Thursday, September 28, 2006

Messages from the edge

First the good news. The Associated Press reports the new head of al-Qaeda in Iraq,  Abu Hamza al-Muhajir AKA Abu Ayyub al-Masri, has admitted the loss of 4,000 foreign fighters in combat against the US in Iraq.


He also said more than 4,000 foreign militants have been killed in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 --  the first known statement from the insurgents about their death toll. It was unclear why al-Masri would advertise the loss of the group's foreign fighters, but martyrdom is revered among Islamic fundamentalists, and could be used as a recruiting tool. Analysts said the announcement was likely a boast aimed at drumming up support. "It's showing the level of dedication to their cause, the level of sacrifice jihadists are making," said Ben N. Venzke, director of the Washington-based IntelCenter, which monitors terrorism communications. "In a strange kind of way, it's almost showing a sense of strength and purpose in their cause to other people around world who might be thinking about joining the fight," Venzke said in a telephone interview.

In the topsy-turvey world of perception, analysts regard the admission of a heavy losses as a demonstration of al-Qaeda strength. Now for the bad news. Since conventional war does not seem to be working too well for al-Qaeda in Iraq, it is now seeking to acquire nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.

Al-Qaida in Iraq's leader, in a chilling audiotape released Thursday, called for nuclear scientists to join his group's holy war and urged insurgents to kidnap Westerners so they could be traded for a blind Egyptian sheik who is serving a life sentence in a U.S. prison. The fugitive terror chief said experts in the fields of "chemistry, physics, electronics, media and all other sciences -- especially nuclear scientists and explosives experts" should join his group's jihad, or holy war, against the West. ... "The field of jihad can satisfy your scientific ambitions, and the large American bases (in Iraq) are good places to test your unconventional weapons, whether biological or dirty, as they call them."

The most interesting part of al-Muhajir's message lies in the object of their demands: the release of an Egyptian sheik who wanted to kill the Egyptian President and blow up New York City building in 1995.

Thursday's message focused attention on Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, a 68- year-old Egyptian cleric who was convicted in 1995 of seditious conspiracy for his advisory role in a plot to assassinate Egypt's president and blow up five New York City landmarks including the United Nations. Abdel-Rahman is considered the leader of Egyptian Islamic militants, and the 1993 World Trade Center conspirators were known to have attended his lectures.

Commentary

The essentials of al-Qaeda's message are that first: the radical Jihad has been at war with America for a long time, as shown by their cause celebre, the conviction of blind Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman in 1995, simply one of many American "crimes" going back for decades. Second, conventional warfare against America isn't working. They can boast of their willingness to lose 4,000 foreign fighters against the US, not counting their indigenous recruits, but they cannot pretend that losses equal victory. Third, since conventional war isn't working, it is time to ramp up the attack on America to include weapons of mass destruction.  Chicago Boyz links to a RAND study on the effects of a nuke on the port of Long Beach, for anyone who interested in quantifying what this may mean.

As an aside, I am constantly amazed at how many of al-Qaeda's most strident demands are related to political issues related to friendly countries like Egypt or Saudi Arabia. Maybe there is something to the argument that terrorism arises from a lack of functionality and freedom in the Arab/Muslim world. If that is the root cause, then America can retreat all the way back Long Beach without removing the fundamental driver of terrorism in the world.

Tigerhawk notes that it's all Andy McCarthy's fault.

As most of you know, Andy McCarthy prosecuted the "blind sheikh" before he became a pundit and blogger (at The Corner). How many of us can say that we've actually pissed off al Qaeda? Cool.

Can't win, can you?

43 Comments:

Blogger HackleHead said...

Thats 288,000 virgins if you are keeping score.

9/28/2006 05:26:00 PM  
Blogger Posse Incitatus said...

Of course the Left wants to have it both ways: our enemies are both implacable and unstoppable ("each one we kill creates 10 more recruits") and wholly imaginary ("Saddam was contained," "Al Qaeda can be stopped with law enforcement and allies").

But what happens when pacifist Europeans find themselves the targets of riots?

The Muslims of Belgium have apparently modified Ramadan to include prayer, fasting and the burning of local cars and shops.

Of course this leads us to the $64,000 Question:

How do you blame the Belgian Car-B-Q on Iraq?

9/28/2006 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

NASA has a study which plans on storing information in lava tubes in lunar caverns, just in case the earth goes down. Anousheh Ansari, who fled Iran, is interested in space tourism. Maybe she figures she didn't run far enough. Maybe she's right.

9/28/2006 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger Jesse said...

"As an aside, I am constantly amazed at how many of al-Qaeda's most strident demands are related to political issues related to friendly countries like Egypt or Saudi Arabia. Maybe there is something to the argument that terrorism arises from a lack of functionality and freedom in the Arab/Muslim world. If that is the root cause, then America can retreat all the way back Long Beach without removing the fundamental driver of terrorism in the world."

I think that is indeed the root cause. Consider the statement;

"It was unclear why al-Masri would advertise the loss of the group's foreign fighters, but martyrdom is revered among Islamic fundamentalists, and could be used as a recruiting tool."

The western mind born and nurtured in freedom cannot comprehend the above statement. The thinking process used to justify that and other positions in the Arab Parallel Universe simply do not compute to the western thinker.

We in the west can hardly get our boys to put on a belt to hold uptheir pants let alone strap on a suicide belt.

The bizarre thought process can aparently only be born in an environment of ignorance and indoctrination.

9/28/2006 05:38:00 PM  
Blogger herb said...

Wretcherd said
"As an aside, I am constantly amazed at how many of al-Qaeda's most strident demands are related to political issues related to friendly countries like Egypt or Saudi Arabia."

See the Lee Harris discussion that Wretcherd previously noted. If there is no organizational civilization, (such as a culture) these animals are continually fighting among themselves for internal supremacy while trying to kill as many of us as possible. We need to figure out how to enhance this behavior pattern.

9/28/2006 05:40:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

"As an aside, I am constantly amazed at how many of al-Qaeda's most strident demands are related to political issues related to friendly countries like Egypt or Saudi Arabia. Maybe there is something to the argument that terrorism arises from a lack of functionality and freedom in the Arab/Muslim world. If that is the root cause, then America can retreat all the way back Long Beach without removing the fundamental driver of terrorism in the world."

Why is this a surprise? Islam is at war with itself. JP Morgan once said he could hire half of the working class to kill the other half of the working class. We could help half of the Islamic world to kill the other half. In that endeavor they have my vote and whole hearted support.

9/28/2006 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger Jesse said...

We have to attack the ignorance and indoctrination that that is the bedrock for these destructive and uncivilized acts of terror, the ignorance and indoctrination that even leads these people to believe terror is a legit tool or way to get what they want. They are going to have to learn that terror is viewed as counterproductive to the civilized free western mind.

That is the only way we will untimately win the WOT.

9/28/2006 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

I think its counterintuitive but if Islamic civilization can regain its vitality on a democratic basis we might have the basis for a stable peace. Back in its salad days, Islam was relatively less militant and more tolerant. But when it descended into backwardness and primitivism then it went feral. A lot of "modern" Islamism isn't 8th century at all. Some of it is plain old warmed over Nazism no older than the 1940s. That's not to say Islam didn't have enough enough hostility native to itself, but a lot of the stuff we see today is an enhancement care of certain sects jumped up by petrodollars.

9/28/2006 05:52:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

If they plan to use nukes on us they they are really committed to suicide.

People use the Kamikazes of WWII as comparisons. But when Saburo Saki, Japan's leading ace of the time, was told that he would fly escort for a group of Kamikazes he was deeply shocked. It wasn't that dying in combat was so alien, it was that the need to do so deliberately indicated just how hopelessly desperate the situation was.

And on that first Kamikaze mission he turned around and brought them all back home.

9/28/2006 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

2164th - JP Morgan once said he could hire half of the working class to kill the other half of the working class.

Good 'ol JP. A guy the supply siders could love! Eat that with your 22 dollar tax refund, working class scum!

The Soviets loved that quote and ran it in their propaganda for years.

Wretchard - Back in its salad days, Islam was relatively less militant and more tolerant. But when it descended into backwardness and primitivism then it went feral.

At it's beginning it was pretty brutal and intolerant as it's Hordes engulfed N Africa, the Levant and would have taken all of Europe but for being stopped at the gates of Constantinople in 711 and Tours in 734. Then as rule consolidated, they had a cyclic civilization that was alternately less brutal and bloodthirsty with one ruler, one Caliph of one dynasty to then going back to that bloodthirsty 'good 'ol religion.

In some of those waves the Islamics actually were less barbaric than their Euro or Asian counterparts....but in sum, taken as a totality of their methods and their dealing with minorities and other bations and cultures...no. Islam almost always has oppressed the unbeliever and their Borders are typically bloody.

Some say the Mongols sent the Islamists into backwardness and primitivism, then the Turks corrupted them further. I think the barbarism and backwardness is inherent in their religion, myself.

And I thank the Mongols!

For delaying the fall of Byzantium, weakening the Muslims enough they didn't complete the Hindu Holocaust or sweep through Europe until Europe was strong enough to defeat them.

Without them, I likely wouldn't have a computer to be typing on, going out to an open Internet, freely speaking my free thoughts.

Without the Mongols, all of Africa would be under Islam. The New World a mix of peoples all living at a Pakistani or Afghan tribe level.

Thanks, Mongols!

9/28/2006 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Cedarford,

Maybe I should've been more explicit about Islam's "salad days" to be around the time when its art and science flourished and all that. Curiously enough, Islamic nostalgia is a mix and match. For the Islam is good part they remember when it was tolerant to the Jews, etc. Then for the Islam is powerful part they go back when Islam was conquering in all directions. Of course the two were somewhat different periods, best I can tell. But just as Jekyll and Hyde were the same person, the question might be on whose personality does one to stabilize. Jekyll or Hyde's?

I realize the answer for some will be "none of the above". But the whole gamble is that we can get Hyde and leave Jekyll permanently in the subconcious.

9/28/2006 06:42:00 PM  
Blogger sfrcook said...

Wretchard,

Bernard Lewis seems to have reach a similar conclusion.

http://www.hillsdale.edu/imprimis/

9/28/2006 06:54:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

This freerepublic post sounds too good to be true. But it is funny.

No Arabs on 'Star Trek?'
ChronWatch ^ | 29 September 2006

Posted on 09/28/2006 7:00:08 PM PDT by Aussie Dasher

The Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations had just finished giving a speech, and walked out into the lobby where he met President Bush.

They shook hands, and as they walked the Iranian said, ''You know, I have just one question about what I have seen in America.''

President Bush said, "Well, anything I can do to help you, I will."

The Iranian whispered: ''My son watches this show 'Star Trek' and in it there is Chekhov who is Russian, Scotty who is Scottish, Uhura who is Black, and Sulu who is Chinese, but no Arabs. My son is very upset and doesn't understand why there aren't any Iranians, Syrians, or Iraqis on "Star Trek."

President Bush laughed, leaned toward the Iranian ambassador, and whispered: ''It's because it takes place in the future.''

9/28/2006 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger Jesse said...

"But the whole gamble is that we can get Hyde and leave Jekyll permanently in the subconcious."


That is their choice - the islamoblowbot programmers are deliberately choosing Hyde.

Since man ate of the tree of the knowlege of good and evil some men have consistently chosen evil. Man has that right, he is a volitional creature, but there are consequences for choosing evil. We all have a Hyde in our subconcious don't we, but most of us choose to keep him there because we understand the consequences of letting him loose.

The moderate Muslims may be choosing Jekyll, but they do not seem to be the ones in control of Islam right now. I think the fight has to come from them, the moderate muslims, they have to choose to actively fight the evil in their midst. That is what Bush meant when he said we must not frame the fight as Christianity vs Islam, but good vs evil. It is the moderate Muslim's fight as much as it is the western world's.

Moderate muslims must remember if they "choose not to decide they still have made a choice".

9/28/2006 07:23:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

An exception to the science fiction/future angle would be Frank Herbert's Dune. There's a discussion of this at FreeRepublic
here

One poster comments:

I have thought of this from Dune: "He who controls the spice (or in our world, he who controls the oil) controls the universe! And I have thought of this from LOTR about the War on terror: "Hold your ground, hold your ground. Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers. I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of woes and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down, but it is not this day. This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you *stand, Men of the West!"
//////////////
My own comment would be that just as the epic battle in LOTR was a diversion while the ring bearers were on their mission so too the battles in the mideast are a diverssion while the west gets its soul back and invents its way out of the oil addiction.

As for Dune--it couldn't have happened if that world were green. And in this the deserts of earth too will change to green in the coming decades.

9/28/2006 07:45:00 PM  
Blogger geoffgo said...

Jesse said:

Man has that right, he is a volitional creature, but there are consequences for choosing evil.

I believe Man is at Liberty to choose evil; but no right.

9/28/2006 08:11:00 PM  
Blogger Neil said...

I think the call to technologists to join the jihad might be more effective than most westerners appreciate. The Arab engineers I've worked with as colleages were all very, very frustrated people--they come to the U.S. for school and learn a tremendous amount about technology and its application. Upon their return home, there is everything to be done and literally nothing to do. There are very few places of employment which will utilize their talents, and there's little point in starting up a new business. As soon as they try, they've instantly got a new "business partner", be he a tribal sheik, a colonel, an imam, or a run-of-the-mill thug. Funny thing is, this "partner" doesn't bring much to running the business--his interest, in fact, is in making sure that the new business does not succeed so much as to rock the local boat.

Offering Arab technologists the chance to "satisfy [their] scientific ambition" may be a very powerful call to some very frustrated folks....

9/28/2006 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"...more than 4,000 foreign militants...."

Doesn't say how much more than 4,000, do he?

9/28/2006 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

During WWII the war department released footage of marines rolling in the surf at Tarawa to steel up the nation. It’s a powerful film watching it today makes my blood boil.

I don’t think they are releasing the numbers to claim victory so much as to shame and enrage. E.g. look at what these men are doing while you cowards sit and watch.

9/28/2006 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger Random User said...

more on the art and science of its salad days.. http://www.ninevehsoft.com/fiorina.htm

9/28/2006 09:25:00 PM  
Blogger For Freedom said...

The Raghead-Islamic "culture" is not only a parasitical breeder of mayhem but is a profoundly lazy and abysmally retrograde force in modern times.
Their creativity is totally limited to improvising terror weapons, using parts they are incapable of producing themselves because of their lack of industrial know-how.
Will the Raghead-Islamic "culture" succeed some day in developing an industrial weapons production capability? Will they use it to attack the United States with a Muslim horde-army ? Unlikely for them to part with their inherent sloth. If they suddenly become workaholic militarists like the Germans and Japanese, well - ask the Germans and Japanese who won the war the last time.
More likely they will make heavy use of the Muslim Fifth column implanted in the West and other civilized nations.

9/28/2006 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Sorry. It's Dr. Jekyll who is the good guy. My previous should read: get Dr. Jekyll and leave Hyde in the subconcious. I should have remembered what Curley said to Larry and Moe. "It's Dr. Jekyll. Let us Hyde."

9/28/2006 09:55:00 PM  
Blogger j willie said...

Jesse said:

The western mind born and nurtured in freedom cannot comprehend the above statement. The thinking process used to justify that and other positions in the Arab Parallel Universe simply do not compute to the western thinker.

We in the west can hardly get our boys to put on a belt to hold uptheir pants let alone strap on a suicide belt.


The first statement rings very true; the second caused me to spew beer on my screen in laughter. How many times have any of us with teenage sons told them to pull up their pants! Yet, the absolute incongruity in the behavioral expression of cultural values highlighted by your humorous observation captures the essence of this "clash of civilizations".

9/28/2006 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger Jesse said...

"Yet, the absolute incongruity in the behavioral expression of cultural values highlighted by your humorous observation captures the essence of this "clash of civilizations". "

Well you couldn't say this clash is good vs evil, maybe "harmless" vs evil.

One lady said she knew our young low crotch pants boys would never be good protesters when she saw a group of them running away from the police - and had to hold up their pants with one hand.

9/29/2006 01:21:00 AM  
Blogger Quig said...

Charles, as the owner of well worn (to the point of falling apart) copies of both Dune and LOTR I too have often considered the parallels.

In both novels the strength required to overcome the adversity evolves from conflict, sacrifice and deprivation.

We of the west need to be stressed in order to response in an appropriate manner (I hate that word “appropriate”; its so damnably politically correct).

Bite the bullet. Buy no Middle East oil. Convert to bio-fuels. Short term pain, long term gain.

Benefits:
Deprives jihadis of money. Deprives states supporting jihadis of money. This forces them to spend on developing a manufacturing sector and pay for local infrastructure or face internal disruptions. Russia becomes more of a capitalist society and by necessity more democratic.

Problems: Russia. Would probably supply arms and materials as long as money or influence could be guaranteed.
China. The same; and would purchase oil, albeit at a lower price, and continue to do so as long as it perceived to be advantageous so to do. The Chinese are difficult assess in that we perceive them to have a very long-term view but are unable to assess their long-term aspirations.
The European “Union” would fracture. The eastern European states would probably fall back into the Russian sphere of influence. Great Britain would, once again, require whatever support it could be given by the USA, Australia and Canada.
Germany, Italy, Austria, Czechoslovakia & Spain the same. France would attempt to battle on playing, as usual, both ends against the middle. The Scandinavian countries, with the possible exception of Denmark, would probably be pulled towards the Russian orbit.
India has the ability of producing its own fuel but I would expect it to gravitate towards Russia as an intermediate energy source.
South East Asian economies would be hard hit and perhaps look to Australia as an energy source.
Japan would look to Russia and compete with the Chinese.

Many of the western oriented nations mentioned above have not experienced the direct impact of the jihadis campaign. Certainly their wider populations have little concept of its implications. The results of the major engine of world growth withdrawing from the international oil market would appear catastrophic to them and the USA and its public allies would not be well liked.

Creativity is born out of conflict. Mental, emotional or physical. Western society, so long, if half a century can be called long, having enjoyed prosperity, has been somewhat slothful. Degenerative of spiritual, moral and ethical values; seduced by philosophies that deny a definition of “good or “evil” concepts; those basic, fundamental and almost indefinable concepts that allow humans to survive as a cooperative society it has almost forgotten the price that must be paid for survival.

Which to say, that if you want the right you must accept the responsibility.

9/29/2006 01:47:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Quig said...
Generally agree with your comments. I'd add that the islamic revolutions in both Saudi Arabia and Iran occurred in the 1970's. I think its no coincidence that these periods coincide with the first oil shocks. ie the religion is claiming credit for their new power. So you have fat old sheiks giving money for artificial green gardens in the desert, the local mosque and for suicide bombers just to cover all their bases.

Speaking of deserts here's a video of the Rover Spirit on the edge of a crator on Mars.

9/29/2006 04:05:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

"Satirical Saudi show makes mockery of militants, draws fundamentalist ire."

This piece is very funny especially the "Terror Academy Awards"

9/29/2006 05:08:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

quiq = Bite the bullet. Buy no Middle East oil. Convert to bio-fuels. Short term pain, long term gain.

Benefits:
Deprives jihadis of money. Deprives states supporting jihadis of money.


1. Oil is fungible. If we buy no oil, price drops a bit but then OPEC lowers production quotas to keep price above a floor of 30-35 a barrel.

2. Gulf states have more money than they can spend. All states have cracked down on funding of Jihadis, but wealthy private Arabs, like wealthy Jews...will continue to support THEIR side.

3. While they have cracked down on Jihadi fundin, they have not stopped the cancer of Wahabbism from being proselytized with ten billion plus in funding annually. And in a typical bit of American and Western idiocy, our fine lawyers and judges say the radical Islamists have the RIGHT to spread their cancer on freedom of speech, 1st Amendment grounds - though anyone trying to build a church in KSA would have their head chopped off.

4. People are fairly ill-informed on biofuels and other "exciting alternate energy sources" kicking around since the 70s - without exception - and not adapted because they are either limited, not 24/7 reliable meaning having alt source for the alt source spending, 3-35 times more expensive than coal, gas, oil, nuclear, hydro. Technically ill-informed people are surprised to learn that if all our arable corn crop land was dedicated to ethanol, it would only make up for 19% of the transpo oil we use. And even more surprised to learn it is 50% more expensive than petrol even in Brazil and would be 3X as expensive w/o subsidies. Wind power only exists because of triple tax breaks and because utilities are forced to buy it and spread its' exorbitant cost amongst ratepayers, while still keeping expensive standby gas or oil units ready depending on the weather and the wind....

5. Biofuels are not a short-term pain. They would permanently double or triple energy costs on the average consumer. Nor can we conserve our way out. We will have 410 million Americans by 2050 -eating up any conservation gains and keeping us 70% dependent on oil imports.

6. Because oil is fungible, the only effect of us "boycotting Saudi oil" and using Nigerian, Venezuelan, etc. to make up for the 7% we use that is that Saudis simply move their oil to new markets or where the Nigerian Venezuelan oil we replace the Saudi stuff with goes. "Driving the Saudis to their knees by telling them we don't want their stinking oil" is an ill-informed pipe dream.

9/29/2006 06:19:00 AM  
Blogger Quig said...

Cedarford,
I didn't say you could have your cake & eat it as well.

In the next half-century western society is either going to have to swallow some painfully large pills or it will wither and die. Subsumed by either Islamic or oriental cultures.

Basing survival on your current expenditures, growth profiles and life-style is the "ill-informed pipe dream".

9/29/2006 07:18:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Cedarford said...
"Driving the Saudis to their knees by telling them we don't want their stinking oil" is an ill-informed pipe dream.
///
Bush sees energy independence as a focus of his remaining tenure
Wall Street Journal ^ | 09-29-2006 | Wall Street Journal

Posted on 09/28/2006 10:42:18 PM PDT by soccer_maniac

President Bush said he would speed up his alternative-energy push during the remainder of his term with new spending focused on easing bottlenecks that are slowing the spread of ethanol in the market.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal on a swing through Alabama, Mr. Bush said he is seeking ways to overcome difficulties in transporting the fuel, and to increase the number of stations selling it.

9/29/2006 07:26:00 AM  
Blogger Hayek said...

C-4 Who do you believe to be a greater threat to our way of life? 1-entrepenaurial capitalism
2-militant islam
3-the"JEWS"

9/29/2006 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

You asked for that one C-4. You'll never learn. We are in a fight for survival and you take shots at an important ally in the fight. Damn man, get over it.

9/29/2006 07:49:00 AM  
Blogger Pyrthroes said...

Repeat again: Exporting jihad by the obverse Darwinian tactic of killing yourself off is what Muslims have been doing for 1400 years. "Radical Islam" uses contemporary terms, purports to address current issues, but in fact-- the warriors of Allah remain glued to their camel saddles on the road to Mecca and Medina. They rage at themselves.

When lakes of petro-dollars dry up in thirty years, or perhaps before, the Sheikhs of Araby and their delusive true-believers --"hollow men, stuffed men, headpieces filled with straw"-- will sink back into the dunes. As the 21st Century progresses, their one-quarter of the human race will cease to exist for cultural, economic/political, social or scientific purposes. Then as now, they will contribute nothing.

Too bad, because 1.2 billion souls do have potential. But not while any one of them subscribes to Salafist crypto-fascism allied with the Wahabi death-cult propagated by pot-bellied Saudi "princes" since the end of WW II.

9/29/2006 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger Gudovac April 1941 said...

re: Alternative Fuels

Couple of points:

It is indeed correct that Alternatives to Oil have a limited ablity to wean ourselves off Foreign Oil - today.


However, since oil power is 'priced' at the margin. Even a small percentage reduction (meaning 5-10%) in Oil imports from the US would seriously reduce the Oil Exporter's Power.

Recall how bankrupt all the OPEC countries were just a few years ago.

This all changed with a relatively small increase in global MARGINAL consumption.


OIL POWER IS PRICED AT THE INCREMENTAL MARGIN.

A small reduction in US consumption would have a huge impact in the MidEast's ability to 'mess' with us.

9/29/2006 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger istarious said...

Excellent point, Gudovac.

And just to add on the theme. Oil price affects inflation which affects interest rates which affects growth rate which affects borrowing costs and tax revenues.

9/29/2006 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger Fernand_Braudel said...

I read somewhere that Saudi Arabia recieves more income now from their foreign investments than from their oil revenue.

So even if the miracle invention that converts seawater into fossil fuels for a penny a gallon was discovered tomorrow, the Saudi kickbacks to Wahabi maniacs would still have half it's potential.

The alternative might be more effective, though. How about threatening the Saudi's with nationalizing all of their foriegn investments if they dont lock out the Wahabi kickbacks WATERTIGHT!

9/29/2006 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger slimslowslider said...

c4 cant help it. He speaks not of his life experiences but of his upbringing when it comes to his jew drivel. optimistically speaking he is the half empty glass with an output, rarely responding. pesimistically speaking he pursues an agenda along the lines of our enemy & people like Gerald Bull & John Mearsheimer. By trying to convince us the Biofuels will never work and must continue with the Oil habit. "Bite the bullet. Buy no Middle East oil. Convert to bio-fuels. Short term pain, long term gain", in his view would help the jews by harming thier sworn enemy, so naturally he finds fault with it. I hope he does learn, 2164th.

9/29/2006 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

A small reduction in US consumption would have a huge impact in the MidEast's ability to 'mess' with us.

A President who leveled uppity towns in the Sunni Triangle instead of trying to get them to play midnight basketball would have a huge impact on the MidEast's desire to 'mess' with us.

9/29/2006 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

2164th - You asked for that one C-4. You'll never learn. We are in a fight for survival and you take shots at an important ally in the fight.

Not our ally. Our economic, geostrategic, diplomatic liability.

And the point was that it is as futile to ask wealthy Arabs to stop contributing to Islamic causes they believe in than it is to stop asking wealthy Jews to knock off their support of Zionism. To get them to knock it off, you have to have a secure Israel and compensation for the land and property thefts the Zionists committed on the Palestinians - perhaps adjusted to account for the Zionist thefts causing retaliation against Jewish property in Muslim nations.

Not that reaching that end point will be the slightest bit easy.

But any America that casts this conflict as "America and her Special Friend" against all other nations on the planet - puts us in an unwinnable position and diminishes America's options and ability to influence events.

Immediately after 9/11, the Israel Lobby went into overdrive to convince conservatives that Israel was our "bestest buddy, indispensible ally and friend" similar to a similar cast of propagandists saying Hitler showed why the Soviet Union and America were henceforth joined at the hip as pals and how the US could benefit from Soviet wisdom in fighting Fascism since the commies had been doing it for decades.

The difference was that the Soviets actually were a useful ally.
*********************
gudovac april 1941 - A small reduction in US consumption would have a huge impact in the MidEast's ability to 'mess' with us.

A fantasy only possible if American conservation caused a temporary supply glut and OPEC refused to cut back until increased China and India demand replaced the American demand. The ability of the ME, namely the Islamic terrorists to mess with us - is at it's root a very low cost, assymetric operation. It's recruitment of fighters is low cost, its terror ops are run on a few million dollars (9/11 cost around 1.5 million - about the cost of the US being in Iraq for 15 minutes).

Real raw material and energy "independence" efforts will never get us to true independence and allow us to isolate into Fortress America. We have no platinum, vanadium. We can't create it, we must get it overseas. We don't have enough oil, or gas. We import 70%, we cannot conserve or drill our way out of dependency. Substitute products are far more expensive, and just creating them will require a multi-trillion investment that will further disadvantage us economically from competitor nations that freely use and access the global carbon fuels markets - and who have no problem undercutting or misguided, economically ignorant drive to bring our long-time ally and nemisis Saudi Arabia "to it's knees".

For some insight on how unilateral American action can "hurt" another country and "moderate it" - I present the 45 year long economic war we have waged on Cuba...a joke the rest of the world laughs at us about.

9/29/2006 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Hayek said...
C-4 Who do you believe to be a greater threat to our way of life? 1-entrepenaurial capitalism
2-militant islam
3-the"JEWS"


Lets be honest and look at long-term threats and rivals, and put them in priority.

1. China - Which will surpass us militarily possibly, and economically, for sure, by mid-21st century. If they moderate, fine. If they don't, they set up a new world and one in which they have the power of MAD.

2. Transnational Progressivism. Which is led by secular Jews in America, the Euro Left overseas. Backed by the finances of wealthy Jews, Plus the clout of multnationals, media, academia, and financiers that see a One Government, borderless world as desirable. Which is to use the power of treaties, international law, post-modernism, multi-culti - to tear down national sovereignity, national Constitutions, national borders to any labor. capital. flow the transnationalists want. To make citizenship irrelevant - and have all true decisions eminate from international institutions and law. Essentially - this is regrouped Communism - America is the #1 target of these wealthy elites - and their clout is mostly seen in American Courts. As we are instructed by judges of international "Will" against anti-gay speech, individual citizens having any right to weapons, the death penalty, illegal immigrant and refugee "human rights", use of mass immigration as a transforming force to weaken existing Western norms,how American law and constitutional law is inferior in position to "the world's wishes". So THE JEWs, as a resurgent post-communist major factor in the 2nd most threatening development America and the West faces - the Leftist secular Jews that lead and finance most of these American are part America's next greatest long-term threat because they wish to end America, Europe and our Constitutions as it exists - just as much as the Muslims do.

3. Radical Islam, which hates the West and wishes to see it destroyed - but lacks the open power of China or the sly power of the Transnationals in accomplishing that. The Islamists may kill some of us, mount a demographic threat, but they are not at the power level of China or the Transnationalists in ability to destroy us from without or within.

4. We have seen the failure of contemporary capitalist models - multinational, corporate cronyism types - to effectively transform Russia and Latin America. Within America, we see a growing creation of 2 Americans with a Gulf of wealth inequality between them - separating us more and more into separate classes or castes. The investor class as the Ruling Elite, the workers as the powerless masses. Our future depends on the ability of capitalism or government limits on it to work to reward all the people, or like the Russians and latins, we will be compelled to end America's 4th greatest threat.

5. Russia. Lest we forget, they have become distinctly less friendly after finding most of their wealth was seized by a small band of Oligarchs they then got rid of and by blatant US meddling in Russian spheres in Ukraine, Central Asia. A revanchist Russia has Europe by their energy nuts, and still has 13,000 usable nuclear warheads.

6. Danger of temporary lurch to the right so far it can fairly be called Fascism - if the Islamists hit us with WMD or the Transnationalists gain full dominance of our courts. The American public will not stand for either deaths due to "enemy rights" or any major loss in our sovereignity done by Transnationaists. The repercussions would be ethnic cleansing of Islamists and end of Wahabbist religious centers if Islamists hit us hard - or declaring a national emergencty regarding an insurrection in the Transnationalist's threat to the Constitution - and acting by ending centers of Transnational power by expelling them, and seizing their money that gives them such power - without recourse to courts. The danger is that we might not "snap back" to a free nation if we end the Transnationalist or Islamic threat so.

9/29/2006 06:30:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Let's see; 4000 foreign fighters plus a whole bunch of local Gomers.That still leaves a big chunk of several million Jihadis to erase from the gene pool.We need alot better casualty ratio than we're currently seeing.Bring out the big guns.
Cedarford:Russia was a useful ally,but Israel hasn't been.Okay.How about they were getting bitch-slapped by the Wehrmacht and were thus involuntary allies until the war ended and they showed their true colors.
I'm glad you recognize all those leftist Jews like Ted Kennedyberg and Hillary Clintonstein ,the Rev.Moise Jackson,DNC chairman Irving Dean,Rep.Naomi Pelosi,etc.Jews to the bone,everyone of them.

9/29/2006 08:15:00 PM  
Blogger Quig said...

Cedarford:

You realy want to have a hard look at and edit that point #2.

9/30/2006 01:43:00 AM  
Blogger slimslowslider said...

This woman bravely speaks the truth. sorry cedarford, your wrong

Jealosy and Fear can form strong hatred and I believe it is this, more than anything that fuels the extremism. An Inferiority complex thats gone haywire.

Mark Twain's visit to Lebanon, Syria, and the Holy Land in 1867 was published in "The Innocents Abroad", where he described Palestine as follows:

"..... A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds... a silent mournful expanse.... a desolation.... we never saw a human being on the whole route.... hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country."

Although Mark Twain's visit was brief by all accounts, which encompassed the areas that were only cited in the Bible it still is a great insight brought to you by a great American, non-jewish or Zionist, writer.

9/30/2006 07:17:00 AM  

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