE-goor) activists in the Islamic center of Kashgar, and accusing Uighurs of ties to international terrorism. The Uighurs, in return, demand an independent state: that of East Turkestan. Even as China prepares to showcase its growing strength and dynamism at this year’s Olympics, the situation in Xinjiang, as much as the one in Tibet, demonstrates how it has yet to consolidate its border areas, with profound implications for China, the United States, and the world.

Geographically, Xinjiang, which means “New Dominion,” is separated from China by the expanse of the Gobi Desert. Though the Chinese state has existed for more than 3,500 years, Xinjiang became part of China only in the middle of the 18th century. Even thereafter, Xinjiang traded far more with czarist and Soviet Turkestan than with the rest of China, and a state of sustained rebellion continued right up to the 1940s--in 1935, for example, the Uighurs slaughtered most of Kashgar’s Han Chinese population. When I reported in the 1990s from Xinjiang, I found the hatred between the Uighurs and Han settlers to still be of a Balkan intensity.

The Uighurs look to Mecca, not Beijing, for their identity....

Click here to continue reading.

And click below to watch this video about the Islamist threat to China....

US Clears Chinese Firm that Aided Iran Missiles

AFP reports....

The US Treasury Department said Thursday it was lifting an asset freeze on a Chinese company and its US subsidiary after they were blacklisted for aiding Iran's missile program.

The department's office of foreign assets control "removed the China Great Wall Industry Corporation and its US subsidiary, G.W. Aerospace, from the list of 'specially designated nationals,'" a statement said.

They were included in the list on June 13, 2006.

The department has determined that they "no longer meet the criteria" for being on the list "for providing material support to Iran's missile program".

"Removing China Great Wall Industry Corporation from our sanctions list marks a great success for our counter-proliferation sanctions program," said Adam Szubin, the department's office of foreign assets control.

"A company that once supported Iran's missile program has implemented a rigorous and thorough compliance program to prevent future dealings with Iran," he said.

Click here to continue reading.

Not the Donor He Knew? Obama's New Nightmare

WorldNetDaily has published an exclusive report about an Arab-American who supports both Barack Hussein Obama and the anti-American terrorist insurgency in Iraq.

An American citizen who returned to Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein to become minister of electricity has called for support of the terrorist insurgency and claims to have contributed the maximum amount under the law to the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama.

Ayham al-Samurai, a Sunni Muslim and former Iraqi exile who lived in the US for 20 years, held a press conference in Amman, Jordan, yesterday saying he hoped the terrorist insurgents in Iraq "would continue against occupation and avenge the Iraqi people."

The former Chicagoan added, in remarks carried by Radio Sawa, that he had contributed $2,300 to Obama's campaign.

Obama's opponent, Sen. John McCain, has been making much of the support offered the Illinois senator's campaign by Hamas's top political adviser, Ahmed Yousuf, in an exclusive interview with WND's Jerusalem bureau chief Aaron Klein. News that a fellow Chicagoan is both supporting him politically as well as the insurgency in Iraq is not expected to be welcome news in the Obama camp.

However, al-Samurai's ties to Illinois and Obama don't stop with the financial contribution.

While serving as minister of electricity, al-Samurai brokered deals with Antoin Rezko, the Syrian-American millionaire who backed Obama politically and personally. Rezko was convicted of fraud in Illinois the day Obama unofficially declared himself the winner of the Democratic nomination.

Click here to continue reading.

And ... in case you missed it, this op-ed article by an Egyptian journalist about Obama's "unprecedented" appeal to Muslims across the world is a must-read:

US Senator Barack Obama represents a phenomenon that has drawn global attention and captivated the minds of Muslims around the world as he wages a spirited campaign to become the next president of the United States.

In spite of the campaign's heated debate and some controversial rhetoric regarding Islam, large segments of the Muslim population here remain fascinated with the election and have become big fans of Senator Obama.

This level of support for an American presidential candidate is unprecedented in the Muslim world. That it comes amid an almost unanimous feeling of indignation and rage toward US foreign policy – particularly in Iraq and the Palestinian territories – makes it even more noteworthy.

The simple explanation is that many Muslims see new reason for hope in the political approach of Obama and his advisers. His apparent eagerness to rally more international support for US policy, and even talk to America's "enemies," is cause for optimism. Imagine what global politics might look like in Iraq, or Sudan, or Afghanistan, if Obama-like vision had influenced US leadership earlier.

Click here to continue reading.

China Clarifies Maritime Deal With Japan

China says Japanese companies participating in a joint gas exploration deal in the East China Sea will be subject to Chinese law. China also says it has not given up its legal claims to disputed territory in the East China Sea. Stephanie Ho in Beijing has more on the story.

Less than 24 hours after a China-Japan deal was announced, China made great efforts to stress the accord is not considered a formal joint-development agreement.

Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei told reporters in Beijing the difference in this case is that the two governments are not taking the lead in cooperation to develop the Chunxiao oil and gas field.

He said enterprises will play a major role, and governments will only give some guidance.

Wu said Chinese-Japanese cooperation in the Chunxiao oil and gas field will follow Chinese law and that both sides recognize China's sovereignty over the field.

China and Japan have conflicting claims over a nearby island chain in the East China Sea. The Chinese call them the Diaoyu Islands, while the Japanese know them as the Senkaku.

Wu said that for the deal to have been reached, both sides have pretty much shelved, for now, differences of sovereignty and sovereign rights.

The agreement announced Wednesday allows Japanese companies to invest in and claim proportional profits from several projects from the Chunxiao gas field, which Japan calls Shirakaba.

Difficult Negotiations

Japanese officials say they expect long and difficult negotiations before joint exploration can start. The agreement did not set a specific timeline.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry's tough talk Thursday reflects some of the Chinese public's continuing antipathy toward Japan.

A small group of protesters called for Tokyo to "clear out" of the East China Sea, in a brief demonstration Wednesday in front of the Japanese embassy in Beijing.

Meanwhile, in an unrelated development, a Japanese military destroyer is scheduled to make a visit next Tuesday to southern China's Zhanjiang port.

The missile destroyer will be the first Japanese warship to make an appearance in a Chinese harbor since the end of World War II, when the two countries were bitter enemies.

Obama Has Made America Less Secure

One hopes that White House hopeful Barack Hussein Obama II will never come to power in the United States; but his campaign has arguably already hurt US national security as follows:

1. The country's first Muslim-born Presidential candidate--he was born a Muslim according to Islamic religious law--has efffectively encouraged nuclear-arming, Islamist Iran to play for time in its standoff with the West. Obama has promised to diplomatically engage Tehran's clerical fascist regime, making it more difficult for the US or Israel--which Iran has vowed to destroy--to act militarily to end the nuclear menace. Iran's Holocaust-denying, Hitler-admiring maniac-in-chief, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, only has to wait for an Obama victory to buy another year, at a minimum, during which he will almost certainly achieve his aim of acquiring nuclear warheads to match his ballistic missiles.

2. Obama has undercut the war against radical Islam by announcing that he would try to avoid killing and prefer to capture and try--and not execute--Al Qaeda mass murderer Osama Binladen. Imagine FDR announcing that Hitler will not be killed... Obama clearly intends to downgrade the struggle against Islamism by demilitarizing it.

3. Obama has emboldened--and also angered--Muslim fundamentalists and fanatics, from Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, whom Obama was pressured into denouncing even though his Black Liberationist church had honored him, to the Muslim headscarf-wearing women who were ejected from the front row of his rallies. Obama's campaign has apologized to the women, who had come to his rally because they saw Obama as a pro-Muslim candidate.

4. Obama has emboldened--and also angered--left-wing radicals, including the unrepentant former Weather Underground terrorist, Bill Ayers, who helped launch Obama's political career, Obama's former spiritual adviser and closer friend and collaborator, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, whose post-9/11, anti-American Sunday sermon embarrassed Obama, and the anti-Semitic, pro-Islamist Catholic priest, Father Michael Pfleger, whose hate-Hillary rant has led to his suspension by church authorities.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

US, China Agree to Agree on Investments, Energy

Cabinet-level officials from Washington and Beijing Wednesday concluded two days of talks in Annapolis, Maryland with a commitment to cooperate on energy and environmental issues and begin work on a bilateral investment treaty. VOA's Barry Wood reports there was also discussion about financial markets and currency values.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson hailed the achievements of the talks, the fourth round in a strategic economic dialogue launched two years ago. He said the 10-year energy and environmental agreement is particularly significant as the US and China are the world's biggest oil consumers and biggest emitters of green house gases.

The investment treaty--which will take some time to negotiate--will enhance each nation's access to the other's market. The two countries already have a huge and growing trade relationship.

The Chinese delegation was headed by Vice Premier Wang Qishan.

Paulson praised the Chinese for allowing their currency to appreciate 20 percent against the dollar over the past three years. That appreciation, he said, should continue as it will bring benefits to Chinese policy makers.

"They're going to be able to manage their economy much more effectively if they have a market-driven currency," said Paulson. "It's going to be better in fighting inflation, you know, monetary policy will be more effective."

Weak Dollar and Credit Crisis

Paulson said the Chinese remain committed to having a market-based exchange rate and that bilateral differences concern only the pace of appreciation.

For their part, the Chinese called attention to the weakness of the dollar and called for action to bolster the dollar against other leading currencies. Paulson said the ongoing credit crisis that erupted last August with bad loans in the US housing sector tarnished the US reputation as a leader in financial services.

The Chinese, said Paulson, had regarded the US as a teacher in global financial matters.

"Now they see that the teachers aren't perfect," he said. "So, we had a lot of discussion. They want to learn from our mistakes."

US and European financial institutions made risky housing-related loans that have gone bad, causing hundreds of billions of dollars of losses.

Private sector economists are supportive of the US-China economic dialogue, which they believe will deepen the bi-lateral relationship and possibly prevent misunderstandings and conflict. The dialogue was launched, in large part, to deter the US Congress from enacting restrictive trade measures against the Chinese, who are perceived as having an unfair advantage in competing against higher-cost US companies.

The Great Oil Swindle?

If politics makes strange bedfellows, energy politics makes even stranger ones. In the United States, conservative cable TV talk show host Bill O'Reilly found himself agreeing with left-wing Congressman Dennis Kucinich the other night that financial speculation--and market manipulation--could be contributing significantly to soaring oil prices.

Their comments are in line with an essay by Mike Whitney, "The Great Oil Swindle: Manipulation or Fraud?" which was published yesterday by Australia's Communist Party newspaper, The Guardian.

Whitney writes that America's "Commodity Futures and Trading Commission (CFTC) is investigating trading in oil futures to determine whether the surge in prices to record levels is the result of manipulation or fraud."

Says Whitney: " They might want to take a look at wheat, rice and corn futures while they’re at it. The whole thing is a hoax cooked up by the investment banks and hedge funds who are trying to dig their way out of the trillion dollar mortgage-backed securities (MBS) mess that they created by turning garbage loans into securities."

That scam blew up in their face last August and left them scrounging for handouts from the Federal Reserve Bank. Now the billions of dollars they’re getting from the Fed is being diverted into commodities which is destabilising the world economy; driving gas prices to the moon and triggering food riots across the planet.

For months we’ve been told that the soaring price of oil has been the result of Peak Oil, fighting in Iraq, attacks on oil facilities in Nigeria, labour problems in Norway, and (the all-time favourite) growth in China. It’s all baloney. Just like Goldman Sachs prediction of US$200 per barrel oil is baloney [all amounts in US dollars: US$1 = AU$1.07]. If oil is about to skyrocket then why has G-Sax kept a neutral rating on some of its oil holdings like ExxonMobile? Could it be that they know that oil is just another mega-inflated equity bubble — like housing, corporate bonds and stocks — that is about to crash to earth as soon as the big players grab a parachute?

There are three things that are driving up the price of oil: the falling dollar, speculation and buying on margin.

Click here to continue reading.

Obama Says He Would Try to Avoid Killing Binladen

As if to confirm our analysis that Barack Obama would downgrade and demilitarize the war against radical Islam, the presumptive Democratic candidate for President of the United States told reporters Wednesday that he would try to capture, not kill, Al Qaeda leader Osama Binladen, preferring to put him on trial. Obama also indicated that he would not seek the death penalty for Binladen for his role in the 9/11 attacks--the worst-ever attacks on US soil--in order to avoid turning the Saudi terrorist into "a martyr" in the eyes of a new generation of Islamists.

Should Binladen be taken into custody, Obama said, he would bring the terrorist to justice "in a way that allows the entire world to understand the murderous acts that he's engaged in and not to make him into a martyr."

Obama added that the capture of Binladen would provide Washington with a chance to show the world "that the United States government is abiding by the basic conventions that would strengthen our hand in the broader battle against terrorism."

Nuremburg Trials

Obama drew a comparison with the prosecution of Nazi war criminals at the Nuremburg trials, which he called "one of the high water marks" of US foreign policy.

"The world had not seen before victors behave in ways that advanced a set of universal principles. And that set a tone for post-war reconstruction and creation of an international order that I think was extraordinarily important," he continued.

Obama was asked about how he would handle Binladen by a press pool after the junior Senator from Illinois met with a new team of national security advisers at a Washington hotel.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Obama's Nuremburg analogy is misleading as the trials followed the utter destruction and defeat of Nazi Germany. In contrast with World War II, the US response to the Islamist sneak attacks of 2001 has been restrained, even mild; thus, Binladen is still at large; Al Qaeda has reconstituted itself; and Islamist Iran is developing nuclear weapons and an intercontinental ballistic missile arsenal.

Instead of criticizing the Bush administration for holding back and not annihilating the Islamist enemy, Obama and his Left-liberal Democratic supporters emphasize the need for diplomatic initiatives. At best, they see Islamist terrorism as a law enforcement or criminal justice problem; at worst, as the result of US foreign policy errors--"chickens coming home to roost," as Obama's former spiritual adviser, the Black Liberationist preacher Jeremiah Wright put it in an infamous Sunday sermon only five days after 9/11.

Must-View Video: No Deal, NObama!

BHO's Ascent to Power and Rising Radical Islam

The election of America's most left-wing Presidential candidate, Barack Hussein Obama, will ironically serve to advance the cause of right-wing political Islam, with which the world's greatest democracy is still at war.

For a great many Muslims, Obama's religious roots--he was born a Muslim according to Islamic religious law--will matter more than his left-wing politics and adult affiliation with Christianity. An Obama victory in the fall will embolden Islamists and their supporters and sympathizers from the United States to Europe to Africa.

In Kenya, for example, Obama's cousin, the pro-Islamist Prime Minister and opposition leader Raila Odinga --whom the Democrat has befriended and lauded--will come to power and make good on his promise to impose barbaric Sharia on parts of the country, and to protect jihadists from arrest and deportation. The East African nation will become yet another hotbed of Islamist terrorism.

BHO's ascent to power in the US will be seen by millions of Muslims the world-over as a sign of divine intervention. More practically, pro-Islamist groups in the US and Europe will feel empowered to accelerate their demand for acceptance--and drive for conquest. Muslim headscarves will sprout like mushrooms in a country field after a rainy summer day. Muslim activists will push the envelope in every direction, challenging civil society on many fronts, using democratic institutions to destroy democracy. Legal warfare, or lawfare, against the West will escalate sharply ahead of a new round of terrorist attacks, which will again be blamed on American support for Israel.

Islamist Iran will go nuclear, and play with words with the utmost skill (the Iranians are very good at this game) in order to isolate Israel, undercut US foreign policy, and ultimately drive it from the Middle East. Obama will respond with "tough diplomacy"--code for appeasement. Instead of preventing war, his policies will make it inevitable--on Iranian terms. He will be the new Neville Chamberlain.

As a result, virtually all of Europe, every US coastal city--and the entire state of Israel--will be in danger of atomic attack from long-range Iranian ballistic missiles (in the case of Europe and Israel) and seemingly civilian cargo ships capable of penetrating US waters and firing missiles from concealed, containerized launching systems.

A horrible situation--but the US Commander-in-Chief will chiefly be concerned about alleged discrimination against Muslims. He and his advisers and cabinet members will try to calm the nation by assuring television audiences that the best way to prevent any terrorist attack--even a nuclear one--is by addressing the "root causes" and "legitimate grievances" of the terrorists. (Liberals love to talk about root causes and legitimate grievances.)

Besides, Obama will argue, it would be immoral--an atrocity, a war crime--to preemptively attack Iran or any other nation simply because they possess weapons of mass destruction. That sort of thinking led to the debacle in Iraq, he will say.

Hamas, which briefly endorsed Obama during the primary contest, will get the message, and launch a major new political and military offensive aimed at a one-state solution of the Israeli-Islamist conflict--i.e. replacement of the Jewish state in any part of historic Palestine, no matter how small, with an Islamist Arab state encompassing all of Palestine.

Oil prices will reach new record highs ... and Obama will lash out .... against global warming and our national "oil addiction."

In short, the US ... and the West ... will go to hell in a handbasket, as the old expression goes.

Only five days after 9/11, Obama's spiritual adviser and close friend, the Black Liberationist preacher Jeremiah Wright, who has honored and supported Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, told members of his Chicago church, to which Obama belonged, that America was to blame for the attacks--the worst on American soil in the nation's history. Nearly seven years later, Obama is leading in national polls in the race for the White House. No wonder Muslim fanatics feel they are winning the war--they are winning.

-Andre Pachter
Copyright 2008