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19 September 2010


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Patrick Lang


So far as I can remember, there was no serious discussion of the utility of COIN sfter VN. We just walked away from it until our inability to "move the ball" in Iraq caused the books by McMaster and Nagl to attract the attention of the high and mighty. Then, the archtypal images of the French paras in "the Battle of Algiers" raised their heads. They were a doomed generation and we have made another. pl

different clue


You raise a fair point. I think the bitter disappointment comes from Obama having promised and having implied to have promised so much; and then having gone back on so much of it. We were going to have a new and different economic policy but then he crafted an economic team out of the Wall Street Rubinite Clintonites who engineered all the conditions and mechanisms for the financial system crisis to begin with. We were going to get genuine health care coverage reform, but we end up with a cynical bailout for the private insurance industry ("forced mandate") with some very meaty bones thrown to us in the meantime. We see loyal and valuable people like Van Jones and Shirley Sherrod betrayed and cast out on the excuse of unflattering videos by Andrew Breitbart.
Meanwhile, the creation of a so-called "deficit commission" with notorious Social Security haters Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles co-chairing it telegraphs Obama's personal determination to pull a "Nixon-goes-to-China" against Social Security. That is not what I voted for when I voted for Obama. Whence the bitterness.

So it is not very satisfying to say that at least he is not as bad as McCain would have been. But
you are correct to remind us that it really is true. Keeping McCain out of office
has prevented the war from spreading to Iran for example. It has lowered the chances of Palin becoming our next President.
So I don't regret my vote for Obama and I will vote for Obama again if faced by choices like that from the Republican Party.

Norbert N, Salamon,

You correctly note the financial burdens we have this time around which we did not have during the Hoover period. I think you may be overlooking a threat to civilization from a trend so huge that few people wish to understand it. To see what I mean, just look North to the Arctic.

Here is an article titled
Canada PM asserts Arctic claims.
These claims are being asserted against competing claims from Norway, Denmark, America, Russia. Why would all these countries be bothering to assert such claims? Because Global Warming is melting off so much ice that
the formerly inaccessible Arctic is now becoming accessible . . . to exploration and drilling for vast amounts of gas and oil. Wait! Do the leaderships of these countries not comprehend what this means? Carbon-release heat-retention from burning so much NON-Arctic coal, gas, and oil is melting down the Arctic so effectively that it can now be drilled for coal, gas, and oil; and the circumpolar powers want to accelerate that process by drilling, selling, and burning a whole new Arctic-load of coal, gas, and oil?
The circumpolar powers are setting my Doomsday Scenario into motion. Global Warming has indeed warmed the Arctic enough that people will find and burn all the coal, gas, and oil to be found there. This will speed up Global Heating enough to melt all the ice off of Greenland and
burning all the coal, gas, and oil in Greenland will speed up Global Steaming enough to melt all the ice off Antarctica, and so forth. The End of Civilization has already begun. Only a pre-emptive permanent moratorium on any carbon extraction whatsoever
from anywhere in the Arctic can stop this clock. Dance dance apocalypso.

Meanwhile, all eyes are on the Middle East as the likely place from which World War Three will start.
Wouldn't it be ironic if World War Three were to break out over some damn thing in the Koreas? Or some damn island in the China Sea?

Different Clue

As an addendum to my concern about the polar warmup which makes arctic ocean seabed drilling plausible, here is a website I heard about on the radio a few days ago. It is called Extreme Ice Survey and is a project of setting up timelapse photography cameras overlooking various glaciers
to show what they are doing over time. It makes the early stages of the Big Melt
obviously visible to the naked eye.

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