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Throughout this period, however, areas of transatlantic discrepancy have also emerged, although the first post-Cold War decade was generally marked by significant convergence between the two partners. Indeed, with new states emerging in Central and Eastern Europe, the issue of human rights and democracy promotion became a central feature in the transatlantic relationship. Over the last decade, global power shifts and the rise of a whole array of actors participating in human rights and democracy promotion policies, such as international organizations, new democracies and non-governmental organizations NGOs , have put an end to transatlantic hegemony in this field.

There is now a range of divergent approaches in the international arena of human rights and democracy promotion. As a consequence, in the current multi-polar world context, the EU and the US are no longer the sole players in this field. Driven by different factors and geopolitical circumstances, the two partners have recently made significant adjustments to their policies in order to improve their capacities in the field of human rights and democracy promotion.

In light of these factors, this paper considers whether these policy reforms will enable the transatlantic partners to maintain their position as leaders in the promotion of human rights and democracy in the current multi-polar world. In addressing this question, this paper argues that recent adjustments in EU and US external human rights and democracy promotion policies have narrowed the ideological gap between them, which may have the potential to foster a more sustained transatlantic co-operation in this area. Drawing on this hypothesis, the first part of the paper reviews the basic tenets, actors and instruments of current EU and US policies.

It demonstrates that while recent adjustments by the two regions come in response to different stimuli, in practice the changes entail a growing convergence between their respective policies, in terms of both approach and instruments. The second part goes on to assess the potential of this mutual realignment on the transatlantic human rights and democracy agenda and in the global context. It finds that despite co-operating in various forums and conflicts, divergences and lack of coordination still persist between the two partners. Nonetheless, enhanced co-operation is possible if the EU and the US define a joint strategy that ensures policy coherence, while enabling them to remain the primary leaders in the international arena.

The EU and the US both view the advancement of human rights and democracy as an international endeavour. They are both western powers and share the same commitment to liberal democracy in their foreign and domestic policies. Historically, however, there have been differences in the ideological motivation given for supporting human rights and democracy and consequently in the methods used to implement them. The EU approach has been developmental, focusing primarily on socio-economic measures, while the US has traditionally tended towards a political form of democracy promotion, concentrating on elections, parties, political rights, civil society, and the media.

In addition, human rights promotion has occupied a more modest place in US policy. In practice, the EU has focused primarily on human rights while the US has focused more on promoting democracy. Besides, although they initially agreed on the terms, they will consider us as some kind of economic police. Consequently, we risk again becoming the most hated people in Europe. Almost four million German tourists—more than any other EU country—visit Greece annually, but they comprised most of the 50, cancelled bookings in the ten days after the 6 May Greek elections, a figure The Observer called "extraordinary".

Such is the ill-feeling, historic claims on Germany from WWII have been reopened, including "a huge, never-repaid loan the nation was forced to make under Nazi occupation from to One journalist for Der Spiegel noted that the second bailout was not "geared to the requirements of the people of Greece but to the needs of the international financial markets, meaning the banks. How else can one explain the fact that around a quarter of the package won't even arrive in Athens but will flow directly to the country's international creditors?

According to Robert Reich , in the background of the Greek bailouts and debt restructuring lurks Wall Street. Massively reducing the liabilities of German and French banks with regards to Greece thus also serves to protect US banks. According to Der Spiegel "more than 80 percent of the rescue package is going to creditors—that is to say, to banks outside of Greece and to the ECB. The billions of taxpayer euros are not saving Greece. They're saving the banks. The combined exposure of foreign banks to Greek entities—public and private—was around 80bn euros by mid-February In they were in for well over bn.

But the deal did not include the hefty holdings of Greek bonds at the European Central Bank ECB , and it was sweetened with funds borrowed from official rescuers. For two years those rescuers had pretended Greece was solvent, and provided official loans to pay off bondholders in full. European taxpayers and the IMF. With regard to Germany in particular, a Bloomberg editorial noted that, before its banks reduced its exposure to Greece, "they stood to lose a ton of money if Greece left the euro.

Now any losses will be shared with the taxpayers of the entire euro area. For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section. NotWithoutMyMonkey , 6 Mar On the ragged streets of the shantytown across the road, where stinking outhouses sit alongside shacks fashioned from rusted sheets of tin, families have surrendered hopes that sewage lines will ever reach them. They do not struggle to fashion an explanation for their declining fortunes: Since taking office more than three years ago, President Mauricio Macri has broken with the budget-busting populism that has dominated Argentina for much of the past century, embracing the grim arithmetic of economic orthodoxy.

Macri has slashed subsidies for electricity, fuel and transportation, causing prices to skyrocket, and recently prompting Ms. Genovesi, 48, to cut off her gas service, rendering her stove lifeless. Like most of her neighbors, she illegally taps into the power lines that run along the rutted dirt streets. The tribulations playing out under the disintegrating roofs of the poor are a predictable dimension of Mr.

Macri's turn away from left-wing populism. He vowed to shrink Argentina's monumental deficits by diminishing the largess of the state. The trouble is that Argentines have yet to collect on the other element the president promised: the economic revival that was supposed to follow the pain. Macri's supporters heralded his election as a miraculous outbreak of normalcy in a country with a well-earned reputation for histrionics. He would cease the reckless spending that had brought Argentina infamy for defaulting on its debts eight times.

Sober-minded austerity would win the trust of international financiers, bringing investment that would yield jobs and fresh opportunities. But as Mr. Macri seeks re-election this year, Argentines increasingly lament that they are absorbing all strife and no progress. Even businesses that have benefited from his reforms complain that he has botched the execution, leaving the nation to confront the same concoction of misery that has plagued it for decades.

The economy is contracting. Inflation is running above 50 percent, and joblessness is stuck above 9 percent. Far beyond this country of 44 million people, Mr. Macri's tenure is testing ideas that will shape economic policy in an age of recrimination over widening inequality. His presidency was supposed to offer an escape from the wreckage of profligate spending while laying down an alternative path for countries grappling with the worldwide rise of populism.

Now, his presidency threatens to become a gateway back to populism. The Argentine economy is contracting. Poverty afflicts a third of the population. As the October election approaches, Mr. Her unbridled spending helped deliver the crisis that Mr.

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Macri inherited. Her return would resonate as a rebuke of his market-oriented reforms while potentially yanking Argentina back to its accustomed preserve: left-wing populism, in uncomfortable proximity to insolvency. The Argentine peso lost half of its value against the dollar last year, prompting the central bank to lift interest rates to a commerce-suffocating level above 60 percent.

For Mr. Macri, time does not appear to be in abundant supply. The spending cuts he delivered hit the populace immediately. The promised benefits of his reforms -- a stable currency, tamer inflation, fresh investment and jobs -- could take years to materialize, leaving Argentines angry and yearning for the past. In much of South America, left-wing governments have taken power in recent decades as an angry corrective to dogmatic prescriptions from Washington, where the Treasury and the I. Left-wing populism has aimed to redistribute the gains from the wealthy to everyone else.

It has aided the poor, while generating its own woes -- corruption and depression in Brazil , runaway inflation and financial ruin in Argentina. In Venezuela, uninhibited spending has turned the country with the world's largest proven oil reserves into a land where children starve. Macri sold his administration as an evolved form of governance for these times, a crucial dose of market forces tempered by social programs.

In the most generous reading, the medicine has yet to take effect. But in the view of beleaguered Argentines, the country has merely slipped back into the rut that has framed national life for as long as most people can remember. I always say, 'Whenever we start doing better, I will start getting ready for the next crisis. He employed an authoritarian hand and muscular state power to champion the poor. He and his wife, Eva Duarte -- widely known by her nickname, Evita -- would dominate political life long after they died, inspiring politicians across the ideological spectrum to claim their mantle.

Macri was elected in Their version of Peronism -- what became known as Kirchnerism -- was decidedly left-wing, disdaining global trade as a malevolent force. They expanded cash grants to the poor and imposed taxes on farm exports in a bid to keep Argentine food prices low. As the country's farmers tell it, Kirchnerism is just a fancy term for the confiscation of their wealth and the scattering of the spoils to the unproductive masses.

They point to Ms. Kirchner's 35 percent tax on soybean exports. Tropini says. He was free of the Kirchners, yet stuck with nature. Floods in wiped out more than half of his crops. A drought last year wreaked even more havoc. But if the heavens are now cooperating, and if the people running Buenos Aires represent change, Mr.

Tropini is critical of Mr. Macri's failure to overcome the economic crisis. A weaker currency makes Argentine soybeans more competitive, but it also increases the cost of the diesel fuel Mr. Tropini needs to run his machinery. High interest rates make it impossible for him to buy another combine, which would allow him to expand his farm. In September, faced with a plunge in government revenues, Mr. Macri reinstated some export taxes. In the first years of Mr.

Macri's administration, the government lifted controls on the value of the peso while relaxing export taxes. The masters of international finance delivered a surge of investment. The economy expanded by nearly 3 percent in , and then accelerated in the first months of last year. But as investors grew wary of Argentina's deficits, they fled, sending the peso plunging and inflation soaring. As the rout continued last year, the central bank mounted a futile effort to support the currency, selling its stash of dollars to try to halt the peso's descent. As the reserves dwindled, investors absorbed the spectacle of a government failing to restore order.

The exodus of money intensified, and another potential default loomed, leading a chastened Mr. Macri to accept a rescue from the dreaded IMF. Administration officials described the unraveling as akin to a natural disaster: unforeseeable and unavoidable. The drought hurt agriculture. Money was flowing out of developing countries as the Federal Reserve continued to lift interest rates in the United States, making the American dollar a more attractive investment. But the impact of the Fed's tightening had been widely anticipated.

Economists fault the government for mishaps and complacency that left the country especially vulnerable. Among the most consequential errors was the government's decision to include Argentina's central bank in a December announcement that it was raising its inflation target. The markets took that as a signal that the government was surrendering its war on inflation while opting for a traditional gambit: printing money rather than cutting spending.

The government insists that better days are ahead. The spending cuts have dropped the budget deficit to a manageable 3 percent of annual economic output. Argentina is again integrated into the global economy. Their television flashes dire warnings, like "Danger of Hyper Inflation. Trucks used to come to castrate male dogs to control the packs of feral animals running loose. Not anymore.

Health programs for children are less accessible than they were before, they said. Poor people feel abandoned. Daniel Politi contributed reporting from Buenos Aires. Peter S. Goodman is a London-based European economics correspondent. He was previously a national economic correspondent in New York. He has also worked at The Washington Post as a China correspondent, and was global editor in chief of the International Business Times.

Insufferably Insouciant , 15 hours ago link. Authored by William Astore via TomDispatch. Its stated purpose: combatting terrorism. Its primary method: constant surveillance and bombing -- and yet more bombing. Its political benefit: minimizing the number of U. Its economic benefit: plenty of high-profit business for weapons makers for whom the president can now declare a national security emergency whenever he likes and so sell their warplanes and munitions to preferred dictatorships in the Middle East no congressional approval required.

Its reality for various foreign peoples: a steady diet of " Made in USA " bombs and missiles bursting here, there, and everywhere. Think of all this as a cult of bombing on a global scale. America's wars are increasingly waged from the air, not on the ground, a reality that makes the prospect of ending them ever more daunting. The question is: What's driving this process? For many of America's decision-makers, air power has clearly become something of an abstraction.

On Washington's battlefields across the Greater Middle East and northern Africa, air power is always almost literally a one-way affair. There are no enemy air forces or significant air defenses. The skies are the exclusive property of the U. Air Force and allied air forces , which means that we're no longer talking about "war" in the normal sense.

No wonder Washington policymakers and military officials see it as our strong suit, our asymmetrical advantage , our way of settling scores with evildoers, real and imagined.

Tunisia’s Corruption Contagion: A Transition at Risk

In a bizarre fashion, you might even say that, in the twenty-first century, the bomb and missile count replaced the Vietnam-era body count as a metric of false progress. Using data supplied by the U. Combined with artillery fire, the bombing of Raqqa killed more than 1, civilians, according to Amnesty International. Meanwhile, since Donald Trump has become president, after claiming that he would get us out of our various never-ending wars, U.

It has driven up the civilian death toll there even as "friendly" Afghan forces are sometimes mistaken for the enemy and killed , too. Air strikes from Somalia to Yemen have also been on the rise under Trump, while civilian casualties due to U. Estimates vary, but when napalm and the long-term effects of cluster munitions and defoliants like Agent Orange are added to conventional high-explosive bombs, the death toll in Southeast Asia may well have exceeded one million.

Today's air strikes are more limited than in those past campaigns and may be more accurate, but never confuse a pound bomb with a surgeon's scalpel, even rhetorically. When " surgical " is applied to bombing in today's age of lasers, GPS, and other precision-guidance technologies, it only obscures the very real human carnage being produced by all these American-made bombs and missiles.

This country's propensity for believing that its ability to rain hellfire from the sky provides a winning methodology for its wars has proven to be a fantasy of our age. Indeed, the Taliban only continues to grow stronger , as does the branch of the Islamic State in Afghanistan. As is often the case when it comes to U. Such results are contrary to the rationale for air power that I absorbed in a career spent in the U. Air Force. I retired in The fundamental tenets of air power that I learned, which are still taught today, speak of decisiveness.

They promise that air power, defined as "flexible and versatile," will have "synergistic effects" with other military operations. When bombing is "concentrated," "persistent," and "executed" properly meaning not micro-managed by know-nothing politicians , air power should be fundamental to ultimate victory. As we used to insist, putting bombs on target is really what it's all about. End of story -- and of thought. Given the banality and vacuity of those official Air Force tenets, given the twenty-first-century history of air power gone to hell and back, and based on my own experience teaching such history and strategy in and outside the military, I'd like to offer some air power tenets of my own.

These are the ones the Air Force didn't teach me, but that our leaders might consider before launching their next "decisive" air campaign. Just because U. Given the history of air power since World War II, ease of access should never be mistaken for efficacious results. Bombing alone will never be the key to victory. If that were true, the U. American air power pulverized both North Korea and Vietnam not to speak of neighboring Laos and Cambodia , yet the Korean War ended in a stalemate and the Vietnam War in defeat.

It tells you the world about such thinking that air power enthusiasts, reconsidering the Vietnam debacle, tend to argue the U. Despite total air supremacy, the recent Iraq War was a disaster even as the Afghan War staggers on into its 18th catastrophic year. No matter how much it's advertised as "precise," "discriminate," and "measured," bombing or using missiles like the Tomahawk rarely is.

The deaths of innocents are guaranteed. Air power and those deaths are joined at the hip, while such killings only generate anger and blowback, thereby prolonging the wars they are meant to end. Consider, for instance, the "decapitation" strikes launched against Iraqi autocrat Saddam Hussein and his top officials in the opening moments of the Bush administration's invasion of Despite the hype about that being the beginning of the most precise air campaign in all of history, 50 of those attacks, supposedly based on the best intelligence around, failed to take out Saddam or a single one of his targeted officials.

They did, however, cause "dozens" of civilian deaths. Think of it as a monstrous repeat of the precision air attacks launched on Belgrade in against Slobodan Milosevic and his regime that hit the Chinese embassy instead, killing three journalists. Here, then, is the question of the day: Why is it that, despite all the "precision" talk about it, air power so regularly proves at best a blunt instrument of destruction?

As a start, intelligence is often faulty. Then bombs and missiles, even "smart" ones, do go astray. And even when U. A paradox emerges from almost 18 years of the war on terror: the imprecision of air power only leads to repetitious cycles of violence and, even when air strikes prove precise, there always turn out to be fresh targets, fresh terrorists, fresh insurgents to strike.

Using air power to send political messages about resolve or seriousness rarely works. If it did, the U. In Lyndon Johnson's presidency, for instance, Operation Rolling Thunder , a graduated campaign of bombing, was meant to, but didn't, convince the North Vietnamese to give up their goal of expelling the foreign invaders -- us -- from South Vietnam. Fast-forward to our era and consider recent signals sent to North Korea and Iran by the Trump administration via B bomber deployments, among other military "messages. Air power is enormously expensive. Spending on aircraft, helicopters, and their munitions accounted for roughly half the cost of the Vietnam War.

Naval air wings on aircraft carriers cost billions each year to maintain and operate. These days, when the sky's the limit for the Pentagon budget, such costs may be barely tolerable. When the money finally begins to run out, however, the military will likely suffer a serious hangover from its wildly extravagant spending on air power.

Aerial surveillance as with drones , while useful, can also be misleading. Command of the high ground is not synonymous with god-like "total situational awareness. You simply can't negotiate a truce or take prisoners or foster other options when you're high above a potential battlefield and your main recourse is blowing up people and things. Air power is inherently offensive. That means it's more consistent with imperial power projection than with national defense.

As such, it fuels imperial ventures, while fostering the kind of " global reach, global power " thinking that has in these years had Air Force generals in its grip. Despite the fantasies of those sending out the planes, air power often lengthens wars rather than shortening them. Consider Vietnam again. In the early s, the Air Force argued that it alone could resolve that conflict at the lowest cost mainly in American bodies. With enough bombs, napalm, and defoliants, victory was a sure thing and U. Initially, they were sent in mainly to protect the airfields from which those planes took off.

But bombing solved nothing and then the Army and the Marines decided that, if the Air Force couldn't win, they sure as hell could. The result was escalation and disaster that left in the dust the original vision of a war won quickly and on the cheap due to American air supremacy.

Air power, even of the shock-and-awe variety, loses its impact over time. The enemy, lacking it, nonetheless learns to adapt by developing countermeasures -- both active like missiles and passive like camouflage and dispersion , even as those being bombed become more resilient and resolute. Pounding peasants from two miles up is not exactly an ideal way to occupy the moral high ground in war. If I had to reduce these tenets to a single maxim, it would be this: all the happy talk about the techno-wonders of modern air power obscures its darker facets, especially its ability to lock America into what are effectively one-way wars with dead-end results.

For this reason, precision warfare is truly an oxymoron. War isn't precise. It's nasty, bloody, and murderous. War's inherent nature -- its unpredictability, horrors, and tendency to outlast its original causes and goals -- isn't changed when the bombs and missiles are guided by GPS. Washington's enemies in its war on terror, moreover, have learned to adapt to air power in a grimly Darwinian fashion and have the advantage of fighting on their own turf.

Who doesn't know the old riddle: If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Here's a twenty-first-century air power variant on it: If foreign children die from American bombs but no U. Far too often, the answer here in the U. In reality, this country might do better to simply ground its many fighter planes, bombers, and drones. Paradoxically, instead of gaining the high ground, they are keeping us on a low road to perdition.

Joiningupthedots , 11 minutes ago link. The solution is for Russia to sell equipment and training packages of A2D2 to any country that wants then at BE prices. Among many other things, he revealed the actual Strangelovian nature of our military establishment.

Most enlightening is his revelation that many in the high command of our nuclear triggers do not trust, or even have contempt for, civilian oversight and control of the military. Most alarmingly, the details of this secret action were kept from the President, lest he countermand the operation or leak it to the Russians. So now we have a general staff that is conducting critical international military operations on its own, with no civilian input, permission or hindrances of any kind. A formula for national suicide, executed by a tiny junta of unelected officers who decide to play nuclear Russian roulette.

Just remember this: The U. There is a 11th tenet: air force operations need airports or aircraft carriers, and these are very vulnerable to modern, high precision missiles. If the enemy has plenty of missiles, your fighters and bombers can be impeded to take off and land, or even be destroyed. Modern aircrafts need very sophisticated and working infrastructures to be operational. In the case of a full war with Iran, I see all hostile bases and airports destroyed or damaged by Iranian, Hezbollah and Syrian missiles. They have tens of thousand of them - it is 30 years they have been accumulating missiles in prevision of a possible forthcoming war.

You are right. Also, there are many nations with subs and probably more countries have acquired nukes than are willing to admit. I strongly suspect Iran already has nukes.

If North Korea has them, I see no reason that Iran wouldn't be even further ahead. They have been under threat of US attacks for my entire lifetime. Anyway, I would not put it past some other countries to hit US coastal cities and then deny any knowledge about who did it. There are many capable and many people have been made enemies by our foreign policy.

Surely these people have treaties to help each other should be attack. And why would they make these treaties public and antagonize the US military further. I'm sure there are many well kept secrets out there. We must evolve, or the US and Israel could find it is us against the world. War is hell. It has always been so. Actions have not been taken to win but to posture about moral greatness and the ability to force the enemy to deal without destroying his capacity to resist.

How can you say the US lost in Vietnam when the entire country could have been removed from the face of the Earth? Yes the price of such removal would have been very high but it could have been done. Do such considerations mean that if one withdraws one has lost? The US won the war in the Pacific but it is now considered an excessive use of force that the US used nuclear weapons to conclude the war.

Perhaps the US did not use enough force then to successfully conclude the Vietnam war? Perhaps, it failed to field the right kind of force? The definition of lost is an interesting one. The practical answer is that the US did lose in many places because it was unwilling to pay the price of victory as publicly expressed.

Yet it could have won if it paid the price. So an interesting question for military types is to ask how to lower the price. What kind of weapons would have been needed to quickly sweep the enemy into oblivion in Vietnam let us say, given the limits of the war? Could the war have been won without ground troops and choppers but with half a million computer controlled drones armed with machine guns and grenades flying in swarms close to the ground?

The factories to produce those weapons could have been located in Thailand or Taiwan or Japan and the product shipped to Vietnam. Since only machines would be destroyed and the drones are obviously meant to substitute for ground troops then how about a million or two million of the drones in place of the half a million ground troops? Could the US, with anachronistic technology to be sure, have won the war for a price that would have been acceptable to the US?

The idea here is that one constructs an army, robot or otherwise, than can destroy the enemy it is going to fight at a price which is acceptable. This is actually a form of asymmetric warfare which requires a thorough understanding of the enemy and his capabilities. The US did not enter Vietnam with such an army but with one not meant to serve in Vietnam and whose losses would be deeply resented at home.

The price of victory was too high. But this does not mean that the US cannot win. It only means that the commitment to win in a poorly thought out war must be great enough to pay the price of victory. This may be a stupid thing to do but it does not mean that it cannot be done. One cannot assume that the US will never again show sufficient commitment to win.

The most devastating civilian bombing campaign in human history is not even mentioned in this article. The US fire bombing of 30 major cities in Korea with the death toll estimated at between 1. I bet most US citizens aren't even aware of this atrocity or that the military requested Truman to authorize the use of nuclear warheads which he, thankfully, declined to do.

What does the word "victory" mean? It means whatever the rulers want it to mean. In this case, "victory" is synonymous with prolongation and expansion of warmaking around the world. Victory does not mean an end to combat. In fact, victory, in the classic sense, means defeat, at least from the standpoint of those who profit from war.

If someone were to come up with a cure for cancer, it would mean a huge defeat for the cancer industry. Millions would lose their jobs. CEO's would lose their fat pay packages. Therefore, we need to be clearheaded about this, and recognize that victory is not what you think it is. Talked with a guy recently. He is a pilot. He flies planes over Afghanistan. He is a private contractor. The program began under the Air Force.

It then was taken over by the Army. It is now a private contractor. There are approx pilots in country at a time with 3 rotations. He told me what he gets paid. They go up with a NSA agent running the equipment in back. He state that the dumbass really does not know what the plane is capable of. They collect all video, audio, infrared, and more? You have to sense when to stop asking questions. So, the info is gathered. So with all of this info on "goatherders" we still cannot pinpoint and defeat the "enemy"? Too many avenues of profit and deceit and infighting.

It will always be. May justice here and abroad win in the end. Concentrate on the true enemies. It is not your black, or Jewish, or brown, or Muslim neighbor. It is the owners of the Fed, Dow chemical, the Rockefellers, McDonnel Douglas and on and on and on and on and on and on Who is driving the process and benefiting? Israel is clearly the intended beneficiary As Dubya famously said they hate us for our freedoms not because we've been dropping bombs on 'em for a couple of decades. Bombing and war tech looks pretty cool in movies and controlled demonstrations. On reality, it doesn't get you too far.

Never has. Boots on the ground is what wins wars and all the generals know that. So do our enemy combatants. WATCH: US economist urges covert violence to provoke war with Iran "I mean look people, Iranian submarines periodically go down — someday one of them might not come up. Many believe war with the Islamic Republic of Iran has been the dream of some hardcore neocons in Washington since at least Back in former employee of the IMF and current economist for the World Bank, Patrick Clawson , provided fuel for this belief when he was videoed obliquely advocating using covert violence so that the US president "can get to war with Iran.

In a startlingly frank speech, Clawson makes it clear he believes and apparently approves that the US has a history of seeking war for profit, and of using provocations to goad its perceived enemies into starting such wars. Clawson highlights in particular the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter in , which, he says, was deliberately engineered by president Lincoln in pursuit of an excuse to launch a war on the Southern secessionist states.

In light of the recent alleged attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, timed to coincide with the visit of the Japanese prime minister to Iran, and in light of Secretary of State Capone Pompeo's precipitate and predictable claim the attacks were likely perpetrated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, this is an apposite time to recall this telling little incident. Some people might think that mr.

Roosevelt wanted to get us in to the World War two as David mentioned. You may recall we had to wait for Pearl Harbor. Some people might think mr. Wilson wanted to get us into World War One. You may recall he had to wait for the Lusitania episode. Johnson wanted to send troops to Vietnam. You may recall they had to wait for the Gulf of Tonkin episode. Lincoln did not feel he could call off the federal army until Fort Sumter was attacked which is why he ordered the commander at Fort Sumter to do exactly that thing which the South Carolinians had said would cause an attack.

So if in fact the Iranians aren't going to compromise it would be best if somebody else started the war. But I would just like to suggest that one can combine other means of pressure with sanctions. I mentioned that explosion on August 17th. We could step up the pressure. I mean look people, Iranian submarines periodically go down — someday one of them might not come up. We can do a variety of things if we wish to increase the pressure.

I'm not advocating that but I'm just suggesting that a it's this is not a either-or proposition of, you know, it's just sanctions has to be has to succeed or other things. Such was the case with General Sherman's bombardment of Atlanta; a naval blockade; a blocking off of virtually all trade; the eviction of thousands of residents from their homes as occurred in Atlanta in ; the destruction of most industries and farms; massive looting of private property by a marauding army; and the killing of one out of four males of military age while maiming for life more than double that number.

Would such an American president be considered a 'great statesman' or a war criminal? The answer is obvious. A statesman would have recognized the state's right to secede, as enshrined in the Tenth Amendment, among other places, and then worked diligently to persuade the seceded state that a reunion was in its best interest. Agreat statesman, or even a modest one, would not have impulsively plunged the entire nation into a bloody war. Lincoln's warmongering belligerence and his invasion of all the Southern states in response to Fort Sumter where no one was harmed or killed caused the upper South -- Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas -- to secede after originally voting to remain in the Union.

He refused to meet with Confederate commissioners to discuss peace and even declined a meeting with Napoleon III of France, who offered to broker a peace agreement. No genuine statesman would have behaved in such a way. A great statesman does not manipulate his own people into starting one of the bloodiest wars in human history. Many Europeans are not in love with the idea of war with Iran, just to achieve obedience to the US.

Only because there are people whom it currently suits to use shysters, spivs and con men in order to create enough chaos for us to want to give up and just let those people have their way. I agree with Rhys below. There is no more disgusting example of sub-humanity to be found on earth than these warmongers. To deal with them, however, we will have to realize that their "philosophy", if you can call it that, runs very deep.

It didn't just enter their heads last week. They are reared and trained in it. I see you admire the Soviet Union, but at its dissolution, people were queuing to leave. And yet the US, and the UK, according to you, iniquitous places of tyranny, are oversubscribed. Could it be, that for all your implied erudition, you are merely a bellend?

The Boeing-driven FAA is rushing to unground the notorious prone-to-stall Boeing MAX that killed innocents in two crashes before several official investigations are completed. Troubling revelations might keep these planes grounded worldwide. We must demand that the two top FAA officials resign or recuse themselves from taking any more steps that might endanger the flying public. Immediately after the crashes, Elwell resisted grounding and echoed Boeing claims that the Boeing MAX was a safe plane despite the deadly crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

Ali Bahrami is known for aggressively pushing the FAA through to further abdicate its regulatory duties by delegating more safety inspections to Boeing. Bahrami's actions benefit Boeing and are supported by the company's toadies in the Congress. Elwell and Bahrami have both acquired much experience by going through the well-known revolving door between the industry and the FAA. They are likely to leave the FAA once again for lucrative positions in the aerospace lobbying or business world.

With such prospects, they do not have much 'skin in the game' for their pending decision. The FAA has long been known for its non-regulatory, waiver-driven, de-regulatory traditions. It has a hard time saying NO to the aircraft manufacturers and the airlines. After the aircraft hijackings directing flights to Cuba in the s and s, the FAA let the airlines say NO to installing hardened cockpit doors and stronger latches in their planes. These security measures would have prevented the hijackers from invading the cockpits of the aircrafts on September 11, Bush and Dick Cheney might not have gone to war in Afghanistan.

The FAA's historic "tombstone" mentality slowly reacting after the crashes is well known. For example, in the s the FAA had a delayed reaction to numerous fatal crashes caused by antiquated de-icing rules. The FAA was also slow to act on ground-proximity warning requirements for commuter airlines and flammability reduction rules for aircraft cabin materials. That's the tradition that Elwell and Bahrami inherited and have worsened.

They did not even wait for Boeing to deliver its reworked software before announcing in April that simulator training would not be necessary for the pilots. This judgment was contrary to the experience of seasoned pilots such as Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger. Simulator training would delay ungrounding and cost the profitable airlines money. Boeing has about 5, orders for the MAX. It has delivered less than to the world's airlines. From its CEO, Dennis Muilenburg to its swarms of Washington lobbyists, law firms, and public relations outfits, Boeing is used to getting its way.

Its grip on Congress — where members take campaign cash from Boeing — is legendary. Boeing pays little in federal and Washington state taxes. It fumbles contracts with NASA and the Department of Defense but remains the federal government's big vendor for lack of competitive alternatives in a highly concentrated industry. The Senate confirmation of Stephen Dickson to replace acting chief Elwell is also on a slow track. A new boss at the FAA might wish to take some time to review the whole process. Time is not on the side of the MAX 8. A comprehensive review of the MAX's problems is a non-starter for Boeing.

Boeing's flawed software and instructions that have kept pilots and airlines in the dark have already been exposed. New whistleblowers and more revelations will emerge. More time may also result in the Justice Department's operating grand jury issuing some indictments. Chao, about the FAA's intolerable delays in sending requested documents to the Committee.

DeFazio's letter says: "To say we are disappointed and a bit bewildered at the ongoing delays to appropriately respond to our records requests would be an understatement. When it comes to investigating life or death airline hazards and crashes, Congress is capable of handling so-called trade secrets. This is all the more reason why the terminally prejudiced Elwell and Bahrami should step aside and let their successors take a fresh look at the Boeing investigations.

That effort would include opening up the certification process for the entire Boeing MAX as a "new plane. The Boeing-biased Elwell and Bahrami have refused to even raise in public proceedings the question: "After eight or more Boeing iterations, at what point does the Boeing MAX 8 become a new plane?

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Heavier engines on the old fuselage changed the MAX's aerodynamics and made it prone-to-stall. It is time for the FAA's leadership to change before the MAX flies with vulnerable, glitch-prone software "fixes". Notwithstanding the previous Boeing series' record of safety in the U. Boeing executives do not get one, two, three or anymore crashes attributed to their ignoring long-known aerodynamic engineering practices. The Boeing MAX must never be allowed to fly again, given the structural design defects built deeply into its system. GaryH May 23, at am. If Daenerys Targaryen had announced her desire to use her last dragon to torch Moscow and Saint Petersburg, the Neocons would have lionized her as the womanly exemplar of democracy and wise foreign policy that produces peace and justice for all.

If Russia wants to weaken Ukraine, why did it ever build a pipeline through it in the first place? Russia didn't stop using the Ukraine pipeline intially for political reasons. It was because Ukraine was stealing gas meant for pass-through to other European countries and it wasn't paying its bills. Don't pay your utility bills and see what happens. Russia does not want to "control" Germany with Nord Stream, it wants to make money.

And Germany wants cheap gas. Strictly business. And how can Russia control Germany with Nord Stream when it knows that the first time it shuts off gas for political reasons would be the last. Because Russia knows that Germany will find alternative suppliers and never come back. The Russians ain't stupid. Russia wants bilateral trade with Europe without the Global Cop Gorilla perpetually in the background arrogant calling the shots.

The final reconciliation of Europe and Russia should have occurred 25 years but didn't because the ham-fisted United States threw up the fear-monger barriers. And that was because its National Security States wants an existential "enemy" to justify its massive costs. The sooner Europe ejects the U. War Machine from its territories the better. Better for Europe, better for Russia and better for the American taxpayers. I am with SteveM here. It seems that tribalism is clouding his judgment when observing the world outside the U.

Whereas the U. Imagine depending on such an economic partner?! So everything U. Trump is not an aberration, it is just how the U. Germany is the linchpin of the world and the U. It just sacrificed West Bank, and declared the BDS movement illegal as a soap to Israelis, to burnish its credentials with those blackmailers, so that it will become free to re-orient its politics and strategic configuration as it needs and wants.

Where is the problem? And if all else fails and Russia flexes its muscles which ones by the way do you think that the over-indebted America will not sell its gas to the Germans? It quickly takes the goods away when its interests are at stake. How could NS increase German energy dependence on Russia?

Edited by Alex J. Bellamy and Tim Dunne

It will be the very same gas which at the moment flows through the Ukraine. So yes, Europe was quite busy spreading joy and happiness all around:. And for me, US is Devil Incarnate since it put a target of nuclear missiles on my mother country. May the curse of a hells be upon it. After all, Russia and Germany:. American Jewish intellectuals have really jumped the shark since the Iraq War. There are strong anti-German currents in American culture and politics, going back to at least WW1 and also manifest today no other treaty ally is treated with such dismissive hostility by the Trump administration as Germany.

Agreed in both counts. At one point in the Iraq War, the German news outlet Der Spiegel had readers rate their opinion of president Bush on their website on a scale of 1 most favorable to, if I recall correctly, 6 least favorable. Nemesiscalling , May 19, PM 6. Sasha , May 19, PM 7. Interesting comment linking some sources and articles on US military strategy from decades ago , some of which I am not able to get to anymore, as the article at ICH numbered This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.

There are three additional aspects to this objective: First, the U. Second, in the non-defense areas, we must account sufficiently for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order.

Finally, we must maintain the mechanisms for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role. An effective reconstitution capability is important here, since it implies that a potential rival could not hope to quickly or easily gain a predominant military position in the world.

Don Bacon , May 17, PM link. Of course China will never agree to that. S , May 18, AM link. Schmoe , May 17, PM link. But server and network, it's a different story," the executive said. Are there any articles on how dependent Apple and Boeing are on Chinese components? This strategy seems incredibly short-sighted.

By , if current ratios hold, China will also outspend the US on defense. Won't that be interesting? Huawei already has its own arm based soc's it uses in it's high end phones and they can replace processors in it's low end phones with lesser versions of these. The Intel processors will be tougher to do for the commercial market because of software compatibility issues. For government and other high security uses China has options like the MIPs based Loongson but that wouldn't work in the commercial environment so hopelessly devoted to x86 and windows.

Probably the best solution would be to make an x86 analog like AMD markets, and it wouldn't take that long to do.

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The United States attacked China's largest telecom equipment maker Huawei. If China decides to retaliate, it could target chip giants like Qualcomm and Broadcom, which rely heavily on it for revenue, or tech giant Apple, which depends on them for iPhone manufacturing. Huawei uses Qualcomm's modems in its high-end smartphones and has been in settlement talks with the chip supplier over a licensing dispute. Tensions between the United States and Huawei could delay this licensing settlement, sending Qualcomm's stock down 4.

Huawei's competitors Nokia and Ericsson would stand to win from the above ban as the United States and its allies would resort to them for 5G deployment. This is a crucial and important development. So long as China is just developing their domestic chip designs as an academic exercise they will forever trail behind the market leaders by at least one technological iteration. Why try so hard with chip designs that will only ever just be used in college degree theses papers and proof of concept models? Real innovation comes from scratching an itch; from fulfilling an actual need.

Chip fab is the only remaining significant technological lead that America retains anymore, but the raw engineering brainpower behind that industry in the US is mostly imported from China anyway. The Chinese have no shortage of brilliant engineers, they just have not really had the need to do without Intel and AMD before. Now they do. In the short term the transition will be painful for China. The first few iterations of their replacement chip designs will be buggy and not have the features of chips they could have bought for cheaper from the US.

They will also have problems ramping up capacity to meet their needs. Typical growing pains, in other words. In the long term, though, this will be seen as the point at which the end started for America's chip tech dominance. Within a year or so China will be producing chips as good as America's.

Another year after that and America will be eclipsed in that industry.