Saturday, March 24, 2012

Smart Diplomacy: Obama White House Goes Out of Its Way to Prepare for the Visits of Foreign Heads of State and Treat Them With Utmost Respect

Smart Diplomacy? Laziness? Or "Maybe the Copy Key Got Stuck on the Obama Speechwriter's Keyboard"?

When the Democrats criticized George W Bush for ruining America's foreign policy and running roughshod over the "feelings" of foreign countries, friendly or otherwise, didn't the nuance and smart diplomacy they advocated entail using intelligence and understanding and discernment when dealing, sensitively, with the foreign countries in question, along with a minimum of careful planning?

As it turns out, Denmark is flattered to be praised by Barack Obama, as a country whose people "punch above their weight", gushes a Danish TV fact-checker, Thomas Buch-Andersen (tak til Valerie); that is, the Danes are flattered until they find out that Barack Obama has used the boxing metaphor in a few other circumstances…
According to Obama, are we doing any better than, say, the Norwegians?
asks the Danish Broadcasting Corporation's BS "detector".
Let's see: from other press conferences, in the White House or abroad, Barack Obama tells us that:
"Norway punches above its weight".
Oh. Okay.
But that's not all. What about the Netherlands?
We learn that: the Dutch "punch above their weight."
Hokay. How about Ireland?
We learn that: "Ireland punches above its weight."
And what about the Philippines?
The Asian country (get this): "punches above its weight".

Along the way, we also learn from Barack Obama
• that "we have no stronger ally than the Netherlands";
• that "we have no stronger ally than Australia";
• that "Poland is one of our closest and strongest allies";
• that "Great Britain is one of our closest and strongest allies";
• that "Germany is one of our strongest allies"
• that South "Korea is one of our strongest allies"
• that "Israel is one of our strongest allies";
• that "France … is one of our closest allies";
• that "Italy is one of our strongest allies"; and
• that "Japan is one of our strongest and closest allies".

It's called Smart Diplomacy; and don't you doubt it!

Update (tak til Duncan): Handy Reference Guide to Obama’s Gaffes and Goofs

Friday, March 23, 2012

Don’t Get All Surprised

Even in an effort “done on the cheap”, NATO could not have pulled off the Libya operation without the US, not even in the “non-hardware-and-brute-force” areas of intelligence and assessment, for which the Europeans have always argued was their actual contribution to the alliance.
Last year's Nato operation in Libya, code named Unified Protector, is unlikely to have succeeded without US military support.

Nato major-general Marcel Druart, addressing the European Parliament committee on security and defence on Tuesday (20 March), said Nato relied heavily on US military expertise on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities.
I guess that you get what you pay for. It’s also made much worse by the Europeans’ typical internal pre-occupations and inability to form priorities that makes them cause their usual chaos:
"There is the military machine on one hand and the political-military machine in Brussels," he said, explaining that to achieve a consensus among 28 nations is not always easy and takes a relatively long time.
How convenient.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Don’t you Wish you Could Write Stuff Like This, and Call it “News?”

From the unitnetionally funny buffoons at the Korean Central News Agency:
The military gangsters who masterminded the hideous provocations are going reckless, describing the DPRK's just sacred war as a "smear" and "protest campaign."

This resulted in reinforcing the resolution of the army and people of the DPRK to take revenge upon the enemies in order to protect the dignity of its supreme leadership.

It is the irresistible mind-set of the people and the requirement of history to clear this land of those arch criminals as early as possible.

The group of traitors has no way out.

What this dirty group prattled is nothing but a fit in despair and bluffing of the doomed.

The group of traitors fated to face a stern judgment of history for its monstrous crimes against ethics and the nation is the primary targets of our precision strikes.
Remember, this the kind of stuff they DON’T call incitement:
A final showdown is about to take place.
The Korean-style sacred war will make a clean sweep of the above-said traitors and help the nation settle its pent-up grudge without fail.
They’re officially atheists, but call their wars sacred.

Got it. Elsewhere in their “New Year’s Address”, we find another fabulous bit of comic self-flattery:
Last year significant achievements were made in the great upsurge for improving the people's standard of living, and solid foundations laid for building the country into an economic giant in the 21st century.
This said while quietly knowing that this is only possible after the regime collapses, of course.

Why Write "the American Government" When You Can Use the Expression "the United Statesian State"?

You see the blindness that is produced by anti-Americanism when you read a Le Monde news email and see to what lengths their determination to use the expression United Statesian (instead of American) has brought them.

There we have it: instead of le gouvernement américain, "l'Etat états-unien" — instead of the American (or the U.S.) government, "the United Statesian State." Was there really noone at Le Monde to put up a hand and say "Hold it, you've — we've — taken étasuniens too far and we're getting ridiculous"?!

Any French readers reading this?

Ceux qui ne comprennent pas le problème (qui incluent journalistes et rédacteurs au Monde) : quand on commencera à évoquer les Unioneuropéenneniens, voire l'État Unioneuropéen, ils comprendront peut-être… (Mais évidemment, cela ne se passera jamais, car la suffisance, c'est seulement pour les autres — ces abrutis — et pas pour nous Européens, d'une telle intelligence rare, humanistes sans pareil, lucides jusqu'aux Cieux…)

Alors, récapitulons :

• L'Union Européenne, la Communauté Européenne (à un moment donné, comprenant six pays seulement du continent), et ses habitants, les… Européens : OUI
• Les États-Unis d'Amérique et ses habitants, les… Américains : Mon Dieu, quelle horreur, quel scandale, quelle manque de finesse, comment ôôôôôsent-ils agir avec un tel manque de respect et s'appeler ainsi ?!?!

À lire ou à relire : Le Monde utilise de plus en plus le mot "étasunien", invariablement prononcé sur un ton suffisant

Sarkozy prône une UE protectrice et... repliée ?

Le chef de l'Etat a tenté dimanche de donner un second souffle à sa campagne présidentielle et créé la surprise en exigeant des réformes de l'Europe. "L'Europe ne doit plus être une menace, elle doit être une protection, a insisté le candidat. l'Europe doit reprendre son destin en main sinon elle risque la dislocation [...], elle ne peut pas être le jouet des forces de la concurrence, du marché et de la loi des pays les plus forts dans le monde." Il veut une "révision" dans les douze mois des accords de Schengen, qui assurent la libre circulation des personnes au sein de l'Europe, mais, selon lui, "ne permettent plus de répondre à la gravité de la situation". Il a réclamé un "gouvernement politique de Schengen" et la possibilité de "sanctionner, suspendre ou exclure de Schengen un Etat défaillant". Faute de "progrès sérieux", "la France suspendrait sa participation [...] jusqu'à ce que les négociations aient abouti". Il a aussi exigé de l'UE l'adoption d'une version européenne du "Buy American Act", qui impose à l'Etat états-unien d'utiliser des "produits fabriqués en Amérique dans les marchés publics". A défaut d'avancée dans les douze mois, "la France appliquera unilatéralement cette règle", a-t-il dit. Idem pour les PME européennes, à qui le chef de l'Etat veut qu'une "part des marchés publics" soit réservée. François Hollande a ironisé sur ces annonces
"Il a occulté son bilan, je peux le comprendre, il n'est pas en sa faveur."
A propos des menaces à l'Europe, M. Hollande a déclaré : "Il m'a accusé pendant des mois de vouloir renégocier le traité européen sur les disciplines budgétaires [...] et voilà que M. Sarkozy [...] se met à traiter l'Europe comme un bouc émissaire et demande à ce que soient renégociés pas un traité, trois traités !"

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

First Images of the Toulouse Killer

France 2 has the first video images of Mohammed Merah, writes Le Monde, shot a year and a half ago…

Related: Shocker: BBC Surprized That Toulouse Killer Is Not a White Rightist But an Arab Muslim Linked to Al Qaeda

Were the Toulouse Murders Due to Hate Speech from the Right or to the New Age Chatter of the Left?

The Jewish blood that has flowed since WWII has not been due to the extreme right but more to the New-Age anti-Semitism linked to Islam

Where Exactly is that Dust-heap of History?

On EUranus, counting on its’ bricabrack to save them from mediocrity.
Europeana is a prestigious initiative endorsed by the European Commission, and is a means to stimulate creative economy and promote cultural tourism.

Shocker: BBC Surprized That Toulouse Killer Is Not a White Rightist But an Arab Muslim Linked to Al Qaeda

Does this fit in with the general profile because I thought that there was much more of a preference for a far right suspect — rather than somebody coming from an extreme Muslim background?
befuddled BBC presenter (01:34)
A "preference"?! Right: it would have been better — so much better — for the Left's narrative had the killer of three French soldiers and four Jews in Toulouse (three of them children under 7) been a white racist in the Christian mold, à la Anders Breivik, to be exploited in Gabby Giffords fashion…

Mainstream media outlets are having to backtrack (see the New York Times' initial presentation of the event as well as the Left's "professional" anti-racist group's spin) in light of news that French police have surrounded a house that belongs to a Middle East "youth" affiliated with al-Qaeda. His mother, of Algerian origin, has been brought in to discuss surrender terms with the man, who has said he wanted to avenge the deaths of Palestinian children.

It is never a bad time to remember the words of Gilles-William Goldnadel:
it is clear that the Jewish blood that has flowed since the Second World War has not been at the hands of the extreme right but more at those of the New-Age anti-Semitism linked to Islam or the Middle East conflict.

Were the Toulouse Murders Due to Hate Speech from the Right or to the New Age Chatter of the Left?

From America, the New York Times is also doing a Gabby Giffords, blaming the Toulouse killings on the rise, or on the speech, of the far right. So it is a good time to remember the words of Gilles-William Goldnadel and look more towards the left:
it is clear that the Jewish blood that has flowed since the Second World War has not been at the hands of the extreme right but more at those of the New-Age anti-Semitism linked to Islam or the Middle East conflict.

From the the New York Times:
… the political debate around the shootings, and whether the deaths of an instructor and three young children were somehow inspired by anti-immigrant political talk, is likely to continue — both as a weapon in the presidential campaign and as a more general soul-searching about the nature of France.

… And in the middle of a long and heated presidential campaign, with President Nicolas Sarkozy trying to win back disaffected supporters who have drifted to the far-right National Front party, the shootings at Toulouse have raised new questions about the tone and tenor of the debate here about what it is to be French.

… In some ways, the debate here is similar to that in Norway after Anders Behring Breivik killed dozens of young campers in cold blood in July. Were his actions encouraged in some way by too harsh a debate in Norway about immigrants and foreigners, or were they the acts of a madman who lived in a fantasy world and could have been from anywhere?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Jewish blood that has flowed since WWII has not been due to the extreme right but more to the New-Age anti-Semitism linked to Islam

Regarding the killing of Jewish schoolchildren in Toulouse, Michel Garroté wonders whether Iran isn't involved and whether the Mullahs régime isn't targeting France for being in the forefront of the EU's SWIFT sanctions against Tehran.
Like the United States, France is now confronted with a domestic terrorist acting on orders from abroad; let us not entertain any doubts that other crazies are in hiding, waiting only for orders to act, as are foreign sleeper cells (Hezbollah and Syrian, financed and trained by Iran's Pasdarans), as we already know them.

Tout comme les Etats-Unis, la France est maintenant confrontée à un terroriste domestique commandité par l’extérieur, ne doutons pas qu’il existe d’autres déneuronnés prêts à passer à l’action sur ordre ainsi que des cellules dormantes étrangères (hezbollani et syriens financés et entrainés par les Pasdarans iraniens) telles que nous les connaissons déjà.
As for France's mainstream media, and its left-leaning political correctness, it is attempting to put the blame for the killings on the far right (similar to what happened in America after the Arizona shooting of Gabby Giffords). Michel Garroté gives us the details:
Last night on the Canal + news program, a leader of SOS Racisme implied that the killings in Toulouse would somehow be the result of years of discourse by the National Front party. In addition, the mass murderer would, turn out to be a neo-Nazi. So much for the ambiance. [Meanwhile, Catherine Ashton proves her anti-Israel bias, say Israelis, with the the EU foreign affairs head's declaration: "When we think about what happened today in Toulouse … and we see what is happening in Gaza and other places — we remember young people and children who lose their lives."]

SOS Racisme's incredible negationism is roundly condemned by Ivan Rioufol:
In a statement, SOS Racisme suggests "discussions regarding the collapse in this country of political, intellectual, and media debate in response to hate speech and in favor of making us all live together." This organization, made to serve the defense of ethnic minorities, might as well ponder its own responsibility in the staging of victimhood competitions along with its blindness to the communal abuses encouraged by its differentialist ideology. In 2000, the professional anti-racists turned a blind eye to the rise of anti-Jewish sentiment in the slums. And rushing to lecture today has an air of indecency.
Indeed, the Jewish blood that has flowed since the Second World War has not done so at the hands of the extreme right. Regarding the Toulouse killings, the lawyer Gilles-William Goldnadel told Atlantico:
At this stage, it is urgent to wait before starting to speculate. I, unfortunately, have too long an experience of anti-Semitic attacks over the last thirty years to know that the initial leads are rarely the right ones and to be wary of sweeping statements from politicians — or, even more so, from anti-racist associations. But I do not know if the tragedy is related to what has already happened. One thing is certain: from the Rue Copernic bombing, through the the Rue des Rosiers shooting, to the sad Halimi affair, it is clear that the Jewish blood that has flowed since the Second World War has not been at the hands of the extreme right but more at those of the New-Age anti-Semitism linked to Islam or the Middle East conflict. This is an absolute certainty. The historical background is undeniable.
… In the days ahead, we must expect the worst, for I would not be surprised to hear some argue that if Jewish children are being slaughtered in France, it would allegedly be "because of the policies pursued by the State of Israel"…

You would Think they’d Prefer Loonies to Freaks and Perverts

Iceland considers adopting the Canadian dollar instead of the euro.
For the opposition party which initially floated the idea last summer, the Canadian dollar could be more attractive than the single currency.

Polls say seven out of 10 Icelanders want to ditch the kroner. But the population is split between the euro and the Canadian dollar. Surveys also show that just 26 percent want to join the EU.
Oddly enough, the fact that the Canadian dollar has always been a ‘single currency’ which has never been at risk of abandonment or collapse seems to go unnoticed by the Brussels-based journo.
In early March, Iceland's former leader Geir Haarde was put on trial for "gross negligence" on the banking collapse.
We await the beheading.

Monday, March 19, 2012

No, But they can Set their Phasers on “Mooch”

Advanced medical device dubbed “Star Trek Tricorder” can’t be made in Europe, but only in America, says this Belgian escapee:
"In Europe," he says, "people are of the extreme cautionist school - they only do something if it has proven to work in the US.”

De Brouwer takes the example of the VScan handheld ultrasound device, recently presented by General Electric. “In Europe, people would say: It can’t be done. In the US they say: It will be done.”

And what about the Tricorder? Would it have been possible to build in Europe?

“No,” says De Brouwer
The problem actually being, the absence of a European Chuck Yaeger to break through the impenetrable sneer barrier:
But like the conferences, it seems most of the devices are either American-made or designed. And not European. De Brouwer himself, a Belgian national, recently moved to California in order to start work on the Tricorder.

“People who decide to live in Silicon Valley are larger than life,” he says. “They are romantics, not afraid to take risks or to fail.”

But most of all, he says, they are happy to listen to other people's ideas "with a willing suspension of disbelief,” citing English 19th-century poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I Just Have to Let This Out

I’ve been shorting gold and Treasuries all month, Muthaf*ckahs!