Saturday, January 30, 2010

BBC Debate: 50 Minutes of Wrangling on Iraq, the War, Lies, Mass Graves, Saddam, and the (Alleged) Guilt of Tony Blair and George W Bush

You can now listen to the BBC debate, Should Britain be proud that Tony Blair is appearing at the Iraq inquiry?

50 minutes' time worth of debate (which you can download if you wish) on Iraq, Saddam Hussein, the Iraq war, lies, torture (real or otherwise), mass graves, American foreign policy, Iraqis' view of the conflict and the foreign presence, and the guilt (alleged or otherwise) of Tony Blair and George W Bush…

The conversation takes place between myself (in Paris), editor Marc (?), the Carnegie Endowment's Masha Lipman (in Moscow), Iraqi expatriate Salam Adil (in London), and callers from all over the world, including Ban Blair-Baiting's John Justice.

Run if you hear the Banjos

It’s Peewee Herman trying to bust into the biz on the Gong Show

Friday, January 29, 2010

Birds of a Feather

In an feverish attempt to find any kind of new public support he can, Bin Laden rants about Global Warming.

He blamed Western industrialized nations for hunger, desertification and floods across the globe, and called for "drastic solutions" to global warming, and "not solutions that partially reduce the effect of climate change."

Bin Laden has mentioned climate change and global warning in past messages, but the latest tape was his first dedicated to the topic. The speech, which included almost no religious rhetoric, could be an attempt by the terror leader to give his message an appeal beyond Islamic militants.
As in: fantasy Anarchists, Greenies, George Monboit, etc., through whose silence about Jihadist megalomania and religious suprematism, he seems to appeal to anyway.

Obviously the message is meant to point out beyond the Muslim Arab world given the incredibly low regard Arab societies largely have for not littering or even so much as using a trashcan if it isn’t to keep your own property clean.

I Will Be Debating Tony Blair's Iraq Appearance on the BBC at 6 PM GMT

I will be debating Tony Blair's appearance on the Iraq Inquiry on the BBC at 6pm GMT (7pm European continental time) tonight…

A listen live icon will come active when we go on air… It would seem that this link (cheers to Arnaud) will take you there…

Update: The debate is now live

Voice Your Support for Tony Blair

You can watch Tony Blair live in the Iraq inquiry and leave comments (or send tweets), although the BBC'ers seem to be deleting all pro-Blair comments…

Send a pro-Blair comment to the BBC (keep it as short as possible) and sign the petition to support Tony

Teheran’s Willing Idiots Work for ZDF

This past summer, however, the German public television network ZDF shook up the seasonal television doldrums with a sensational three-part documentary titled simply The Bomb. Broadcast over three evenings in late July and early August, it was hosted (and co-written) by ZDF's star primetime news anchor, the ever dour Claus Kleber. The tone of the 132-minute documentary is downright apocalyptic, promising nothing less than the "end of the world" if the nuclear issue is not tackled swiftly. To emphasize the urgency, each episode begins with a countdown recited by small children from around the world and interspersed with images of missiles and jet-fighters and mushroom clouds--and then a control panel switch being turned to "launch."
Writing in the Weekly Standard, John Rosenthal covers the oh-ho-hum manner in which blame and wishful hatred are bandied about in Europe. A ZDF “reporter” asks leading questions to the wife of nuke-monster A. Q. Khan, so that she can pedantically repeat the question “so just who was it that has actually used a nuclear weapon?”

The purpose, is to convince them that the launch is NOT on them, and that whoever does harm the precious bubble of illusions they live in, that it’s really the fault of the United States. After all, the warm, amniotic fluid in that bubble is so comforting that it justifies the lies on tells oneself.

Like everything ginned up in that kind of environment, it only works for them when it’s freed of both context and reason: Hiroshima is mentioned without Nan Jing, or the cost to the Japanese people and Americans of not forcing a Japanese surrender with the 2 atomic weapons dropped on Japan.

For the overriding message of The Bomb is that the nuclear threat is not constituted by Iran, North Korea, and other potential rogue possessors of nuclear weapons, but by the established nuclear powers and first and foremost by the United States. According to the odd sort of nuclear theology proposed by the film, it is the United States that committed the original sin by developing the first nuclear weapons, and the current risk of proliferation is merely the consequence of America's transgression.

The viewer gets a first hint of this tenet barely two minutes into the film. Kleber is touring New York harbor with a police patrol boat assigned to protect the city from potential nuclear terror attacks. "The consequences of the Manhattan Project, the construction of the first bomb, come back to haunt its inventors--as a weapon of terror," Kleber intones.

The consequences of the Manhattan Project? It is as if the Manhattan Project occurred in a vacuum rather than in the midst of the Second World War, with America racing to beat Nazi Germany to the bomb
ZDF’s purpose is to repeat the cheap, passive-aggression that has been a mainstay of politicized “journalism” in Europe for the past 20 years, whatever the cost or consequences are to the capacity of Europe’s population to judge the risk of an expansive, desperate, violent, Iranian government armed with nukes.

ZDF’s Kleber, with the stubbornness of an unruly child, can’t help but fantasize about an imaginary history where the Genie, could somehow, through the force of his delusions, go back into the bottle, and that wishing REALLY hard will change the tactical stance of the Iranians and the jihadist network. Like all elementary illusions, it requires a kind of taking sides which inevitable demands that he believe that a new and peaceful world comes to those that give in to the wishes of those who mean to kill them. The Japanese Empire need to have been held up as a harmless distraction. The Soviets need to be thought of as having wanted nothing to do with the rest of the world.
Bear in mind that Germany is and was the sort of place where as an American youngster, I would get people yelling at me and my sort of similar age about the Vietnam war or HiroshimaNagasakiBiteBiteBite which had ended when I was 8, as though I had something to do with it. It was a perfectly normal reaction, one that convinced the antagonist that they were not just on the side of the humane, but “politically aware” to shout down those who won’t do anything about that exercise of hatred.

You really need to do a lot to buy into it, and not caused by Kleber’s position, but has been long accepted as a given among many Germans. All Kleber does is pander to it, and inadvertently reinforce it with what he is surely telling himself is “challenging,” heartfelt, and “daring” rapportage. In reality, all it is, is the overpouring of emotionalized rhetoric posing as reason.
"For his nuclear program, Ahmadinejad can always play the national card," Kleber says over images of the Iranian president reviewing a military parade: "This is to say, the memory that Iraq invaded Iran"--and then after a dramatic pause--"with American help." The "with American help" is tossed out without any substantiation or explanation. The viewer is given no idea in what the alleged American help is supposed to have consisted. What we do know, however, is that the Iranians themselves received American help: the covert arms shipments at the heart of the Iran-contra scandal. The film makes no mention of this fact.
As if the bits and pieces of that past that matter rather selectively to Kleber will be what is driving Ahmedinejad.

Talk about ‘fighting the last war’ – Kleber and the many tear-swollen psychophants that think like him are still marching in a 50 year old protest, trying to kick a familiar strawman, and doing all the other pathetic things one looks back on after things that they could never imagine go badly wrong at the expense of those they are pretending to heroically ‘protect’.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Scott Brown's Victory: "The Return of the Macho Man; the Revenge of the White Man"

An excellent article in Le Monde on Scott Brown by Corine Lesnes.

Excellent article, that is, until the last paragraph. That's when we learn that "the Hollywood victory" of the (rather sympathetic) Republican is due to… racism (sigh)…
Les démocrates n'ont pas fini de digérer la victoire hollywoodienne de Scott Brown. Certains y voient un retour de bâton après 2008. Le retour du macho. La revanche de l'homme blanc. Avec une camionnette qui consomme 15 litres aux 100.
Apparently, at Le Monde, it is inconceivable for anyone to be against Barack Obama, or to vote for anybody who is in BHO's party, unless (!)… one is a racist!

Note to Le Monde:

Americans are against debts, deficits, and other irresponsible monetary policies if they are undertaken by a black man…

Americans are against debts, deficits, and other irresponsible monetary policies if they are undertaken by a Republican

Americans are against debts, deficits, and other irresponsible monetary policies if they are undertaken by a woman

And Americans are against debts, deficits, and other irresponsible monetary policies if they are undertaken by a member of the white race

Americans are against debts, deficits, and other irresponsible monetary policies.


Hello and Good Night

Germans are all, like Nein, aber ja, oder sowas! about their deployment in Afghanistan.

Very peculiar, this German Haltung (position) about sending more troops to Afghanistan.
Wait for it! There’s a punchline.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

La Jalousie et la Haine

Another day, another conflated myth that the rest of the world isn’t playing along with: Le Figaro fuels the obsession with the American intervention in Haiti somehow being about the French. While the crazies are taken at their word, most of the reader comments at this point are calling the bluff to a writer practicing a quiet bigotry of low expectations.

There are over 150 000 dead whose relatives are still suffering. The country is devastated.

But French media are stunned by the small U.S. presence. Small, because this presence, even if it doubled, would still not enough to secure the country. (The others such as France will not send more, which is criminal).

This article is about phantom international diplomats, to hide the fact that it is the journalist doing the talking.

While they were talking NEEDLESSLY of the U.S. presence in Haiti, a presence requested by the Haitians, we do not speak of Haitians’ dead, suffering relatives of the dead, and survivors suffering with poverty. It's despicable.

And this journalist ends by insulting the Haitians. Nobody is forcing Haitians to accept anything from anyone.

Stop your indirect racism. The Haitians have ANY power over Haiti they want to pursue.
And typical to Euro-think, they seem surprised when Haitians tell them that they want to rebuild, and can’t seem to make a distinction between the national notion of Haiti (presumably saying something), and Haitians telling them something. It comes from a “Risk game board mentality” about the world, spiked with the nationhood rhetoric that brackets their little world.

What comes out the other end of this beast is the commentary of armchair revolutionaries along with the basic, common sense of those who seem rather able to get the gyst of those with an accusatory tone. In the conversation which turned to a fear that Haitians rebuilding their own country after the earthquake, the typical argumentative hostility turned to corruption with the idea that Haitians can’t be trusted.
We should recolonize them first, because the independence already recognized and established since 1804 isn’t to be taken very seriously.
Strange that the commenter can’t seem to remember the basis of the Haitian rebellion, the half-century of usury that they had to pay thereafter, or from whom it was they were seeking their independence.

In light of the need to see things work, the hatred of the ‘take charge’ Americans yielded to the resignation that it should just be a de facto American protectorate for a while, because even the American military force was just a drop in the bucket in a nation of almost 10 million people.
About French aid - this will be a blow to the U.S. and a chance for France, which offers aid and its’ fellowship
It sounds oddly like they are fighting a cold war, taking up the goals of the now defunct Soviet Union, perfectly willing to use Haitians as a tool to... wait for it... render a blow to America – in particular an America that doesn’t seek to take notice of this attitude projected toward them, and discounts it as a fantastic raving no different than some other lunacy last week.

Case in point, these comments are passionless and eclipsed enormously by another article drawing the reader attention: a short item about how the US is a magnet of many people’s conspiratorial ire.

Festooned with the canned 9-11 Truther rhetoric, you can take a kind of sick pleasure in the consistent ease of replication that the subject gets, decade after decade, year after year.
Of course these arguments are credible! Besides, now everyone (except the journalists of Figaro) knows that the U.S. knew about Pearl Harbor and let it happen. We also know that they have carried out coups in South America. We also know that they have funded and armed bin Laden and the Taliban against the USSR. All this we know, it’s PROVEN. So when the towers fall at the speed of free fall, when you can not find any airplane wreckage in the Pentagon and the FBI confiscated all the pictures, when the official version does not even mention the tower 7 and well one wonders, because we are not sheep! And in any case anti-conspiracy "that support the official account are suckers because the official theory is that a PLOT was planned in the caves of Afghanistan.
Ah, stock rhetoric – a comfort food for the feeble-minded and those with an (aptly named) Napoleon complex. After all, we all know that the Soviets weren’t doing anything in South America to cause revolts, that any other events that take place, that don’t fit the conspiratorial idea that picking anything that seems related to fit into a ‘cause and effect’ model of how reality should work CAN’T be perturbed by real events.

Much as the effect continues with the stranger among the French and Venezuela over aid to victims in Haiti, so it seems to work with “Truther” logic, that hits the wall when something needs to actually be done – when some course of action has to take place, and when consequences and responsibilities for ones’ own actions or even assertions come into play.

Then, what you were more than willing to castigate as “occupation”, suddenly seems okay, because the fantasy is perturbed again by reality. Even raving lunatics who still go on about some theory about the attack on Pearl Harbor two generations ago eventually get mugged by reality.

I Always Knew they were into Greek

Berlin's international Green Week fair is a showcase for agricultural produce from around the world. Yet few products from developing countries make it to the EU due to high import tariffs and strict standards.
Right after you get the weekly lecture on how marvelously humane and global they are, and some teenager or middle aged kook gives you their fair-trade pitch, Europeans go right back to making the third world’s small-scale enterpreneurial farmers grab their ankles and take some more of Europe’s precious artisanal terroirism for the pittance their major industries would risk.
Issa Ouedraogo from Ghana has as a dream.

[ ... ]

Neighboring African countries as well as Europe could become a lucrative market for Ouedaogo and other small farmers in developing countries. But the high import taxes charged by the EU pose a major impediment to international trade.
Which would be fine if they didn’t get so caught up objectifying third world peasant farmers as pitiable victims and just buy their goods.
Critics have been arguing that the tariff policy exploits developing countries as suppliers of cheap, unprocessed food products without giving them a fair chance on the European market.
Oh! Just think of all of those horrible Food Miles!

And now for something completely different:

Monday, January 25, 2010

Tony Blair Supported the United States; Now It Is Time to Support Tony Blair

Tony Blair gave his support to the United States of America…

Now it is time to give our support to Tony Blair!

…And to sign the petition

Justice for Tony Blair demands that
It is now time to stop BLAIR-baiting, i.e. attacks on our former Prime Minister by the dogs of anti-war. Less metaphorically it can be defined as the constant incitement of hatred against Tony Blair for taking us to war in Iraq.

This year's Blair-baiting season will reach its peak when the Iraq war inquiry starts to call witnesses. Parts of the media, the anti-Iraq war lobby and some families of soldiers killed in the war are already calling for this to be a TRIAL of Tony Blair with a view to gathering as much evidence as possible to send him to The Hague for "war crimes". Except that unlike a normal trial, Tony Blair has been presumed guilty in advance.
What is most galling about the hysterical calls calling for Blair's (and Bush's) head(s) is that it is taken as a given that 1) Blair (and Bush) lied and/or made (unforgivable) mistakes and that 2) Blair's and Bush's (alleged) lies and/or (alleged) mistakes before the conflict led to a war with a country as innocent, as peaceful, and as nonthreatening (both domestically and internationally) as the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

The issue of weapons of mass destruction is laughed off offhand, with snorts and scorn, as if Luxembourg (or a country like it) had been the country accused of harboring ABCs. Note: the reason people — all people, not just Bush and Blair, and in nations both within and without the Coalition of the Willing — believed Saddam Hussein had weapons was that he had harbored them and that, indeed, he had used them. Saddam used chemical weapons on Iranian troops, he used them on Kurdish civilians, and he tried building nuclear weapons.

It is my fervent hope that when the trial begins, Blair won't just sit there, but that he will turn the tables on his castigators (the self-described humanitarians and human rights activists) and hammer this theme home. With quotes from all the varying actors stating their firm conviction that Iraq and/or Saddam needed to be confronted.

The following excerpt comes from a post (So Long As We Are Hunting for Liars in the Iraq Controversy) written about Bush and his American castigators, but it can easily adapted for Tony or for any like-minded ally in the Coalition of the Willing):

In the following sentence, [we can couple "the Democrats" with "the Europeans" as well as Britain's anti-Blairites, all of which fall] under what Norman Podhoretz calls "all those who in their desperation to delegitimize the larger policy being tested in Iraq … have consistently used distortion, misrepresentation and selective perception to vilify as immoral a bold and noble enterprise":
… so long as we are hunting for liars in this area, let me suggest that we begin with the Democrats now proclaiming that they were duped, and that we then broaden out to all those who in their desperation to delegitimize the larger policy being tested in Iraq--the policy of making the Middle East safe for America by making it safe for democracy--have consistently used distortion, misrepresentation and selective perception to vilify as immoral a bold and noble enterprise and to brand as an ignominious defeat what is proving itself more and more every day to be a victory of American arms and a vindication of American ideals. [As well as British ones — natch!]
Update: I was invited to debate Tony Blair's appearance at the Iraq Inquiry on the BBC

On the Scientific Quackery of the Carbon Cult

It’s change you can believe in... in fact all it IS is a belief:

The claim by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), that global warming is already affecting the severity and frequency of global disasters, has since become embedded in political and public debate. It was central to discussions at last month's Copenhagen climate summit, including a demand by developing countries for compensation of $100 billion (£62 billion) from the rich nations blamed for creating the most emissions.

Ed Miliband, the energy and climate change minister, has suggested British and overseas floods — such as those in Bangladesh in 2007 — could be linked to global warming. Barack Obama, the US president, said last autumn: "More powerful storms and floods threaten every continent."
In the wake of the non-meltdown of the Himalayan icecaps that display a meltdown in the practice of ‘activist-science’, we find further truthy-truthiness:
It based the claims on an unpublished report that had not been subjected to routine scientific scrutiny — and ignored warnings from scientific advisers that the evidence supporting the link too weak. The report's own authors later withdrew the claim because they felt the evidence was not strong enough.
That it would cost $100 billion or some part of $100 billion matters little to those who insist that ‘we have to do something!’ and shove it through in a manner reminiscent of Genghis Khan. In fact we don’t, especially when another $100 billion will not be able to be found to do something real, and founded on, at the very least, something founded partially in fact if that’s at all possible.

It’s urban myth as science, not to mention the fact that it feeds the racketeering.
The IPCC had warned that climate change was likely to melt most of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 -- an idea considered ludicrous by most glaciologists. Last week, a humbled IPCC retracted that claim and corrected its report.

However, the same bogus claim has been cited in grant applications for TERI. One of them, announced earlier this month, resulted in the $US500,000 grant from Carnegie. An extract from the grant application published on Carnegie's website said: "The Himalaya glaciers, vital to more than a dozen major rivers that sustain hundreds of millions of people in South Asia, are melting and receding at a dangerous rate.

"One authoritative study reported that most of the glaciers in the region `will vanish within 40 years as a result of global warming, resulting in widespread water shortages'."

The Carnegie money was specifically given to aid research into "the potential security and humanitarian impact on the region" as the glaciers began to disappear. Dr Pachauri has since acknowledged that this threat, if it exists, will take centuries to have any serious effect.
It’s telling that to the political environmentalists who are actually seeking a revolutionary seizure of the control people can have over their fate, that this standard is adequate: i.e. the incorporation in whole of a WWF article into the IPCC report asserting that, unlike previous assumptions, the Amazon go from forest to savannah the next time you look at them, and that Jesus will strangle a puppy if mankind doesn’t ‘at least do something. Veracity of the source?
The two expert authors of the WWF report so casually cited by the IPCC as part of its, ahem, “robust” “peer-reviewed” process weren’t even Amazon specialists. One, Dr PF Moore, is a policy analyst.
Yeah, but he’s, like, a Doctor, ya know?
And the lead author Andy Rowell is a freelance journalist (for the Guardian, natch) and green activist.
Activist with a private line into print, scientist... repeat that often enough, and you’ll be expected to believe it.

It Depends on What the Meaning of “Already is” is

Pursuant to the familiar Eurolandish “crowding out” effect of member states in International fora and GONGOs, with multiple seats representing member states speaking to the EU, Luxembourg’s Jean-Claude Juncker proposed that the EU join the G20:

Mr Juncker also said the European Commission was set to formally propose that the eurogroup become a member of the Group of 20 major economies and that a small secretariat of "four to five" civil servants would be set up in the Council of Ministers building in Brussels to prepare the currency club's monthly meetings.
Which is an interesting request, given that the EU already is, adding one more fat head that the three they already have in the form of representation of Germany, the UK, and France.

This isn’t mania. It’s a willful desire to punch above their weight with the assistance of those they’re punching.
Somehow, the displacement of the G8 by the G20 was also positive for the EU, at least for two reasons. First, Brussels is officially the 20th member of the G20, while it was only the 9th member of the G8. To many, this might only be a symbolic nuance, as in both cases the EU has the same "rights" and "obligations" as the other members minus the right to chair and host summits and therefore no capacity to fully shape the agenda.

But in international politics, rhetoric and the choice of words are never innocent. This means that the G20 is arguably a recognition of the "emerging" or "global power" status of the EU in international affairs as much as that of China, India or Brazil.
As an emerging state, are they looking for people to come show their children how to brush their teeth? Dig wells? Train their peasants in basic agricultural practices?
One of the key challenges of this decade will be to see how the West, and more specifically how the EU will deal with this rising multipolarity. Indeed, it is in the interest of the EU – not to say a matter of survival – to promote an international order based on systemic and rule-based multilateralism because the EU is simply unable to play realpolitik with other global players.

However, not all forms of multilateralism are favourable to the EU. For instance, the formation of ad hoc bilateral or multilateral alliances could potentially be damaging to Europe. A G-2 between China and America, for example, would slowly but inevitably make the US lean towards Asia, and render Europe increasingly irrelevant.
Perhaps they haven’t been paying attention for 20 years. The US already leans towards Asia and has to drag Europe around like a millstone around its’ neck... No, what would be beneficial to humanity is to cease, for perfunctory procedural reasons, continue over-representing Europe by counting each member state + the EU when their scale doesn’t justify it having ‘the entity’ holding 28 representatives for every ONE Indian, Chinese, Brazilian, Russian, or American delegate or vote. If they DO want some form of fantasy ‘singular global democratic order’, why then does the rest of humanity have to live by the “1/28th rule” when all they seem to use it for is self-aggrandizing rulemaking gang rape?

Obama's First Year Blues

While the French-language channel of France 24 broadcast un débat en français, another studio of the channel's was screening the F24 Debate with a debate in English.
One year ago, Barack Obama was elected 44th President of the United States of America. He represented hope for many Americans and people all over the world, to the point of being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. But the defeat of the Democrat candidate in the one time party stronghold state of Massachusetts is raising questions on the popular support for President Barack Obama.
Debate hosted by Mark Owen with guests:

Zachary MILLER, Vice-Chair of Democrats Abroad France

Stuart HAUGEN, Former Chair of Republicans Abroad France

Nicholas DUNGAN, Political Commentator and President of French American Partners (Via satellite from NYC)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

You’re Welcome, Douchebag

It didn’t take long to find “the balance of comments” even to an article in Le Figaro to be split between those who want the US to do as much as possible and to do its’ best in Haiti, and the predictable Moi! Moi! Moi! Regarde moi!:

The Americans are not philanthropists, they are deployed in Haiti in such force for purely STRATEGIC reasons. Although France has denounced this… or should we simply go to sleep or applaud them? Personally I don’t think it’s anti-Americanism to speak the truth.
Now with the anti-Americanism, know my good sir, that American "anti-Europeanism”, and the anti-French-ism is much more exaggerated, more virulent, more contemptuous and especially well more insulting than our image of America. Please read the articles in the American press at the outbreak of the war in Iraq to call to mind the words of appalling Ricains, before his final notice their lamentable mistake and deception, however crude their leaders!. Then confess that some of this anti-Americanism is rather nice...
Which is to rage indignantly at the possibility that the US is not doing what this cretin is fantasizing, and that in using the “Ricains” insult, we should just be thankful for them not noticing their 24/7/365 obsessive hatred – especially in light of their thin-skinned inability to get past the isolated “freedom fries” story of a decade ago.

But as we all know, they MUST have an underhanded agenda!
Does nobody find it strange how quickly the Americans have deployed?

-10.000 Men
- 1 aircraft carrier (why?)
- 1 destroyer
- 1 cruiser
- Water DESALINATION Plants (by people with their hands in the government’s pocket)
- Thousands of tons of material (hummers, motorcycles, trucks, RVs...) Complete

All this leaves me puzzled about the events that took place. You should know that the Americans were expelled from the Dominican Republic (I went and talked with residents), since the U.S. has more places to vacation. And he was discovered by the KGB that the Americans would have used a seismic bomb under the island to cause an earthquake.

I do not say that everything is true, but I just said that we might suspect.
Unable to imagine anything unlike his own little world, he doesn’t realize that calling up 10000 reservists or troops overnight isn’t some kind of secret plan, because that’s what a callup is.

Troops were mobilized just as quickly when Katrina hit, but one would have hardly found malevolence in that frightening rapidity. We find, once again, a need to explain that a carrier can crank out 1,6M L of potable water a day, function as a hospital, and operate aircraft. Of course the fool thinks they are there in case someone needs to call in an airstrike, but there’s no pleasing some people.

And that tenuous “truthy-truth”... that thing that “just must be” for their delusions to go on undisturbed:
But Chavez also says that the United States is trying to colonize Haiti. Do you really really think they mobilized 15000 men for nothing?
And the ever popular:
There would then be OIL [there] .. This explains the U.S. interest. Just like Texas, California, Alaska ...
Which are assumed to not be part of the United States, somehow, all of "occupied" and "invaded" by their favorite Snidely Whiplash in anticipation of the discovery of the usefulness of oil almost a century before the first Tin Lizzie rolled off the line.

Remember, this is how these spankers treat RELIEF EFFORTS if the US is involved.

The World Can’t Wait

For those European “cultural types” who think they are the world to put their fantasies to rest and join the reality based community. The rest of the world is not going to live their lives based on what you want your own lives to be like.

The notion seems to boil down to the fact that to Spiegel, Obama is dead because they think he is, and they think he is because he isn’t acting as the perfect proxy of this Spiegel writer’s world view.

You simply could not get any more arrogant.

Elsewhere: I know you are, but what am I?

American designer Rick Owens continued to plumb the depths of the dark side Friday, with a fall-winter 2010-2011 menswear collection of gender-bending, space age-y designs ready for the apocalypse.

Androgynous models with enviable cheekbones skulked down the catwalk in bulky, tie-waisted trenches in lacquered microfiber or wrinkly microfiber with stiff, standup necklines and drop-crotched harem pants.
Lighten up, pal. You can always work for Acorn.

France's IREF Calls Country's Health System a Centralized, Mandatory, and Inefficient Monopoly With Prohibitive Costs

…somme toute les assurés français auraient avantage à fuir leur Sécu pour se soumettre à un régime où l’Etat n’intervient qu’à titre subsidiaire, l’essentiel du système reposant sur les assurances privées.
If Nicolas Lecaussin, development director of the Institut de Recherches Économiques et Fiscales, is to be believed,
En France nous aimerions avoir une assurance maladie mettant en concurrence des assurances privées, au lieu d’un monopole public, centralisé, obligatoire, qui a fait la preuve de son injustice, de son inefficacité, et de son coût prohibitif.