Friday, February 29, 2008

Turkey Becoming Growing Regional Power

Turkey is situated to play an increasingly important role as controller of the crossroads between Europe and Muslim Asia and the Middle East. Besides the Persian Gulf states of Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Turkey is the only Muslim nation that is open enough to the outside world to truly prosper in many areas of world commerce besides the petro-energy industry.
With its large military, burgeoning economy, and pivotal location as a bridge between two continents, Turkey has emerged as a crucial player involving regional geopolitics in both the Caspian Basin and the greater Middle East. As detailed in its most recent "Turkey Military Market Overview," Forecast International anticipates that Ankara's growing role as a regional powerbroker will be strengthened in coming years as its geopolitical bandwidth expands eastward.

Turkey's multiple strengths - including its sizeable population, growing economy, strategic geographic position, and well-equipped armed forces (second-largest in the NATO Alliance) - serve to cement it as both an anchor against regional instability and as a nation with a significant role to play in Near East power politics.

Although its long-standing mission statement has been incorporation with the West, in recent years the country has tilted its foreign policy focus towards its historical backyard of the Middle East and has played upon shared ethnic and cultural backgrounds with several energy-rich former Soviet republics in Central Asia.

...Two key events have altered Turkey's foreign policy focus in the past two decades: the collapse of the Soviet Union and the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. The first relieved pressure on Turkey's north and freed it to reposition its security focus; the second created strains within its traditionally close relationship with Washington over the possibility of an independent Kurdish state being carved out of the fragments of a splintered, post-Saddam Iraq.

With a significant Kurdish population of around 20 percent and ongoing battles with the outlawed militant grouping known as the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Turkey is wary of a Kurdish state emerging on its southeastern border and acting as inspiration to minority separatist sentiments.

..."Quite simply, Turkey is seeking ways to diversify its energy sources from dependence upon Russia, while simultaneously increasing its clout as a central transit point for European supplies," Darling said. "And with Azerbaijan onboard and Turkmenistan in the mix, Iran provides another logical option."

Yet despite the improved atmosphere between Ankara and Tehran, Turkey is also wary of a nuclear Iran upsetting the fragile regional power balance and has embarked on a competition for the supply of four to five batteries of Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) systems known as the Turkish Long-Range Air and Missile Defense Systems (or T-LORAMIDS).

Turkish attention upon retaining its defensive edge does not end there, either. Turkey - which has had economic growth of over 5 percent annually since 2002 - seeks to ensure its strategic lordship over regional rivals and as such, remains a significant importer of sophisticated military hardware.___Source

Turkey aims to be the regional hegemon--much as it was before the fall of the Istanbul Caliphate after WWI. As long as Turkey does not fall to reactionary Islamists who would take Turkey back to the stone age, the country has a chance to achieve its goals.

Turkey will have to do something about the mad mullahs of Iran, with their nihilist nuclear nightmare of the twelfth Imam, the mahdi. Turkey will have little influence over the fate of the middle east, if a nuclear Iran drives Saudi Arabia nuclear to counter. In that sense, Turkey, the US, and Israel share a common concern with Iraq and the Sunni Islam nations on the peninsula.

After decades of placating the powerful Russian Bear, Turkey is beginning to feel its power inside the former USSR, in central Asia. Sharing religious and often ethnic connections to central Asian republics allows Turkey something of an inside track in negotiating energy and pipeline contracts with the central Asians. This gives Turkey more clout with both Europe and India.

Turkey has developed many connections with India and Israel as well, almost unique among larger Muslim nations. Closer ties with India should provide huge economic opportunities for the Turks.

The current Kurdish conflict is the largest sore spot with Turkey at this time. But Turkey would be making a huge mistake to sacrifice its huge potential to be a regional hegemon, just to settle old scores with Kurdish separatist. Much smarter would be to create a small area of semi-autonomy for the Kurds, to achieve some type of settlement. The Kurds have achieved remarkable prosperity and autonomy within the new Iraq, and Turkish Kurds will not settle for much less. The same will apply to Iranian and Syrian Kurds, with time.

Overall Turkey's situation looks good. Turkey had best see that it does not shoot itself in the foot over the Kurds.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Obama: The Man Who Would Be King

Why is Obama smiling? Perhaps if this wonderful, charismatic speaker, this man who has risen so quickly that he is still basically a State Senator in mental outlook truly understood what he was getting into, he would show a bit more concern.
Obama tried speaking about substance when he mentioned the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he displayed an astounding ignorance of the military instrument. He said that an anonymous U.S. Army captain told him that his infantry platoon was split and sent to different areas of operations; that they were lacking vehicles; and that they had insufficient ammunition to fight.

Although problems do occur in combat situations to be sure, none of what Obama related makes any sense ...

Politicians rely heavily, on almost every subject, on advisors to get them educated and keep them current. And nobody really expects Obama or Clinton or even McCain, who was a Navy aviator, to know anything about ground combat. But one does expect the candidate to employ advisors who know what they are talking about and to prevent their candidate from embarrassment.

While Obama has attracted money, notoriety and delegates, he has yet to attract military advisers who know what they are doing. ___Source
Who is Obama truly depending on, as advisors? Is he depending on the "poster-boy" economic and policy advisors put forward by his campaign, or is he performing as required for the "campaign show", while intending to fall back on his most pivotal and most trusted advisors once the deal is done? I suspect that Michelle Obama will play a very strong role in any Obama administration. A very alienated Michelle, with a strong sense of entitlement and victimisation--a dangerous combination indeed.

"Dreams of My Father", the 1995 Obama autobiography contains many clues. There may just be enough time between now and November to learn enough about the hidden core of this man who would be king.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Obama -- Running for President, or Caliph?

Senator Obama appears to have a rather mysterious past. Obama is clearly qualified to be Senator, or any other political job where not much is expected in terms of genuine wisdom, leadership, or accomplishment. But is he qualified for a job that requires him to represent all the people?

The photo above suggests more than a passing "muslim connection" on the part of the very junior Illinois senator. What other possible complications currently lie hidden, buried in obscurity by a hopeful campaign staff? Shelby Steele looked into Senator Obama's past, writing about it in "A Bound Man."

But for anyone who believes that a US President needs to be president of all the people, not just of a small but vocal minority, a simple reading of Obama's 1995 pre-autobiography, "Dreams from my Father", should be enough to show that until Obama does a lot of explaining, he is simply not a big enough man to be US President.

Most Americans would like to be able to vote for a black candidate, or--as in Obama's case--a mixed race candidate. The important thing in voting for a candidate is not his race or gender, however. It is his qualifications for the job.

Update: It keeps getting better: Louis Farrakhan has endorsed Obama for President!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

You are Strictly Forbidden to Say a Single Bad Word About Islam, On Pain of Death

It seems that author Mark Steyn is an alarmist for pointing out a few things that are happening in Europe. Apparently, in Europe, telling an uncomfortable truth makes one an alarmist.
My book's thesis — that most of the Western world is on course to become at least semi-Islamic in its political and cultural disposition within a very short time — is "alarmist."...The question then arises: fair enough, guys, what would it take to alarm you?

...Last week, the British and Ontario governments confirmed within days of each other that thousands of polygamous men in their jurisdictions receive welfare payments for each of their wives.

...What does it mean when 57 per cent of Pakistani Britons are married to first cousins and 70 per cent are married to relatives? At the very least, it tells you that this community is strongly resistant to traditional immigrant assimilation patterns.

...Is sharia, polygamy, routine first-cousin marriage in the interests of Canada or Britain or Europe? Oh, dear, even to raise the subject is to tiptoe into all kinds of uncomfortable terrain for the multicultural mindset.___Macleans

What about honour killings, stoning adulterers, killing of apostates, genital mutilation, and the general, run-of-the-mill religious bigotry, hatred, and failure to assimilate?

Without pressure to conform to the norms of a larger society, immigrant muslims will form their own internal power structures--a state within a state. It is inevitable, given the totalitarian nature of Islamic life. Religion, family, government--all wrapped into one set of rules, Sharia. If the secular western government is too reticent to insist upon compliance with civil and criminal law, Muslim law will fill the void.

Leftist multiculturalism claims to view all cultures to be at least as good as western culture. But the only way for multiculturalists to tolerate the misogyny, homophobic violence, and religious intolerance of Islam, is for them to pretend it does not exist. So they do--pretend. And pretend, and pretend, and pretend. But to what end?

Here is a simple multi-cultural math question. One million male muslim immigrants each marry four female first cousins, from the old country. Each wife has four children, and collects her own welfare check for her household. If the fertility rate for indigenous English girls is close to 1 child per woman, how long before everyone in England is muslim, and living on welfare checks?

Research shows that when third world people move to the first world, the fertility rate of at least the first generation of immigrants goes up. In the case of muslims in Europe, every generation is the first generation, since muslim males send back to the old country for girl cousins to marry.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

China to Send 300 Million Chinese to Africa

According to one official, China will need to move 300 million Chinese nationals to Africa, in order to reduce overpopulation and environmental devastation in the Chinese homeland.
During the last decade tens of thousands have uprooted themselves from China and migrated to Africa, with Chinese-government approval. There are estimated to be 750,000 Chinese across the continent, 900 Chinese companies, and an overall Chinese investment of $6 billion. Yet most Chinese speak neither English nor any African language....The Chinese work in agriculture, trade and construction, and are doing everything from producing oil and developing giant state-financed infrastructure projects building roads and railways, to smaller enterprises producing shoes, textiles, motorbikes, TVs and CDs.

...But the continent has come alight with Chinese enterprise. It is a new frontier for them, a land filled with promise, and Chinese faces are everywhere. Having jettisoned the communist ideological and revolutionary ideals that had tied them to Africa in the first place in favour of trade, today the Chinese are Africa’s newest, most enthusiastic and rampant capitalists...Nor do the newcomers seeking their fortune view Africa as a place of drought, war, disease and poverty – often the Western perception of Africa. “Africa is a paradise for wide lives,” said Luo Hung, a famous Chinese photographer who has been wooing fellow Chinese to Africa with photographic exhibitions in the big Chinese cities. “The landscapes, animals and human beings there create a harmonious and beautiful picture.”...A family in China will save for years to send just one of its members to Africa. Unlike cautious Westerners they are not afraid to start small – a massage parlour or restaurant here, a sewing shop or pharmacy there – which offer modest but quick returns on investment. Many live in small apartments on small wages in conditions that no European would consider.

...Like it or not, China’s growing economic presence in Africa is a reality that Europe and America have to face. It is unstoppable and has brought Africa to a tipping point. It could be a moment of immense opportunity....Chinese contractors are fast and competitively priced. There is plenty of positive spin-off. One is China’s provision of cheap chemicals enabling, in Tanzania’s case, the local pharmaceutical industry to manufacture life-saving generic anti-retroviral drugs for the millions of Africans with Aids. They cost less than £6 a month....The Chinese cash is a godsend for Africa. But it could yet turn out to be a curse if it is misused by Africa’s leaders who, Africa’s record on corruption shows, can be easily tempted.

...On big construction projects, wherever possible, the Chinese insist on importing their own workforce from China. These workers live in sprawling camps, eat like they did at home, and make little or no effort to adopt African customs, learn the language, much less marry local African girls. It is a harsh existence that no comfort-loving Westerner would consider emulating.

However, where the Chinese have done this – oil-rich Angola and mineral-rich Zambia come to mind – resentment has often arisen because of their unwillingness to employ indigenous workers. Even the unskilled labour is fulfilled by the Chinese. In Angola, the government has agreed that 70% of tendered public works must go to Chinese firms, most of which do not employ Angolans. The Chinese are also causing concern at the way they have used African countries as dumping grounds for cheap goods. Many small companies across Africa have been forced into dire straits, even bankruptcy, by Chinese competition...In Tanzania, for example, the scene of China’s great railway triumph, the country’s only flip-flop factory is dying. A few years ago it employed some 3,000 people and sold flip-flops across the continent. Now it employs only 1,000. Its Lebanese manager complains that he cannot compete with cheap Chinese imports sold for less than cost price. There have been stories that the Chinese were shipping goods in diplomatic containers to the embassy in Dar es Salaam, avoiding customs and import duty.____Times

China is using Africa more ruthlessly and cynically than a western nation could, at this time. No worries about human rights, environmental quality, or the massive human suffering occurring right under the noses of Chinese traders and contractors.

The Chinese understand the ruthless dictators on the dark continent, and have no qualms about dealing directly with butchers and murderers, who allow their own people to starve and bleed. That is nothing to migrants from the middle kingdom, who are only there to make a profit, then go home.

If China ever decides to make a longer-term stand in Africa, it may be necessary for them to make "king-making" deals with tribal leaders currently out of power, to get the concessions they will want. There is nothing so expected as a bloody coup, in SubSaharan lands.

Still, 300 million emigrants from China to Africa? At a time when the massive Chinese population is aging so rapidly? If so, it is possible for one reason--the one child policy. When families routinely have but one child, there are no cousins, no aunts or uncles, no siblings. Only parents, grandparents, and child. Fewer ties to the home country, perhaps. It will be interesting to watch.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Obama Uses JFK's Speechwriter: Echoes of Camelot

Barack Obama has reached into the past for a bit of campaign magic--the ghosts of JFK and Camelot. JFK's speechwriter, Ted Sorenson, is still alive, working to build a new Camelot in Washington.
At the age of 24, he joined the staff of the newly elected Sen. John F. Kennedy and later helped him win the presidency, calling on Americans to pass the torch to a new generation...The legendary speechwriter helped Kennedy craft the now-famous 1961 Inaugural address in which the new president proclaimed, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."

...Today, at 79 years old and blind, Sorensen has a new mission: to resurrect Camelot. And it seems the Obama campaign is listening.

"I've given them a phrase or suggestion or two," Sorensen admits...As for all the comparisons that have been drawn between Obama and Kennedy, "I probably started it," he told
This is important. Because if you have read the transcripts of Obama's "Yes We Can" speech, accompanied by the YouTube video, you will get an inkling of the inspirational power of a well written stump speech.

Obama is dipping deeply into the well of inspirational political rhetoric. The rhetoric of JFK's Camelot appears as if by magic--a glorious crystal spring oasis in the midst of the oppressive pessimism created by the mainstream media. What a relief! Obama offers the hope of a wonderful future, divorced from the parched desperation of the present.

If you have not watched the video and read the transcript, you should do so.

Obama induces at least two powerful hopes in the hearts of his listeners:
  1. To be understood.
  2. To have the hope of a glorious future.
Any politician who can pluck those heart strings will gather a significant following, in terms of numbers.

Obama's speechwriters, including the aging Sorenson, are clearly reaching into more than one historical source, for inspiration. The speeches of Martin Luther King Jr. are likewise being salvaged, for what they may provide in inspiration. And to be sure, Obama is being lifted up as a multitude of icons.

As the weeks and months go by, it will be interesting to count all the icons that one can find, hidden within Obama's speeches, press releases, and fan columns by journalists and celebrities. Because it appears that Obama is to be the recipient of a deluge of decades long, previously continent outbursts of adoration, saved for just the right shining object.

"He is the one," gushes Oprah--a woman who tends to excess from time to time. "He is the truth," Oprah adds, incontinently. Apparently, Obama is to be many things, as time goes on--but particularly he is to be the inspiration for a political movement. Call him a political Messiah.

Ted Sorenson's Messiah, perhaps, returned from the dead? Certainly Oprah's Messiah, and the Messiah of Hollywood's drug saturated, jaded crew.

But is he real? Is there any "there", there? We will see.

Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew--Bomb, Bomb, Bomb .... Bomb Bomb Iran

Actually, no, he does not actually come right out and say that Iran should be bombed. But if you can read between the lines... Lee is subtle, and often speaks in his silences.
Q: Which raises the question of the United States or Israel bombing Iran's nuclear facilities.

A: (long silent pause) … I can express no views on that.

Q: The Israelis say they are facing an existential crisis.

A: No question, they are at risk.

...Q: But in the Gulf, if the U.S. and/or Israel bombed Iran's nuclear facilities, Iran has formidable asymmetrical retaliatory capabilities?

A: But let me repeat, they cannot conquer you. Hezbollah cannot conquer Lebanon. They can create trouble for the non-Hezbollah Lebanese. So micro actors can cause a lot of trouble for your friends, but they can't eradicate them.____UPI

What Lee is saying, is that yes, Israel is at deadly risk from Iranian nuclear weapons. If it were his decision to make [for Israel] he would seriously consider bombing Iran [but not invading]. He would expect retaliation and significant losses. But at the end of the day, he appears to say that the need to destroy Iran's nuclear weapons ability exceeds the risks of retaliation.

The price of oil would shoot through the roof--probably over US $200 a barrel, temporarily. There would be significant economic short term difficulties in the US, Europe, and the rest of the west. Russia and China would be upset, but not enough to retaliate in the open. Behind closed doors is another matter.

The Islamic world would outwardly condemn Israel and the US, while inwardly the Sunni world and moderate Shias would be relieved to not have to face their own nuclear Islamic Civil War.

Iran is only 50% ethnic Persian, and most of them are very unhappy with the leadership of their country. If the west waited long enough, perhaps the leadership would be overthrown anyway. But then, you could have said the same about Hitler in 1930s Germany.

These decisions have serious consequences, either way. Acting, or not acting.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Impending Collapse of North Korea--Will South Korea Step Up to the Plate?

The biggest test of the mettle of the government and people of South Korea will be when North Korea collapses--which according to Jane's Information Group could be as early as the next 6 months.
The day Kim Jong-Il and his family flee North Korea will be a great day for the cause of human rights. Yet it is also a day that leaders in China, South Korea, and the U.S. dread. Chaos and a security nightmare will replace the previous state of brutal stability. And a gargantuan economic bill, to be borne by someone, will then begin to mount.

Once the North Korean police state collapses, it will be impossible to keep the global media out of the Hermit Kingdom. For the first time, the world will get to view the economic and social depravation imposed by the Kim regime. The pressure for wide-ranging humanitarian and economic relief will be immense.

However, government leaders in China, South Korea, and the U.S. will remember the economic consequences of the reunification of Germany. Germany's reunification resulted in a surge in Europe's inflation rate and a tightening of monetary policy in response, which later led to a painful recession. The economic situation in North Korea is even more extreme, a condition the global media won't let the world ignore.

But those are just the beginning of North Korea's costs. Even if the North Korean army were to assist a Chinese or South Korean or American relief force, such an expeditionary relief force would face large logistical challenges. The first task of the expeditionary force would be to find and seize control of North Korea's stockpiles of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, along with any fissile material. Even with the cooperation of the North Koreans, this would be dangerous work. Add to that crowd control and humanitarian relief, and the costs and risks of the expedition multiply.

The intervention force would have to face the prospect that many officers in North Korea's army and secret police would resist an occupation of the country. Thus, the intervention force might very well have to find and seize control of North Korea's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) stockpiles in the face of a terror insurgency armed with these very weapons.____TCSDaily

What a massively collectivist cluster-foque! West Germany was able to absorb East Germany, when its communist government folded. Although South Korea is quite affluent, few global analysts respect South Korea's ability to intervene to prevent massive human disaster.

China has been quite possessive of its "pet pit bull Kim". Is it likely that China would allow US troops to participate in a human relief mission--to save as many N. Koreans from starvation as possible? That question is debatable. China does not want North Korea to fall from its collectivist orbit. The CCP will try to install a puppet government to replace Kim--but will it work? Will the South Koreans have the substance to insist on re-unification on its terms?

The US would like to re-position its troops from the Korean peninsula to better locations. But what is South Korea made of? Can Seoul stand up to Beijing? We will find out, perhaps to our dismay, within years.

Friday, February 01, 2008

World Makes Contingency Plans In Case of Obama Presidency: Preparing for the Worst

Europe and Canada have marshaled armies of scientists to prepare for the worst--in case US voters elect Barack Obama as US President next November. In Norway, a "doomsday vault" is being stocked with seeds, in case a President Obama brings about unprecedented global devastation. British, Swedish, and Chinese scientists are studying the basic mechanisms of control of human ovulation, in what many observers see as an effort to develop a "doomsday vault" for human embryos.

"We would not be so concerned", stated Blythe Manfredson, EU Disaster Planner, "if not for some disturbing revelations coming from the United States. We have learned that Senator Obama's campaign is using deep brain stimulation to influence voting preferences in non-African American voters.""That's patently absurd!" declared an Obama campaign aide heatedly. "We only use DBS on resistant voters--racists! Many Americans willingly--even enthusiastically--vote for Barack, so they don't need the DBS."

EU sources state that they are not reassured by the explanations coming from the Obama campaign. "I would feel much better if the Obama campaign would just stick to the traditional deceptions, false promises, and misleading attacks against opponents. Using DBS is getting too close to unfair manipulation," declared one source, who asked not to be named.

Manfredson denies that she and other government planners are over-reacting to the possibility of an Obama presidency. "Look, we are destroying the European economy on the basis of unproven and unfalsifiable climate models. How could we face the people of Europe if we failed to react to the Obama threat in its turn?"

Other EU officials express concerns that Obama is seen by large segments of the US public as almost a "magic negro", possessing mythical powers to bring about a new millenium for everyone except bad people. "This type of expectation inevitably leads to catastrophe!" declared another anonymous EU source. "Unrealistic belief in a particular "change-bringer" too easily leads to suspension of critical thinking. The danger is particularly dire from charismatic but unproven politicians."

It is not likely that such cautions will be considered by the American public. In fact, most of the American news media itself appears to be in thrall to the first-term senator from Illinois.

"We have to be concerned," insisted Manfredson. "Obama has single-handedly destroyed an American political dynasty that was expected to last decades. He appears unstoppable. Clearly the American public's expectations of what an Obama presidency would mean, in terms of revolutionary justice and change, is completely unrealistic. When the reality sets in, we expect widespread social upheaval--perhaps even civil war in the US."

"The US is the leader of the world, the guarantor of world markets and trade routes," explained Chen Xin, Chinese liason to the EU Disaster Planning Commission. "Although we Chinese wish to replace the US as most powerful nation, it is no one's best interest for the handover of world power to occur by way of calamitous violent change. Despite his powerful charisma, Obama has simply not displayed an ability to lead, so the danger of violent disillusionment and backlash is extreme. We do not expect civil war in America--unless Obama attempts to radically alter the American military."

Meanwhile, the stocking of the doomsday seed vault has been placed at highest priority, as have preparations for stocking a doomsday vault with frozen human embryos. Judging by the actions of international disaster planners, the future of mankind has never looked so bleak.